Ruaan Barnard, our Conservation Intern who has starting work for us in our Conservancy would like to introduce himself:


I have been a part of the Duiwenhoks Conservancy for the past two weeks and I am very happy to be here and part of the group.

Firstly, I would like to speak about the people of this community.

From the first day that I arrived in Vermaaklikheid everyone made me feel welcome and was very friendly towards me.

Community people helped me where they could, and offered to help with anything I might need in the future.

So far I’m get along very well with the people and I believe that my relationship with the community will become even stronger.

I see that the village is very small and at the same time it is also very clean.

I was surprised to see that the whole area is in such a good condition and I will do my best to keep it that way.

My work in the community is not only with the people but also to conserve the wildlife here.

The projects that I will tackle, as part of the conservancy are:

Environment education (Vermaaklikheid School)
Alien clearing
Patrolling the rivier
Vegetable gardens with people in the community.
Cooperation with the “Firebreak Association”

There will be lots more in the future.

I was in Cape Town for the second week, where I received some good training to improve my communication skills, my ‘kettingsaag vaardighede’ – chainsaw competence and l training in environmental education. This was particularly important, as I will work with school children.

In my first week in Vermaaklikheid I saw a surprising number of animals. Those that amazed me were the otter, which I saw along the river and on land as well as a massive school of harders. There were so many that they jumped into my boat. This was a first for me.

Everything I do for the conservancy is to protect the environment and its natural life, not because I must but because I love wildlife and I believe that everyone needs nature.

Thank you very much,

Ruaan Barnard