Imagine waking up to a beautiful dawn chorus, filled with songs of birds too many to count, the bubbling of a softly flowing river and the occasional laughter of hippo echoing through the valley. This might sound like a distant dream for some, but for Antony Alexander, Peace Parks Foundation’s Senior Project Manager in Mozambique, this is his reality.

He wakes up in Limpopo National Park after spending a night camping along the banks of the Shingwedzi River. After a quick cup of coffee, the team head off for a quick morning bush walk to explore their surroundings, making sure to keep an eye out for any wildlife they could bump into.

It’s been five years since Antony has done a proper tour of the national park, and who better than to be accompanied by other than Dr Bradley Schroder, Limpopo National Park’s Senior Project Manager and Nicola Schroder, who both know the park like the back of their hand. The trio are spending a few days exploring the park and visiting potential tourism development sites, as well as checking up on the progress of infrastructure development that is already taking place.

You can watch more about that here.

How the bush walk went down

Antony, Bradley and Nicola depart from camp, ensuring to keep as quiet as possible so as not to frighten any wildlife in the area. Just across the river from their camp, Bradley points out some large leopard tracks left in the soft sand during the night. This is a welcome sight in the park, as knowing that these elusive cats are doing well in the park is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

As they continue their bush walk, they come across a giant baobab tree, also known as an upside-down tree, its tall leafless branches reaching high into the endless sky above. It won’t be long before these branches start to grow green leaves which are always a firm favourite with elephant.

The trio finally make their way to the banks of the Shingwedzi River, providing Bradley and Nicola with the perfect opportunity to look for animal tracks in the mud. At the same time, Antony takes some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the morning before heading back to work and beginning their day’s work!