In Limpopo National Park, Peace Parks Foundation’s Fixed Wing Pilot, Wouter Steyn, takes to the skies on a late afternoon patrol flight looking for any signs of poaching activity or incursions. In vast and often hard-to-reach landscapes such as this, aerial surveillance plays a critically important role in the monitoring and protection of our conservation areas. Not only do our pilots help to keep these protected areas safe but being able to soar above the clouds and look down upon incredible scenery like this is undoubtedly a major perk of the job!

More so now than ever before, both fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters are being used as a force multiplier when trying to combat wildlife crime. In addition, they also assist with wildlife management and conservation because these lightweight aircraft can cover large distances in a short period. When working in a one-million-hectare piece of wilderness such as Limpopo National Park, this proves invaluable.

As Wouter takes us with him on his afternoon patrol flight, we are quickly reminded of the breathtaking beauty within this Park. Wouter’s piloting skills are certainly tested as he soars above the mighty crocodile-filled Shingwedzi River and weaves his way between the towering, red Shingwedzi cliffs. Thankfully this isn’t his first rodeo, and he passes with flying colours!

With the patrol flight complete and no poaching activities or incursions found, Wouter makes his way back to the Forward Operating Base just before the sun dips below the horizon.

Peace Parks would like to thank all of our hard-working pilots for the hard work that they put in to keep our wild spaces and the life within them safe.