For those of you who have known me for a looong time, Sally-Anne and I worked, laughed, drank, sang, whistled and danced together many years ago – but I hadn’t seen her for 25 yrs as she had moved back to South Africa. So it was definitely time to catch up – the highlight of our trip was that Sally Anne arranged for a friend of hers, who along with her husband, is in charge of rhino security at Tala Reserve near Pietermaritzburg, to drive us round the reserve. Not only did we get the place virtually to ourselves – but the gorgeous Kelly drove us round in her converted land rover with seats on the roof- taking us to all the best places to see the rhinos, hippos, the giraffe nursery, warthogs, nyala etc. We were told that 3 yrs ago a group of poachers, knowing it was going to be a busy day on the reserve (3 wedding parties), arrived as visitors themselves and paid with stolen credit cards. They then corralled the rhinos up to a fence where they sedated them, got the chainsaws out and managed to remove 2 horns before they were spotted. A rhino horn can attract 1 million Rand on the black market, but leaves the animal vulnerable and they often die. 1 rhino died this day and the other had to have many operations to rectify the damage done to her face. Often they don’t breed after such trauma. However the photo I have included is of this rhino with her 9 month old son Maximilian. The work they do at this reserve is incredible.