Leen and Elmi van Beelen

Leen & Elmi van Beelen Testimonial – March 3rd – March 31st 2014

I volunteered at Knysna Elephant Park last year for 6 weeks and my husband for 2 weeks. And even before we left, we knew that we really wanted to come back. Because spending quality time with these beautiful giants, being so close to them, observing them and helping the AERU team with their research is just perfect, I really cannot put into words what it means for me to be here again.
It is an amazing and unforgettable experience, AGAIN!

These 4 weeks unfortunately has almost come to an end and it was over before we knew it, time goes by so fast when you are enjoying. It was just as fascinating/magical etc. as the first time and it will be all and more, when we are here the next time, hopefully VERY SOON!!

The days usually starts very early with cleaning boma/camp at 06.30hr or a walk out. We have busy schedules during the day that ends around 18.30hr, but we have also 2 hr breaks. Leen and I both love to do the SDB’s, observe one elephant for half an hour, it’s like you really getting to know each elephant a little bit. But there are things that changed and that we are not doing any more, and we kind of miss those things, for example: feeding (giving them branches) the ellies at night in the boma. That extra time felt like a dessert at the end of the day. But there are also new projects, like making dung paper, really loved that part. Thanks Miren for teaching us how to make that. And Leen had his own little project, making elephant toys. Tomorrow we will see how elephant proof his box is.

Our weekends were quite busy. We did a lot of things, such as visiting Mossel Bay and area, Tsitstikamma NP, Addo Elephant NP etc.

Meeting new people and spending time with the volunteers, the staff and the guides was really great and a wonderful experience. Even this is our 7th time here in SA we are still learning new things.

Thank you AERU staff, volunteers, the park staff and the guides who kept us safe again. Thank you for making our stay memorable again.
We already miss you, but we will be back, THAT’S A PROMISE!!!

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