Family volunteering - Wildlife Warriors Tracking & Anti-Poaching

Zimbabwe

Bring your family on a wilderness experience with a difference! Live in one of South Africa's most beautiful, game-rich areas and gain a deep appreciation for the African bush and the animals that call it their home. 

"The preservation of our wilderness lies with our children."

This tracking and bush skills programme enables families to learn about Africa's most iconic species, most notably focusing on rhino conservation and protection. Learn to recognise the tracks and signs of animals in bush, and have a go at tracking big game!

The bush school has been running for more than 20 years and your instructor has upwards of 30 years experience in Big Game tracking, anti-poaching training and advanced safari guiding. You are in the best hands.

Quick Facts

Who can join: Family groups with children aged 12 and over (please enquire if you have children under 12)
How long can I stay: 7-10 days 
Accommodation: Tented camp
Transfer time: 3 hours
Pick up from: Centurion, Johannesburg
Meals: 3 meals a day
Course numbers: up to 10
Start dates: Throughout the year
How much: from $1,695 (dependent on group size and course duration)

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse your family in some of South Africa’s finest wilderness areas, live in close proximity to wild animals, and gain a deep appreciation for the conservation of Africa's endangered wildlife.

Programme Activities

LOOKING FOR A SAFARI HOLIDAY WITH A DIFFERENCE? 

This tracking and bush skills course is based in the game rich Waterberg region of Limpopo, in northern South Africa (approximately 4 hours north of Johannesburg). The region is home to a variety of big game including white rhino, leopard, hyena, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest and a variety of antelope. You will have the opportunity to study a huge range of mammals, birds and reptiles in their natural environment, and gain vast amounts of bush and conservation knowledge - much more so than on a 'normal' safari holiday.

WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?

The experience is 80% practical, and activities will be based around your specific interests, and the age range of your group. This ensures everyone is engaged and interested throughout. Most of your time will be spent in the bush, on foot or in a safari vehicle, learning first hand about the natural environment around you.

The programme covers:

Wildlife identification and tracking:

  • Go on daily foot and vehicle patrols
  • Learn to identify large and small animals and understand their unique behaviour
  • Learn big game tracking skills, focusing on foot-based rhino tracking
  • Look for and understand the tracks and signs of animals and people in the bush
  • Monitor the movements of endangered and threatened species 
  • Go on night drives to discover the kingdom of the nocturnal creatures, including hyena, leopard, African wild cat and genets

Bush survival skills:

  • Learn to navigate without using a compass or map, just the natural environment
  • Learn how to find water, fire-making and how to find food
  • Use the trees and grasses to make rope and even a toothbrush!
  • Learn about the night skies and the constellations - so different from the ones at home. Learn to navigate at night using the stars

Plus:

  • Study the different ecosystems and ecology of the area - learn about the relationships between plants and animals
  • Appreciate the work being done to preserve endangered species, and the challenges they face to survive

Accommodation

Depending on the length of your programme and your individual itinerary, your first and last nights accommodation will be in a safari lodge approximately 1.5 hours north-west of Johannesburg.

When you are in the bush, you will stay in a permanent tented camp, a three hour drive from the lodge. The military-style camp is basic but comfortable. Each tent has beds, mattresses and pillows, but participants must bring their own sleeping bag, and we recommend bringing a liner as well, especially during winter (June - September). There are shared ablutions, hot and cold running water and flush toilets. 

The camp is unfenced and allows the free movement of animals such as rhino, buffalo, hyena and even leopard, who have been know to roam through the camp.

You will receive three meals per day during your stay, prepared for you by the camp’s resident chef. Tea and coffee are available throughout the day, plus juice and water. The camp has limited access to other drinks, but alcohol is available in moderation at an extra cost.

There is no electricity in the camp, but should you need to charge phones or cameras, this can be done occasionally at the main camp, about 2km away. There is also WiFi and main camp if required in an emergency and there is usually phone signal in the area. However, we say, it’s the perfect time to get away from it all and enjoy being off grid!

Rates & Dates

When can I join the anti-poaching programme?

Volunteers can join the course throughout the year, let us know when suits you best. 

Project pricing 2018-2019:

Groups of 2-6 participants: $1,695

Please enquire for fees if you have a group larger than 6 people.

What’s included in the cost?

  • Course fee
  • Accommodation including two nights in a safari lodge
  • Three meals per day plus unlimited tea, coffee, juice and water
  • Return airport transfers (to O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg)
  • Instruction - the course is conducted by a highly qualified and SA Special Forces expert
  • Conservation levy (payable to the reserves where you will be based)
  • Comprehensive orientation plus full supervision
  • Equipment and materials required to do your work

The cost does not include:

  • Flights or transport to South Africa (OR Tambo International, Johannesburg)
  • Visa fees - variable depending on nationality
  • Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks, gifts
  • Pre and post-course accommodation or activities
  • Travel insurance (compulsory) which must include cover for emergency evacuation and repatriation
  • Administration fee ($40)

View our booking terms and conditions

FAQs

Who should participate on this course?

No experience is necessary to enjoy and participate in this programme. At least one member of your party should be able to speak and understand a reasonable level of English.

The course can be tailored to suit the age range, skill level and interests of particular groups.

You will experience the real Africa in a safe environment and be on the front line of big game conservation.

When can I join?

Programmes run throughout the year include through December and January.

Is there a minimum age?

We suggest the minimum age is 12 years, but if you have children under 12, please do still enquire.

How many people can be accommodated?

Groups of all sizes can be catered for. If your group is larger than 10 people, additional instructors may be required to provide adequate attention and supervision.

How fit do we need to be?

The programme can be catered to your specific requirements or abilities, but to get the most out of it, we suggest a moderate level of fitness and all-round good health will make your time more comfortable.

When can I arrive?

We advise that participants arrive the day before the course starts. This allows for any problems with flight delays and ensures that they can meet their instructor on the morning of the course start date. We can recommend a number of accommodation options close to the airport.

Who are the instructors?

You can be very sure that you are in good hands.
Your lead instructor has 30+ years experience in Africa working in countries including Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He is an advisor to many international private and public sector organisations who need guidance when travelling and taking part in expeditions in Africa, and is a Level 5 Specialist Game Ranger & Survival Expert, specialising in Dangerous Game. He has gained his qualifications, experience and training from being a former member of the South African Special Forces and Police Service, and is a SASSETA (Safety, Security, Sector Education & Training Authority) Accredited Skills Development Facilitator.

He has supported and trained HM Armed Forces (UK), HM Customs & Excise (UK), US Special Forces, the British Lions, the England rugby team, the British Scouting Association and the British Schools Exploring Society.

If necessary, other experienced instructors will assist your course leader.

Do I need any special vaccinations?

The course is conducted in a low-risk malaria area. There are mosquitoes around during the summer months (October - April), so we recommend bringing mosquito repellent and wearing long sleeves and trousers in the evenings. Please visit your local travel clinic for up to date advice on vaccinations.

Travel in South Africa

Please enquire for our add-on excursions which include walking safaris in Kruger National Park, horse riding trails in the Maluti Mountains, and exciting mixed itineraries to KwaZulu-Natal, on the beautiful east coast.

Project Gallery - Family volunteering - Wildlife Warriors Tracking & Anti-Poaching

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