Taking one of the biggest risks in my life, became one of the best decisions I have ever made. Travelling to Phinda game reserve and the Okavango Delta through African Conservation Experience and meeting some of the most humble down-to-earth people was a truly fantastic experience.
The Phinda reserve is expertly managed by passionate people who have dedicated their lives to protecting wildlife. It takes many sacrifices to be a wildlife ranger. I enjoyed the sense of community at Phinda as the staff live in the park. Occasionally we would all get together and have a braai (a barbecue but with an African twist) and talk about the animals. Helping with rhino dehorning and putting a collar on an elephant was beyond my wildest dreams. The trackers who work in the Delta are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable in the world, they were very happy to pass their knowledge on to a British man who lives halfway across the world and has never seen any wild African animals in his life, and has only seen some through the glass or cages in zoos. Coming back to camp from driving around the Okavango Delta logging animals and predators' tracks only to find a whole herd of elephants grazing next to our camp was a highlight. Hearing hyenas calling in the background at night really brought it home to me just how magical the African continent is and how much it needs protecting.