September/October Students – Update 1

Sarah and Vicky about to go gecko tubing

Sarah and Vicky about to go gecko tubing

Besides getting up to all kinds of fun since we introduced them a week ago, Vicky and Sarah have since welcomed two new team members to their little group as well. You can read more about Ingrid and Wilfriend here. If their first update is anything to go by, it seems the students are enjoying themselves tremendously. They even went so far as to brag that there’ve been no tears yet. Good times.


What an incredible week it’s been so far, full of amazing sights, exciting adventures, hard work, blood, sweat, but luckily no tears (yet!). The staff have made us feel really welcome, and we’ve also been particularly well looked after by Tabs and Karen.
Some important things we have learnt so far:

  1. The Blue Crane, which is South Africa’s national bird, is terrifying!  It should be renamed the Blue Crane. Let’s just say that feeding time keeps you on your toes.
  2. Cheetahs can climb trees…we have seen it with our very own eyes! If anyone tries to tell you otherwise they’re wrong.
  3. Elephant dung is the catnip of the big cat world. If you want to make a lion happy, then just give it some elephant poo to roll around in.

This week has seen us moving two tonnes of frozen met, collecting bones, cleaning enclosures, and preparing food for a wide variety of animals: big, small, furry, feathered, scaled, the list goes on. We played hide and seek with a tortoise who was clearly at the top of his game, moved cheetahs, and got hissed and growled at by some very wild leopards. But probably one of the most exciting tasks was feeding the cheetahs cubs.

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets however, because once it gets dark we’re dodging spiders, avoiding snakes, and trying to figure out ‘who’ is peering in at us from outside the camp! We’ve seen the Milky Way and countless stars, heard lions roaring, hyenas laughing, and even antelope barking. And that’s just inside the Centre.

We went gecko tubing down the Sabie River rapids, threw ourselves off some cliffs into the water below, and finally we enjoyed a calm and relaxing boat trip down Blyde Canyon River to recover from the previous adrenalin inducing activities. We’ve had the chance to do so many things already, and we simply cannot wait to find out what the next two weeks hold in store for us. Remember to visit our Facebook and Flikr albums to see more photos of our adventures.

Greetings from Africa,
Vicky, Sarah, Ingrid and Wilfried