"The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see." - Edward Abbey.

Hello, I'm Rae and this is my blog

mopani monkey

I was born and raised in Johannesburg city, but my heart has always belonged in nature. The conservation of wildlife and the preservation of our natural spaces has been a lifelong mission. From a young age, I joined as many local volunteer initiatives as I could.  In 2016, I completed a diploma in Nature Conservation, and over the past few years I have worked on several conservation projects in the South African bush. Through my time in the field, I have been fortunate to work in many beautiful places across the country and participate in some great conservation initiatives.

Through this platform, I would like to share some of my personal experiences in the field, and give every person a small window into the rewarding world of conservation. I am also an avid advocate for backyard conservation. I hope to raise awareness on current issues, inspire people to become involved, and learn about wildlife and nature.


Guardians of nature

One of my favourite phrases is custos naturae. It is the slogan of the South African National Parks and it means "guardian of nature." I came across it written on the walls in one of the toilets at the Kruger National Park - overshare I know. But weird as that may be, it has resonated with me ever since.

Ultimately we are all guardians of nature - custodians of the earth, entrusted with a responsibility to respect, preserve, and protect our weirdly wonderful planet, the precious resources we rely on, and our incredible natural spaces.

Why Mopani Monkey?


The name was inspired by the mopane worm - an  iconic caterpillar in Southern Africa. Being high in protein, they serve as an important food source for birds and also rural communities.

They are also important nutrient recyclers, feeding primarily on the Mopane tree after which they are named. The caterpillars transform into beautiful, bold emperor moths.

And I guess monkeys are universal symbols of whimsy. My vision for this blog is to provide a platform for learning about wildlife & conservation issues by producing good content in a digestible way, offering relief from the heaviness of the current media climate.

I hope you enjoy this platform, and if you do feel free to share my posts as it helps raise awareness for some important conservation issues. If you would like to get in touch you can contact me here.

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