Lotte Noordsij – Netherlands….Click here

I was at Askari from June 18th, till July 30th 2012. I can honestly say it was the best summer I ever had! Katie, Joe and the other staff are very welcoming and warm and know SO incredibly much! They have an answer to every question you ask! (and I asked alot!) I learned incredibly much about the wilderness, vegetation and animals during my stay.

At Askari you stay in the volunteer house in the Askari garden, which is in the middle of the reserve, so I saw and heard the most amazing things and creatures,and you would be surprised how quiet it can be in the middle of nowhere during the day, and how loud it can be during the night. This one time I woke up inthe middle of the night because a lion was roaring so loud, that, if I didn’tknow any better, I would say it was right in my room!! The next day we went looking for them and we found lion tracks all the way along the fence around the garden!

We went on a game drive practically 2 times a day, to track the cheetah Kusala or Hwaqile, to do some herbivore game counts, to get rid of alien plants, to do brown hyena habitat analysis… etc etc. We also went on drives a lot to look for animals that were called in through the radio, or that we heard at night. I went on 1 night drive, which was very cool because we saw a group spotted hyena’s running towards their wildebeest kill from last night and saw them feeding on it! We also spotted some bush babies, Babula, the big lion male, and a porcupine with a baby! Even though I only went on 1 night drive, we often were out long enough in the afternoon to see the sun go down and not be home before dark, in which cases we saw some great sightings like honey badger!

They took us on 2 sleep outs in the bush, those were very exciting and a bit scary as well. I heard some awesome noises that sounded like hyena, jackal and lion fighting over something, somewhere in the distance! But the small noises from nearby, such as breaking branches or even falling leafs freaked me out the most! Haha. I had a lot of cool lectures from Katie, which made me understand the work they do at Askari better, and I even got to handle a real rifle! Off course with loads of explanation an safety precautions beforehand (got 2 bull’s eyes the first time!! But after that, never hit a bull’s eye again haha)

My stay at Askari has been an amazing and eye- opening experience, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be back when my wallet and school let me

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