Christina Welch, an attorney from Florida, USA, joined us for the last week of the student programme. She is very dedicated to the conservation of animals, and volunteered at an elephant conservation park in Thailand last year.
We canâ€™t believe this is our last blog. The fun continued at the Centre, and on the many interesting trips we experienced such as visits to the Khamai Reptile Centre, Kruger National Park and a magical Elephant back Safari at Camp Jabulani. Not only have we learnt about the species housed at the Centre, but at Khamai Reptile Centre we were informed about the venomous snakes and invertebrates of South Africa. We learnt how to safely approach a puff adder, and even got to touch a cobra (only under expert supervision and handling of course – donâ€™t try that at home)!
A visit to the anti-poaching team, Pro Track, broadened our knowledge of the many ways animals can be poached and captured for commercial or sustainable means. There are so many factors impacting the ease of combating the poaching struggle, and the group feels very passionately about supporting the Pro Track team’s efforts.
At the Kruger National Park we were lucky enough to see a white rhino taking a nap and getting some shade from the sun â€“ the expert eyes of our volunteer coordinator really paid off, as the group thought it was a rock at first! The group was then given a task to photograph and identify 10 different bird species and attempt to mimic their callsâ€¦ We presented our bird pictures on our last Friday at camp, and our call attempts really were quite special to hear! A very funny afternoon!
The group have really bonded over the past three weeks, and its safe to say we will miss each other a lot. We will especially miss the HESC staff and the two amazing volunteer coordinators who have taught us so much, and organised a programme that we have all loved so deeply.