During your time at this project you can expect to take part in the following activities:
Instead of experiencing the bush in a game-drive car as many regular tourists would do, you will instead walk in the wild, and encounter different species up close, including antelopes, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, lions, cheetah and many other mammals. During every walk, the project’s guides explain interesting facts about the vegetation, point out animal tracks and educate volunteers about the environment.
Walks begin in the afternoon, at a beautiful spot on the farm, before a safe place to sleep is located. After, you will practice fire-making skills with a braai. You will also learn about using the night sky for orientation within the wilderness. Volunteers are then split into groups, with each group spending one hour awake for night watch. This allows you to learn how to look out for animals after dark and also how to navigate in the bush at night.
Through tracking activities, you learn how to identify many different animals and how to interpret the tracks and signs scattered throughout the bush. Tracks are essential in determining the age, sex, movements and behaviours of the native animals.
Animals held in captivity on the farm area of the project site have all been deemed ‘problem animals’, having strayed into cattle-farming areas to kill livestock. Unfortunately, farmers in Botswana are permitted to shoot these predators if they feel at risk. The farm houses many residents that have been rescued from these situations and are now used as a source of research and education.
Game Counts and Grass Surveys
On the practical game-count drive everyone keeps an eye out for animals in the area, equipped only with binoculars. You will count every individual in herds and individual species from giraffes to springbok, learning to differentiate between male and female, how to judge their condition, and estimate their age. Grass-surveys will see you measure the grass cover on the farm and learning how to tell whether grass is palatable and how to use this to determine the number of animals that can live in the area.
Please note that you need to stay at the Okavango River Lodge the night before the project start date and on the final day of your project you will be transferred back to the Okavango River lodge where you will spend your final night.
The nights at the Okavango River Lodge and the transfers to and from the project site are not included in the project price but can be booked by us for payment on arrival.
Day 1 - Arrival:
You will transfer from Okavango River Lodge to the project site. Upon arrival at the project site you will meet your fellow volunteers and project staff before a quick introduction to the reserve and conservation activities ahead.
Day 2-13 - Project Days:
The morning is usually spent learning practical information about the environment and the ecosystem and how the two work together, out in the bush. During the hottest part of the day, you will receive lectures in shaded areas about the more theoretical aspects of conservation and animal welfare. You will also spend a lot of time caring for the animals that call the farm area of the project site home.
The afternoon is usually spent out in the bush again, hunting for animal tracks, recording data, or on horseback, checking the physical infrastructure of the site for damage and completing other maintenance tasks. Volunteers often spot wildlife in Botswana whilst out in the bush, including lions, cheetah, wild dogs and giraffe.
Day 14 - Departure:
Unfortunately, today is your last day and you will transfer back to the Okavango Lodge for your final night. Depart the next day to Maun International Airport for your return flight home or to commence onward independent travel plans.
Updates & Outcomes
This project believes in providing opportunities for all animals and in significant wildlife conservation within Botswana. All of the captive predators on the farm are removed from farming areas nearby, 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 can also act as tools for education and awareness of conservation importance.
The projects' long- term goal is to find suitable locations for these animals to be relocated to so that they can live in the wild once more. These animals also help with vital conservation research, which aims to shed light on their future presence within the African wilderness.
Ultimately, this project provides a learning opportunity for all who desire to make a difference in wildlife preservation whilst experiencing the wild, Botswana habitat and incredible culture first hand. The course centres on the Kalahari ecosystem where diverse wildlife and breathtaking scenery blend harmoniously to create a unique and thrilling experience...
- posted on 20/05/2017
- by Ellie Hutchin
Do you want the holiday of a life time that is simply unforgettable? Then click here for some inspiration on where to travel to for your summer holiday. Volunteering with endangered animals is extremely rewarding, and with our Great Projects, you have the chance to witness some incredible phenomenons, whilst securing the future of precious wildlife.
Now is your chance to read up and learn a little more about the Botswana Wilderness Adventure. This project needs the help of volunteers to protect the local wildlife, so why not consider becoming becoming our latest Botswana volunteer today!
- posted on 28/08/2014
- by Sam Hopkins
Here at The Great Projects, we love to receive video footage from the projects that we offer. This month we have been fortunate enough to receive a fantastic video from the 'Botswana Wilderness Adventure', giving a fantastic insight into what volunteers get up to during their time here.
Is this trip for you?
For the first night at the project, you will need to stay at the Okavango River Lodge, just outside of Maun. Whilst at the project, you will share single-sex tents at a campsite on the farm - single accommodation may be available on request. Tents are secured by a natural barrier of thorny bushes to protect against animal intruders. Each tent includes four beds, shelves and chairs, as well as linens, pillows and duvets. There is a nearby washing block with fresh, running water, with cold showers and toilets. There is no telephone signal in the camp, but wifi is available to use on Sundays.
Single accommodation requests can be catered for if requested, but this depends on the size of the group at the project at that time.
Three meals a day and beverages are provided by the site’s fully-equipped kitchen. The chef at the project ensures the menu has a great variety and the facilities also allow for home cooked meals from the stove or fire. Meals tend to consist of game meat, beef, chicken, vegetables, rice, potatoes and pasta and are usually served with a side salad. Vegetarians are catered for, but if you have any special dietary needs or allergies, you will need to let us in advance. Unfortunately, vegans cannot be catered for on this project. Water here is provided by a natural underground source which provides clean drinking water - you just need to bring your own bottle! Soft drinks, beers and ciders are available for purchase on site.
This project involves a fair amount of manual work. Therefore, a moderate level of fitness is necessary. However, the project aims to give you a balanced mix between physical work, safari experiences and lectures. In terms of skills, no specific skills or experience are required, only a positive attitude and full commitment to the cause. You must be prepared to work as part of a team!
The vaccinations required will depend on your medical history of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult with your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website.
When is the best time to volunteer?
There are 2 main seasons in Botswana which effect the weather and also the wildlife.
Summer (November to March): Most of Botswana’s rainfall occurs from December to March but it may be earlier. The rain completely transforms the landscape in beautiful ways. This season spawns a baby boom, so if you love seeing tiny warthogs, infant zebras and baby impalas, this is the time of year to come. The disadvantage is that wildlife becomes slightly harder to spot behind denser bushes and taller grass. It makes a game drive or bush walk less predictable, but heightens the excitement!
The weather in this period, whilst being wetter, is also hotter with daytime temperature reaching 35°C (95°F).
Winter (April to October): In winter, which is also known as the dry season, you will experience little to no rain during the entire season. Humidity is also low, typically between 20% and 40%.
The dry season is also the best time to view wildlife as the animals are easy to spot over longer distances because the grass is short and the bushes are thin, plus, animals gather in larger herds to drink from the few remaining water sources. The project is located in the Kalahari, so you will need to expect some frosty mornings and chilly evenings.
Please contact a member of the team to learn more about how you will get to this project.
If you would like help
booking your flights, please visit our
flights page and fill out
the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with
a suitable quote.
A tourist visa can be issued on arrival for most nationalities. The visa costs $30 and can be paid in cash or by credit/debit card.
Currency and Exchange Rates
The currency in Botswana is the Botswana Pula. The exchange rate is around 1 BWP = 0.07 GBP, 0.1 USD, 0.08 EUR. Please note exchange rates are subject to change.
What's included in the price of the project?
- A monetary contribution to the project itself
- Full orientation and support from the English speaking project facilitators
- Accommodation, laundry facilities, meals, and coffee and tea as indicated
- Wi-Fi - this is free of charge but is ONLY available on Sundays.
What's not included?
- Any flights
- Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
- Visas if required – please check at least two months before travel
- Additional snacks, wines, beer and spirits
- Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary
- Transfers (total
transfer costs are approximately 1500 pula / £103 which is added to your bill at