Philippa Buddle

Philippa Buddle volunteered in South Africa and Swaziland. She is from Auckland, New Zealand and is currently a Student at Massey University, Palmerston North.
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Morning: A typical day as a volunteer in South Africa was AMAZING. We would wake up at around 4:45am and get ready to head out for the morning. Breakfast was cereal on the lookout, where you could look out across the entire private reserve and see how many giraffes you could spot, an awesome way to start the day. By 5:30 we were on the back of the bakkie heading out into the government reserve to get to work. Each morning started with the same activity; checking and disabling the live animal traps, to make sure nothing was in them during the day. If we caught any rodents we would tag them and release them. After this was done we would do some machetteing and slashing, trying to battle our way through the African thorn bushes to create paths.

By about 1030/11 it was far too hot to work so we headed back to camp. Usually fairly exhausted by this time we would hang out in the shade or head into town to get supplies. We were camping so had to bring out fresh water and get treats!

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Afternoon: At about 2pm, depending on the heat we would head back out, this time tracking tortoises or checking the motion detector cameras, or going for a game drive, and finally we would reset the live animal traps that we had disabled that morning and go back to camp.

Evening: Some days, depending on if it was working or not, we got to shower… the shower had the same amazing view that the lookout did. Other days we would chill out at the look out, once again giraffe spotting, and whoever was on dinner duty would cook. After dinner and a bit of socialising everyone went to bed. The two weeks volunteering allowed us to meet so many amazing people, do so many amazing things, and learn so much!