This is a private game reserve set in the Soutpansbergs – salt pan mountains.
As we are not paying guests we are not using the soaps, towels and sheets provided, but are fully self catering while providing some hard labour on the reserve. The reserve itself is at an altitude of 1500m and when we arrived it was foggy and cold. It was very eery and disorientating walking between the kitchen, rondavels and toilets.
Yesterday our first full day began with a lie-in – starting work at 7:30. We clkeared half a field of dead wood – left the other half for the other group. This dead wood consists of the spiniest thorns you’ve ever seen – called sickle bush. Luke unfortunately stood on one, and it pierced his foot, through his shoe! The dead wood needs to be cleared so that the tractor can mow the brush which still remains – this consists mainly of non-indigenous species which need to be readicated – by burning. This in turn will make the land more manageable with more grass and therefore more inviting to the white rhino population.
Our second day we walked with pangas along none of the hiking trails, with Christo in front with the rifle. This was to clear any scrub encroaching onto the paths. We did the whole trail – took 3 hours. It was also an extremely hot morning.
The clouds are now building up and at some point we’re going to start our braai. The cicadas are going full pelt in the background together with the Piet may vrou.
There is also a dog which hangs around and at night has spooked a few of us because we can see it’s eyes reflecting in our head torches.