Soil erosion is a painful reminder of the poor farming practices that took place in this part of the Karoo. To facilitate Samara’s ongoing commitment to land restoration the volunteer programme took upon one of the greatest tasks, which is to slow down the rate at which valuable topsoil is lost. This can be tough work but our volunteers are always up to the challenge as they get to know the rewarding feeling of transforming barren land into a flourishing ecosystem .The most tried and tested method of combating gully erosion is Gabion packing. This involves placing a wire cage in a gully and filling it with rocks. When the rains come the gabion will act as a semi-permeable dam wall, trapping silt, seeds and organic matter.
Sibella our famed old cheetah had not been seen for some time and concerns started to mount based on her condition and age. The volunteer team went out on a mission to see how our beloved cat is and to our luck we found her enjoying the majestic views of Kondoa. The good news is that she is in good health and is still capable of hunting despite her old age.
We have been fortunate to be joined by Chalis Bird, a master’s student from Smith College in the United States of America. Chalis is looking at the evolutionary relationship between African mammals and their parasites. This involves keeping your eye out for any fresh droppings, or better yet spot an animal producing said droppings. It is a new dynamic to game viewing and it the volunteers have taken it in their stride. It is great to add this study to the scientific output of the programme and give the volunteers more of an opportunity to see ‘science in action’.