Student Blog – 2 May 2013

Louise Bednarz joined the other students on 30 April 2013


I imagined driving along a road and seeing warthogs and impala, and this is exactly how our journey started. Amazing! On arrival, you are taken on a tour to learn about the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC). Then it’s time to settle into your new home for the next few weeks.

Becci injecting a buffalo

Our first visitors were giraffes which were right outside our camp. This was an amazing experience; hardly 24-hours of being here. From day one, we haven’t stopped. Preparing food and feeding the cheetahs and wild dogs was the first thing we did. The noise wild dogs make when hungry is an unforgettable sound, one everyone should hear.

Emma & a cheetah cub

We have also visited a local school to see how the children grow their own food which is then picked and used to feed them. What a lovely group of children. On the same day, we also did a postmortem on a waterbuck with the on-site vet, something none of us, the students, will ever forget. We’ve already done so much but there is still so much more to come.

Margareth & Becci cleaning

Feeding the servals, caracals and small cats, as well as meeting Savannah, a serval, was once again a moment worthy to be captured on camera. We then got to spend a couple of hours playing with three adorable cubs, which was just priceless. Once we could drag ourselves away, it was onto the vulture restaurant to feed them, which was such a brilliant experience. This all only happened on the fourth day.

Rebekah & Savannah

The rest of the week consisted of more animal feeding and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The next adventure was to be part of a release of a serval back into Kapama Game Reserve. Watching it run out into the bush is an amazing feeling. We then went on to do some work with the vet, darting a young sable calf to give it anti-tic treatment, darting a buffalo prior to its relocation, and visiting a local town to help immunise cattle and to treat them for tics.

Cheetah run

Believe it or not, in between doing everything else that we did, we still found time to do a boat trip down Blyde Canyon, watch the cheetah runs and went on a bush walk. During one of the evenings we had a braai (barbecue) with the staff. When you’re here, cameras stay permanently attached to your hands as every moment is a picture moment.

Watch this space!

Learners full of joy

Student activities in pictures