DAILY LIFE AT LEO
Imagine waking up every day in paradise, listening to the sounds of the birds, jackal calling, hyenas whooping and lion roaring while watching the colourful sunrise! Are you ready for another adventure in the bush?
Every day we get up very early, following the rhythm of nature. Be prepared to spend between 10 and 12 hours in the bush every day! A unique opportunity to learn and really contribute towards park management activities and wildlife monitoring. We are very dedicated and committed to protect and improve the quality of the environment, so wildlife can strive!
In summer we usually leave base at 5:30am for the AM drive, while in winter we leave at 6:00am, coming back around lunch time. Generally, the PM drive leaves at around 3:30pm, coming back at dinner time.
The objectives of the monitoring drives are to collect data/monitor the key species and conduct conservation activities. Be ready to get your hands dirty with some physical work: according to the season, you will assist with alien plant removal, tree wrapping, erosion control, road repair and bush clearing. On some special occasions, you might be lucky enough to take part in animal darting/game capture when requested by the park manager.
The atmosphere at base is very relaxed and happy; during the meals we talk a lot about the drives and the exciting moments spent out in the bush; we share our stories getting to know each other better. You will make lifetime friendships!
On Fridays, we go into town to replenish the food stock for the week and to have a nice dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Sunday is our day off whereby we take a break from the activities to get our energy levels replenish for the new week. In the evening we also cook a traditional South African meal sitting around the fire.
During the hottest part of the day, volunteers usually have time to relax between the morning and afternoon drive. The more active volunteers, can contribute anytime with odds and ends around camp i.e. insert data, maintaining the nursery garden, keeping the vehicles in good conditions and so on.
The volunteers stay back at base on a rotation basis for half day where they help with house duties (i.e. cooking and washing up), assist in the camera trap photo processing, data insert and in any task that need to be accomplished. If you have a green thumb, why not get hands on in our nursery and veggie garden? Remember to bring your gardening gloves!
As part of our conservation and sustainable living efforts, LEO runs on solar energy. Consequently, lights go off at around 22.30 in the respect of our fellow volunteers and to avoid electrical waste. Please remember to bring a torch with you!