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Endangered Species Project

The Siyafunda Endangered Species Project will allow you to participate with on the ground, hands on monitoring of some of Africa’s endangered species:  Rhino, Cheetah and Southern Ground Hornbill. 

It is ideal if you want to truly experience the “wild” side of Africa.  Our camp is based in a Limpopo game reserve which is home to the 'Big 5'.  This means you will get to encounter, and live with, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo while working with us.

You will also learn basic bush survival skills and how to navigate your way through the African bush!

During your stay, your days will be spent mostly on foot walking through the reserve, learning how to track the animals.  You will be approaching endangered species on foot and recording their behaviour, location and condition.  You will, quite literally, be walking in their footsteps!

The information collected is then used by the reserve management and anti-poaching teams, as well as national conservation efforts to help save these species.  You will also take part in vehicle based monitoring to see the amazing Big 5, as well as habitat work to help with the monitoring process. 

This is a unique experience for people who want to get more out of visiting a game reserve in South Africa.  Everyone who joins us on this exciting program will get to experience the African bush in its extremes, from elephants strolling through camp to the tropical heat or the surprisingly cold winter nights. 

If you have a love of nature and want to participate in helping to save Africa's endangered species, this is the project for you.  Come enjoy the simple life and let the bush seep into your soul!

Endangered Species

Duration

Siyafunda Endangered Species project has a minimum duration of 1 week.

Start Date

The project start day is every Monday throughout the year, with volunteers being collected from Hoedspruit.

Typical Project schedule

Monday: Project start day. Town trip to collect new volunteers and restock supplies

Tuesday—Friday: Mornings will consist of monitoring walks to locate rhino and cheetah. You will learn how to identify and age their tracks and how to record this information. Once the animals have been located you will monitor their behaviour, environment and interactions in order to better understand them.  Meanwhile, you will also learn how to track other big game such as elephant, lion and hyena in order to better understand utilisation of the areas covered.   At all times you will also be on the lookout for potential sightings and nest sites of the Southern Ground Hornbill.

On return to camp, you will enter the data collected onto the computers.  You'll also get the chance to work through your bush knowledge work books to help improve your tracking skills.  During the week there will be a series of talks on Siyafunda, data collection, bush skills and maybe even a Zulu lesson!

In the afternoons, you will set out on monitoring drives in order to cover more ground to determine new areas to locate rhino, cheetah and Southern Ground Hornbill. Once signs of activity and tracks have been located you will continue on foot to discover more. Whilst driving through the reserve you will also get the chance to see some of our other resident Big 5—elephant, lion and buffalo.

On Friday afternoon, your drive will meet up with the Makalali Research group for a sleep out under the stars.

In conjunction with Makalali Research, all sightings of leopard will also be monitored and recorded - the more eyes the better when trying to monitor this elusive animal!

Saturday: In the morning you will help out with some habitat work, either bush clearing, erosion control or road maintenance.

On return from the afternoons monitoring drive, we may head out to the local pub or have a typical South Africa Braai (BBQ)

Sunday: Either an outing will be planned or it will be a free day for volunteers to relax or head out on their own tour.

Accommodation

Your home during your stay will be in our eco-friendly tented camp set amongst the trees which overlooks a water course.  There are large, comfortable twin share tents set on raised platforms, ensuring each has its own unique view of the African bush!  There are shared ablution facilities with flushing toilets and bush showers.  All meals are cooked by the group.  Your evenings will be spent hearing tales from your experienced ranger, listening to the sounds of the bush, before you fall asleep under the African sky.

What is included?                                                                                                

*  Transfers for arrivals and departures on Mondays to/from Hoedspruit
*  All food (except snacks, soft drinks and alcohol)
*  Accommodation
*  All linen (except towels)
*  Monday to Friday housekeeping service
*  All training for assistance with our research
*  All travel within the reserve
*  Assistance to organise travel in the local area
*  An outing every two weeks to interesting local attractions outside of the reserve (entrance fees to be paid by volunteers)

 

What is excluded?    

*  Flights to South Africa
*  Transfers to town Tuesday to Sunday if required
*  Personal insurance
*  Internet (small fee payable for access at camp)
*  Towels
*  Entrance fee to local attractions
*  Other personal items such as alcoholic drinks, soft drinks or snacks