Blog written by Lani, Saskia, Rebecca and Leni
Friday morning greeted us with torrential downpour and chilly winds! We went to the school to meet up with a journalist and to play with the kids. We had a lot of fun chasing each other in the rain! It is amazing to see how people from different cultures can bond through games and sports. After a while we left to buy some supplies that we could use for our work in the coming weeks.
For the weekend we drove to Addo Elephant National Park, where we were overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery that surrounded us. We only drove 20 meters into the park and suddenly an elephant emerged from the bushes, how exciting! We were so lucky to come within three meters of a large elephant bull! It was exhilarating to see his massive body moving so quietly next to us – a really special moment for all the European Young Explorers as they have never seen an elephant in its natural surrounds! Even though it was so cold, we saw many other animals: red hartebeest, Kudu, Vervet Monkeys, Eland, many warthogs, foxes, a buffolo and (to Saskia´s delight) we saw several herds of zebra. All of the Young Explorers were in awe of the amazing showcase of nature!
In the morning the rain was pouring down and we would never have guessed that the sun would come out! Before we had to leave the sky cleared up and we had a spectacular view with the sun breaking through the clouds, the blue of the sky ranging from bright blue to almost black, the ocean in the far distance. The grass seeds were illuminated and contrasted strongly with the dark clouds looming overhead. It truly was a magical experience!
The highlight of Sunday was definitely a big herd of elephants counting at least eleven adults and six calves. They walked in a row holding their tales just a few hundred meters in front of our cars and disappeared into the bushes just after Simon had taken some nice photos of them.
Although we didn’t see the king of the jungle, the lion, this excursion was such an extraordinary experience and much more than we had expected. We saw two of the Big 5! Moreover, it really helped us to bond as a team and gives us new energy to continue with our work at the school.