In our first week we were spoiled with being taken on a few introductory game drives through the beautiful private reserve. Such a magical place and we feel so fortunate to be able to experience the beauty of nature with this minimal intrusion of humanity.
|White chested cormorant and two nests with chicks on the dead tree in the dam in front of our tent.||Pearl spotted owlet in the dead tree of our college “lawn”.|
|Male baboon on the verge in front of our college. The troop that lives on the other side of the dam from us is very noisy and occasionally break out in what sounds like fights.||On our first game drive with Dan, a recently graduated student on his placement., he asked what would we like to see. We said “birds”. Then we came across this beautiful bull elephant. Such a serene and and gentle creature.|
|Rare sighting of group of African spoonbills in the common reed grass bed of the river on Day 1.||We came across a breeding herd of elephants and this baby elephant is about a year old.|
|Behind the other baby was this newborn elephant only about a month old! What a cutie with its fluffy head.||Here’s the tiny baby behind the matriarch of the herd.|
|Stunning sunset with this giraffe calmly walking across the road in front.||When night fell, our luck was with us again and we had an amazing interaction with this spotted hyaena.|
In our first week, our sightings also included a gorgeous leopard walk around the dam (no photos, sorry). I have great photos of another species, which is unfortunately increasingly becoming rare due to severe poaching, and as a result, we have been asked not to post to minimise the threat.
Our studies commenced with energetic gusto from Andrew Miller of SMART response who taught us Wilderness First Aid Training Level II preparing us for the realities of living and working in the bush and amongst these incredible WILD creatures.
We also got taken to visit the luxury lodge Marataba in the same reserve where some of our class may have an opportunity to do a work placement there in 6 months time. Stunning location, and what a place to work, with only a few lodges in this reserve, there are limited vehicles within the reserve, truly giving guests an exclusive experience with what African wilderness has to offer.