The First Training Week of the Year

By 5 years ago
Categories Limpopo and KZN

Finally, after a month with no volunteers on base, this year’s first group arrived on a Saturday, 12th of January. Our base dog, Zuri, was so excited about getting new play mates she had even dressed up in one of our new GVI t-shirts for the occasion 

Zuri sporting her outfit on day 1

During training week the volunteers had to go through lectures about wildlife and conservation, emergency action plans and risk assessments. They learnt how to use the Telemetry and the different duties they would be assigned. They also had to learn about our focus animals, and the different animals on the reserve and how to identify them by species, age and sex.

Telemetry practise
On Wednesday they got to go to Khamai Reptile Park for an exclusive tour where they were given information about snakes and their venom, and got a chance to hand feed lizards and chameleons.

In between all of the lectures and studying they also had the time to go on a few drives. Despite the poor weather they managed to get an amazing sighting of our male cheetahs, Jabu and Djuma, taking down two young warthogs right next to the vehicle.

Djuma with his freshly killed Warthog piglet. Jabu was not far behind with his own.
They’ve also seen all of our lions, some rhinos, elephants, hippo, wilderbeests, giraffes, zebras, antilopes and even leopard cubs.

On Saturday, a week after their arrival, the time had come for their tests. First they had to complete a theory test followed by an animal identification test, a vehicle and a telemetry test. In the evening we celebrated the end of their first week with some beers and a few games of pool.
Next morning it was clear that it was not only the volunteers and staff that had been eager to let their hair down for a few hours. From the massive tracks in our lawn and broken trees it seemed like a certain big mammal had been keen on joining in on the fun. This was confirmed when Rosie, one of the staff members told us she got woken up by a massive elephant trying to climb in through her window. How no one else woke up as the elephants picked fruit from the trees right in front of our bedroom windows is unclear. Luckily there was no damage on any of the vehicles. 

You would be forgiven for thinking a dinosaur had visited us in the night. An ele bull had dug himself deep into the mud as he leaned over a truck to get at the Marula fruit.
The remains of the marula tree that lives behind the staff house.

Amalie Karevoll
GVI Karongwe