Jen Takes a Walk on the Wild Side
Venturing back from the Namibian sun and the wildlife of the Namibia Sanctuary, Jen Davies, Executive Assistant, was welcomed back into the office with open arms (after a shower!)…
But it was not just sun, sand and Sol beers, Jen takes us through what the 14-day volunteer project had in store for her….
Starting with a ‘back to school’ day of inductions, we were then thrown straight in, in with the Meerkats that is. Helping to care for a family of seven Meerkats, we worked in teams to stimulate the baby’s senses, filling logs with meal worms so they could burrow and then helping them feed – amazingly, the baby girl Meerkat stood up on her hind legs in classic Meerkat pose for the first time!
We spent a full day that week on fence patrol, walking the full length of the reserve boundary fence where we fixed holes, cut back the overgrown bushes and had to stay alert for poachers.
I really enjoyed channelling my inner Master Chef at the morning animal meal prep. It was a busy kitchen, one that Ramsey would have been proud of, with a bustling guest list of Baboons, Warthogs, Meerkats, Mongoose, Genets, Polecats, Vervets and Rock Hyrax. No fussy eaters thankfully!
Picking up the pace later that week, we took afternoon strolls with Bolt, not Usain but the Cheetah. Faster than his namesake but with equal the charm, this exercise is great enrichment for the Cheetahs and gives Bolt a chance to explore his natural environment in safety.
To end the week, we researched Lion kill sites, hiking out to various locations found via GPS tracking and extended the garden area of the farm, moving sandstone to shape borders.
We started the second week going through our enclosure routine; cleaning, feeding, watering and checking for any behaviour changes amongst the animals. It took an entire day to wash and clear the farm horse muck! The silver lining being that we then took them out, galloping on very own horseback safari, on which I spotted a family of 10 Giraffes!
There was a lot of hard graft in the second week. Part of our project work was to lay the foundations for the garden extension. I dug multiple holes in the hard sandstone, painted metal sheets, built a hedgehog enclosure from scrap materials and carried 50 boulders from one end of the farm to the other to line the boundary. It was a long day!
Towards the end of the week, we spent mornings walking with the Baboons – my favourite activity! We spent a couple of hours playing with the Primates, cuddling them and seeing how they interact. Believe me, I’ve learnt a thing or two from them that I’ll be taking back to my role with the Exec team!
Thank you to everyone who donated to support the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. If you would still like to support the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary, Matrix have set up a donation page, of which all monies will go directly to the Sanctuary. Jen and all at Matrix thank you for anything you can give, just visit gf.me/u/t5hxbk