Volunteer, Peter, from the UK, is a many-times repeat Conservation Travel Africa volunteer, having volunteered on four of our projects, some multiple times. In June 2019 he joined our Wildlife Warriors Anti-Poaching Training Course in South Africa, to gain more of an in-depth understanding of Africa and its wildlife.
Here’s what he had to say about the course and his return to Africa:
“I came to this anti-poaching training course with what I thought was a reasonable knowledge of Africa and its wildlife (previous CTA adventures, David Attenborough) but after only a few hours I realised that my knowledge was not as deep as I thought.
Through a combination of lectures, amazing expeditions into the bush and talking over sundowners (with curious rhinos investigating us on occasions), my knowledge started to expand as the course introduced diverse topics from ecosystems to animals to trees, grasses, insects, spoor, tracking plus the law, anti-poaching and firearms. There wasn’t an area that wasn’t covered.
I came to realise that, while knowledge is important, only by applying that knowledge of geology, terrain, plants, animals and man can you gain a fuller understanding of the whole ecosystem and how everything has a place and purpose.
Les is an amazing teacher with huge experience in the bush. Letting him teach you how to get to within 20 metres of a wild rhino through tracking, observation and bush skills without causing the animal any anxiety is just unforgettable.
Sure I passed the exam at the end of the course (and have a certificate to prove it) but I came away with some incredible memories, with recipes for just amazing peppercorn and blue cheese sauces (you have to be there to appreciate those), but crucially with the understanding of how everything you see has its place and purpose and hence with a far better understanding of the fantastic African bush.
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