This group seemed to enjoy their time a lot working hard and patrolling the wildlife in Damaraland. They were very lucky to experience newborn Desert Elephants as well as some other animals. Please read more about their experiences below:
Tuesday 26th January
So my first day building today and I had no idea what I was going to be doing, never been near cement before! I was kindly woken up by two of the other volunteers with a cup of tea and we got prepared for a day’s hard craft. At the campsite where we were building we were told there was no water. So we spent the morning back and forth collecting what we needed – water from the natural spring (and the guys are so inventive with what little they have to collect it!), rocks to actually build the wall with and sand to mix with the cement. After spending lunch chilling back at camp to miss the midday sun, we went back out again. We all get mixing (I soon learnt by watching the guys get straight to it) and building. And wow, how time flew and it seemed we didn’t get far in that time. But, given how very hot it was and how quick we got the first part up, it really felt like an achievement. We’re a small group so we did a lot in the time we had. It was hard! I’m so chuffed to be involved and put in a little for something so worthwhile. A nice evening preparing dinner and hopefully a good sleep under the stars ready to do it again tomorrow, and I must remember to get up and serve tea to my fellow volunteers too!
Thursday 4th February 2016
Yebooo! I have been here for four weeks now and it’s been an amazing trip, full of experience and memories!! First of all it is so great to meet new people from different parts of the world. The first two weeks was really nice, we saw both Mama Afrika and G-6 herd in the patrol week. It was so nice to see them from really close! Namibia is a really great country with so many amazing landscapes especially where the camp is. It’s been so great to see so many stars every night and to be able to see the sunrise everyday and with amazing sunset also. I’ve learned so much here with the people, the culture and this way of living. It goes from cooking to respecting and helping others.
In the second two weeks it was another amazing experience with so many new things. We had a bit of swim and also we were able to see a lightning storm in the patrol week. We went to the Huab and were so lucky to see two new born elephants. One was 3 days old and one was 12 hours old. Then on the last, on the way back we saw a leopard.
In the end it was an amazing journey, one of the best things I did for sure and would recommend this to anyone. The ones who were searching this can understand what I am talking about. It is my first time in Namibia and I will come back for sure and coming for EHRA again!
All of this experience has made me realise what the chance we have to live in this beautiful world that we have to appreciate everyday! Thanks for this amazing time!!! Hope to see you again.
Thursday 4th February
Just over a week ago I wrote about the start of the project and today is now our last day. I have felt exhausted by the heat but rewarded by how far we got with the wall. In 4 days with 6 people, we got halfway and seeing it when we left was a good feeling to have achieved so much. The heat nearly beat us and by the last day of building we all felt exhausted. I was proud to have done something so far removed from my normal life back home and knowing it will make a difference to local people is amazing.
Patrol week this week has been a massive reward for the hard work. Seeing the elephants was amazing and I could have stayed for days/weeks, just following them. We were so lucky to see a new born calf- literally 12 hours old. We also encountered scorpions, snakes and insects. I’d never seen while we camped – luckily I wasn’t the one bitten! Today on our way home we saw so many animals – Oryx, springbok, black backed jackals and the highlight, a leopard! How many people can say they’ve seen that!
It’s been an amazing, exhausting and massively rewarding experience and I’ve learnt so much – how to build, how communities deal with the elephants and how adopted the elephants are to the desert. It’s also given me more to think about when looking at trips to do – being more aware of the impact tourism has on the animals and their environment. Thank to Chris and Donna for an amazing trip and huge respect to Mattias snr who can find elephants in the thickest of bushes! The man is a wealth of knowledge and experience to adventure!
The whole EHRA team work really hard and it’s amazing the work they do. Am sure I’ll be back one day.
February 4, 2016
Having just completed my last night of my 2 week stint. I feel very pleased with my decision to participate in one of EHRA’s programs. From the outset Rachel was extremely helpful in answering all of my initial question, as was Victro also. Chris is an absolutely indispensible part of the success of the program. His leadership qualities shine, the fact that he has the capacity to show true respect to everyone of the participants while monitoring a light …and humorous persons makes the experience exceptional. In my opinion he is an indispensible part of the success of the experience. I love the wilderness in general, but have quickly taken to the awesomeness of the desert of Namibia. Protecting animals has always come natural to me, but elephants are so unique, so full of magic, so mind-blowing that wanting to protect them, I believe comes pretty easy for many of us humans.
You can rest assured I will be sending other potential volunteers your way in the future. Please do not hesitate to use me as a resource for recommendation to potential volunteers thinking of coming to Namibia from the USA.
I am grateful for the opportunity you have provided me as a volunteer to experience my 1st 2 weeks visiting Namibia right here with your fine organization! Many blessing to all of you. Keep up the good work.
Ron Margolis, Durango, Colorado, USA
Okay! Let me tell you a story about a Swiss guy called Bruno. He went to EHRA for four weeks. He had such a great time here. But first when he arrived from Mozambique he was sad, because his baggage didn’t arrive. But then he came to this amazing place. He was very excited about the beautiful nature and the charming people around here. He met some new friends.
While he was staying here, he had a lot of different things to do. These were 3 types of work to do.
1. Work at the camp/enjoying the camp
The camp here is just beautiful, but also a lot of work here. Bruno had to do the dishes, cooking and help in the vegetable garden. But these were also a lot of fun things to do: playing cards, playing Botcha (I don’t know how it’s called in English, but it’s the thing with the heavy balls but the most fun was relaxing beneath the amazing sky. The sleeping on the platform also was very impressive for little Bruno. He had a great time at the camp with both groups he was being here.
2. Build week(s)
For Bruno the Build weeks were fun, but very strong! He took up a lot of big rocks. In the first week the group had to finish a wall. In the second build week they started another wall. They also had to mix a lot of cement.
3. Patrol week
The patrol weeks were just amazing. On the first patrol week we’ve seen about 30 elephants. From small to big females and males. Sleeping outside the camp was very fun. On the second patrol week we did go to another area, which was completely different to the first. The landscape there was unbelievable. Bruno also got sting by a scorpion. His arm was hurting and that is the Geschichten von Bruno while he was working for EHRA!!
Thanks a lot to all the people of EHRA. It was a great time with you. Hope we will meet again!!
Greetings from Bruno (Bruno is not a von Gogh or a good writer) from Switzerland!!!