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Shamwari Conservation Experience

Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of game reserves and home to the coveted Big 5, stretching 25,000 hectares over a malaria free landscape, it offers an award-winning conservation experience and is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa.

Due to the nature of the Shamwari Conservation Experience it is nearly impossible to give a day to day account of the activities you will be involved in. Wildlife does not work to an Agenda! Whilst on your placement you will become members of the award winning wildlife department and assist them with their day to day activities. As one of the largest privately owned concessions in Southern Africa the department are kept extremely busy and are often involved in high profile work with wildlife.

Full Course Details

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Project Type: Conservation Project, Big Five Game Reserve.

Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Pick Up Point: Port Elizabeth Airport.

Duration: 1 Week – 12 Weeks.

Price: from £449 per person for 1 Week.

Start Dates: Project starts the First and Third Monday of each month.

Accommodation: Purpose built volunteer house situated on the Game Reserve.

Meals: Three meals per day included.

Age Range: 17 Plus.

FURTHER INFO

Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of game reserves and home to the coveted Big 5, stretching 25,000 hectares over a malaria free landscape, it offers an award-winning conservation experience and is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa.

Due to the nature of the Shamwari Conservation Experience it is nearly impossible to give a day to day account of the activities you will be involved in. Wildlife does not work to an Agenda! Whilst on your placement you will become members of the award winning wildlife department and assist them with their day to day activities. As one of the largest privately owned concessions in Southern Africa the department are kept extremely busy and are often involved in high profile work with wildlife.

Details of possible wildlife conservation, research and veterinary based activities are detailed below.

Wildlife Conservation Activities

Game Monitoring: Rhino, Elephants, Predators
It is essential to keep a close eye on all high profile wildlife species on the reserve. With regular monitoring it is possible to identify individuals, compile information about the family structure and determine feeding and special ecology. Data collected by the Shamwari Conservation Experience team is used to assist in the managing decisions for the reserve.

Game Counts
Annual game counts are conducted to establish the carrying capacity of the reserve. Game counts assist in the decision making of predator to prey ratios and the movement of animals on or off the reserve. This research is vital to allow the wildlife conservation team to make important decisions regarding the Eco System.

Telemetry Tracking
As a Shamwari Conservation Experience team member you will learn the methods used for using telemetry for tracking purposes. Monitoring of some high profile animals like cheetah and leopard are required using telemetry tracking equipment as result of the neighbouring properties carrying livestock and the elusive nature of some of the species.

Restoration and Rehabilitation of Reserve Landscapes
Shamwari Game Reserve is 25,000h of reclaimed farm land. The land had been used for Agriculture for the past 200 years or more, dating back to the arrival of the early European Settlers. In order to bring the eco system back to its original state there is ongoing reserve maintenance that is vital to achieve this goal. Maintenance activities as part of the Shamwari Conservation Experience may include fence clearing, alien plant control, erosion control on existing dirt roads, reed planting and fence patrols.

Management of Breeding Centre
As part of the ongoing management of animal populations on the reserve, Shamwari manages a speperate breeding centre. Management of breeding centre is one of the duties that falls under the Shamwari Conservation Experience and can include anything from veld (open country or grassland) conditions assessment, mapping of breeding area, mapping of alien vegetation, monitoring animal numbers and managing water points.

Alien Plant Control
Alien plants were introduced to the land by the farmers for different reasons and uses. Today these invasive plant life need to be removed to increase the natural biodiversity and decrease fire risk.

Volunteering at Born Free Foundation
It is the mission of both the Born Free Foundation and Shamwari Game Reserve to promote the conservation of species and the protection of habitat while maintaining a humane and compassionate approach to the welfare of animals and therefore it is their goal to create an awareness of the horrific way in which wildlife is exploited in captivity around the world. An opportunity will be given to Shamwari Conservation Experience participants, on a weekly basis, to volunteer at the Born Free.

Activities include:
– Assisting with cleaning and maintenance of Bomas and Water Troughs.
– Assist with the feeding and care of animals in rehabilitation.

Animal Rehabilitation Centre
Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation Centre was set up to aid in rehabilitating injured animals found on the reserve and surrounding community. The aim is to give the animal short term care and release it back into the environment. Shamwari Conservation Experience participants are sent when and if assistance is required. The centre is not a sanctuary as no animals are kept for purposes of breeding in captivity but are hosted with the aim of giving them a second chance to take on life back in the wild. The centre boasts avian, small and large stock boma (enclosure) areas which house the various species which may find their way to Shamwari Game Reserve.

Participants may gain different types of exposure through this experience which dependant on the needs and requirements of the operation and may range from assistance through observation to more hands on animal care and husbandry.

Community projects
The present role of wildlife conservation does not stop at conserving nature alone but also include the responsibility to uplift the local community. This responsibility includes education the community as to the role and benefit of conserving biodiversity and stresses the importance of conserving our natural recourses. Weekly trips are made into the local community to assist in various community projects that range from creating and maintaining vegetable gardens and recycling projects, to painting class rooms.

Other Possible Activities
As part of your Shamwari Conservation Experience you may also have the opportunity to take part on the following activities:
– Game capture.
– Sleep out on the Reserve.
– Orientation walk.
– Night and anti-poaching patrols.

Possible Talks and Presentations
As part of your Shamwari Conservation Experience you will have the chance to listen to some fascinating talks whilst on the reserve. These talks are delivered by experts in their fields and provide a fascinating insight into the work of the reserve and the environment in which the volunteers find themselves. Subjects include:
– Introduction to wildlife conservation in SA.
– Principles of Eco Systems.
– Capture techniques and relocation of wildlife.
– Stress factors in containment and handling.
– Veterinarians role in conservation.
– Biomes of the Eastern Cape.
– Medicinal uses of plants.
– Astronomy.
– Facilities and drugs to reduce stress in wildlife.
– Darting techniques.
– Hand rearing of orphaned animals.
– Wildlife monitoring.
– Animal population dynamics.
– Use of Boma’s.
– Animal husbandry.
– Conservation of flagship species of Africa.
– Wildlife tracks and signs.
– Parasites and disease in nature.
– Introduction to game ranging.
– Animal welfare.
– Anti-Poaching methods.

Example Weekend Activities
As part of your Shamwari Conservation Experience you may also have the opportunity to take part on the following activities:
– Visit to local historic town of Grahamstown.
– Horseback riding trails.
– Canoe Trails.
– Bungee Jumping.
– Beach Visit/Surfing Lessons.

Location
Where You'll Stay

ACCOMMODATION

Whilst conducting your Shamwari Conservation Experience you will be accommodated at the purpose built student centre is situated in close proximity to the main reserve on one of the management properties of the conservation department. General game including zebra and kudu can be found along with buffalo on the property.

The centre boasts 15 twin rooms with ensuite shower and toilet facilities with a communal safe and storage in each room. There is also a number of communal facilities including a lecture theatre, swimming pool, canteen, storage fridge, lounge and entertainment area, television and DVD access, computer and internet access. Three meals are provided on a daily basis.

Meals will either be served at the facility itself or taken as a pre-packed serving, depending on planned or as result of unscheduled activities.

Laundry services are provided once a week.

DESTINATION

Shamwari Game Reserve is located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and interesting regions on planet Earth. The Eastern Cape’s biodiversity is unmatched in Southern Africa.

For the sunseekers, the Wild Coast and the Sunshine Coast has some of the world’s best beaches. For exquisite beaches try Bushman’s River Mouth or Kenton-on-Sea. The Sunshine Coast is also very well known for its surfing waves.

Jeffreys Bay is an area with some of the country’s wildest coastline, which is backed by some of Africa’s most spectacular sub-tropical rainforest. Famous for its “supertubes”, probably South Africa’s longest and most consistently good wave, this affluent area is charged with a friendly and relaxed surfing vibe.. Near Cape St. Francis is Seal Point and it is one of the best places to take surfing photos.

Gallery Rates

RATES

1 Week – £449
2 Weeks – £879
3 Weeks – £1,309
4 Weeks – £1,749
5 Weeks – £2,189
6 Weeks – £2,629
7 Weeks – £3,069
8 Weeks – £3,499
9 Weeks – £3,939
10 Weeks – £4,379
11 Weeks – £4,799
12 Weeks – £5,199

PAYMENT

£200 deposit to secure placement at time of booking, final balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

INCLUDED

– Pre departure support and documentation.
– Programme fee and contribution.
– Return Transfers Port Elizabeth Airport to Shamwari Game Reserve.
– Accommodation for duration of stay.
– Housekeeping costs.
– All meals.
– Reserve activities.
– All transportation on project.
– 24 hour in country support.

NOT INCLUDED

– Flights.
– Travel Insurance.
– Any vaccinations as recommended by your GP.
– Internet access.
– Soft drinks and snacks.
– Any visas required.
– Any additional activities outside of project itinerary.

Enquire

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to find out more about this incredible adventure and create some unforgettable memories, just fill in the form below and one of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

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