Rangers play a vital role in conservation management and protection, often spending long, hard hours on patrol or in pursuit of those who prey on precious and vulnerable wildlife. However, a ranger’s job is so much more wide-ranging. They spend a lot of time looking after their vehicles, that can take quite a hammering on the bumpy, bush roads. The Peace Parks teams have upgraded many of these over the years, but as the areas of operation are so vast, large stretches are still very sandy or that are riddled with potholes. The vehicles have to be up to the job, whether it is which is taking part in a translocation of elephant or buffalo or helping to mend fences. Rangers also need to be able to change a flat tyre when they are in the field, and to carry out maintenance when they are back in camp.

It is not just the trucks that need looking after. The ranger team maintains their own fitness too, so that they can always give their all in the field operations.

Out in Limpopo National Park, the rangers have to be pretty self-sufficient as the base camp is literally miles from any shops or conveniences. There is no time to pop to the local hairdressers when they need a trim, for example, so they take it upon themselves to act as barber to each other. In fact life there is pretty basic – no mains water or electricity – but this is part of the charm for the rangers.

As being a ranger is not really a 9-5 job, camp life needs to provide lots of home comforts. Something that brings a smile to all the rangers’ faces after a long day, or night, on patrol, is the sight of Hunter, the camp dog, who is usually first to greet them with a wagging tail. There is always time for some fun too, an essential element of a ranger’s remit that helps to get through the day’s challenges.