Friday, 10 June 2016

For five days, all eight wildlife photography and journalism interns traveled with our instructors to the Karoo.

According to Wikipedia: "The Karoo is a semi-desert natural region of South Africa. There is no exact definition of what constitutes the Karoo, and therefore its extent is also not precisely defined."  

Essentially, the Karoo is a big section of savannah and filled with wildlife that happens to be oftentimes both rare and valuable. Being vague when it comes to the Karoo helps to protect the animals. So although we went to a specific reserve within the Karoo, none of us is allowed to give any information beyond that. 

The internet poses a surprising risk to wild animals, "game" here. Search engines can provide the parameters of game reserves and geotagging and other location services on social media can provide poachers with GPS coordinates of animals in posted photos. Our anonymous reserve had no cell phone service and the only building with wi-fi access was a church. 

No internet was no problem because we were never bored.

In the mornings, we woke up to rhinos outside our cabin windows. There was a domesticated warthog, Penelope, who was aggressive towards everyone but the people who raised her. We tracked a mother cheetah and photographed her standing feet away from her cubs. 

It was an incredible experience, and one that I'll probably continue to talk about as I edit more of the 800+ photos I took. In the meantime, we've returned to Mossels Bay for the time being.