After months of hard work, the release of an animal back into the wild is always a highlight for me…
As part of Shamwari’s extensive conservation programme, we encourage guests at any of our lodges and camps to come and visit us at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Since I was a little girl, I dreamt of working with wild animals and that dream is now fulfilled. I have been working here for three years and can guarantee no two days are the same. I can often be seen running between enclosures with feeding bottles and buckets of milk whilst coordinating the erection of fencing for the next arrival.
The first animal that stole my heart at the centre was a meerkat called Milly who had been kept illegally as a pet. The passion for helping the animals drives you, but you need to try not to get emotionally attached to them because, after their rehabilitation, our aim is to release them back into the wild on the Shamwari Reserve.
When guests come to the centre, I will give them a tour of our facilities and a talk on the work we do. I am sometimes joined by Miracle, a curious nyala antelope who likes to see what’s going on. She often provides companionship for some of the rescued animals for which she is paid a salary of an apple a day. There is a discreet viewing deck where guests may be able to see some of the current patients in our care although priority must always be given to the welfare of our animals.
We can have as many as 55 patients in our care at any one time ranging from tiny jackal puppies a few days old to orphaned hippos. When an animal comes to us, they are usually scared, traumatised and depressed. I love watching our patients develop into relaxed, happy animals. Watching them grow and getting their strength back will always be my favourite part. Seeing them happy brings me an indescribable amount of joy, a type of joy that makes up for all the sleepless nights, cancelled holidays and the many tears. After months of hard work, the release of an animal back into the wild is always a highlight for me.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656