What an adventurous journey once again. The group started a wall at Farm Horizon just outside Khorixas and got to around halfway ready. The current group continues with the wall at the moment. The First day of the Patrol week was very exciting: as the team was about to leave to look for the Elephants, Mama Afrika’s herd walked to our Base Camp to greet all the volunteers and staff members! There was also a little bit of sadness in the air, as the team together with Dr. Betsy Fox and the volunteers assisted Ministry of Environment and Tourism to assess a dead elephant on a farm near Khorixas. This is reflected in the blog stories. Again this time our volunteers were a versatile, hard-working group, all ages, all walks of life, from all around the world. Let’s let our volunteers tell their stories:
“This was my first experience with EHRA and I will definitely be recommending this to my friends. The staff, food and volunteers were all great with a great international mix. Build week was very satisfying as we could nearly see the help we were doing, although I would have hoped for a few more build days to make it closer to a week than 3 days. Never the less I think we achieved a lot in our time, so I was very happy.
Patrol week was equally enjoyable, with Chris being a great teacher who was keen to answer our questions. I learnt and saw a great deal, even in the dry area around camp, including kudu and springbok. The elephant encounters were very close and personal, but I never felt in danger, thanks to the EHRA staff and guides, and camp was always comfortable.
I will especially remember our time with the elephant carcass found on a nearby farm. The chance to see the anatomy up close with Chris was fascinating, but it was most important to see what our work was for. Chris concluded it was likely shot by farmers, highlighting the importance of the wall building the week before. In this respect I would love to return and continue to contribute. Conservation is a field I hope to work in in the future, and EHRA has set an excellent example for how to go about it. I only wish I had more days building and a few less relaxing at camp, as that is what I intended for. Amazing 2 weeks, thanks to everyone.”
William Weston, 18
“Last day in camp. It is so cold that I regret for the first time in weeks to not having bought a 3 season sleeping bag. So finally, winter is coming.
The last patrol week had its ups and downs. Especially the first day was a good example for that. Starting with having the long not seen Mamma Afrika herd in camp, we went to Khorixas to investigate a recently found dead elephant. Watching the herd passing through camp was for sure my best elephant experience with EHRA in the last weeks. Never have we been that close and seeing them enjoying our “Home Sweet Home” was an unforgettable experience. Later that day we spent hours around the dead body of a probably shot elephant. Not so much fun to be honest. But I guess it made us rethink the time we were building the week before. There is real danger to the elephants in Damaraland and it is important to help the farmers by protecting their water tanks and pumps.
We all are shocked by seeing a killed elephant. No discussion about that. But it is too easy to just blame the farmers. They are not well educated and often are forced to desperate means. Maybe this is the most important thing I learned in my 4 weeks with EHRA. It is not about elephants. It is about ELEPHANTS AND FARMERS.”
Tobias from Germany
” Had a good time with EHRA! Thanks, I loved sleeping under the stars, fire camp conversations, dinner, patrolling or building and waking up with the sunrise.
After 2 weeks with EHRA, we are upside down with this nice experience.”
Anne from Switzerland, from the French Part