Newly qualified veterinary nurse, Ellis Turner, enjoyed an amazing trip to the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg District of Limpopo, Province of South Africa. She spent an amazing 12 full days on the reserve. Here is Ellis's story.

Why did you choose the Welgevonden Game Reserve?
I wanted to experience life and nursing of wild animals.  Being able to get up close to animals that are known as the 'BIG FIVE' is something I have always wanted to do!  This particular organisation was offered through my college and organised by 'Gap Africa Projects'. 

Aims of the Reserve
The aims of the reserve are to inform the public about the danger of extinction. They want everyone to understand the important role and implications of being a conservationist and how they go about helping animals survive in areas of different habitat with different types of plant matter.  They also have a focus on raising awareness of the effects of poaching of rhinos and other animals such as cheetahs.

Photo Diary
I took so many pictures!  The picture of me above, shows a wire fence behind me. This divided the 35,000 hector campsite to the reserve, using electricity powered at 30,000 volts.  The animals are very aware of the fence and stay well clear!  It is there for their safety.

Just being in South Africa and driving around the reserve in a roofless jeep, through the homes of some amazing wild animals was out of this world. But being able to see families help each other, getting up close to rhinos, (and a lion!) to help sedate and treat their medical needs was an experience I will never forget.

Another visit in the future?!
I would like to focus more on the orphanage facilities and experience the care needed here, but at the moment I am happy to stick with the domesticated animals here at work until I have had more nursing experience in general practice.