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Botswana Wilderness Adventure
4 Weeks: GBP 1629 | AUD 2688 | USD 2525
The Great Projects uses GBP rates as standard due to currency fluctuations. US and AUD rates are indications of approx recent values.
Experience life in the bush of the Kalahari DesertTweet
This program aims to give an educational experience for all those who wish to make a difference in conservation whilst living in and experiencing the African Bush first hand. This project which is situated within 10,000 hectares of land gives many animals an ideal environment to thrive in as well as many amazing viewing points. Volunteers are also offered many opportunities to learn about the local culture and wide range of wildlife living within the area during walks in the Bush with specialized guides. Some highlights of this project however are the nights spent under the breath taking Kalahari Desert sky which make this a wilderness adventure never to forget. Fence Patrol
Before the sun is at its fullest in the morning, you will learn practical things about the area. Then as it heats up you will learn about African animals, wildlife management and general facts about wildlife conservation in Botswana from the facilitators.
The rest of your day will include more practical information to help you identify animals, animal tracks and vegetation during your walks as well as how to orientate and behave in the Bush, where wild animals roam freely around you. A final key, yet extremely enjoyable task is assessing any fence damage as this is done on horseback (unless there are no horses available which is rare). After two weeks, the participants who have booked longer stays are free to join the program with the new arrivals again or become more involved in other parts of the project. This can include using the knowledge you have gained to help educate the new arrivals or contribute even more to the project and awareness around it.
The program is a course concerning wildlife, with many practical aspects that will give you greater and more detailed knowledge of the African Bush and its natural inhabitants. This is a fun and educational experience that will give you enough memories to last a lifetime!
The day starts early in Africa. You will eat breakfast and hear about the day’s activities which range from feeding animals, participating in game counts and much more. For more detailed information, please see the “Duties” section.
The main activities you will be involved in on the project are:
Instead of experiencing the Bush in a game drive car as many regular tourists would do, you will instead get to walk in the wild and get close to different species of antelopes, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes and many other mammals. During every walk, our guides will explain interesting facts about the vegetation, point out animal tracks and give you an idea of what kind of things you have to watch out for in the environment. Walking through the Kalahari, with animals roaming freely around you, will give you a much deeper sense of this unique environment and provide a better learning experience as well.
We start walks in the afternoon at a beautiful spot on the farm, where you will learn how to pick a safe place to sleep. The group will then collect firewood and learn how to make a fire by using the materials around you. After, we’ll practice our fire making skills with a braai. When dinner and story telling around the fire is over, you will learn about the stars and hear the stories around them while also learning how to use the night sky of the southern hemisphere for orientation in the wilderness. Everybody goes to sleep at the same time, but each group will spend one hour awake for night watch. You will learn how to look out for animals and how to navigate in the darkness. The campfire and the night watch create a safe environment, which will make it possible for you to enjoy the beauty of the trip without fear of your surroundings.
The Bushmen Village is near the farm, and you will have the unique opportunity to get insight into their culture. You can learn from them what plants are edible and how to find water in this semidesert environment. You can watch them demonstrate how they hunt wild animals for survival by using their body strength and assets, made from materials from the vegetation around them.
On our tracking activities, you will learn how to identify many different animals and how to interpret the tracks and signs that are everywhere around you. Furthermore, you will learn how to determine their age and get a clear picture of what has happened in their lives.
Animals held in captivity on the farm have all been “problem animals” that walked into the cattle farming areas to kill livestock. Unfortunately, farmers in Botswana are allowed to shoot these predators. The project has its very own residents that have been rescued from these situations and are now used as a source of research and education. The project Is also in the process of establishing a breeding program that will strengthen the gene pool of the big cats.
You will feed these animals and spend time in the wild dog enclosure to observe them and their fascinating social behavior.
You will be able to spend some evenings with the lions and you’ll often hear them roar close by as the sun sets over the Kalahari. While enjoying the unique opportunity to be close to these intriguing wild predators, you will also learn a lot about their behavior, their history and today’s problems for these impressive animals.
What Makes this Project Great
On the 10,000 hectares of land, the Wide open space and untamed wilderness provide ideal conditions for a wide range of animals to thrive in. The space also offers incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. The Project works to protect this and other natural environments and wildlife in Botswana through community-based outreach programs and monitoring of the ecosystem. In the long-run, the information we collect will be used to create a database, aiding research and conservation programs.
This project believes in opportunities for all animals. All the captive predators on the farm are taken out of farming areas around our location, where they most likely would have been shot or poisoned by farmers protecting their grounds. Here, they have space to roam in large enclosures where they serve for educational and awareness purposes.
The Projects' long term goal is to find suitable locations for these animals to be relocated. These animals also help fuel vital research to help shed light on their future presence in the African wilderness.
It provides a learning opportunity for all who desire to make a difference in wildlife preservation while experiencing the African habitat and culture first hand. The course centers on the Kalahari ecosystem, where diverse wildlife and breath taking scenery blend harmoniously to make a unique and thrilling experience.
Who is best suited for this project?
People best suited for our program love nature, wildlife and social experiences with people from all over the world. People who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty and participating in the nitty-gritty of life in Botswana for both people and the animals are encouraged to come join us. Unfortunately, if you are under 18-years-old we cannot take you on at this time.
What if my dates do not coincide with the project?
Our programs start on a Monday, but if you can’t make it to the beginning of a program and still want to join us, we would be happy to accommodate you. Please be aware that an extra charge for transportation will apply. You will receive a special orientation so you can join the rest of the group as soon as possible.
After two weeks at the project we hadn't just learnt a lot about the african wildlife, we had also experienced it ourselves! Living out in the camp is so much more that I ever expected; the people, the animals, the life.
Even though Sirga, the lion cub, was prio one when we were there, we also had time to do other amazing things! We fed the big lions, went on game drives both day and night and got so close to the wild animals. One morning on the way back from the showers a herd of wildebeests just passed by! You are really living in the wild and that makes the whole stay so much better. You never know what you are going to find or see just outside your door! This really is a once in a live time experience!
Emma Grundén (Sweden)
Getting There: You will need to book flights to arrive into Maun International Airport (MUB), Botswana for the day before your start date of your project. Flights to Maun travel via Johannesburg International Airport, O.R. Tambo (JNB) or Windhoek International Airport (WDH). At arrivals you will be met and taken to the Okavango River Lodge where you will spend your first night. On the Monday morning you will be picked up from the lodge and driven straight to the project site. Please book your arrival dates as advertised. For help with flights please click here
Accommodation and Facilities: The campsite is 4 km from the Grassland Safari Lodge. We have safari tents for visitors, which hold four beds each and are separated by gender. At the camp, you will live side-by-side with nature and its inhabitants, an experience that is hard to find in the increasingly busy world we live in. At night, lions can be heard roaring accompanied by the patter of herds of animals roaming outside your tent. The campsite has two bathrooms and showers, with hot water and a great view into the Bush.
Meals: We offer three meals a day. Our chef will cook traditional dishes but also more familiar food over the fire. Once a week we will have a braii where you will cook your own food at the campfire. In addition the kitchen is equipped with snacks free of charge and complimentary tea and coffee during your stay. Other snacks and candy will be available for purchase as well as beer, soft drinks and cider.
• Accommodation at the Wildlife Project
• Three meals a day and drinking water, coffee and tea whilst on the project
• Laundry facilities
• All volunteer activities
What's not included:
• Visa application
• Travel insurance
• Vaccinations, healthcare or similar services
• Additional trips and activities not specifically mentioned in the programme details
• 2 nights accommodation at Okavango River Lodge
• Transfers between the airport and project
• Costs in connection with tele- or data communication
• Internet access