Nina and I have been overwhelmed by the incredible feedback and engagement that we have had as a result of the Sofa Safari series that we are screening on our YOUTUBE CHANNEL(click to subscribe) and Facebook.The same support and outpouring of love has been received with Chad’s Solo Safaris on IGTV. The intention was always to give a little glimmer of light during what we know is an incredibly tough time for everyone worldwide, under varying conditions of lockdown. Far be it for us to take the credit for this wonderful idea – it was actually born out of the creative minds of our team on the ground, the incredibly talented Britt, Luke and Chad!
With the national lockdown in South Africa, we have been exiled to the amazing open spaces of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve,and have felt incredibly fortunate to be spending the time with our families in this quiet wilderness space. It has, therefore, been with empathy and mindfulness that we have shared a window into our world and we hope that this has brought some happiness to those of you who long for the African bush, as well as for many of you it has ignited an interest you never knew existed.
Whilst we have a small team here at camp with us, most of our wonderful Tanda Tula family are spending the lockdown period at home with their children. We are in daily contact with all of them, and we have shared with them the messages of support that we have received through our social media channels from you, our friends and guests.
We are acutely aware of the suffering that this pandemic is bringing on many of our neighbouring rural communities, and we have been looking for ways to support those who are engaged in efforts to support those communities during this difficult time. One of the most active and impactful NGO’s operating in our area is an organization called Hlokomela.Some of you may have read about them on our previous blogs. They have been actively involved with farm worker communities in the Hoedspruit area, as well as with the staff working in the Greater Krugersystem of wildlife reserves. Their focus has always been on healthcare, with a team of trained nurses and care-workers operating from a network of mobile and fixed clinics, offering primary healthcare, family planning and HIV and AIDS testing, care and support.
As would be expected, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit South African shores, and since the increasingly restrictive measures that our President has had to put in place, Hlokomela has not only been involved with providing nutritional support to local communities with a food parcel program, but they have been working to help train and implement sanitizing measures on public transport for the essential workers on farms. They are now getting involved with screening and testing for COVID-19 in the local communities, as well as with the provision of protective gear for those volunteers involved with the rollout of the extensive South African COVID-19 screening and testing programs.
Tanda Tula has always been a supporter of Hlokomela, and we have provided them with annual sponsorships for their attendance of the worldwide HIV/AIDS conferences for the last few years. We thought that extending our support to include their current activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic would be fitting and appropriate at this time.
We also noticed that since the start of our Sofa Safari series on our YouTube channel, we have seen an increase of nearly 1000 subscribers to our channel. We have, therefore, decided to make a donation to Hlokomela of R1 for every new subscriber on our Youtube channel since the launch of our Sofa Safaris and until we reach a target of 10,000 subscribers. Please go ahead and subscribe to our Youtube channeland we commit to making the donations for each new subscriber.
Realising that some of you may wish to make direct contributions to Hlokomelafor their efforts in the fight against COVID-19, in our local rural areas, we have been in discussions with Hlokomela and they have provided us with a direct link for such donations. Anyone who has been enjoying our Sofa Safari series and who would like to contribute in addition to the donations being made by Tanda Tula, can do so by following this link: GivenGain.
Be assured that all money donated via the above link goes directly to the Hlokomela bank account for use in their COVID-19 interventions.
Once again, we thank you all for the incredible support and we hope that we can continue to provide you with some daily escape to the African bush through our Sofa Safaris and Solo Safari series.
Don and Nina