Group Photo, August 2013
History of the Makanyane Volunteers.
In tribute to the Makanyane Volunteers Founder - Joe Moser
Joe fell in love with the bush and the Pilanesberg on his first visit in 1985 and in 1988 he joined the Friends of the Pilanesberg, of which he eventually became chairman for a six year period. He started his own volunteer group in 2002, calling it “Joe’s Work Party”. As he was involved with the introduction of the African wild dog into the park, Joe changed the name to “Makanyane Volunteers” a year later – this is the Tswane name for this endangered wild dog.
The Makanyane Vounteers have grown from small beginnings to a group of over 30 strong. The group maintains various park facilities such as hides, the honorary officers’ camp and the park boma. Other work includes clearing branches and long grass, maintaining electrical fences and keeping the park in tip top condition. Besides his occupational work, Joe poured most of his energy into work at the park.
Joe had a tremendous passion for wild life and loved surveying the Synite Rocks for leopards or the plains of Moloto Drive for buffalo. His favorite saying was that he was “strong like a lion” and that he certainly was! The red balloon trees and their beautiful blossoms, which only grow around the Synite Rocks, were his favorite in spring and he spent many hours observing his beloved elephants and especially the Fish Eagles over Manwke Dam. He was also the chairman of Bushveld Mozaic, which does training courses in the preparation for field guides and for those people who aspire to become honorary officers. Joe, himself, was qualified as an honorary officer.
It is quite apparent that a person of Joe’s caliber will be sorely missed by all of us. Think of him when you see the Fish Eagle. His legacy will live on in the Makanyane Voluneers.
It is with great sorrow that the Makanyane Volunteers announce the loss of their founder and leader – Joe Moser. He passed away on the 30th October 2006 after a short illness and is survived by his wife Hanne and son Michael.