If you’re keen to head out to Buffelsdrift Game Lodge as part of our volunteer program, then you’re going to be working with Mariné , our Head Ranger and Volunteer Coordinator. Keen to know a little more about her? Keep reading, because today we’re throwing a spotlight on her fascinating eight and a half year long career with Buffelsdrift!

A different kind of farm life

Mariné  grew up on a beautiful little farm in the Swartland area, so she is no stranger to the beauty of nature around her 24/7. It’s a key part of why photography, and relaxing in nature, has become her favourite way to destress.

Working as a ranger on a thriving reserve like Buffesldrift is a busy job, after all, and Mariné  has been working with the lodge almost as long as we’ve been around. This means she has seen many exciting sights out in the bush while on game drives and undertaking other conservation activities.

Yet one of her favourite sights is a gentle and simple one- the enthusiastic gambols of baby meerkats as they first emerge from her systems in the spring. If you’d like to experience the same lighthearted joy, why not join us on one of our meerkat safaris?

According to Mariné , the best thing you can do in the bush is to keep your eyes wide open- you never know what you’ll see around the next corner!

Getting to know Buffelsdrift’s beauty

Meerkats are among Mariné ’s favourite animals on the reserve, in fact, alongside the unique sight of the pin-tailed whydah bird. Yet the beauty of the Karoo is everywhere for Mariné , and she can’t urge our visitors and volunteers strongly enough to simply take a minute to drink it all in and let the unique spirit of the area seep into your soul. Seeing the delight and amazement on the faces of first-time visitors and volunteers is still, this many years later, one of her favourite experiences.

Talking about experiences, Mariné  reminds everyone who sets foot on the Lodge to make sure they stop past the cheetah experience. A unique part of Buffelsdrift’s conservancy efforts, it’s something you won’t experience anywhere else. 

While the beauty of Oudtshoorn lures Mariné  back every time, she’d like to head out to Victoria Falls and the Serengeti sometime when she is less busy, simply to experience the majesty of these unique heritage sites.

Keen to ‘Keep your eyes open’ here at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge? Why not come and meet Mariné  yourself as part of our volunteer program?