It has been another fun filled month here at the Shamwari Conservation Experience. The month on October was Heritage month in South Africa and to celebrate this we invited a group of local kids from our local community to spend the day with us. We fetched them in our vehicles and were treated with African songs all the way from Addo to the Reserve. When they arrived at our student centre the kids got changed into traditional African clothes and put on the most amazing dance display. Our students got a chance to tell all the kids about their countries and culture. We then headed out on a game drive and gave the kids an opportunity to see some of the Animals on the reserve which was a first for them even though they live less than an hour away.

We have started a new project at the programme where we will be accessing and doing research on their special and feeding behaviour. Not much is known about these nocturnal and elusive animals. We have been lucky to find a very active den sight where we placed camera traps and were able to get some nice footage on the resident hyenas. The next step is to put together an ID kit so we can identify individuals and see how far they are moving. Scat analysis will also be a big part of the research and this will give us more understanding what they are eating. I will keep you updated as our research develops.

We have had some amasing sightings while we have been doing our research and monitoring. A new member to one of our Elephant families was seen, another 2 lion cubs to our ever growing lion pride, a new Black Rhino calf and a new baby hippo were all seen while we were out and about. The Shamwari family is really expanding nicely.

It has been a very wet end to our winter with 200mm falling over the week end alone. Because the land is so saturated from the last rains there was nowhere for the water to go other than to flow into our river.  By Saturday the river was flowing at full force and rose to levels that no one had ever seen. It was scary but very impressive at the same time. The river is known to flood every 5 years and this is nature’s way of flushing the river of all the impurities. The reserves watering holes are all full now and with all this water around it looks like we will be having a nice green summer which is perfect timing before all our antelope species start giving birth.
Never a dull moment here at SCE and I’m sure next month will bring the same. We are on the back straight of the year and we still have so much to do. So please log on next month to find out what we have been up to.