My Favorite African Conservation Project- “Lapalala” (Now Known as “Masebe”)

by Narelle Webber on Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Rhino Lapalala

Wildlife spotting is incredible in the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere: the White Rhino is an endangered species (c) used with permission by Elliot Smith

Elliot Smith (former ISV Project Leader in South Africa and current ISV New Zealand Tour Leader), tells us of his favorite ISV African conservation project: Lapalala (now known as Masebe!)

When someone mentions ‘Africa’ the first thing that comes to mind are the animals! Lions, elephants, giraffes, leopards, hippos, and lots of them!

When I think of ‘Africa’ my mind automatically transports me to the Lapalala project. This was by far my favorite project not only because of the amazing animals that lived all around us, but because the work we did there was so vital to the long-term survival of so many of these iconic animals.

Every morning we were woken up by an orchestra of birdsong and spent our working days surrounded by African animals off all sizes- we even had to shoo away a White Rhino from our research site; not just your ordinary day at the office!

At night we would hike into the wild and gaze at the stars or get in the game vehicles, turn on the spotlight and observe the nocturnal dwellers of this fantastic landscape, once even getting into a traffic jam with a particularly grumpy Rhino!

Lapalala Group
ISV volunteers love this project!  (c) used with permission by Elliot Smith

The amount of knowledge of the guides was incredible and I learned more during my time there than I did at any other volunteer project last year. Whether it was hiking in the wild African bush, spotting such exciting animals as Leopards, or learning about the history of the area through ancient bush man’s paintings, this Conservation Project is one I will never forget and I know the volunteers who made such a difference here feel the same way.

For any volunteer assigned this project this year – lucky you! I know you’ll love it as much as I did.”

— Elliot Smith

*The Lapalala (now Masebe) project was ISV’s highest rated conservation volunteer project in 2011.  The volunteer efforts here contribute to the preservation and management of the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere and thus the long-term survival of many African animal species.

To learn more about ISV’s volunteer programs in Africa visit our website. 

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: