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roam Where Wild Things Roam Magazine

Saving Rhino in South Africa SAFARI INTO SABI SABI WILD GEAR AND MORE

issue 04 www.wherewildthingsroam.com


where wild things roam travel JOIN US ON A TRIP OF A LIFETIME

BORNEO

S.AFRICA

ORANGUTAN CONSERVATION

RHINO CONSERVATION

RWANDA

TONGA

GORILLA CONSERVATION

HUMPBACK WHALE CONSERVATION

CONTACT - HELLO@WHEREWILDTHINGSROAMTRAVEL.COM


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Editor's Note Africa has always held a special place in my heart. There is something so raw and chaotic about it that I can relate to. I was extremely privileged to have returned to South Africa and Mozambique to spend some time in a counter poaching camp with the Dyck Advisory Group Conservation Trust, then engage in rhino conservation in South Africa. The experience was humbling but also terrifying, to think that we have been pushed to such limits in order to protect the most vulnerable wildlife. If you have not yet had the chance to visit South Africa, I strongly recommend you put it on your radar. There is so much to offer and your tourism dollar, when spent correctly, can offer so much to the protection and conservation of wildlife. Where Wild Things Roam Travel has teamed up with some top operators in South Africa to offer tours that will ensure the conservation of rhinos. Contact us for more on this. If you would like to be a part of Where Wild Things Roam or simply have something you want to share, get in touch with us via email at hello@wherewildthingsroam.com  Enjoy this issue of ROAM and remember to travel responsibly and consciously on your next adventure.

Kate Webster

"De-horning the black rhino was tragic but I was hopeful for a better future for him." FOLLOW US /thewildthingsroam @WildThings_Roam /thewildthingsroam

EDITOR IN CHIEF Kate Webster DIGITAL MANAGER  Sarah Clements PUBLISHER Captured Travel Media ADVERTISING SALES  Jo Easterbrook For all advertising and sales please email hello@wherewildthingsroam.com  Copyright by Where Wild Things Roam under Captured Travel Media. All Rights Reserved. NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure that all information in this magazine is accurate, no responsibility can be accepted by the publishers for entries supplied by organisations, firms or individuals.


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Saving Rhino in South Africa Kate Webster

WHERE WILD THINGS ROAM MAGAZINE


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IIt wasn’t my first time in South Africa, nor on a game safari. I have been lucky enough to spend many hours in the bush, tracking wildlife and admiring it from the safety of a vehicle. This time was different though. This time I would be face to face with the wildlife, fighting to save them.

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I am on a private game farm just outside of Kruger National Park. The exact location can’t be disclosed for protection of the owners and the rhinos. I am part of a special group tour operated by Where Wild Things Roam Travel.

The morning starts with the group meeting at the house. Here I am introduced to Dr Peter Rogers, owner of ProVet Wildlife Services. With over 30 years’ experience, Dr Rogers is considered one of the most experienced wildlife veterinarians in the world. He specializes in the capture and veterinary care of some of South Africa's most endangered species, including the southern white rhinoceros and black rhinoceros. I am honoured to meet such an incredible man and anticipate an exceptional experience ahead.

Where Wild Things Roam Travel provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back when travelling and make a difference in local communities namely the protection of wildlife and the environment. The eight-day tour to South Africa engages in some hands-on conservation activities with rhino that you cannot do anywhere else.

As Dr Peters explains the equipment he uses, the rhythmic hum of a helicopter fills the air. The helicopter rotors slow to a stop and out steps the pilot. To my delight she is a female and I revel in a moment of ‘power to the women’. Jana Meyer is the Chief Pilot, Founder and Company Owner of Hope for Wildlife Helicopter Services and is the pilot in charge of the operation for the day.

Rhinos are in grave danger of poaching. Every year their numbers are dropping as they are illegally hunted in reserves across Africa. For the past five years, African rhinos have been poached at a rate of three per day and if this senseless slaughter does not stop, they could be lost in our lifetime. .

With Jana’s arrival, Dr Rogers begins to brief us about the mission. We are to go track rhino on the ground, while Jana takes the search to the air. Once located, Dr Rogers will go up in the chopper and dart the rhino with a sedative and his team of vets and assistants with secure the animal ready for de-horning.


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Once the de-horning is completed, Dr Rogers administers the reverse agent, and everyone must clear the area for the rhino to recover and return to the bushveld. Sounds simple enough. The truth is, the situation is far from simple. The war on poaching has become so dire that drastic measures are being taken to protect the rhino. While micro-chipping the horn is a way to trace a horn once removed and provide vital information as to where the rhino was located to be used in prosecuting the poachers, some say by that time it is too late. After pouring a huge amount of funds and collaborative efforts into region-wide anti-poaching efforts, there is still an unacceptable loss of rhino from reserves. Therefore, an unattractive choice had to be made - lose more rhino to poachers or remove the horns from the rhino. Rhino dehorning is definitely not the best option, but for now it is a means of deflecting. I query the actual horn removal process with Dr Rogers, who put’s my mind at ease from the thought of chopping off the very thing that defines this animal, its horn. He explains that rhino dehorning is a drastic measure but has become necessary due to such a drastic poaching crisis and the approach is “no horn, no poaching”. “Rhino dehorning may seem like a brutal process, but it is always carried out by professional conservation teams who take every step to ensure that dehorning is done safely and does not cause any harm to the rhino,” Dr Rogers adds. “It is important for the public to understand why rhino dehorning is done, and to help spread awareness about this conservation approach.” Dr Rogers explains. “It is equally important to know that operations such as this is where a major portion of funds raised get directed towards.” Our chat is cut short by the static breaking over the radio and Yana’s voice informing us that she has spotted a black rhino. It was go time and we filed into vehicles and raced through the bushveld towards the area the helicopter was hovering around.

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Dr Rogers jumps into the helicopter and we sit and wait for him to dart the rhino and give the all clear to approach. Crunching through the dense bush, my heart is pounding in my chest as I approach the sedated rhino. He is already surrounded by the vet team and security guarding him and has a mask covering his eyes. As I get closer, I notice Dr Rogers putting wads of material in the rhino’s ears – giant earplugs to help keep him calm during the whole process. All hands were on deck trying to complete tasks before the sedatives wore off. Samples of horn and blood were taken. Its ears were ‘notched’ to create a form of identification and most importantly, the horn was removed and the small portion that remained was treated to seal it. The horns are made up primarily of keratin – a protein found in hair, fingernails, and animal hooves. Removing the horn does not cause any pain to the rhino and it will eventually grow back. As I stood with this detached rhino horn in my hand, I find it hard to believe the need for such a thing. Rhino horn is used in Traditional Medicine, but increasingly common is its use as a status symbol to display success and wealth. It has been proven that the horn has no medicinal powers whatsoever, making the desire to consume it even more pointless.

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The horn is tagged and taken away to be stored in a secure location. Even the slithers of horn piles on the ground are collected up so not a trace is left behind. Before the rhino is injected with the reversal drug, I take a moment to take it all in. Standing right next to this 2.5 tonne male black rhino, I can feel his breath every time his body heaves to exhale. I reach out and touch him, his rough skin caked in dried cracked mud in places. He feels warm and for a moment I begin to tear up. To think that there may be a day when the last rhino may take his last breath is too much to bear and I step away to allow the team to finish the task and administer the reversal agent. A black rhino can be aggressive at the best of times, so waking up after the de-horning meant we better be far away. The group piles into the trucks and I am lucky enough to be able to jump into the helicopter with Yana for a birdseye view. Cutting it close, we take off just as the rhino begins to stumble to his feet. We circle around him and watch as he starts charging off in the direction of the vehicles. Luckily, the vehicles were quick in their getaway and just a bit faster than the rhino, to be able to drive away to safety. The rhino makes an about turn and runs off into the dense bush and we lose visual. I look out across the bush below me that extends on for as far as the eye can see. I wander how many more rhinos are out there and hope with all my heart they stay safe. To see that rhino return safely to the bush, knowing that it’s chance of survival had been increased and the overall survival of the species increased, was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in Africa to date.

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It is the hard work and dedication of people like Jana Myers and Dr Peter Rogers and his team that give these animals hope. There is still much more that needs to be done though including more resources for counterpoaching and rhino monitoring teams. Training of the judiciary is vital so that they understand the seriousness of wildlife crimes and impose appropriate sentences together with a coordinated and better-funded effort by Governments, national police forces and illegal trade investigators in trying to reduce the demand for rhino horn worldwide. Most of all, is the need to keep speaking about the cause. The more we talk about it, the more the world will become educated. To protect anything, you have to care about it, and to care about it, you have to know it is there. When you need to conserve, one of the most important things is education. To fight for conservation, you need to understand and feel it.


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SABI SELATI CAMP

Sabi Sabi’s Selati Camp is a lodge where turn of the century elegance meshes with personalised safari luxury.


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Selati Camp is located in Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, situated in the world-renowned 60,000-hectare Sabi Sand Wildtuin (Sabi Sand Reserve) in the South-Western section of the Kruger National Park. To access the area, you take a short one-hour flight with Airlink from Johannesburg to Skukuza airport, a gateway to Kruger National Park area. It is one of four lodges that make up the Sabi Sabi family. The four completely separate luxurious, all-suite lodges have very distinct characters and atmospheres – those of “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.

The Camp Stepping into Selati Camp is like stepping back in time. It is historically themed as the Sabi Sabi of Yesterday, furnished with old railway memorabilia and meticulously created as an authentic home in the bush. The railway theme extends from the original steam engine name plates, signals and shunter’s lamps lighting the way to my suite, to interesting memorabilia and other collector’s pieces in each suite.

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This theme comes from the area’s intriguing past. During the 1870’s, high in the crevices of the Drakensberg escarpment which rises to the west of Sabi Sabi, gold was discovered. To transport the gold, the parliament of the Old Transvaal Republic commissioned a railway line from the interior to Delagoa Bay in Mozambique. A branch railway known as the Selati Line crossed the Sabi Sand Reserve. While the line is disused today, the old railbed can still be seen in the north-eastern section of Sabi Sabi, close to Selati Camp. There is a swimming pool overlooking the bush to relax and cool off during the warmer months or just relax by the pool in the deck chairs and watch the wildlife go by. Next to the pool is a casual seating area where guests can enjoy reading, relaxing and unwinding in between safari experiences. While there is no spa on site, guests will have access to either Amani Spa at Bush Lodge or Earth Lodge. It is important to note that due to the location of the camp, the WiFi signal may be interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather or wildlife interference.


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The Rooms With just seven lodges, Selati Camp oozes exclusivity. The classic vintage styling continues on to the opulent thatched suites, each with full bathroom en-suite and private alfresco shower nestled under majestic indigenous trees. The spacious lodge is grandeur in the form of original antiques, a draped four-poster bed looking out onto a private terrace with outdoor shower and bath. Amongst all the luxurious touches there is still as sense of being out bush, with splashing of canvas and raw materials used in the structural building. For something extra special, the Presidential Suite is the ultimate in luxury. Settle into the draped four-poster bed looking out onto your private terrace that has a private plunge pool. The magnificent en-suite bathroom, complete with Persian carpet and antique chaise-lounge, also features a quiet space surrounded by the sounds of the bushveld. The separate dressing room features an antique wardrobe and matching dressing table.

The experiences Safaris take place each morning and evening in open safari vehicles which drive through a wide variety of habitats, allowing guests to view the vast interactions of the wild. After breakfast, guests on guided walking trails can experience the natural environment on foot. The dedicated, highly trained and experienced Rangers are full of knowledge and are a necessity to the wildlife spotting experience. Sabi Sabi isn’t all about phenomenal game drives, with many other activities on offer. Opportunities for education and adventure are definitely on the cards for those interested and energetic. Take part in a morning environmental awareness walking safari, which gives an opportunity to feel the pulse of Africa through the soles of your feet and experience the bushveld at close quarters. Book Sabi Sabi Selati Camp - + 27 13 735 5771 or  email selatireception@sabisabi.com Fly to Skukuza Airport from Johannesburg with Airlink - www.flyairlink.com


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KATE WEBSTER

Safari the Ethical Way African wildlife has been in the spotlight lately with recent release of Disney’s remastered The Lion King, sparking interest for travellers seeking an African safari experience.


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KATE WEBSTER

While the Lion King franchise (the musical, the national and international tours, the merchandise, the films) has grossed more than $8.1 billion dollars, the value it can have on the awareness to conserve Africa’s wildlife can be priceless. Simba the lion might have triumphed in the movie, but in real life, lions are suffering. The number of lions in the wild has fallen from around 450,000 in 1950, to 40,000 when the first Lion King came out, to around 20,000 today. Whereas lions were once dispersed throughout the African continent, they now occupy only eight percent of their historic range. They can be found in only 25 countries, although most are found in only eight. There are no lions left in North Africa, they are functionally extinct in West Africa, and they are under threat everywhere else. The species is on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s ominous Red List, right alongside the more publicised elephants and rhinos. Across environmental, conservation and philanthropic circles, the hope is that the 2019 version of The Lion King will finally attract attention on the big cats’ predicament and serve as a catalyst for their conservation. Unfortunately, the movie is also encouraging a dark side to wildlife tourism, as more people are keen to get up close and personal with the animals in the wrong way. For example, to cuddle with a Simba (lion cub), is attracting visitors to the unethical tourism practice of canned lion farms. These farms often take young lions from their mothers and allow tourists to pay to cuddle them. Tourists are fed with the lie that the lion cubs were abandoned, or their mothers injured, and they are there to be looked after until old enough to be released back into the wild. The truth is, these lion cubs will grow to be hunted and shot. This is just one example of unethical tourism practises that travellers can fall trap to when visiting South Africa. The good news is, there are many ways you can ethically enjoy a South African wildlife and safari experience. You just need to be aware of what to look out for. Where Wild Things Roam has some handy tips to help guide you to making the right choices when engaging in a South African wildlife experience or safari.

Book with a reputable company Australian company and African Specialist, Bench Africa, is always delighted when its clients show an interest in conservation and sustainable practises when in South Africa and encourage them to get involved if the opportunity is there. There has to be a certain amount of caution required though with ethical conservation activities as for many years there have been operators touting their conservation bona fides whilst engaged in unhelpful or harmful behaviour. Walking with the lions is one such example. There is a large amount of due diligence required by both the client and the agent in regard to these activities to make sure they put their money where their mouth says its going.


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KATE WEBSTER

Avoid interactive experiences

Do it for the right reasons

It is important to book with companies that uphold strict standards when it comes to this. According to Cameron Neill from Bench Africa, the company has a blanket ban on all interactive animal experiences.

Travellers often want to get involved, but it is important to do it for the right reasons. The difficult part is to distinguish the difference between actual conservation work (which is often less glamorous) and the faux conservation that trends so well on Instagram.

“Defined, interactive animal experiences are activities that take animals away from natural behaviour and often from natural environments,” Cameron explained. For example, the meerkat visits in South Africa are conducted in their natural environment with limited or zero contact with guests (which is of course at the animals discretion) and in these cases the animals are merely habituated to the presence of people, not trained out of natural behaviours. This is similar with animals on safari, they remain wild animals in wild spaces but habituated to safari vehicles viewing them respectfully. We try to educate travel agents as best as possible on the differences through our channels as well as through our reservations team. .

Whilst the latter has been a big movement in the past the most recent trend is for engaged experiences with authentic activities and more about the experience itself, less about the sharing of it with an online audience. There are companies that are doing it for the right reasons and in an effort to educate and conserve properly, not just to make a tourist dollar. In some cases, yes, there will be rehabilitation centres that will monopolise on their wildlife in an unethical way, however there are also centres that are doing incredible work to ensure the proper rehabilitation of the animals.  Do your research before visiting any of these centres. .

Where Wild Things Roam Travel offer travellers ethical wildlife experiences in their tours that actually aid in conservation. Yes, you will get your hands dirty, but this hands-on experience contributes to the very survival of these animals. All profits from these tours go straight back into conservation.


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KATE WEBSTER

SIMPLY SIMBAVATI

Simbavati River Lodge is situated in the northern sector of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and surrounded by 12 000 hectares of wildlife and rich wilderness in which you can experience an authentic and affordable African safari. Simbavati River Lodge is an uncomplicated and down to earth safari experience and guests are encouraged to relax and feel at home. The lounge area is the perfect place to relax on a comfortable couch with a book or doze off on an afternoon siesta. Built on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River, this backdrop is a beautiful watercourse in the summer months when rain is plentiful, and a dry riverbed in the drier winter months. The lodge is built around old Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, making guests feel they are really a part of nature. Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, was initiated in 1956 by a group of landowners which was concerned about the degradation of this once pristine wilderness area. Timbavati is dedicated to conservation by maintaining the biodiversity of species and is also involved in different research projects.

WANT TO STAY? Fly to Hoedspruit Airport with Airlink www.flyairlink.com Stay at Simbavati River Lodge to fully experience a safari in Simbavati www.simbavati.com


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CAMP DAYS. Counter-poaching in Mozambique

ROAM's editor, Kate Webster, spends some time in a counter-poaching unit camp in Mozambique getting her hands dirty with the brave men and women fighting the war on poaching in Africa.


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The sun is breaking over the horizon, a saffron glow engulfs the treetops. The view is beyond spectacular and you could be mistaken that all is calm with the sunrise’s friendly embrace. Things are not as they appear though. The air holds a sense of unease. A tension that is hard to place. For this place is not entirely safe. Not for me, nor the wildlife, and I worry what the morning light will show from the evening’s activities. I am in Limpopo National Park, a 1.2 million hectare area of bush in Mozambique that borders Kruger Nation Park and stretches as far North as the Zimbabwe border. Sat in the camp of the Dyck Advisory Group Conservation Trust, I am here for the week to gain an understanding of what this counter poaching team engages in on a daily basis. The Dyck Advisory Group Conservation Trust (DAGCT) carries out conservation and wildlife protection through its counter-poaching involvement and operations on the ground. The unit prides itself by operating on the front line and in many cases behind enemy lines to neutralise poaching activity and ensure the safety of today’s endangered and targeted wildlife. You would expect a full-blown team of grown men to tackle such a massive task, however I am overwhelmed to discover it is a small group of young men, some as young as 21 years old, dedicating their lives to the cause. I think to myself what a massive responsibility these young men have, and I am in awe of their professionalism, passion and comradery. Being a non-profit organisation, DAGCT rely on these men to go above and beyond to get the job done, with funding and donations from sponsors. There are just three DAGCT managers and one chopper pilot in camp. They are responsible for some 100 trackers, a majority of which are local Mozambicans.


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This tight-knit group focus on the Intensive Protective Zone which only equates to about 30 percent of the total area. This is where most of the action happens, so they concentrate most of their resources to where threats are greater, and wildlife is more abundant. With more funding the group hopes to extend this region to cover more of the area. Before arriving in camp, I felt I was somewhat prepared for what I was to experience. I had been in contact with Henk, one of the other DAGCT managers whom was absent on my visit, for nearly eight months prior via whatsaap messages. He gave me an eye-opening insight into life in camp and the work they did. It was that communication that ignited the fire within me to get involved, from some 11,500kms away in Australia. It was quite surreal to be sat in the very place I had seen so many photos of and heard so many stories about. The camp was exactly as I imagined. Tents are set up, makeshift but somewhat secured long term. There was a sense of home here, everything had its place.

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My morning started spending some time with Sean Van Nierkerk, the head of Operations in camp. At a young 28 years of age, the leadership and responsibly he emits astounds me. I hang off every word he tells me. Over a coffee at the fire, Sean divulges, after completing his Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Pretoria, he followed his passion for conservation by becoming a qualified Field Ranger and Ranger Trainer.   After a few years guiding in Mozambique and South Africa, Sean now focuses his efforts towards conservation in Mozambique carrying out counterpoaching operations for Dyck Advisory Group Conservation Trust. He has a charismatic charm to him, but you can see in his eyes a story that goes much deeper. A burden that I feel, only the few members of the team truly know. It wasn’t long before those other team members arrived around us and I felt the sense of team engulf me. There were inside jokes, playful banter and I longed to be a part of it. 


Mornings begin with patrols. Teams of three or more trackers are dropped off at various locations within the detection zone. Sometimes they are gone for the day, other times requires a more extended patrol of three to four days at a time. A high-density patrol could mean the trackers and rangers are in the bush for over a week, unassisted, carrying their own equipment and living rough in the bush. Armed with shotguns, AKA 47s or Dashprods, these trackers and rangers mean business. They go searching for or following pre-recorded tracks of suspected poachers. These tracks most commonly run from the local communities in the reserve to the border and across into Kruger National Park. They are on mission greater than just finding the poachers that target the larger wildlife like rhino. They are also fighting to eliminate the all too common problem of poaching bushmeat. Trapping devices called snares, usually consisting of a noose (made from wire), are used to captured animals for food and even hides. These death traps do not discriminate, so more often than not, they captured more than was intended. The removal of these snares is part of everyday life for the team, in addition to capturing those who set them. A team of trackers pile into the back of the Landcruiser and we drove off into the bush. The terrain is hard going, ranging from dense bush to rocky loose gravel makeshift roads. Intel from the previous days dictated the drop zone. The team offloaded, had a quick chat about their mission for the day and checked their guns, chambered a round, before walking off into the bush. 

Driving back to the main camp I felt worried for them. What would they come across? Would it be poachers where they are faced with contact? Would they stumble across a carcass of a poached animal? I couldn’t help but think what a brutal world they are living day in and day out. Suddenly a giraffe’s head appeared through the bush and curiously glanced at us as we drove past. It snapped me out of my sombre thoughts and the reality of what the fight is all about hit me. To see a wild animal doing its thing without fear of human threats truly is the most blissful thing. Back at camp, I spend some time in the Forward Operating Base tent with the Colonel. Colonel Lionel Dyck (aka the Colonel) heads up the DAGCT. After decades of commanding and controlling military, security, explosive disposal, humanitarian and conservation operations and organisations around the world, Col. Dyck created the non-profit organisation Dyck Advisory Group Conservation Trust, to help combat the rapid decline of wildlife throughout Southern Africa by illegal poaching. Col. Dyck identified the massive, crucial and immediate need for successful counter poaching operations in highly dense and threatened wildlife areas. From what I gathered; the man was the stuff of legends. Not the type that stand up and wave a flag declaring his victories but has a reputation built from the spoken words and stories amongst those who work under him. I was expecting a hard man that was to be feared if you put a foot out of place.  


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I experienced none of that. He was passionate, kind and caring, even if he didn’t want to depict that. The team respected him, and I saw a kind of father figure in him amongst these young men. I felt honoured to be in the presence of such an incredible man, as we discussed the role of DAGCT in the area, past stories from his experiences and future plans. I was keen to be involved help where I could. I took the private moment to deliver some of the much-needed gear I had collected for the team. To my delight, he welcomed the bag of equipment, including headlamps, car dash cams, cameras, binoculars and more. I felt in a small way I was contributing to the cause. By late afternoon I took to the air in the helicopter to see an aerial view of the camp and the area being protected. Within moments of being in the air I was taken back by the landscape below me. To begin with, dense bush continued for miles below me before we traversed across a valley where a river flowed below me. Leaning out of the open helicopter I saw hippo’s heads bob under the water, massive crocodiles scurry off into the water and elephants drinking at the waters edge. Werner, the helicopter pilot, was cool and in control as we weaved along the river’s twists and turns. Banking to the right, the cliff faces of the gorge rose beside me as we flew lower to the ground. My adrenalin was pumping. Rising in altitude, the setting sun filtered across the land and I lost my breath. My imagination could never have dreamt up such a sight. I extended my arm out into the wind and felt the suns warmth on my fingers cooled by the force of the world flying pass me. I stole the moment, the feeling that flowed over my fingers and deep into my soul. My heart burst and it felt good. Even after landing, my head was in the clouds. I had discovered an even deeper love for a continent that I had already found home in. That evening as I sat around the braai with the rest of the team, I felt a sense of belonging and knew, I would be back again one day.

The following days in camp, I was exposed to the daily operations more. I am not sure if it was a blessing, but no poachers were encountered during my time. I am not sure how I would have dealt with it should they had to be honest. I was under the belief that the poachers were desperate to make a living, maybe feed a family or help a dying relative. What I did learn, pure greed drove the poachers. Not a dire need to survive, but a need to have more in a materialistic world. It made my blood boil and I was thankful in my time there not to encounter such a person. What I did encounter, was people dedicating their lives to protect the wildlife that were defenseless to human destruction and greed. People who do not live an ordinary life. They are isolated, living without the comforts the rest of us take for granted. They don’t do it for the money. They don’t do it for the recognition. The do it because they care. And they do it without question. Day in and day out.


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The following days in camp, I was exposed to the daily operations more. Patrols, snare removal, data collection, general running of the camp and more. I am not sure if it was a blessing, but no poachers were encountered during my time there. I am not sure how I would have dealt with it should they had to be honest.  It is something that I still question. I was under the belief that the poachers were desperate to make a living, maybe feed a family or help a dying relative. What I did learn, pure greed drove the poachers. Not a dire need to survive, but a need to have more in a materialistic world. It made my blood boil and I was thankful in my time there not to encounter such a person.

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What I did encounter, was people dedicating their lives to protect the wildlife that were defenseless to human destruction and greed. People who do not live an ordinary life. They are isolated, living without the comforts the rest of us take for granted. They don’t do it for the money. They don’t do it for the recognition. The do it because they care. And they do it without question. Day in and day out. I walked away from that camp with an immense respect and compassion for the people who wake every day and fight a fight many of us know nothing of. I have never felt more honoured to be invited into the world of DAGCT, if only for a moment. It is a moment that will stay with me forever, and in that forever I will continue to help in any way possible. For I have seen it. I learnt it. I understand it. So I can work to protect it..

To donate to the Dyck Advisory Group Conservation Trust, please contact Where Wild Things Roam at hello@wherewildthingsroam.com


ROAM WITH US Join us on an 8 day tour in South Africa engaging in rhino conservation The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Sadly, the wildlife here faces constant attack from poachers and therefore requires teams of counter-poaching units to patrol and protect the vast area from such threats.Ticking off the Big Five is part of the experience but the main focus is to allow wildlife-lovers the chance to gain a hands-on experience of conservation. Embark on an 8 day South African safari that directly gives back to conservation and local communities. You will be hosted by an elite member of the Dyck Advisory Group’s Counter Poaching Team who will guide you through some hands-on conservation activities that can only be experienced with Where Wild Things Roam Travel.

Priced from

$6099 per person


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WILD GEAR Trialled and tested, here is some of the latest gear for getting out in the wild and roaming with. Salomon Speedcross 5 Outdoor enthusiasts who want the performance of a running shoe with low-to-the-ground maneuverability and ultimate grip, look no further than the latest iteration of Salomon most popular trail shoe – The Salomon Speedcross 5. Performance-wise, the Speedcross 5 offers enhanced grip, a more dynamic upper for improved fit and more stability. The sole of the Speedcross 5 has larger, more aggressive tread lugs with more space between them and an updated geometry, delivering better push-off grip and braking grip in all surface conditions. The heel unit of the shoe creates a cradle for your heel, ensuring clean foot strike and stability through the stride. It also has a completely welded upper, with dissociated Sensifit arms and more toe volume, so it moves more naturally with your foot and dials in the comfort. RRP: $229.99 | WWW.SALOMON.COM

Canon 8 x 25 IS Binoculars The Canon 8×25 IS Binoculars owe their small size, low weight and superb image-stabilising ability to the Tilt Mechanism, the latest in Image Stabilizer technology. This mechanism keeps your subject steady by correcting movements such as hand-shake. By just pressing the IS button, your viewpoint is held steady so you can keep your eyes on what interests you. The IS optics are driven simultaneously and only use power when the IS button is pressed, so your battery power can last continuously up to 6 hours. The Tilt Mechanism uses only one lens element in each barrel to stabilise the image, allowing the optics to be lighter and more compact. As a further refinement, it suppresses chromatic aberrations to reduce colour ‘smearing’ and keep your image clear. These binoculars at just 12cm wide and weighing only 480 grams. RRP: $499.00 |  WWW.STORE.CANON.COM.AU 


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WHERE WILD THINGS ROAM MAGAZINE

CANON EOS R & RF 24-105MM LENS Experience intuitive control with revolutionised feel and functionality with the EOS R full frame mirrorless camera – full frame meaning its image sensor is roughly the same size as a piece of 35mm film, and mirrorless meaning it doesn’t have a mirror that mechanically flips up and down (like a DSLR). Not only does it capture movement in any light with the fastest, sharpest Canon lenses, hyperfast autofocus and a 30.3MP Full Frame CMOS sensor, it is much lighter to carry than previous Canon models. The clean modern design and intuitive new control with RF lenses deliver unprecedented levels of sharpness and all feature Canon’s new lens control ring for fast intuitive shooting. This is perfect when shooting wildlife. Matched with a dedicated RF lens range, this camera delivers unrivalled image quality. The new RF system has a wider 54mm mount with a shorter 20mm flange, meaning it’s a lot wider to let more light in, and the distance from the lens to sensor is shorter, which should aid in its focusing capabilities. All of Canon’s new RF lenses will have a new ring on them (in addition to focus and zoom rings) that can be mapped to control aperture, shutter speed, ISO, or exposure comp. Canon has three adaptors that allow you to use your old glass without any loss in quality. Canon EOS R Body RRP: $3,099.00. | WW.CANON.COM.AU/CAMERAS/EOS-R

WHAT IS YOUR MUST PACK GEAR? Do you have an item you just can not travel without? Drop us a line and tell us what it is by email hello@wherewildthingsroam.com


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