Friday, 3 January 2014

Harnas Wildlife Foundation : Expect the unexpected!

I will preface this post to say that: Yes I know I am running 5 weeks behind on my blog but I was busy having fun playing with lots of very cool animals. :D 

But saying that here is what I have been doing for the past 5 weeks...

Harnas Wildlife Foundation 

Harnas Wildlife Foundation was originally a family run cattle farm owned by Nick and Marieta van der Merwe. Over the years it slowly became a sanctuary for wild animals all starting with an abused vervet monkey they bought from someone on the side of the road. Harnas has now been open in 1993.  To help with the care of all the animals, they have a volunteer program which is what I was a part of for the past 5 weeks. The farm is 10 000 hectars that is divided into different sections: 2000 for the main house, village and smaller enclosures. And the rest is the "Life Line" which is wild bush that has cheetahs and other prey animals. 

They have a huge range of animals at the farm. Everything from the big exciting cats ( lions, leopards and cheetahs) to the smallest meerkat and hamster and everything in between. 

I had been very excited about volunteering here and only been waiting to get here forever. Got even more excited after talking with Alana and is super fun to see her again as well. 

The volunteers live about half a kilometer from the actual farm in a little “village” of cabins. All of the cabins are named after different Namibian tribes. I am in Kavango. We also have a tiny little pool and a dinning /hang out area where we have supper and a bonfire area. The cabins have solar powered lights, so we use them only as needed. And at the moment it is just Laura (18, gap year travelling from Denmark) and I with 2 spare beds. By the 2nd week, we were joined by Lara ( South African) and Livia ( Swiss). So it became the confusing with all of the "L"!

There are 9 of us who arrived the week I did. And it was a really good mix of people from the 4 Australians (Matt, Tim, Lili, Dominique), 2 Germans ( Thomas and Frauke), 1 Danish ( Laura) and one Belgium ( Tamara). In total there was less than 30 of us volunteers there but can be as many as 60. 

It is a very popular place for Europeans to visit, in particular Germany due to a reality TV show that is filmed at Harnas that is shown there. 

To somewhat simplify talking about the next 5 weeks, I am going to divide it up into the different activities that I did during my time there. So there will be: food prep, research, baboon walk, animal interactions, outside feeding and tours. 

And might try to post some photos here as well. 

Talk soon!

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