Tiaan’s Farewell
December 3, 2023

by Tiaan Botha

I was first introduced to the thought of coming to Nature’s Valley in 2022 when my head supervisor of my Honours project approached me during a Herpetological excursion for the Honours in Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology program and proposed a project here. Things became a reality, real quick. Within two months of this conversation, my bags were packed and my Masters degree was more than just a thought. I was on my way to one of the most beautiful place in South Africa.

It was very easy for me to become part of the Trust’s crew as I was openly and whole-heartedly welcomed by the team. The first few months of being here, I spent my nights waiting for ethical clearance for my research project from the University. In the meantime, I was exposed to hands-on, raw conservation fieldwork that ranged from White-fronted plover chick ringing, to sorting plastics and abandoned fishing gear. I was exposed to such a wide variety of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine conservation work that everyday to me was a blast. I was surrounded by so much beauty and tried my best to capture it through my photography. I had fun – constantly.

By the end of the first quarter, my ethics application was approved and I was also formerly appointed as the Trust’s intern-coordinator – a role that insists responsibilities beyond anything I was prepared for. I was stretched and tested, but the office-culture was supportive, considerate and motivative – and It was once again an experience I value dearly. This continued for six months and allowed me to meet and interact closely with a wide variety of interesting people, most of which became very good friends.

The landscape of the Valley is beyond words. Even on cloudy, rainy days you will feel a sense of complete peace leaking from the treeline of the forests around you that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. The closeness of the ocean with the presence of the forest provides the perfect surf ‘n turf lifestyle. It is a safe, healthy, and free place. A place with so much green you will forget what winter looks like, and definitely a place that will make you forget about the world around you.

Related posts

An aura of untouched natural beauty

An aura of untouched natural beauty

by Tegan Allison Nestled along the picturesque coastline of South Africa's Southern Cape, Nature's Valley shows an aura of untouched natural beauty. It's a place where the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean merge with the forest of Tsitsikamma, creating a paradise...

My experience at NVT

My experience at NVT

by Giulia Baldini This is the first time taking part in conservation and I realised how much I like it and most probably would see a future. These three months were amazing, I learned a lot and I had so many new experiences that I would have never done home. NVT gave...