It has been some time since the camp has been so quiet, for this long! As Covid hit South Africa, everyone had to rush to catch flights and get home before lockdown started. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) a group of 9 students had to stay behind Gobandlovu Camp while waiting for lockdown to end.
Staying Behind at Gobandlovu Camp
Our interns Stephan and Misae was keeping watch at the Bhejane Outpost on Somkhanda. They were blissfully unaware of the chaos of the outside world. Thankfully we managed to evacuate them from the Outpost and they got back to base camp just in time.
While we were all sad, stressed and uncertain about what would happen next, we weree also enormously privileged to spend the lockdown period at Gobandlovu Camp. Students have used the time to go on walks and add to their birding and tracking skills.
Student Prakash Kannan, more affectionately known by all as Paapi – has written a great blog about all the leopard activity in camp. We were fortunate to have some late summer rainfall in March and saw an explosion of Mushrooms and Butterflies in and around the Sand Forest.
Life has been strange – and very different to say the least. We all went about our own ways of keeping busy each day, and creating a new routine. The students in camp pulled together like the amazing team they are and are doing an amazing job sharing kitchen space and keeping their spaces clean and tidy!
Sticking to Lockdown Rules
All Bhejane staff have been sent home in accordance with lockdown rules, but those living on site at Kuleni has been working hard on getting content online and planning for what happens once the lockdown is lifted.
Dylan and a few of the lockdown crew got permission this week to go to the Somkhanda Bhejane Outpost Camp to maintain the camp and make sure everything is still standing there! They have had some amazing sightings on arrival – keep an eye on our Instagram and Facebook pages for updates from the Outpost!
We hope to see everyone back in camp soon!