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 fact: 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.
Pilou, the little tiny girl
Personal history: Pilou has been found by a neighbour in her garden. After it was obvious she was abandoned by her family, she took this little tiny mongoose and call DAKTARI to take care of her. Pilou arrived in February 2015, at 3 weeks old. She looks very friendly and curious to discover the world. In a few months when she will be ready and strong enough, she will join Jackson and Leon, our two others Banded Mongooses.
Would you like to sponsor Pilou?
Please email email@example.com for more information, thank you!
Jackson and Leon
Personal history: A lady from Tzaneen found Jackson (picture on the left) in January 2015 alone in her garden. Quite friendly and tame, we think that this male Banded Mongoose was hand raised by humans and maybe escaped. He was very happy to find Leon and those two seem very good together.
Leon (picture on the right) arrived at DAKTARI a few years ago with a brain disease. Indeed, he just turns around in circles all the time. It was too risky to release him with the others 11 Banded Mongoose into the wild and Leon stayed at DAKTARI. Little by little, new lonely mongooses arrive in the camp and Leon appreciates the company! Soon, we will organise another rehabilitation project, with the long term goal being a release of them into the wild.
Would you like to sponsor Jackson and Leon?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, thank you!
A film by Gareth Kaatze
This is the story of Marupi, a young child passionate about the beauty and the animals of South Africa. He lives close to the famous Kruger Park, but does not have the chance to experience it. From a far-away village in Limpopo, Marupi does not have access to the water, lives surrounded by rubbish and tries to find some space in the overcrowded classroom.
One day, he found the perfect place for his dream to come true. It is a bush school and a wildlife orphanage, which inspired and educated him about the environment and conservation. He learnt to take care of the animals, to protect the planet and respect others.
Marupi came back to his village, proud and grown up, with the desire to share with others what he learnt to make South Africa a better place…
Behind the Scene
10 days of filming to meet, understand, discover the life of the local underprivileged children. In their classroom, village, surroundings, we followed Marupi and his incredible story. A little boy like no other, who loves animals and nature. He was so happy to come for a week at DAKTARI and learn more about his passion for the environment. So many precious and funny moments remain in our minds during the filming... You have to know that, with the animals, it is not always easy to control everything! :)
Gareth Kaatze, a young South African movie maker, passionate about nature and conservation projects, gives us the right tone for our cause through the video. Original, non-conventional, funny and heart-warming, this is the kind of story that DAKTARI spreads everyday and that Gareth knew how to reveal to the world through the lens of his camera.
THANK YOU Gareth!
Thank you Ingrid and TravelMagSA for their lovely article in their magazine! TravelMagSA is a digital diversion of Lifestyle and Leisure Travel Magazine. You can visit their website at: www.topbiz.co.za
"A meerkat that inevitably started to bite. A mongoose that turned out to be not such a great pet. A Verraux Eagle whose wing had to be amputated because it flew into a pow- er line. A blind donkey found aimlessly wandering around Phalaborwa. The list goes on. All the animals at DAKTARI have a story to tell, their fates sealed by human ignorance and relentless en- croachment, and then altered by human kindness. Some will live out their days in captivity but many of DAKTARI’s animals have been rehabilitated and returned to the wild. All the animals, whether they stay or are prepared to be released, are part of a unique educational system that helps teach rural children about the importance of respect and kindness to animals and the conservation of our planet. Small successes perhaps on the scale of the damage being done by people to our planet, but at DAKTARI I became convinced that without these small successes we would all be lost, if not doomed. DAKTARI inspired me to feel hope, and what is more important than hope? (read more...)
... And your money!
- Orphaned animals and underprivileged children need your love this Valentines Day.
- They both deserve your loving attention without delay.
- You spend most of your time with your partner, guaranteed ups and downs.
- Why not give something to these children and animals and receive no frowns.
- A contribution from your big loving heart.
- Is just what they need in life to get a head start.
- Support this worthy cause, come on now Honey. ;-)
- LOVE is all we need... And your money!
DAKTARI is constantly working in improving environmental awareness and economic development. Today, let’s talk about Portia, who achieved her goal by becoming a permanent full-time waitress at Makalali Game Lodge.
Portia was attending the DAKTARI Eco-Clubs when we met her and noticed her potential. She then spent a couple of weeks at DAKTARI as a volunteer. She was able to acquire valuable skills by practicing her English, learning to interact with the other international volunteers and as a result grew in confidence.
Since then, DAKTARI Outreach Program has helped Portia to find a three-month training placement as a receptionist at Makalali Game Lodge. We are very proud to learn that she has just signed a permanent contract as a waitress there. WELL DONE PORTIA!! J
Nathalie, Fundraiser Manager at DAKTARI, since august 2014
Nathalie has been interviewed by Go Overseas, one of our online volunteers agency. Click here to visit our page on their website.
What position do you hold at DAKTARI and why do you like working there?
Did you volunteer abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
What does the future hold for DAKTARI - any exciting new programs to share?
What is one thing you would tell any future volunteer?
How do you think volunteer abroad will change over the next 10 years?
Gone but never forgotten.
It started off like any other Monday at DAKTARI, the children going around on a tour, animals being fed and cleaned, optimism in the air for the new adventures of the week that lay ahead. However, what was discovered on the 19th of January 2015, at around 13:00, would rock DAKTARI to its core.
" We would often go visit Shiloweni to see what he was doing, often we would find him patrolling his territory or more recently, up in his tree, taking cover from the heat. Today we were surprised to find him lying in the sun. He would normally have his tail moving or at least move his ears if we approached closer. This time, nothing. We immediately knew that something was wrong" said the two DAKTARI volunteers, Daniel and Anne-Sophie, that found Shiloweni's stiff and lifeless body laying in the grass.
Our leopard was then taken to local veterinary doctor, Peter Rodgers, who has played such an important role in the leopards’ life. He confirmed what we had already suspected, it was a snake bite that had taken the life of this majestic African beast. Even the might and power of this exquisite creature was no match for the deadly venom of a slithering serpent. There was evidence of a fight around his body, with blood and scratch marks present, probably with either a Snouted Cobra or the infamous Black Mamba. Dr. Rodgers then notified us that there has been many snake bite incidents reported in the last weeks. This one, we felt the most.
After the dust had settled, it was time to lay Shiloweni to rest. His grave was dug in the African Bush, which is where he belongs. It was an honour and privilege to be there as Ian, Michele, staff, volunteers and children payed their respects to this fallen giant. It was if a close friend had passed, and that's really what Shiloweni was, someone close to our hearts, a respected member of the family whose presence and majesty was not possible to ignore. He had played such a vital role in inspiring and motivating children and volunteers alike, to stop, and to take notice of the utter preciousness that surrounds all of us. To acknowledge how fragile life can be. Stop, breath, and contemplate this for a moment.
But with every end comes new beginnings, with every heart ache comes hope. Without a doubt, from the rubble of our broken hearts, something fresh and new will emerge from this tragic story.
Shiloweni encapsulated the spirit of what DAKTARI is about, his spirit will live on forever. This evening as the red sunsets, no matter where you find yourself in the world, you can still hear his mighty roar in your hearts.
Check out our final adventures of 2014!
Flash back from the last 3 months at DAKTARI in 2014! In this Newsletter:
- You will fall in love with our cutest baby animals!
- You will cry when seeing the release of some of our animals!
- You will feel as if you were present in our community project!
- You will completely melt for the children smiles!
In fact, this newsletter is just lots of emotion, joy, sun and new adventures! What does 2015 have in store? :)
Click on the slide below and enjoy the reading, pictures and videos!
A new printer in the office!
DAKTARI would like to say a huge THANK YOU to SINDOH Africa! They sponsored us with a multifunctional printer for the needs of the office. They also sponsored the ink which allow us to print the kids lessons when necessary or other administratives papers. Thank you for equipping our office like you did!!
Sindoh is the number one Printer brand in Korea, established in 1960 and responsible for the manufacturing of many major printer brands globally.
Please visit their website: www.sindoh.co.za
General: The warthog is part of the pig family and lives in the African savannahs. They are recognised by the tusks (canine teeth), used for digging and defence. They are omnivores and adapt to all diets. Most common predators are lions, leopards, crocodiles and hyenas. Warthog are a social species; females live in groups with their youngsters, but males leave the group once reached the adult age. Unfortunately warthogs are poached for their tusks, used in the ivory trade. The lifespan in the wild is of about 15 years, with the chance of doubling that in captivity.
Interesting Facts: Males are bigger in size than females, and can reach the 150 kg!! Just like elephants their tusks never stop growing. The upper pair of tusks can grow up to 25 cm. Warthogs have very poor vision, but they use their sense of smell and earing to alarm predators and danger.
Personal Story: Piggy-Piggy arrived at DAKTARI with her two sisters on the 15th of November 2014, when she was just 2 weeks old and weighted 600 gr. The trio was found roaming alone in a private reserve for few days, so the people concerned for them decided to take them and give them food, as the mother was probably not around anymore. We took great care of them, but unfortunately two of them were weaker and didn’t make it. Piggy-Piggy had showed a cheeky and sweet character since she arrived, and she brings joy to all the staff at DAKTARI. She loves being around volunteers and staff, and she comes when called, which made us decide to keep calling her Piggy-Piggy. She is almost two months old now, and we are looking forward to release her when she will be strong enough to survive by herself.
Would you like to sponsor Piggy Piggy, our Warthog?
Please email us at email@example.com
Laura Nardini, DAKTARI Volunteer 11/10/2014 - 15/11/2014
"I spent 5 weeks at DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage, an amazing program that allows volunteers to work with local children as much as wild animals. The perfect mix! Not only you teach the children about saving environment, animals and other matters, but you also learn about them and their way of life which is quite different from ours. It's very enriching, and I would say that you learn from them as much as they learn from you. You also work and live among the animals, and the arrival of a new one is always very exciting!
Volunteers also have the possibility to meet local people from the neighbor village, by spending a night within a family. A unique experience I highly recommend...
DAKTARI is a family size program. The day of your arrival you immediately meet all the people that work here, including the founders, and you quickly feel like at home. The relationship with other volunteers is great because everybody is very willing to help, and you can meet people of every ages and from every places of the world.
Finally, when you are volunteer at DAKTARI, I would say that you feel very useful and it is an experience you will never forget"
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!
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"