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2019 Tembe Work Week & Fund-Raiser

28 May 2019 - Dick De Bruyn
How many photographs do you want to take of an elephant, or any other animals in Tembe for that matter, is a question often asked over the last years since I have been involved with Tembe?

I assume that this would be a very relevant question for many people, and I have often thought about it as to why the club (myself included) keep going back on a yearly basis to the same place. Well, the answer is actually quite simple, as many would be able to confirm it’s about animals (and the bush) and a bunch of very special people who have in all probability gone a bit bushy, but so what! Bos is mos lekker! This year’s trip was no different as two events once again stood out to confirm my theory as to why we keep going back year by year!

The first incident was a head on confrontation that I had with three elephant bulls on the Eastern swamp road in the park. For those who haven’t been to Tembe, it is actually not a road but a little “twee spoor paadjie” through rather thick bush next to a big swampy area, which make reversing with a big trailer hitched to your Landy near impossible and going sideways will land you in the swamp! Not a place to get bogged down when you are amongst a herd of elephants! Anyway, they approached in a very aggressive manner getting ever closer with ears flapping, kicking dust and blowing their trumpets up to about five meters from my vehicle!

My daughter, sitting/sweating beside me noted very softly that a VERY big bull also "joined the party" from the bush coming to rest right in front of my vehicle next to the other three, leaving us no place to hide! He stood there for a while, observing and sniffing the air and as suddenly as he appeared he ushered the other three back into the bush with his trunk basically rounding them up as if to say stop this nonsense and leave these guys alone, they are working in the park for our betterment! This behaviour was a first for me in all the years visiting the park, and was very special!

The second "incident", if I may use the terminology again, was the absolute wonderful way in which the members once again adapted to the tasks given them to perform during the work week, and the ingenious way that they made plans to accomplish their tasks often with tools not necessarily made for the task at hand. Also very apparent was the open pride shown in the tasks as performed.

Some of the tasks dealt with was replacing a forty year old (very rusted) mono pump in a borehole with a new "dompel pomp", placing an electrified fence around one of the picnic spots due to lion activities in the area, re-painting sign posts and the parks name board at the main gate and a start was also made to replacing the rotten poles of the electric perimeter fencing.

A feather in our cap was the fact that park management are thinking about enlarging the group due to the success of the work week. To those members who are not aware of the fact, I may just add that we as LROC Gauteng are the only group who have the privilege of having a work week in this big five park.  

Night time was, as is always the case, spent around the camp fire which this year made for VERY interesting listening as the main topic was how to braai, or NOT to braai!! There was one member, no names mentioned, who was very verbal about the issue! I am not sure, but he must have a degree in cookery, although he wants us to believe that he is an engineer! I most definitely learnt a lot by just listening to all the wisdom on braaiing around the fire at night time!

In conclusion a very successful week with a wonderful bunch of members, honorary officers and may I lastly add that Gavin made us jelly and custard again! Well done Gavin! A big hearty thanks to all, and I trust that we will have the same again next year!



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