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SOUTH AFRICA

VETERINARY, WILDLIFE GAME CAPTURE AND CONSERVATION IN LIMPOPO IN SOUTH AFRICA

This project will not only give you the opportunity to experience and witness some extraordinary sights, but also learn a great deal about African wildlife and work with the local community. Your work will offer a variety of opportunities, including some veterinary experience, participation in some game captures (which are hugely exciting!), and some community work.

You may also get involved in other conservation-related fields, including wildlife monitoring. The amount of time you will have in the different areas will vary depending on the length of time you are there and what type of work is taking place or required at that time.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £1,495 (approx. US$1,950) for 2 weeks
£425 (approx. US$595) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements. However, the veterinary element can only be incorporated into projects of 4 weeks or longer.
Start Dates and Availability: Available from beginning March to the end October.
Requirements: No qualifications needed, just a big heart and a love of animals and their conservation. Minimum age 17. Please note, you will need to be able to carry out physical tasks on a daily basis as part of your placement.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food
Meeting you at Polokwane Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your project
Return transfer to Polokwane Airport
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Free T-Shirt
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in conservation and caring for animals and working with wildlife overseas. Good if you want to learn about rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and doing animal-related voluntary work, projects abroad or study abroad.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • You'll learn a lot about genuine conservation of African Wildlife.
  • The enormous satisfaction of knowing that your work is contributing to wildlife conservation and that you made a difference.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA info@travellersworldwide.com

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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

Work on this project will give you experience across many areas, including some veterinary experience, participation in some game captures and some community work. You may also get involved in other conservation-related fields, including wildlife monitoring. The amount of time you will have in the different areas will vary depending on the length of time you are there and what type of work is taking place or is required at that time. ere are some examples of what you may be able to participate in:

VETERINARY EXPERIENCE:
The Project works with a number of veterinarians, all of whom are very well established. This part of the programme will give you a taste of assisting a wildlife vet and conservation experts in their day-to-day activities. You'll accompany the vet and help them on their wide range of different duties.

  • You might assist a vet with the diagnosis and treatment of various injuries, conditions and diseases of animals, monitoring the animal's health and providing support to the vet. However, this will depend on the wildlife vet you join and what is happening at the time you are there.
  • Veterinary procedures can range from operations in the field with wildlife, to working on livestock or within specific wildlife breeding facilities and, due to the isolated environment, you may also be involved in assisting domesticated animals in certain cases. This could entail treating domesticated animals either belonging to the reserves, farms or people living in the local communities. These domesticated animals are often at risk to the dangers associated in the rural South African environment, such as attacks by wild species including snake bites.
  • Farming is a major part of the South African economy and, depending on the vet you are placed with, you may also find yourself assisting with management, vaccinations and diseases controls. Some of the vets are working with pioneering technology like ultrasounds and other procedures and, therefore, this is a unique learning opportunity.
  • Many vets work alongside the game capture, providing the essential experience required when darting animals because of the specialised drugs used. Normally you’ll assist with the immobilisation and ensuring that the animals being treated are comfortable. You also assist in monitoring their condition before the animal is transported.
  • Other opportunities can include going out on emergency call-outs to assist in many different situations. The call-outs do happen often, but obviously cannot be guaranteed as they are unplanned events and can be very exciting.

GAME CAPTURES:
This is a particularly exciting element on this programme! Game captures are a regular occurrence between March to October. You'll work with a dedicated local team that specialises in capturing and relocating wildlife. This activity is vital for wildlife conservation and management.

As wilderness areas shrink and the need for land increases, space for wildlife is decreasing rapidly. Management of ranches and reserves is essential to maintain a healthy balance and ensure the continued survival of all species. Through game capture large numbers of animals can be moved safely from one area to another.

Captures are done for a number of reasons and an essential part of managing the continued existence of wildlife in the region. Some of the objectives include:
1. Restocking animals into new areas;
2. Retaining the population and diversity of the local wildlife through careful handling of general and endangered wildlife
3. Game capturing also has huge economic and employment benefits to the local community.

Game captures will give you a unique opportunity to the reality of conservation in the region as well as the long term objectives they are working towards to ensure a positive impact to both wildlife and local communities. You'll be able to get much closer to the animals than would normally be possible, as well as being able to observe their behaviour and movements.

Although game captures occur regularly during the dry winter period, they can be subject to the weather, especially the wind and to the animals themselves, so patience and flexibility is essential.

Game capture and relocation services are an important part of land management. If left unchecked, the numbers of certain species will grow too large and become damaging to the land. They can destroy local eco-systems, which can take decades to recover.

Reserve owners and managers rely on game capture and relocation as a tool to manage these animal numbers to maintain balance. Game capture teams are highly experienced in this field and can safely move large numbers of animals from one area to another as needed. This not only helps to keep numbers in check in one area, but also helps to repopulate areas where game numbers are too low or on new reserves. Certain species of animals can be housed in a facility for short periods of time before being moved to new areas.

HOW IT WORKS
Once it is decided to move certain animals from one area to another, the team will start constructing large canvas capture ‘bomas’. A boma is a structure made of canvas curtains which is usually 3 meters high suspended on cables and can be as long as 300m long and 200m wide depending on area and species being captured. They are triangular in most cases and designed like a funnel, with the entrance or mouth of the boma being very wide and well camouflaged. It then narrows to a ramp at the rear of the boma which leads into the capture trucks. The team is able to construct one of these bomas in half a day and then begin capture that same day!

The animals are located in the bush using a helicopter and then herded towards the boma. Once the animals are near the boma the helicopter moves closer and to encourage the animals into boma.

A series of curtains which run across the boma are hung and hidden from the animals as they enter the boma. Game capture staff and volunteers hide inside the curtains until the animal run past them and then they close the curtains behind the animals by sprinting to pull the curtains closed. This ensures that the animals keep moving towards the trucks and cannot turn back. Everything is well controlled and the animals are usually safely in the trucks within a minute or 2 of entering the boma.

As the animals enter the boma, the helicopter will sound a siren indicating to the ground staff hiding behind the first curtain to close their curtain. Then, as the animals then move past the second curtain, the helicopter again sounds a siren to close the second curtain. This is repeated until the animals are past all of the curtains and into the specially designed trucks waiting for them. This part of the experience can be very exciting and it gets the adrenalin flowing!

THE GAME CAPTURE EXPERIENCE
Volunteers have an exciting experience working with the game capture team. You'll be part of the crew pulling curtains in the bomas as the capture commences, depending on which species is being captured. Some species are more difficult to capture and can be more dangerous (like buffalo) and volunteers will not be allowed to be on foot inside boma for these types of animals. Instead, you will assist on top of truck to separate, sort and tranquilize the animals as they enter the trucks.

This is a hands on experience which is both exciting and very interesting and you will travel to different ranches and reserves to conduct the captures.

The capture team is experienced in catching most species of game which includes: giraffe, buffalo, eland, kudu, roan, sable, waterbuck, gemsbuck, wildebeest, zebra, ostrich, impala, Nyala, hartebeest, tsesebe, blesbuck, springbuck and many others too.

Some species need to be darted from the air for capture purposes. Once the animals are sedated they are blindfolded and carried on stretchers to trucks etc. You may also get the opportunity to fly in the helicopter while searching for game or while moving between different reserves.

COMMUNITY WORK:
The Project works closely with the local community to help preserve and protect the local environment and endangered wildlife from major problems in the region, such as illegal hunting. Each week you will be helping on a local community project for a few hours. Work might include helping at the local school or community centre where many past volunteers have run special workshops and classes about the local environment and wildlife.

Other projects have also included building a football pitch and community centre, both of which have helped create employment as well as social sports and recreational activities. All the community activities have developed stronger relations with the community and have had been of massive benefit to both the people and the wildlife.

WILDLIFE MONITORING:
There will also be occasions when you may be involved in wildlife monitoring and surveillance with a team member. This could include:

  • tracking and locating a particular species
  • mapping the sightings
  • collecting data
  • setting up camera traps or
  • assisting with ongoing game counts.

These are all essential activities needed to ensure the efficient and smooth management of a game reserve. This part of the programme will give you the opportunity to observe the animals in their natural habitat.

ACCOMMODATION

You'll live on the Game Reserve in one of their lodges. The lodges are comfortable and have electricity and running water.

On some occasions you might even stay in one of the tents. Each tent has a wooden deck with an en-suite, open-air bathroom. There is no electricity at the camp, but it is lit by firelight and paraffin lamps in the evening, which amplifies the night atmosphere of being in the African bush.

Evening entertainment is usually based around board games, playing cards and socialising around the camp fire. The camp has a rustic charm which encourages an atmosphere of laid back relaxation....the way Africa was meant to be experienced!

There will be times when you'll travel away from the Reserve and accommodation will vary on those occasions.

FOOD:
While on the Reserve, all food is provided and volunteers prepare their own meals according to a set menu with ingredients and instructions. Sometimes breakfast is prepared at different locations in the bush.

If you are based away from the Game Reserve (i.e. when you are accompanying the Vets around to other reserves), your accommodation will be provided but food will be to your own account and expense.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive you will be met at the airport and driven to the project site. There you'll be welcomed by a member of the Project Team who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA info@travellersworldwide.com DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

ANY QUESTIONS?

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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Cage Dive with Sharks in South Africa

CAGE DIVE WITH SHARKS:
Price: £120, includes breakfast/lunch and return transfer from Cape Town.

Getting into the cage with the sharks around is truly breath-taking and gets the adrenaline going! When feeding actively around the boat, the sharks may occasionally brush their tail against the cage, but they NEVER attack the cage. They are curious and often come close-up to the cage to look at the diver. You’ll usually see at least two or more members of the Marine Big Five - sharks, dolphins, whales, seals and penguins.

You’ll be collected from your arranged accommodation in Cape Town between 3.00 and 5.00 am) and driven to Gansbaai, the shark capital of South Africa. Enjoy a light breakfast while the safety briefing and other formalities are concluded, including sizing you for a wetsuit. After an exhilarating 20 minute boat trip, it anchors in or nearby “Shark Alley”. The shark diving then commences and lasts around 2 hours, sometimes longer.

On return to the harbour, you’ll receive a light hot lunch while viewing the video of the day. A copy of your own personal experience is available on DVD after the tour (optional extra).

Duration: Total duration from meeting point until departure is about 5 hours with around 3 hours at sea. Please note: Due to tides and collection schedules, exact collection times from Cape Town will only be confirmed after 16h00 the day prior to your tour.

Included:
• Hot tea / coffee and light breakfast, plus snacks, drinks and sweets on-board the boat
• A hot light lunch upon return (beef lasagne, rolls and Greek salad)
• Educational information and safety briefing
• Diving equipment and wet-suits available at no additional cost
• Scuba diving in the cage for experienced divers (conditions allowing)
• Assisted snorkeling in cage for inexperienced divers
• View Cape Fur Seals from the boat (conditions allowing), plus enjoy land-based whale watching in Hermanus (July – Dec)

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Penguins at Boulders in Cape Town

1-DAY CAPE PENINSULA & WINE TOUR:
Price: £59.

ITINERARY: We begin the morning with a leisurely stroll along the cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses of the Bokaap while sampling some of the local traditional snacks before heading through the exclusive seaside suburbs of Clifton and Campsbay where we have a short photo stop.

We then carry on along Victoria drive, through Houtbay and along the scenic Chapmans Peak Drive eventually arriving at The Cape of Good hope Nature Reserve where we have the option of doing a 40 minute hike from the most south west tip of Africa, Cape of Good Hope to the Cape Point Light House.

We then start driving north to Boulder Beach Penguin colony, where on a nice day you can actually swim with these sea birds! By this stage you would have built up quite an appetite. We stop for a traditional Cape lunch of fish ‘n chips in the old Kalk Bay harbour where the local fishing community goes back generations.

After everyone has had their fill, we stop briefly at the Shark Spotter, entrusted by the local surfers of Muizenberg to look out for Great White Sharks. From here we travel through the lush Constantia Valley to one of the oldest wine farms outside of Europe for a relaxing end of the day wine tasting experience, where we also learn about the history of farming in the Cape in beautiful surroundings.

Included Highlights: Lunch and refreshments in Kalk Bay, Cape of Good Hope Entrance Fee & Boulders Beach Entry Fee to see penguins, Wine Tasting in the Constantia Wine Valley, Walking tour of Bo-Kaap.

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Bungee jump

3-DAY WEEKEND WILDLIFE SAFARI & BUNGEE ADVENTURE:
Price: £220, includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Leaves Cape Town every Friday and returns to Cape Town on the Sunday afternoon.

Jump on this 3 day rip-roaring adventure through the Garden Route where we fit as much as we possibly can into 3 awesome days. On this trip you can experience a Game Drive, enjoy some treetop ziplining, visit a local farmers market, an elephant and a monkey sanctuary, the Cango Caves AND The World’s highest Bungy Jump!

Day 1 Friday ǀ Overberg, Garden Route, Myoli Beach: We leave Cape Town, heading past Swellendam, to a Private Game Reserve on the Garden Route. Here we go on a safari where you can see Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Cheetah and Giraffe in their natural habitat. After lunch we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. Next we carry on our way to Sedgefield.
Included Highlight: Game Drive Safari
Optional Activities: Treetop Adventure & Zipline

Day 2 Saturday ǀ Garden Route, Knysna, Tsitsikamma: After a morning visit to a popular local farmers and craft market in Sedgefield village, we make our way to the Crags where you have a two of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity! From here it’s back to Myoli beach to carry on with the festivities.
Included Highlight: Local craft and farmers market
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungy jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 3 Sunday ǀ Little Karoo, Oudtshoorn, return to Cape Town via Route 62. We head to the Town of Oudtshoorn, the “Ostrich Capital of the world”. Here you can choose between:
1. The Cango Caves where we will embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
2. Go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

Included Highlight: Cango Caves (Adventure or Standard Tour) OR Cango Wildlife Ranch
Optional Activities: Pet a cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles.

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3-day Garden Route Safari in South Africa

3-DAY ELEPHANTS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI
(One-way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth or Knysna):

Price: £230. Leaves Cape Town every Monday morning (early).

The 4 Day tour is ideal for volunteers to use to get to our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town and get to take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities. The tour bus will drop you off at either project destination mentioned above on Day 3.

Day 1 – Monday ǀ Cape Town to Oudtshoorn Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ranch: We head into the semi-arid Little Karoo along the scenic Route 62 driving to the town of Oudtshoorn, known as the ostrich capital of the world. Here you can choose between:
The Cango Caves: a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. Or if you enjoy spelunking and smaller gaps, you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
A guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch: you can pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

We then head over the Outeniqua Mountains to the lush coastal region known as the Garden Route where we will head to the beach town of Sedgefield for our first night. If time allows we will also head to the beach for a swim in the Indian Ocean.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves OR Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 2 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park. This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have two options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you can experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day, we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest.
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 3 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s bay). There are 2 options to choose from this morning:
1. Sleep in then explore the town's many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo has the Big 5 and also the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Please note: This is where the 3 Day One Way to PE/ J-Bay/ Knysna will end.
• Volunteers destined for our Wildlife Sanctuary placement are dropped off at the project.
• Volunteers destined for the Knysna projects will be dropped off at our accommodation.

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Caves, Elephants Safari

4-DAY ELEPHANTS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI:
Price: £250, includes accommodation and food. Leaves Cape Town every Monday morning (early), returning to Cape Town on Thursdays.

Day 1 – Monday ǀ Cape Town to Oudtshoorn Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ranch: We leave the Mother City behind and head into the semi-arid Little Karoo along the scenic Route 62 driving to the town of Oudtshoorn, known as the ostrich capital of the world, it is situated in a beautiful, fertile valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. Here you can choose between:
1. The Cango Caves where we will embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. Or if you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
2. Go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

We then head over the Outeniqua Mountains to the lush coastal region known as the Garden Route where we will head to the beach town of Sedgefield where we spend our first night. If time allows we will also head to the beach for a swim in the Indian Ocean.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves OR Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 2 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park. This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest.
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary OR Monkeyland. Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour

Day 3 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s Bay). There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in and take some time in the morning to explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide.
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Day 4 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass. After breakfast we start our journey back to Cape Town. For our first stop we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. We then visit an Aloe factory, where you can purchase a variety of Aloe Ferox products. Finally, enjoy a wonderful scenic drive back to Cape Town, arriving early Thursday afternoon.
Included Highlight: Visit to an aloe factory.
Optional Activities: Treetop Adventure and Zipline.

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5-day sharks and wildlife safari

5-DAY WILDLIFE, SHARKS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI
(One-way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth or Knysna):

Price: £325. Includes Accommodation and Food. Leaves Cape Town every Saturday morning (early).

This is the ideal tour for volunteers to use to get to our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town AND you take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities.

Day 1 – Saturday ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai: Overberg, Whale Route, Cape Agulhus: Depart Cape Town at 8:30 am and Stellenbosch at 9:30 am, our exciting journey begins on the whale route in Gordons Bay for a stunning drive along the R44 mountain pass overlooking False Bay to the vibrant coastal town of Hermanus. After a picnic lunch on the seafront, we continue to Birkenhead Brewery to sample some fine beers before moving to the southernmost tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas National Park.

We then make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November). Accommodation is along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere. This day is a relaxing one for you to get to know your fellow travellers.
Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus/Shopping Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
Optional Activities: Shark cage diving.

Day 2 – Sunday ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike: After breakfast we drive inland towards the famed Garden Route! After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall. We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.
Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall.

Day 3 – Monday ǀ Oudtshoorn day trip: Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Ostrich Farm, Wildlife Ranch: We drive over the stunning Outeniqua mountains into the semi desert Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn. The ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is situated in a beautiful valley between mountains. The Cango Caves is our first stop with a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and smaller gaps, you can also take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!

Next is an option to view and ride ostriches on a working ostrich farm, or go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view many rare and endangered animal species.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves Optional Activities: Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction applies to riders). Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 4 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay: Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park: This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you can choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
3. Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters, which you can do - optional. Finally, we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 5 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping. There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in and then explore the town's many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive. Addo has the Big 5 game animals and the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

A relaxed drive back towards Sedgefield for the night. Time permitting, we'll visit the famous Knysna Heads for some absolutely amazing pictures where the ocean meets the inlet to the Knysna Lagoon.
Included Highlight: Storms River/Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo & Knysna Heads
Optional Activities: Black Water Tubing, Canopy Tour, Surf Lessons, Shopping, Addo Elephant NP tour (morning)

Please note:
• Volunteers destined for our Wildlife Sanctuary placement, can get dropped off at the project or choose to be fetched in Jeffrey’s Bay after the activities.
• Volunteers destined for the Knysna projects will be dropped off at our accommodation

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7-day extreme advanture safari in South Africa

6-DAY WILDLIFE, SHARKS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI:
Price: £360. Leaves Cape Town on a Saturday morning and returns to Cape Town the following Thursday afternoon.

This is the ideal tour for volunteers wanting to arrive at our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town and get to take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities. The tour bus will drop you off at any of the destinations listed above on Day 5.

Day 1 – Saturday ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai: Overberg, Whale Route, Cape Agulhus: Departing Cape Town at 8:30 am and Stellenbosch at 9:30 am, our exciting journey begins today along the world famous whale route in Gordons Bay for a stunning drive along the picturesque R44 mountain pass overlooking False Bay to the vibrant coastal town of Hermanus. After a picnic lunch on the seafront, we continue to Birkenhead Brewery to sample some fine beers before moving on to the southernmost tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas National Park.

We then make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November). After the cruise we take a walk back to the accommodation along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere.
Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus / Shopping. Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
Optional Activities: Shark cage diving (MUST be pre-booked in advance).

Day 2 – Sunday ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike: After breakfast we drive inland again, this time towards the famed Garden Route! After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers in the area, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall. We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.
Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall

Day 3 – Monday ǀ Oudtshoorn day trip: Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Ostrich Farm, Wildlife Ranch: We begin the day with a drive over the picturesque Outeniqua mountain range into the semi desert region of the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world. Oudtshoorn is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. The Cango Caves will be the first stop, a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and smaller gaps, you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!

Next is an option to view and ride ostriches on a working ostrich farm, or go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view many rare and endangered animal species.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves
Optional Activities: Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction apply to riders). Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 4 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay: Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park: This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have two options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you can experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary OR Monkeyland. Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 5 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping. There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in then explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo has the Big 5 and also the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Day 6 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass: After breakfast we start our journey back to Cape Town. For our first stop we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. We then visit an Aloe factory, where you can purchase a variety of Aloe Ferox products. Finally, enjoy a wonderful scenic drive back to Cape Town, arriving early Thursday afternoon.

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4-day Kruger  National Park Wildlife Game Safari Tour in South Africa

4-DAY KRUGER NATIONAL PARK SAFARI:
Price: £520 per person, includes game drives, tented accommodation, breakfasts and dinners. Leaves Johannesburg daily at 7:00.
Join this 4 day tour to the majestic Kruger National Park, one of the top wilderness reserves in the world and home to the highest concentration of lions in Africa. You'll stay at a private game reserve with permanent safari tents.

Day 1 Sunset Drive, Kruger National Park: We collect you from your hostel or Johannesburg Airport and travel via Dullstroom or Nelspruit to the lodge in a Big Five Game Reserve. Transfer to an open-top game vehicle for a Sunset Drive. After dark, spotlights are used to locate nocturnal animals. Dinner in the open Boma and overnight in air-conditioned chalets.

Day 2 Bush Walk, Kruger National Park:
Awaken at sunrise for an exhilarating day of unforgettable bush life. Drive to a remote part of the Balule Game Reserve, where you enjoy a 4h Bush Walk. Your experienced field guide will lead you through the bush. The thrill of following Africa’s large animals until you can take a photo will remain with you forever. Adrenalin surges will be acute, notwithstanding the presence of your armed ranger. Return for brunch. At around 14h30 we go on an afternoon game drive. Transfer to Marc’s Camp where accommodation is in tents equipped with beds and bedding, soap and towels, electric light and fan. Dinner and overnight at in the camp.

Day 3 Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park:
After breakfast you travel on the open-sided Gameviewer to the Orpen Gate of Kruger. The added elevation and absence of windows allow for excellent viewing and photographic opportunities. Your qualified guide will show you various animals, large and small, that frequent this outstanding wildlife paradise. The zone of Kruger you visit has the highest percentage population of giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and impala that attract numerous lions and other predators. Dinner and overnight at Marc’s Camp.

Day 4 Bush walk at Kruger National Park, Johannesburg
We enjoy an early morning Bush Walk accompanied by an armed ranger. You will be shown various interesting details of the bush, including insects, spoor and scats. You have an excellent chance of encountering Buffalo, Nyala and other game on foot. After breakfast, we drive to the Three Rondawels of the Blyde River Canyon. We return you to your hostel or airport at around 17h00.

Includes:
• Return transfers from Johannesburg
• 3 hour Sunset Big 5 game drive in Big 5 reserve
• 4 hour Big 5 walk with armed ranger
• 2 hour afternoon game drive on Balule Game Reserve
• Full Day Kruger Park on open vehicle
• Breakfasts, Dinners, Accommodation and bedding
• Sunrise bush walk with armed ranger
• Blyde River canyon and Three Rondawels

Excludes: Lunches, Transfers, Drinks & Laundry

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

The best advice you'll get from us is to try to see some of the country while you're in South Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes a very close second, albeit very different. Knysna is where South Africans go on holiday, which gives you some idea of how lovely the region is. When you lie on the beach and watch dolphins jumping the waves, you'll think you're in Paradise.

EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:

KWAZULU-NATAL: KwaZulu Natal (KZN) is renowned for its Game Reserves and traditional Zulu Culture : The attractions in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) range from vibrant cities to the gorgeous Land of a Thousand Hills, from tranquil beaches to outstanding Game Parks and Nature Reserves. These are just some of the sites you shouldn't miss:

  • Big Five Game Reserves (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino - and lots more, of course) and Travellers volunteers are able to work in many of them, including Tembe and Mkhuze.
  • Beautiful St Lucia Wetlands with its Crocodile Centre and Wetlands
  • Numerous nature parks,
  • Fantastic beaches for swimming and diving. The beaches are truly golden.
  • Lively Durban where South Africans go to have fun,
  • The San Art Park for a collection of astounding rock paintings,
  • ... And much, much more!

DURBAN (Tekweni in Zulu) is the ancestral home of the Nguni people. Africa's bewitching seaside playground in the sun with radiant golden sands and lush sub-tropical greenery. The city has balmy weather all year round, making it a perfect holiday paradise. Durban International Airport is only a 10 minute drive from the City. Sophisticated and cosmopolitan, Durban Metro after dark buzzes with elegant lounges, funky taverns and cozy inns, distinctive local theatre and live music, and trendy clubs, pubs and discos. This is nightlife in a modern, authentic African metropolis!

ACTIVITIES IN CAPE TOWN:
Adrenaline Activities - Enjoy exciting and “real” adventures with an adrenaline twist!

  • Abseiling
  • Sandboarding
  • Deep-sea Angling
  • ‘Kloofing’ (insanely jumping off very high cliffs into pools of water!)
  • Paragliding
  • Helicopter flips
  • Bungee jumping (just up the coast)
  • …..and a LOT, LOT more!!!!

Township Tours - A visit to one of the many townships surrounding the city is an experience that will open your eyes to the way in which the biggest portion of Cape Town's population are living. Take a township tour of Langa, the oldest township in South Africa or Khayelitsha, the second largest township in South Africa. Township tours will usually be co-led by a resident in the area, showcase local industry and community projects and include a visit to a township bar or 'shebeen'.

Two Oceans Aquarium - Located in the V&A Waterfront, the Two Oceans Aquarium has lots of display tanks, interactive experiences, a touch pool and the highly popular predators tank.

Cape Winelands - Wine lover or not, a visit to the Cape Winelands is an absolute must as the region is one of breathtaking beauty and majestic mountain backdrops. Rolling vineyards and quaint Cape Dutch homesteads ... as well as some of the country's best wines.

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

GI CHEUNG
Chinese
Conservation: Veterinary, Wildlife Game Capture and Conservation in Limpopo

I really love the placement especially the environment, everyone here is very friendly and nice, making me feel as though I'm at home. I really like South Africa, it's very open and has lots of animals which I love.

After the first week, I really enjoyed working with the vet, there was a lot of medical procedures I didn't know that I was capable of doing.

Overall I really love the placement and the country!

HELEN PURDY
British
Conservation: Game Capture in Limpopo

On 14th September I left the UK for my first ‘non-holiday trip’ abroad. I’d chosen to join a Rhino Capture project in the Limpopo region of South Africa followed by a week spent on the Zulu Cultural Tour in KwaZulu-Natal. My main aims on the trip were to see lots of wildlife, push myself out of my comfort zone and have the trip of a lifetime. I certainly did the first two although not so sure about the last one as I’ll explain later.

Arrival:
I arrived tired but excited and was met at the airport by Anthony’s wife Emma and Elisa and taken on the long drive back. We arrived just after sunset and I had my first taste of the wonderful unpredictability of the place when we were held up en route by a buffalo who didn’t want us to pass!

Camp:
In daylight I got to see the camp properly following an introduction to the wake up system comprising the hornbills, francolins and babblers! As an experienced camper I loved the camp. The twin tents are small but sufficient and the open air bathrooms are delightful. The hot water usually comes from lighting the attached donkey but we managed hot showers courtesy of the hot morning sunshine – very environmentally friendly! The communal area is furnished with comfy chairs along with the dinner tables and has a library of books and magazines kindly donated by previous guests. It’s lit by paraffin lamps at night when the volunteers add twinkling head torches to the glow.

The kitchen is fully equipped with all the non-electrical essentials including a gas operated fridge and the cooker complete with kettle and toasting pan. Louis produces delicious lunches and dinners Mon – Fri and us volunteers try to meet his standard at the weekends. Fish finger Mondays become legendary within camp and the vetkoek is a treat too!

Daily Routine:
Each day starts by clambering onto the truck at 6.30am following the optional breakfast. Some people make the most of the toast and cereal while others choose to emerge bleary eyed straight from their tents to the truck.

The basic routine during my stay was to report at the main house first thing to hear the day’s plans and for those wanting to charge batteries to drop them off at the stables. Our main first task was to feed the roan and sable antelope so we loaded up the pickup with pea grass and feed bags and drove to drop it off at the boma. The rest of the morning was usually spent tracking the animals ie the rhino and or the buffalo. On the way we’d also check the waterholes and due to the recent arrival of the rhinos we were taking extra care to keep an eye on them. Sometimes we’d do fence checks to ensure the electric fence was working and to fill any holes dug underneath by the less satisfied residents.

Riding along on the back of a bakkie or the safari truck was very relaxing; just tootling along with the wind in your teeth and camera at the ready for any wildlife surprises. I particularly enjoyed the faster rides on a decent bit of track standing on the bakkie but it was just so good to be in the open air all day every day.

Following lunch at 12pm the volunteers usually had a siesta until 3pm during which people would shower, wash clothes, read books or sleep. Our group took to having a group nap where we all lay strewn around the floor.

The afternoon session started at 3pm and usually involved more animal tracking. Often Anthony would take the afternoon trip and we would end the session with a visit to track and, if we were lucky, to sit with Rebecca the cheetah. She is so beautiful and enigmatic and it’s a real privilege to be able to get close to her. You really do have to pinch yourself to remember that she’s a wild animal who just tolerates you because of Anthony’s time investment and hard work.

Special Times:
I had a fantastic stay due to the people, the wildlife, the scenery and the sunshine. It would have been great anyway and the rhino capture and relocation was an amazing experience but I was fortunate enough to have the added pleasure of a trip in the helicopter on the game count. Having always been wary of even banking in a plane I was a tad apprehensive about the helicopter ride and especially of embarrassing myself by throwing up. I needn’t have worried though because after the first 30 minutes of flying I was even able to let go of the seat next to me! After that it just got better and better and even when we banked around with my shoulder facing the ground through the open door I loved it. (Incidentally I didn’t even notice the banking on the plane journey home!)

I saw amazing sights on the flight such as sixteen giraffes running together and a couple of brown hyena and although Howard the pilot wasn’t so keen I enjoyed the spectacle of the gemsbok hurtling along.

FThere were other highlights during my stay such as hiding from poachers in an electric storm, looking after Eli, the orphaned eland and, of course, there was the notorious chicken incident too, but there’s not enough space here to do them justice.

I absolutely loved my time on this project, I even stayed on an extra week and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. It’s a beautiful, relaxing, fascinating, enjoyable introduction to South Africa for anyone who is happy to live simply and to muck in with whatever is happening. The days have a basic structure but the unpredictability of life on a game reserve keeps things interesting.

You are well looked after and Anthony is very generous with his time, knowledge and patience, but beware his sense of humour and any suggestions of tasting animal dung are best taken with a pinch of salt!

So was this the trip of a lifetime? I don’t think so, this is just the start ...