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Conservation in South Africa Update – September 2007

The conservation project at Legodimo reserve in Botswana has been developing rapidly. We now have a clear view of the Limpopo River thanks to our volunteers who spent a hard day’s work with their machetes. This means we can observe any wildlife from around the camp fire and gives curious animals the opportunity to investigate our camp. We have four regular visitors a genet, a porcupine, a bush buck and last but not least the camp’s pet kudu named Moses.

Elephants passing our camp

The volunteers have also been working hard at clearing the roads so that we have clear visibility of any approaching wildlife, this also means that we can approach either of our water holes without upsetting the elephants.

We had our first visit to Marpungubwe National Park early last week where the group assisted in the wrapping of Ana trees to prevent elephant destruction. The volunteers also rebuilt the remains of a destroyed watering hole and lined the outer edges with large rocks to prevent this reoccurring, we shall see if this worked on next months visit.

Meanwhile back at camp the elephants had been around in force as there were trampled trees as far as you could see. We have come to the conclusion (which is backed up by what the Tswana people believe) that the elephants’ movements seem to be influenced by the position of the moon and we have discovered that if there is a full moon they come in and around our camp.

There have also been other various developments such as the removal of huge amounts of alien plant species (queen of the night cactus from Mexico) as well the GPS mapping and naming of various roads and hills.

Future developments include the building of an elephant hide close to one of the watering holes; this will enable us to conduct further detailed research into the amount/size and whereabouts of the reserve’s breeding herds. This data is essential in order to prevent the over culling of Botswana’s elephant population.

We have now also completed the building of an elephant dam close to camp.

The volunteers will be celebrating Botswana Independence Day this Sunday which will be celebrated with traditional dancing and a church ceremony.

Harry Kent
Conservation Project Desk Officer,
Projects Abroad

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