Ever wonder what it’s like to wake to the call of an elephant or to go without visiting the shops? Living in a natural environment is more challenging than one might imagine. For one, the weather and the seasons seem to be felt more powerfully as one has to adapt to floods, drought and heat. Put a child into the mix and things get even more interesting.
There is an old saying that it takes a village to raise an elephant. Out in the bush it takes many hands to bring up a child. Dolf and Elize Botha have both been working in the Maputo Special Reserve for several years now and are raising their son, Eloff there. The Peace Parks team are always about to lend a hand.
Without toyshops and playparks Eloff gets his kicks in other ways: watching his dad, Dolf, on a fly-by in the helicopter, tackling the watering hose or getting to know a young duiker that has wandered into camp.
It is clear the whole Botha family has a passion for wildlife and conservation. Young Eloff is taken along during evening walks or wanders around when Dolf is at work outside, and everyone around keeps an eye on him. When his mum, Elize, looks after a young duiker, he is also nearby. It is the perfect way to learn about conservation, by watching it in action from a young age.
The people who work for Peace Parks Foundation are all essential to its dream, to re-establish, renew and preserve large functional ecosystems that transcend man-made boundaries – thereby protecting and regenerating natural and cultural heritage vital to enabling and sustaining a harmonious future for humankind and the natural world.
And everyone involved with Peace Parks is like family, little Eloff included. After all, the Africa that is being restored now will be the Africa of his future.