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Volunteering in South Africa – A Wonderful World

In early December I returned from my second trip volunteering in South Africa through GoEco. The first trip in 2010 was a month-long bush experience that I was certain could not be surpassed. Living in a tiny tent near Kruger National Park I was continuously immersed in the flora and fauna of South Africa during daily walks, drives, and lectures.

Then I discovered the one-month Greater Kruger Area Wildlife Photography and Conservation project. Living at the lodge in the Greater Kruger Area surrounded by game reserves I returned to the wonderful world of the South African bush. We walked, drove, and camped as we improved our photography skills and captured birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, flora, landscapes, lightening, sunrises and sunsets. We also participated in conservation and community project activities such as removal of invasive plants and clean-up of gardens, with the dual task of physical work and photos for the African Impact data base.

We were the photographers of record for day and overnight bush trips, a visit to a remarkably organized trash site, and a day at the wonderful Kinyonga Reptile Center in Hoedspruit with a dedicated staff that introduced us to the fascinating world of snakes and scorpions. Although I’ve met my own personal goal of improving my bird photography I have also been able to participate in conservation and community development, education and information and a photographic record, all essential tools for making an impact in this part of the planet.