During my two months on reserves in Hoedspruit, I have grown to know and love the bush and its animals… thank you Glen!
Although every drive or walk in the bush was an amazing experience, I got the wonderful chance of a lifetime to join a team of people in the most amazing experience ever – the Rhino census.
Very excited, Anna, Carolin and I got up bright and early Monday morning; we couldn’t wait!!
It took a few hours to get organized, but once everything was planned we were on our way – us with Glen and Shannon, the wildlife capture team, the vet and the best pilot ever Jerry in his chopper!
We couldn’t wait to see our first Rhino up close, and WOW! It was awesome! Once we heard Jerry and the vet found and darted a big bull we were racing through the bush to get to him. When we saw him we could barely breathe. I never realized how huge and beautiful they actually are. The team worked very quickly to get the transponders in his horns and body and the horn measurements and as this Rhino – we called him Ceaser – was being moved we also helped him, although he was pretty groggy, into the container for transport.
Later in the day we were joined by Traci, Adam from Campfire and our two new girls Steph and Sarah, and the second day our good friend Jonathan joined the party – we had so much fun! For three days we were all in the bush, chasing the chopper, running through the bush when needed, working fast to get everything done – you would think it would get boring after a few rhinos. Well, think again! Each one was special, every time we found a new one we were as excited as with Ceaser. Especially when we found the rhinos we knew so well from our bush drives – R.D, Hanger, Mother Scar and Ma Baker.
In addition me and Anna got a lift from Jerry in his chopper. I flew over a heard of zebras, Jerry flew so low I could almost touch them – I have seen the bush by foot, from a car, from a horse, from an elephant and now from the air! I love Africa!
Thank you Glen and Traci and all the great people that were there for making my last week in South Africa so special.
I have always liked rhinos, but after this I really love them and I wish everybody would realize how magnificent they are and that no rhino will ever get poached again!
Written by Ivana (Slovakia)