Wild Tomorrow Fund is dedicated to the protection of threatened and endangered species and the habitats they depend on for survival.
 
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WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

It was the first time in Zululand for Angela, Catherine, Jamie, Joe, Karen, Kristen, Sara and Tanya. Only Jan, who'd visited several times before knew what to expect. Each had chosen to join our trip attracted by the idea of spending two weeks in the bush volunteering on our conservancy, along with a couple of days on safari.

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DAY 1
We took it easy on the volunteers on Day 1. They'd come a long way and were still adjusting to the new time zone. A 3-mile trek on Ukuwela kicked off the morning followed by an afternoon safety talk back at the lodge. 

Outdoor drinks and a hearty lodge meal followed.

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DAY 2
The morning started with a visit to a local community school which Wild Tomorrow Fund had recently helped by donating desks and chairs. Tanya, one of the volunteers, had the great idea to bring soccer balls. The afternoon was spent on Ukuwela setting up camera traps .

Outdoor drinks and a hearty lodge meal followed.

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DAY 3
It was back to Ukuwela in the morning, however as so often happens in the bush, things didn't go to plan. The volunteers heard the distress calls of a large animal. Our professionals went to investigate and came back with the sad news that an nyala antelope was caught in a poacher's snare. Between the time the volunteers had heard the nyala and it being found it had died. Nearby was a second dead nyala. The volunteers got to experience real conservation issues head-on and over the next three hours helped scour the area for remaining snares. An additional 30 were found and removed. The afternoon was spent dismantling an old barbed-wire and wood-pole cattle fence. The emotional experience of the morning dominated conversations. 

Outdoor drinks and a hearty lodge meal followed.

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DAY 4
It was the volunteer's first 'vacation' day. They drove 2 hours to St. Lucia where they boarded a boat for a hippo and crocodile tour. The afternoon was spent shopping at local stands.

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DAY 5
The volunteers were introduced to Ukuwela's pit of black plastic. A pineapple farmer had illegally used Ukuwela to dump his plastic waste when no-one was looking some years before. It was now up to the volunteers to help remove it.  After a refreshing shower back at the lodge the volunteers undertook some shopping therapy at a local embroidery studio. 

Outdoor drinks at the Amarillo bar and a hearty lodge meal followed.

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DAY 6
The volunteers hit the road again; this time to Kosi Bay. On the way they dropped in at Tembe Elephant Park to deliver donated ranger uniforms from the US government. It was late afternoon when they arrived in Kosi Bay; just enough time for a hike and board games before an outdoor supper.

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DAY 7
Down to the beach early morning. Clear skies, great company, and breaching hump back whales made for a perfect morning. The afternoon consisted of a community visit where they tasted local palm wine, and watched local women make grass mats.

Another open fire and braii (bbq) ended the day.

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DAY 8
It was farewell to Kosi Bay and hello to Tembe Elephant Park. The day was spent learning about the area's flora and fauna. Amazing up-close elephant encounters got everyone's hearts pumping a little faster.

 

DAY 9
Wild Tomorrow Fund chose to coincide the volunteer trip with funding for rhino dehorning at a local reserve. This special treat for the volunteers was a day that will not easily be forgotten.

It was back to the pit of black plastic in the afternoon for more removal. 

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DAY 10
Another early start to visit Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. The volunteers traveled the reserve seeing giraffe, elephants, rhino, baboons, buffalo and many other species. 

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DAY 11
Time for some physical activity. Global Conservation Force, a US non-profit that trains rangers in Krav Maga martial arts, generously spent two days with our Ukuwela rangers. The volunteers joined the classes. The afternoon was spent removing more old cattle fencing.

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DAY 12
The last full day of work for the volunteers. It was back to the dismantled fence, this time snipping all the barbed-wire into small enough pieces that they could never be made into snares. 

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DAY 13
A bittersweet day as our volunteers said their goodbyes and began the long journey home.




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