Have you read about The Beginning of my trip to Harnas Wildlife Foundation?
Once you have chosen to stay at Harnas Wildlife Foundation, there is a special routine to follow every day. You will be put into groups with other people, and every day there are tasks and activities that need to be done. I have heard that other volunteer programs offer more flexibility and free time, but Harnas is special in their own way. Even though it can be quite exhausting, it is worth it in the end. You get to experience so many things and have lots of opportunities to interact with the animals.
If you’re lucky, you get Sunday off. But don’t expect to have any days off at all while you’re there. So here is the example of your every day life at the farm:
7 am – Breakfast!
8 am – Morning tree meeting
9 am – Morning activity begins
1 pm – Lunch
3 pm – Afternoon tree meeting
4 pm – Afternoon activity begins
7 pm – Dinner
I was always soo tired in the evenings, so I went straight to bed at 9 pm. Some people decided to sit at the bonfire, have a beer and socialize for some hours. I wish I didn’t need 9 hours of sleep so I could do the same.
Every day you get to know what activity you’re on. The first week you’ll do a lot of food prep, but later on you go on a walk with the cheetahs or do some research out in the lifeline, which is a huge area for the released animals.
As soon as you arrive at Harnas the coordinators will put you in one of the following groups: Owls, Crocs, Hound Dogs and Snoobabs. Each group has animals to feed. So you will know some of the animals very well since you feed them every day.
Every activity needs 4-8 volunteers to help. So if you’re on food prep, you’ll never be alone. There will always be someone with you!
Food prep: This is where you prepare the food for the animals of your group. You cut meat and vegetables. When you’re done you go feed them with your group and clean the animals enclosures. There are often waterholes to be cleaned.
Outside feeding: You go out to the bigger enclosures and feed some lions, leopards and baboons.
Morning tour: There’s a guide, some guests and volunteers. The tour guide will tell you and the guests a lot about the animals at Harnas. Very interesting! And while the guests are watching you feed all the animals. Leopards, baboons, wild cheetahs, lions etc. It’s a long tour and you will see it all!
Research: Some of the cheetahs are released in the wild. They wear collars that you can track. So your job is to find those cheetahs and see if they are okay, if they made a kill etc.
Nature drive: You go to the lifeline (wild area) and learn about the nature and the animals you see around.
Tracking: You see a lot of foot prints in the sand. You learn how to see which animal made the food print, how to find them, how to find a waterhole, how to find your way back by looking at the sun.
I don’t remember if there are more activities. I think it might change a lot. This is how it was in september 2013. You will take a lot(!!) of pictures. So have your camera ready!
If you got any questions, feel free to ask me! Write a comment or send me a message.
Continue reading – The End of my stay at Harnas Wildlife Foundation!