From the enclosure into the wild!
We have such a big and good announcement to let you know about!! We are so happy to inform you that we released our 11 Mongooses into the wild. Bandit, Munchkin, Nikita, Weasle, Nwana, Stoffles, Sidoney, Fernando, Mango, Groove and our little Erishka are now free again!! Another successful rehabilitation story by DAKTARI that we are very proud of.
General Facts and Flash Back on their story
General: The Banded Mongoose is a sturdy mongoose with a large head, small ears, short, muscular limbs and a long tail, almost as long as the rest of the body. The Banded Mongoose is not an endangered species, the development of agriculture in the continent has had a positive influence on their numbers as crops of the farmland serve as an extra food source.
Interesting Facts: Mongoose are highly social, living in packs of about a dozen, typically up to about 30. Packs sleep together and forage in loose groups, each mongoose obtaining its own food. Groups live in home ranges which may be territories, as meetings between groups are aggressive. Each home range contains several dens which are used in rotation for a few days at a time.
Personal Story: All the Mongooses arrived at DAKTARI one after another, with a different past. At the beginning we tried to put them all together but they fought a lot and we had to separate them in different enclosures. During a long time, we worked on a rehabilitation process, with the long term goal of releasing them into the wild. And... It was a success! After having 11 Mongooses living together and cohabiting very happily, we planned their release.
The release: 21th of October 2014. It was difficult for all the DAKTARI Team to say goodbye to all of these little Moogooses. We were used to having them and taking care of all of them for a long time! But we also know that this is the right thing to do for their hapiness. So we arrived in a neighbour reserve with the Mongooses at the back of the Bakkie and, "3, 2, 1... Open the door! Let's GO Moogooses, you are FREE!!" :)
What happened after opening the cage was a bit surprising...
Watch it in the following video!
Exploring the area... One of them even found food that he shared with the others!! This is a very good sign for the next step of their free life.
Bonjour à tous!
Après avoir vu le documentaire TV sur DAKTARI et être tombé par hasard sur le site internet quelques mois plus tard, j’ai décidé de contacter DAKTARI et de m’inscrire pour 1 mois d’eco-volontariat!! La réponse fut positive…
J’ai 61 ans, sportive et assez garçon manqué, veuve depuis 2 ans vivant seule et... je m'ennuie a mourir! Je m'envole donc pour Johannesburg. Après 6 heures de bus pour arriver à Hoedspruit, là m’attend le rangers Ian, qui me récupère avec d'autres volontaires. Une autre heure de route et de piste pour arriver au camp, accueil chaleureux, on s'installe et le lundi, levez 6 heures, on attaque!! Je m’aperçois vite que les journées sont biens remplies, avec un planning précis décidé entre les volontaires la veille au soir. Au programme: s'occuper des animaux, nettoyer les cages, préparer et distribuer la nourriture, donner les cours en anglais aux enfants… L’anglais est leur deuxième langue donc ce n’est pas toujours évident et il faut parfois s’armer de patience pour leur expliquer la leçon. Un autre point important: Préparer les cours en avance! C’est une bonne chose à faire quand, comme pour moi, parler anglais toute la journée n’est pas facile et que cela demande beaucoup de concentration et d’énergie. Il était bon de se reposer après de telles journées! De plus je suis entourée de jeunes de 20 à 40 ans de tous les coins du monde, il y a une super ambiance et tout le monde participe!
Quoi d’autres? On mange super bien, on se lave parfois à l'eau froide, l’électricité c’est que le matin et n’oubliez pas vos lampes de poche! Un petit détail important que j'ai particulièrement apprécié, les femmes de ménage passent tous les jours dans la chambre et la salle d’eau, prennent notre linge sale et nous le repose le lendemain lavé et repassé! C' est une expérience très enrichissante, on apprend pleins de choses, on rencontre des gens du quatre coins du monde.
Aux questions que l'on me pose: "mais tu payes pour faire cela?!" "Oui je paye! On paye notre pension et on fait un don pour les enfants et les animaux, c'est comme cela que le camp arrive a tenir!” Pour moi c'est une manière de découvrir le pays et sa population, le week-end on fait des excursions on essaye de s'impliquer plutôt que de se regarder le nombril, on est tous dans le même état d'esprit, on s’entraide... Les filles venaient me voir pour me demander des conseils à la fin et en plus on se marre, vous ne pouvez pas vous imaginer. Et du coup cela m'a fait rebondir, je repars pendant un mois faire un périple dans les pays d'Afrique du Sud, Namibie, Botswana, Zambie, Zimbabwe, cela m'a donné des ailes et j'ai pu montrer de quoi je suis capable. L'année prochaine je pars au Cambodge en mission pendant 2 mois.
Merci à Michelle, à son mari Ian et à son équipe, vous êtes toujours dans mes pensées!
Here is your Newsletter for July - September 2014!
As always, the DAKTARI Team is very excited to let you know about our latest adventures! New baby (But from who??), animals releases (Who is free again??), new videos about children (What? A TV Crew again at DAKTARI??), special offer for your volunteer time (I want to book now!!!), and so on.
Don't wait, click the slides below to see what happened at DAKTARI, and see you again at the beginning of 2015!! :)
What Impact does DAKTARI have on the local children?
Last week DAKTARI invited the principals and educators of the schools they work with for an afternoon of positive interaction and communication! Maahlamele, Lepono, Sekoko, Nareng and Leoma Schools, all came together at our camp!
After hearing the children’s fascinating stories about DAKTARI, the teachers were so excited to discover our bush school for themselves. We showed them around the camp to exhibit the animals they have in our care, so they could see why their schoolchildren became passionate about wildlife and environment.
We then started speaking about one of the most vital topics today: the education of our next generation! It is common for local school classes to be larger than 60 pupils. As a consequence, the basic education of these children is suffering, and this has serious implications for the surrounding environment as well as their future. At DAKTARI, we only welcome 8 children per week so that the children receive the full attention they need. Curious to hear the teachers’ feedback, Michele took the lead of the discussion by asking this crucial question to the teachers:
What impact does DAKTARI have on the children?
Take 4 minutes to hear what they have to say!
As the discussion deepened we also addressed areas on saving energy and recycling, two very important topics for DAKTARI. The teachers confirmed to us that they are more than willing to help us to work toward a greener environment for Limpopo.
This day represented a chance for educators from different backgrounds to join together so a clearer picture was formed about what is needed in order to be an even greater success. The people who will end up benefiting the most will undoubtedly be the children. Time and effort must be put in because these are our future leaders, so it is urgent that we all support and prepare them as best we can.
Thank you so much Teachers for coming at DAKTARI to share your feelings!!
Maxime Fradin - DAKTARI Volunteer 09/08/2014 - 29/08/2014
"Ce voyage restera à jamais gravé dans ma mémoire et mon coeur tellement l'Afrique du Sud est un pays merveilleux sur tous les points et que vous nous le faite découvrir de la plus belle des façons! Avoir des employés locaux permet aux volontaires d'être en contact avec la population et donc de découvrir leurs bons comme leurs mauvais côtés...
Ensuite les paysages, DAKTARI est placé entre montagnes, bush, et coins plus tropicaux grâce aux rivières avoisinantes. DAKTARI, crazy DAKTARI, est à la hauteur de ce que j'attendais par l'école et l'orphelinat mais aussi par vous, Ian et Michèle, qui êtes des personnes formidables. Vous n'hésitez pas à ouvrir grand vos bras afin qu'on découvre votre paradis! De votre humour à votre expérience en passant par votre générosité tout est à prendre et à s'en servir comme leçon de vie. Ne changez pas, vous rendez cette expérience sud africaine encore plus émouvante qu'elle ne l'est déjà!
Je vous souhaite une bonne continuation sur cette lancée, n'arrêtez surtout pas de rendre meilleure la vie des jeunes locaux et des animaux, mais aussi des volontaires! J'espère que ce n'était pas un adieu et qu'on aura l'occasion de se revoir par la suite.
Maxime Fradin alias Rafiki"
More Solar Electricity for a brighter future!
You probably already know that there is no electricity at DAKTARI, we live thanks to a generator and solar electricity. In order to have more power in the camp, we recently installed new solar panels. We are very thankful and blessed to have done this, without the generosity and precious help of a few people, this would not have been possible.
All the DAKTARI team would like to say a warm thank you to Delec Power Distributors. They donnated all of the goods, sundries and labour needed for our new solar installation. Moreover, the cable and mc4 connecters were given by lapp cables. THANK YOU so much for your time and consideration. Indeed, all together we replaced one old panel by a new one, the idea is to split the electricity in both: if one panel doesn't work we still have the other one now.
More solar electricity at DAKTARI for a brighter future!!
Let's go on Safari!
On Sunday 17th of August, the kids of DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage had the chance to go on a Game Drive at Tsakane Safari Camp. Located in the Greater Kruger Park Conservancy, on Balule Nature Reserve, the camp is surrounded by the Big 5 and much more.
We are so grateful that Tsakane could sponsor the 10 best kids of the last weeks at DAKTARI, offering them to go on safari. The Head Ranger of Tsakane took them for a three-hour game drive where they were so excited to see lions, giraffes and elephants. He also gave them a short presentation on water ecology and conservation. Although they learnt all of that at DAKTARI already, this day helped to galvanize their knowledge in the wild.
We anticipate these local children will be able to secure good employment in nature reserves, within the tourism industry and to protect their environment. DAKTARI and the kids are so appreciative for this wonderful day kindly offered by Tsakane. On behalf of everyone, we would like to say a big and warm thank you to Tsakane Safari Camp!
General: The caracal is the largest of the small African cats. It has a long slender, uniformly colored body with a comparatively short, tapering tail and long, tufted ears. The short, thick coat varies from grayish to reddish-brown, with white on chin, throat and under parts, and a black line from eye to nose. Coloration tends to be lighter in arid regions and darker where there is more rain. Black individuals are occasionally seen. The hind legs are longer than the forelegs, so that the animal appears to be tilted forward. The caracal's ears are its more distinctive feature, being long narrow and pointed black on the outside, and topped with 1-3/4 inch (45mm) tufts of black hair.
Personal History: People brough Shanghaan to DAKTARI in 2011 when he was about 4-5 months old. They had hand reared him after finding him without a mother.
Enrichment: The volunteers have created a game to make life a bit more interesting for Shangaan. They find a way to hide his food (here a big dead rat) inside a soccer ball, placed just out of reach, so he has to search his prey, jump, hunt for it. All carnivores need to be curious to survive!
Would you like to sponsor Shangaan?
King Kong, Princess Leia and their baby!
General: The common marmoset is a New World monkey. It originally lived on the Northeastern coast of Brazil. Marmoset have an average life span of 12 (wild) - 20 (captivity) years. Marmoset's claw-like nails, incisor shape, and gut specialization reflect their unique diet which is primarily made of plant fluids and insects. They eat fruits, seeds, flowers, fungi, nectar, snails, lizards, tree frogs, birds eggs, nestlings and infant mammals. Common marmosets live in stable extended families with a few breeding individuals and a flexible mating system. The typical marmoset group is made up of 15 members but usually average around 9 members.
Personal History: King Kong arrived in 2012, he was given to DAKTARI by a monkey sanctuary close to Nelspruit. In 2013 Princess Leila came to us from the same sanctuary, she was 10 months old, the same age as King Kong. In May 2014, DAKTARI was so happy to see that they gave birth to a lovely infant!!
Would you like to sponsor our Marmosets?