What's it like
A typical day on this gap year project
Typical day during conservation focused weeks:
Morning: 7am wake up and breakfast.
Start the day bright and early as this is when most of the wildlife are active.
At your base camp in the heart of a big 5 game reserve, over breakfast you'll get an explanation of the days planned projects and activities by your guides and get all your equipment and personal items ready for a action packed day.
Morning activity: 7:30 - 12pm
Starting early also means you can miss the heat of the mid-day sun.
You'll get in your safari truck and as a group drive to the location where you'll be conducting your morning activity, along the way you'll be sure to bump into the various wildlife like elephants, buffalo or antelope that share the reserve with you.
Typically in the morning activities: like retrieving humane small mammal traps, anti-poaching patrols, camera trap distribution, tracking wildlife, catching and tagging birds, invasive species removal, reserve management.
Lunch: 12pm - 2pm
After the morning activities and by mid-day its probably to hot for most strenuous activities.
Back at camp you'll have a hearty lunch, usually involving salads, burgers, pasta dishes or for a lighter bite maybe just a sandwich to recharge and prepare you for the next project.
This is also when some of the guides and ecologists go over any data retrieved during the projects such as camera traps or from tallying up the small mammal traps, although not mandatory any who are interested are more than welcome to help and get involved and learn!
You'll also get a chance to relax a bit pool side, socialize, read a book, go over photos or maybe have a siesta.
Evening activity: 2pm - 6:30pm
After lunch and your break you'll hop back into the safari trucks and head over to your next location. Some evenings you'll also leave the reserve entirely and head over to neighbouring organisations, projects or communities that we and you will be working with.
Again by passing stunning natural sights and incredible wildlife.
Typically evening activities: Camera trap distribution, reserve management work, rural community volunteering, sustainable agriculture projects, rehabilitation centre work, animal handling and presentation work, tree surveying, safari drives and bush walks.
After activities: 6:30pm onwards
From when it gets dark around 6:30pm you'll be back at the bush camp where you can relax and take it easy, swapping stories of the day and socializing with your now friends.
Dinner will usually be between 7:30 and 8:30pm and is usually hearty foods like casseroles, BBQs (Braais as they are locally know), stews or other good home cooking with plenty of veg and salad.
Night time activities:
Some evenings you will take part in night time activities, from night drives around the reserve for a chance to see more nocturnal animals like Hyenas, leopards, owls, badgers and much more.
You may also take part in astronomy as well as certain conservation projects like moth surveying.
Conservation projects and activites you'll work on:
• Rhino behavioural research
• Anti-Poaching patrols
• Bird ringing and surveying
• Invasive species management
• Small mammal trap and release
• Your own projects
• Camera trap surveying
• Community outreach
• Tree surveying
• Insect and moth surveying
• Conservation and reserve management
• Assisting rural vets
• Wildlife rehabilitation
• Handling and presenting animals to rural communities
• Sustainable agriculture projects
Typical day during travel week:
After a morning breakfast you'll hit the road, usually around 8am.
Head out to the destination or activity of the day, traveling across a stuning landscape and visiting points of interests along the way.
Activities you'll take part in dudeing travel week:
Travel week activities
- Micro-light flights
- White water tubing
- Cave exploration
- Mountain hikes
- Panorama drives
- Elephant interactions
- Horse safaris
- Temperate rain forest hikes
After your day of excitment you'll get taken to new accomdation at various backpackers or lodges around the area for a chance to see and stay in a different part of South Africa.