An army training exercise in Kenya introduced Alisdair ‘Ally’ Donaldson to Africa and sparked a love affair with the continent that led him to return as a volunteer with Veterans for Wildlife.


Ally passed on lessons he learned as a combat medical technician with the British Army in Iraq to provide first aid and leadership skills to the Black Mambas, South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit.


Ally left the army after 13 years’ of service, including two tours of Iraq.  The former Sergeant now manages a military medical practice as a civilian.


“I’ve taught people first aid and you learn very soon that it’s not all about using PowerPoint presentations and sitting in a classroom; it’s about getting to know the people and working with them one-on-one,” Ally said.


Ally said that as well as conducting the training in Africa he hoped that his deployment with Veterans for Wildlife had helped raise awareness with people back home in the UK about the plight of Africa’s wildlife.


“The poaching in Africa is horrendous, and it’s also about greedy people exploiting communities who are not wealthy at all.”