Out in the Forward Operating Base (FOB.) in Limpopo National Park facilities are fairly basic. For the two years since the base has been in operation, rangers have had to rely on ‘natural taps’ for their water – a hose and pump that brings water up from one of the tributaries feeding the Bonsweni River. Water is, of course, essential to camp life, whether for showering, washing dishes or doing the laundry. Although there are water resources nearby, it takes a huge effort to collect water for the camp.
Now there is huge excitement as the FOB finally has water that comes out of a tap. Courtney, Sean and Wouter are at the scene when the tap is first turned on.
Despite the fact that the mighty Shingwedzi River flows through the heart of the Limpopo National Park, and both the Limpopo and Olifants rivers form some of its borders, today it is this instant stream of water from a tap that brings delight to the rangers.
Wildlife rangers are essential to the work of Peace Parks Foundation and partners, protecting humankind’s most valuable natural assets. Species have come back from the brink of extinction because they are there, guarding what cannot be lost. Their work requires grit and determination, not unlike what is expected of frontline workers who dedicate themselves to the service of others. The big difference here is that these men and women often go unnoticed. Rangers spend long, hard hours on patrol or in pursuit of those who prey on precious and vulnerable wildlife. So, making their life in the bush just a little more comfortable, with the addition of mains water, is a job well done.