Experience life as a Big Cat Conservation Volunteer in the bush of Botswana's stunning Kalahari Desert.
About The Project
This incredible volunteering program, situated next to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (the world's second largest game reserve), aims to provide volunteers with an educational experience that actively contributes towards conservation efforts in this stunning region of Botswana. This project is situated within 10,000 hectares of farm-like land, and as a result provides wildlife in Botswana with an ideal environment in which to live and thrive, as well as many stunning landscapes and panoramic vistas.
Whilst on the project you will also be offered many opportunities to experience the local culture and to encounter a wide range of animals living within the area through bush walks, including lions, leopards, giraffes and even wild dogs!
As a volunteer you will spend time learning practical information about the environment and surrounding ecosystem. Hands-on work in the bush provides detailed insights into the lives and behaviours of the many different species indigenous to the area, allowing you to gain a vast amount of knowledge about African animals, wildlife management and general facts about wildlife conservation in Botswana from the facilitators.
Prior To Arrival
The easiest way to get to the project is to book an international flight to Johannesburg (or Tambo International Airport), and then book a connecting, domestic flight to Maun International Airport the day before the project start date. You will take a taxi from the airport and be and transferred by road to the Okavango Lodge where you will spend your first night. The next morning you will be transferred to the project site.
Most countries do not require a visa to enter Botswana - you are usually issued a 90 day tourist stamp on arrival. However, if you are unsure please check the Botswana Immigration Website for detailed information.
You will transfer from Okavango River Lodge to the project site. Upon arrival at the project site you will meet your fellow volunteers and project staff before a quick introduction to the reserve and conservation activities ahead.
The morning is usually spent learning practical information about the environment and the ecosystem and how the two work together, out in the bush. During the hottest part of the day, you will receive lectures in shaded areas about the more theoretical aspects of conservation and animal welfare. You will also spend time caring for the animals that call the farm area of the project site home.
The afternoon is usually spent out in the bush again, hunting for animal tracks, recording data, or on horseback, checking the physical infrastructure of the site for damage and completing other maintenance tasks. Volunteers often spot wildlife in Botswana whilst out in the bush, including lions, cheetah, wild dogs and giraffe.
On your last day you will transfer back to the Okavango Lodge for your final night. You will then depart the next day to Maun International Airport for your return flight home or to commence onward independent travel plans.
Mornings on the project are normally spent learning a little more about the practical information you will need to know during your time in Botswana. This will include talks on the environment and the ecosystem and how the two work together, and they will be held out in the bush. During the hottest part of the day you will spend some time in shaded areas learning about the more theoretical aspects of conservation and animal welfare. During these sessions you will also spend some time caring for the animals that live on the projects farm area.
There is so much going on on this project that there is not much time left for other activities! However, one evening activity that volunteers look forward to is the sleep outs which will involve learning bush skills and practising fire making with a braai! You will all take it in turns to take watch as groups to learn how to spot the animals after dark.