Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)
Short-Term (few weeks/months)
Experience raw, untamed Africa when you visit Botswana, an unpolished gem of a country - the ideal gap year or year out destination for those with a passion for conserving wildlife and a desire to venture off the well trodden path.
Botswana hosts a diverse array of ecosystems providing habitats for a wealth of African wildlife, including elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest, rhino, giraffe, hyena and the highly endangered spotted wild dogs. Join this project working in a Game Reserve and enjoy the daily exposure to raw untamed nature. Each evening as the dust settles at the end of another clear and bright African day, you can see giraffes silhouetted against the warm glow of the setting sun.
Absorb the overwhelming scale and drama of Africa as you relax in the evening under an obsidian midnight sky witnessing the amazing constellations and listening to the calls of the roosting birds and settling wildlife. The primitive beauty of Botswana provides the backdrop for this exciting and worthwhile project which will give you the chance to work alongside local staff as you carry out your various daily duties. If you want to help in the preservation and protection of some of the most impressive mammals in existence whilst discovering this dramatic and alluring African country, then this is the project for you!
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Botswana is incredibly special as it provides some of Africa's best game viewing, allowing access to sightings which are of a quality that is unique to the country. This project aims to give a real insight into the behaviour of some of the world's most beautiful animals and offers volunteers an opportunity to live and work in a true wilderness environment. It involves wildlife tracking, conservation work and exposure to a truly wild ecosystem, awakening the explorer in you. The project is working to accumulate knowledge of the African bush and wildlife and the research you gather will help to develop the databases for the reserve.
The project focuses on elephant behaviour, such as herd make-up, movements, parent/offspring behaviour, individual characteristics, feeding traits and so forth, as well as predator activity, including species identification, territory utilisation, feeding and social behaviour.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will spend your first two weeks working on the conservation programme working with large wildlife. Your daily itinerary will vary according to the focus of the programme at the time of your visit but may include activities such as tracking the animals, in particular elephants and Botswana’s main predators, collecting data on general game, birds, vegetation and tree population and growth and mapping trends. More specific research may also be carried out by volunteers, depending on requests from academics, such as mapping a specific tree species or collecting information on the feeding habits of a particular animal species.
The final two weeks of the project will see you join a wildlife tracking course where you will get the opportunity to learn all sorts of bush skills. You will learn to identify animals and birds and their behaviour, tree and plant identification and the interrelation between all of these. Your local expert guide will also school you in the art of tracking, important in order effectively to locate and observe animals.