From our working holiday volunteering with leopards, caracals and Cape biodiversity in South Africa (

When Matthias and I touched down in George on Wednesday, it was horizontal rain, 13 deg C out of the wind, grey skies and freezing in the wind. The drive to base was wet and long and we were late.

Today the skies are blue and it is 25 deg C outside. This changeable weather is nothing unusal for the Cape fynbos mountains. The forecast matches this: a mixture of sunny days and rain. Alan says it’s impossible to predict for more than two days anyway as the mountain weather is so variable. But even with blue skies and warm temperatures outside, the stone houses of our base are cold, and the stone floors are freezing, so do come prepared with slippers.

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Anyway, we’ve spent the last two days getting ready for you. Finishing the day-to-day plans, research activity schedules, orientation briefings, equipment, rooms, etc. We are aiming to be all done by tomorrow lunchtime. Matthias will come out and meet you in George and make sure the transfer to base goes as smoothly as possible. Alan, Anja (his wife), Eli & Charlie (their children), the rest of the staff and I are looking forward to meeting you in a couple of days.

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