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Wildlife conservation expedition in South Africa

Wildlife conservation expedition in South Africa

Study and help conserve the wildlife of Southern Africa on this well established conservation program
Trip rating 9.7/10 from 3 trip reviews  |  Operator rating 9.6/10 from 8 trip reviews
  View Itinerary | Reviews (3) | Enquire About This Trip  make an enquiry
Price: GBP £1,145 per person
Type: Volunteer Project
Duration: 14 days
Country: South Africa
Persons: minimum (12)  maximum (18)
Accommodation: Lodge
Activities: Game Drives, Game Viewing, Volunteer Project, Wildlife Viewing
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Itinerary

Wildlife conservation expedition in South Africa

Play a hands-on role in the long term conservation of African wildlife, enjoy first-class wildlife viewing and live on a game reserve in the heart of South Africa as part of a wildlife research team.

Work in a reserve as an expedition member in which you will participate in wildlife monitoring projects, including assisting with the research on predator/prey interactions by radio tracking. You may also be involved with the exciting work of darting and the fitting of radio tracking collars to lions and leopards. Intensive training is given on conservation, bird/mammal/reptile identification, ecology and bush first aid.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in a biodiversity study in mountain habitats in the vicinity of the expedition base (applicable on our longer durations).

Expedition members are needed for 2, 4, 8 or 12 weeks and short-term internships are also available.

Location
Expeditions are run on the Karongwe Game Reserve in Limpopo. This is big five territory; the African bush at its best.

The reserve is home to predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah. The diverse range of habitats in the reserves supports a wide range of plant and animal life, including elephant, giraffe, wild dog, rhino and various antelope species.

Expedition members live in a farm house deep within the reserves; it includes dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, bathrooms, kitchen, and an outside area. Everyone, including staff members, will pitch in with base camp duties, like cooking and cleaning for the group.

What is included
Pre-departure support
Airport pick up and transfer to base (extra cost for Karongwe placements)
Food and accommodation
Training materials and science equipment
Telemetry tracking equipment
National Park fees and permits
Comprehensive training necessary for research techniques
Emergency First Aid course
24 hour in country support
24 hour emergency phone line in the UK
Free Careers Abroad field work placement and job vacancy service for ALL former Expedition Members (successful placements depend upon aptitude and attitude)

Excluded
International Flights
Visas (if required)
Items of a personal nature
Items not mentioned above

Children are not accepted - the minimum participation age is 18 years old

  View Trip Reviews (3) | View Tour Operator Reviews (8)
Trip Reviews (3) about reviews
1 
Client: Alan Feigenbaum - from United States
Trip: This trip: Wildlife conservation expedition in South Africa
Rating:
rating 9/10
Comment: I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Karangwe. The staff are great, very dedicated young people .I am beyond 80 years of age, so I may have been out of place with all those 20 somethings. There were 8 others there, 5 of whom were there for the 6 month internship, 2 were there for the 3 month internship, and 1 was there for 2 weeks. I don't think I was aware or understood what the program was all about. Nevertheless, I learned a lot and enjoyed my stay.

I was told that i may have been the first 2 week "tourist" there and that including short term tourists is an experiment. Unfortunately, i am not your typical tourist. Most of my trips are of the adventure type, such as my trip to Karangwe. I am used to and expect relatively primitive conditions, although I have experienced and enjoyed far more primitive conditions than there were at Karangwe. However, I feel most senior citizen tourists prefer much better accommodations than Karangwe has to offer.

Our first week the staff did all the domestic duties. The second week the 9 of us took turns doing the chores. One of the days is called base duty. We all had our day on base duty, which entailed total house cleaning and preparing lunch and dinner, amongst other duties. The person on base duty gives up their day in the bush chasing animals. I was thinking on my base duty day that I really did not pay to come to africa to scrub toilets and mop floors. nevertheless, that is what I did and I do not complain. h

However, in my feedback to them I pointed out that tourists do not go on vacation to do housework. I explained to him that my 14 days there were as follows: first and last day were travel days. The first full day there was orientation. One day was town day so we could all go to town to shop, do laundry, get money, etc. One day it rained so hard we could not go out into the bush, and of course there was base duty day. I wound up with only 8 days out of 14 helping chase down wildlife. I believe he understood.

If the plan is to mix tourism with internship then I think they have to go back to the drawing board. In general I would rate it 7.5 to 8 because of the lack of amenities for tourists, the requirement for tourists to do daily chores, the lack of air-conditioning, and the dormitory style living.

For myself i would rate it a 9. I can't give it a ten because i only had 8 days out of 14 in the field, and the lack of air-conditioning in the dorm made sleeping very difficult.

Would i do this kind of trip again? In all probability i would, but as i said, I am not your typical senior citizen tourist.
 
2 
Client: Isolde Kamerman - from Australia
Trip: This trip: Wildlife conservation expedition in South Africa
Rating:
rating 10/10
Comment: I had a fantastic time in South Africa.

Not a day went past without seeing something amazing, however the highlight was seeing a female cheetah and her 3 cubs.

We would go on 2 drives a day in the reserve to track the animals which allowed us to get very close to them.

The operator was a good organisation to go Africa with. They are were well organised and looked after everyone on the trip.
 
3 
Client: Tess Hill - from United States
Trip: This trip: Wildlife conservation expedition in South Africa
Rating:
rating 10/10
Comment: What an amazing experience this has been! Each day here at the base is a gift, although the base is rustic and has no electricity or hot water. I found that didnít matter. The game drives are the primary focus of each day, some days are more fruitful than others but in time the rewards are huge with animal sightings. So far I have over 1600 photos to sort through when I get home.

A few of my favourite encounters include a visual of Zero, the male lion, with his zebra kill. Him and the kill were lying side by side facing opposite directions, the zebra head was still in tact so it looked as though they were napping together!

I went weeks seeing only hippo eyes and noses sticking out of the water and then one evening we spotted a hippo making her way into the water and grunting at another hippo to keep it away from the baby.

Also saw a herd of elephants playing together in a huge mud bath. So many memories, so little paper!

Community days are incredible! Itís very gratifying to spend time with the local school children. One day we taught them computer skills and although they donít speak English they learned their tasks and loved doing it. On our second community outing we had a number of activities for the children to participate in. Mine was a spoon and marble race. The kids were so excited and had a blast. One group, team name hippos, completely surrounded me giving me hugs from all sides, one girl even tickled me. I will cherish that memory for a lifetime.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to participate in this wonderful adventure. They are a phenomenal organisation.

 
 
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