I have been in conservation for over five years now. What got me hooked in the first place was my grandfather, who would teach me about the birds and the trees during my school holidays, which I completely enjoyed. His influence helped in my decision to pursue being a conservationist after finishing school.

So at seventeen I set off after high school to move from Pretoria to Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal (a coastal South African province) and started my three year field guiding and advanced nature conservation diploma through Bhejane Nature Training.

After graduating from Bhejane I was offered a conservationist’s dream job of monitoring endangered species which included the big 5 plus wild dogs (my passion), cheetah, hyenas and vultures and for three years I worked monitoring all of them. In my last year and a half there I focused more on just wild dog monitoring as well as opened a project on a community game farm in which we place wild dogs and black and white rhinos on the property. It was a project I was responsible for running and it was the most amazing experience being able to bond with a pack of wild dogs. The job was so enjoyable that I never even wanted to take my mandatory vacation days because I would miss the wild dogs so much!

However, there came a point where I needed to move forward and venture into something a little different so I moved to the other side of the industry as a guide. It was something I really enjoyed as I could take photos which is something of a passion of mine and which I wanted get back into.

Once again the call of conservation was nudging me and I was fortunate to find Shared Universe Foundation. I look forward to this new role to really make an impact on conservation in the area. I would like to see the Foundation become one of the leading conservation organizations in South Africa! As things move forward I will keep you up-to-date on some of the programs and initiatives of the Foundation as they develop further.

As a side note, with my love of dogs, I adopted one before arriving here as it has always been my dream to have the ultimate bush puppy!

Axel Primmer | Shared Universe Foundation