This story is part of Women of Impact, a National Geographic project centered around women breaking barriers in their fields, changing their communities, and inspiring action. Join the conversation in our Facebook group. It’s 6:40 a.m.
Few barriers separate Balule, founded in the early 1990s, from Greater Kruger National Park, with some exceptions designed to keep animals from crossing highways, and more importantly, keep poachers and bushmeat hunters out. Each month, every Black Mamba spends 21 days straight patrolling Balule by foot or jeep—four hours at dawn and four hours at dusk—in search of snares, human tracks, sounds of gunshots, and other suspicious activity. While they are not making arrests, they do call in backup, or trained special forces, to seize troublemakers.