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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Volunteering in South Africa

My deepest, sincerest apologies for the long awaited update. Not only have I been caught up in my work and studies, I've also spent a month abroad in South Africa volunteering on a game reserve! I wanted to share an experience of a life time with you, as well as share my main book buddies for the trip!

My two ever-present's for the trip are these:

Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of South Africa is irreplaceable when on game drives round reserves or even just spotting stray wildlife around Southern Africa. Whereas in zoos everything has a name tag, out on the reserve it's much harder to know what type of antelope you've spotted or whether there's African Pangolins indigenous to the area. Stuarts' field guide was a bit pricey to buy in the airport (as expected) but proved to be a valuable resource. I used many of the images in here to paint from when my photos of the animals had come out in blurs. It also helped me distinguish which type of rhino I saw when I bribed Alex, one of the rangers, into tracking them for me (he received a packet of wine gum sweets for his troubles). A nicely well illustrated guide and a helluva lot handier than a travel guide for species identification!

Image result for Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of South Africa

The next book was one I used a lot in drives, one of the rangers, named Denzley was a real bird enthusiast and took great pleasure in helping me identify birds and pointing out pages and chapters in the following Birds of Southern Africa book. The first bird I identified was the cape glossy starling, a beautiful blue bird that really shines in the sun. In fact many of the birds are amazing exotic colours so it's really good to be able to keep track of them in something like this!

Image result for Birds of Southern Africa

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