Big 5 Conservation Expedition

Zimbabwe

Engage in “behind the scenes” conservation and game reserve management activities, wildlife research, and community development programmes. Get up close with Africa's "Big 5" as you learn about wildlife and the bush through intimate interactions and immersive wildneress experiences - all in the stunning setting of Victoria Falls, one of the Natural Wonders of the World!

This 10-day whirlwind experience is desgined to expose students to the most important aspects of wildlife conservation while providing the hands-on opportunity to contribute to vital conservancy projects in 5 key areas:

1. Education
2. Conservation Management
3. Conservation Research Projects
4. Community Development
5. Sustainability

Students will live in the heart of a renowned privately owned game reserve just minutes from Victoria Falls Town. Here, you will explore the bush through game drives and safari walks lead by expert guides, scouts, trackers and researchers. The reserve is home to Africa's Big 5 - lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino and leopard. The intimate, hands-on nature of the conservancy will enable the students not only to get up close with the wildlife, but also to contribute to vital conservancy initivates from manual labor to research projects that will help protect these magnificent animals.

The reserve is dedicated to the vision of "making a difference through integration of conservation, education and communtiy." As a result, students will also be immersed in the Shona and Ndbele cultures as they visit local villages and contribute to education and enrichment initiatives in local schools.

This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in African wildlife and culture while also experiencing Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River!

Quick Facts

Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Duration: 10 days

Student Limit: Up to 20 students

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival into Victoria Falls International Airport and transfer to the project site. Spend the remainder of the day settling in, getting acquainted with your new home and learning about your time in Zimbabwe with a thorough orientation to prepare you for your adventure!


Day 2
Hop on the game viewer for your first game drive of the trip. Elephant and rhino identification is a major focus on this project which means you will get to spend a lot of time in close proximity to these magnificent mammals. In the afternoon students will learn about the conservation initiatives at the reserve followed by an evening of star gazing.


Day 3
Visit the incredible Victoria Falls. Visit the Victoria Falls. Spend a morning walking along and learning all about the largest waterfall in the world with a width of 1,708 metres and height of 108 metres which results in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. In the afternoon there is a visit to a local village to see how the people of Zimbabwe live.


Day 4
Enjoy a morning game drive followed in the afternoon a bush walk. Stray off the beaten path and into the heart of the game reserve – this is a fantastic opportunity to see some of Zimbabwe’s smaller animals and a chance to learn more about the extensive flora of the area.


Day 5
Become a Game Ranger! Learn the basics behind the art of tracking wildlife. The ability to track is integral to several fields within conservation, including poaching control, ecotourism, environmental education and scientific research.


Day 6
Bear Grylls at the ready! Today is a day of survival skills during which you will have a chance to learn some of the skills necessary to survive in the harsh realities of the bush.


Day 7
Today you will get involved in the behind the scenes aspects of conservation management. Expect to be involved in a range of activities from game counts, predator culvert checks, fence patrols to bush walks with IAPF. These activities are an essential contribution towards the successful operation of the reserve. In the evening you will have the chance get back to nature with a camp out under the stars. There is nothing more magical than being sat around a camp fire, truly immersed in the sounds of Africa (including the whooping of hyenas and the roar of lions) at night time!


Day 8
Wake up in the bush to a typical beautiful African sunrise before heading out on another day of conservation management activities followed in the evening by a final game drive. Research elephants, rhinos, predators, raptors and Ground hornbills to gain a better knowledge and stronger understanding of specific species, enabling more informed decision making regarding species conservation action plans.


Day 9
Today is dedicated to our community projects at local rural primary schools. As part of our programme, we team up with outreach programmes based at Victoria Falls, and students will get involved in helping teachers at a local school, assisting with the nutrition programme, vegetable garden, sports coaching, English literacy workshops, and environmental awareness through the eco-club. In the evening, enjoy your final dinner with your classmates on a beautiful sunset cruise.


Day 10
Transfer back to Victoria Falls International Airport for your return flight home or commence your independent onward travel plans.

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