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Conservation and Environment in South Africa: Monthly Updates

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Conservation in Southern Africa - Monthly Update November - December 2015

Volunteers work on the piping to the waterhole in Botswana

Lions (Panthera pardus) have been spotted several times on our property just before Christmas. We could not wish for a better gift. One female, a young male, 4 medium cubs and 2 beautiful golden male lions have been spotted chilling out around and eating a wildebeest.

And we also had the sighting of the year with 3 leopards: a mum and her two grown cubs eating an impala in a tree, relaxing and playing in a kopje. And also spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), zebras (Equus quagga), giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), eland (Tragelaphus oryx), impala (Aepycers melampus) and elephant (Loxodonta africana).

The end of the year has been lucky. Hopefully the next year will be as good as the last one! We hope that you enjoy this latest update and learn a lot of interesting facts about African wildlife and life in the bush. The bush is an everyday adventure, every day is different and we just can’t get enough!

Wire removal

Volunteers in Botswana work to protect the borehole system

All the area was a long time ago cattle farms. It is not surprising to find often on the properties some old cattle fence. They have been forgotten for a long time but sadly they are still a barrier for the movement of the wildlife and can often become a deadly trap for animals. It is for all these reasons that they need to be removed. The last few months the volunteers have been busy removing one of these fences. So far 16km of wire that has been removed.

Activities can be fun too, young volunteers are keen to try to make the biggest roll of wire ever. It ends up with a roll of the size of the volunteer (see picture). Nothing is better than a challenge to motivate all the volunteers.

Water is flowing

Conservation volunteers work to protect the solar panel

This year the rain is poor, and the temporary waterholes are drying out fast. The permanent waterholes are playing an important role in this drought period. They will supply water to the wildlife allowing them to drink through the year. The last 2 months 2 waterholes have been equipped with solar pumps. The first projects, Leametsi waterhole, took us at more than 6 months. We need to create the waterhole: dig, make the concrete, dig the trench for the piping etc. (to know more about the first steps of the project read the newsletter from July-August 2015). For this time we were focusing on the installation of the solar pump.

We need first to install poles to carry the 2 solar panels; we also need to protect them from the elephant by installing pointy rocks around the installation. We also need to install the piping from the waterholes to the borehole (the borehole is a well where you pump the water) and install the pump. The 2 waterholes are working well and wildlife is already coming to enjoy a fresh drink.

Fun in the bush

Volunteers enjoying the water in Botswana

The volunteers are funny and it is often that we have some bets going among them. The volunteers were in Monopoli addiction and start to play 1 against each other for a big prize. The first time the volunteers bet that the loser will need to chew elephant dung 10 times. No worries elephant dung are used in traditional medicine for is multi virtue, so no danger for the volunteer. The loser found it will be tastier with some barbecue sauce, so there we are looking him chewing slowly the nice meal, such a laugh. The second time the bet was to go dive in the waterhole in front of our hide and mud bath the body.

It was such a funny moment for all of us and again there is no danger, the waterhole is safe, only some terrapins come say hello to your toes. The bush can be really funny, thanks volunteers for making us laugh so much.

Conservation Manager
Sophie Juget

Management Plan, Data & Reports

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