Wildlife training in South Africa & Swaziland
departures in 2010: 1 Mar, 5 Apr, 3 May, 7 Jun, 5 Jul, 2 Aug, 6 Sep, 4 Oct, 1 Nov, 6 Dec
price: from £1595 (28 days) excluding flights
This course is ideally suited as an introduction to guiding and game ranging for those wishin to pursue a conservation orientated career, or those simply wishing to improve their knowledge of wildlife and the African bush. There is no entry level required to enroll, other than an enthusiasm for nature and the outdoors. However a basic knowledge of wildlife and conservation issues would be helpful.
This is a field training course and as such the African bush is our classroom. A dedicated team of wildlife specialists will be lecturing and guiding you through the course in the Kruger National Park, Songimvelo Game Reserve and the Lubombo Conservancy. Each area offers some unique insights into the wonders of the wild and close encounters with big game are par for the course. You will spend much of your time doing practical exercises, field walks and game drives and a moderate level of fitness will be needed. It is a four week course and whilst exploring these areas you will learning by observation and practical experience as you go.
The first two weeks of the course are set in the 60,000 ha Lubombo Conservancy of north eastern Swaziland which contains lion, rhino, elephant, leopard, giraffe and a whole host of other big game. This area of Swaziland is particularly rich in threatened species, and forms part of the Maputaland centre of endemism. The Lubombo Conservancy is an interesting example of co-operative conservation management in action. The third week of the course is spent in the Kruger National Park which is probably Africa's most famous conservation area. Spanning nearly 20,000 square kilometres, it covers a vast array of habitats and associated wildlife. This National Park has an aura of ancient times and offers some of the best opportunities in the world to view Africa's big game. We spend five days in the heart of the park venturing in search of lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, wild dog and a variety of Kruger's other specialties. The last week of the course is spent in the Malolotja-Songimvelo Trans-frontier park, the premier cross-border park between South Africa and Swaziland. Set in a global biodiversity hotspot it covers 80,000 ha of spectacular mountains and savanna plains and is home to elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, springbok, oribi and a multitude of other interesting and threatened species. It includes Songimvelo Game Reserve in South Africa and the adjoining Malolotja Nature Reserve in Swaziland.