4 hours drive from Johannesburg lies the region of Oliphant’s West. Volunteers from all over the world come to stay at the Transfrontier Africa bush camp. It is basic in its amenities but there are beds and the roofs are thatched on each of the huts. During the day volunteers will help with the rhino monitoring program, alien vegetation and bushwalks. In the evening, the meals are cooked on the campfire.
The only way to get around is in one of the Land Rovers. During the drives through the reserve a volunteer will have a unique experience every day and different to any safari or as a guest at a more conventional lodge.
On the first day of the volunteering experience, Safeena saw giraffes and zebras graze nearby and a plethora of impala perking up their heads and running elegantly away. If you are lucky you can see herds of elephants roaming the bush but as time goes by, these sightings may become less frequent if the war on poaching is not won. Not only are elephants poached for their ivory, but hunted as trophies. But thanks to important NGOs like Transfrontier Africa, the fight to help the pachyderms remain resident on this planet is very much alive.
There is a small and dedicated team that works as part of Transfrontier Africa. Adrian and Sonya Faulker are the team in the United Kingdom. As well as the Black Mambas as key players in the fight against poaching. Leonie Hofstra, a young woman from Holland is a passionate conservationist that spends much of her days searching for signs of rhino. Her ability to see tracks when driving was astonishing. Her knowledge, her purpose and her generosity allowed Safeena to meet the Black Mambas many times. As well as Leoni, Hofstra, Amy Clarke, Charlene Penny and Lisa Trueman all moved to South Africa to help preserve nature and bring harmony to the ecosystem.
Safeena went to South Africa to meet the Black Mambas for this exhibition, which was originally called Women Warriors. What she returned with was not only portraits of warriors, but women who work against crimes.
To enquire about the purchase of a print which can be framed and signed, please contact Safeena Chaudhry on 07956 068 952 or email Safeena_chaudhry@yahoo.co.uk
25% of the profit each print sold in the Transfrontier Africa series will go to the charity.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER, please refer to the Transfrontier Africa website. It'll be an unforgettable experience.