A Few of our Favourite Things
I asked every intern and volunteer what their favourite moment has been so far whilst being on Karongwe and this is what they said (for some the choosing of an absolute favourite moment was impossible):
Emilie – Flippy (the largest bull elephant on Karongwe) walking within metres of the car creating a silence usually only encountered at 5am as well as supporting the local primary school at their sports day, which certainly created the opposite of silence.
Alex – Seeing Matumba (leopard) chilling in his favourite tree as well as the fashion show provided to us by some outstanding trainee designers, slightly unusual models and artefacts found lying around our Karongwe base.
Kelly – A very well timed and positioned bushbuck kill by Khwezi (everyone’s favourite cheetah) leaving a slightly bewildered youngster with another life lesson learnt – always have a friend whose slower than you or likewise bushbucks are food not friends.
Joe – An epic hippo fight at Big Croc Dam leading to some serious dental reconstruction, as well the purr-fect head of the lion pride showing his constantly evident soft side, by donating his stomach to the cubs to allow them some apparently much needed trampolining practice.
George – Our six month old lion cubs reckoning that taking on a fully grown bull rhino is certainly not out of their depth, then bravely retiring from the challenge after taking a closer look into the rather amused eyes of the rhino.
Camille – The absolute definition of tranquillity in Africa, a silhouette of our lion pride in the moonlight, worthy of any David Attenborough documentary.
Nikki – Apparently missing the rain is possible, discovered during a very heated tracking competition, where power sliding through puddles was a must for the best tracks to be spotted and identified.
Aaron – The sighting of one of Karongwe’s rarest mammals, the pangolin is certainly not a moment that will be forgotten in a rush.
Jack – Our lion cubs were in grave danger of exploding with smugness as we watched with mixed emotions as they had their first killing lesson on a giraffe calf.
Alex – When the mammals are hiding, one thing you can be guaranteed will not disappoint is the birds, a new found respect and love for our feathered friends was found by most. Another constant presence that certainly did not disappoint is the range of people that makes this experience all the more memorable.
John – Getting close to one of Africa’s rarest cats, the cheetah, is memorable enough, so stumbling upon two happily lying in the sun together makes the moment even more special.
Stevie – Walking up Beacon Rock and watching the sun rise over the reserve certainly makes you realise the beauty of Africa and why we are here, striving to protect it.
As for my favourite moment, it would have to be every time I catch a sighting of one of South Africa’s misunderstood large carnivores, the hyena, as well as the people which make the memories of this amazing place even more spectacular.