Conservation Course

This 6 week Conservation Course is located in the same game reserve as the Elephant & Rhino Project, in Zimbabwe. It is ideal for nature enthousiasts, those considering a career in conservation or those who are looking for an in-depth bush experience.

It is an extended, in-depth, African learning experience which combines lectures and hands-on activities on the field with only 10 participants at one time.

 

Arrivals

The course has set dates, with two sessions in 2020 for now (check “period/cost”). The closest airport is located in Harare where a shuttle will collect the volunteers upon arrival to drive them to the game reserve. Volunteers should arrive before 14h et leave after 11h30.

 

This course is FGASA (Field Guide Association of Southern Africa) accredited and participants receive a nature enthousiast certificate. It gives the volunteers the opportunity to attend lectures, to join scientific research and field activities.

The activities are supervised by Sam and Vera, who both have guiding and scientific backgrounds, holding a BSc in Zoology and Biology respectively. Special guest speakers and guides will also sometimes join the course to give the ultimate learning experience.

 

The course combines lectures and hands-on activities in the game reserve.

During the 6 week course, the following subjects will be covered:

  • introduction to Zimbabwe and the game reserve
  • astronomy, weather and climate
  • geology
  • ecology
  • botanic
  • insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, mammals
  • animal behaviour
  • conservation management
  • bush survival skills (sleep out)
  • tracking skills
  • basic weapon handling
  • etc.

Volunteers will spend long hours on the field but will also be part of the community outreach project by teaching local conservation club students about the importance of conservation and how they can make a difference.

A typical daily schedule (please note that this schedule may vary according to the season and activities undertaken.). The example taken here is a day dedicated to mammals:

6h – 9h30 : mammal lecture

9h30 – 10h30 : breakfast

10h30 – 12h30 : field exercice – game drive focusing on mammals diversity

12h30 – 14h : lunch

14h – 17h : field research – micro mammals traps and camera traps

19h : dinner

 

Days off

Saturdays are structured with a Q&A session, a test and then a 1 hour feedback session and Sundays are off.

Volunteers are accomodated at the “Wilderness Camp”, which is surrounded by the African bush. They share a twin en-suite safari-tent style and will have their meals in a communal area with everyone else.

Three meals a day are cooked and served and the laundry can be done at least once a week.

There is no Wifi at the camp but you can buy a local simcard and add data for $1 per day approx.

 

1st session :

5 July- 16 August 2021

2nd session :

Special rate of $3999 for this first session which represents a 25% discount.

 

Are included in the Programme Fees: the registration fees, airport transefrs, accommodation, three meals a day, laundry, your supervision.

« From January 2020 I spent six weeks at the Conservation Course and I loved every second of it. Sam and Vera are the most incredible tutors who really care for you during the course. They truly share their passion for nature and all it has to offer which creates an amazing atmosphere.
The tuition early in the morning was also remarkable; I never thought I could function at 6:30 but somehow Sam and Vera pulled it out of me, making lectures fun and something I always looked forward to. All of the practical stuff we did was just brilliant, with so much variety you woke up every morning excited for a completely different day from the last. I was astounded by the real, responsible, interaction we had with animals; learning how to treat them with complete respect. I learnt from the earth to the stars and everything in between. This course and the atmosphere there changed the way I look at the world, from nature to the realities of poaching, politics and how conservation is part of our future. This course has given me an urge to learn and a method which will last a lifetime. And nothing will ever dim my memory of beautiful Zimbabwe.
The wilderness camp where I stayed was such a beautiful place with really comfortable beds, an ensuite bathroom and the best shower I’ve ever been in. The staff at the camp were amazing, cooking us delicious food and making me feel part of a family; the Camp felt empty without them when they went home each evening.
Sam and Vera were also amazing at helping us with any questions we had. I was the only person on my course (10 max) who had English as my first language but Sam and Vera are so aware they made sure everyone was fully prepared for the exams we had each Saturday and our final exam, which we all passed. If you get an opportunity to go to this place whether you are staying in the lodge, volunteering or doing the Conservation Course, take it! It has changed my life for the better and I am so grateful to everyone who makes this place such an extraordinary place. » Atticus, England.

Projects : Zimbabwe

Elephant & Rhino Project

The Elephant & Rhino Project allows the volunteers to work closely with these endangered animals while taking part in a black rhino release programme in Zimbabwe.