South Africa: Safari Service Expedition

Be on the front lines of black rhino conservation, and learn how to track, monitor and protect South Africa’s most majestic wild animals.

Highlights

  • Assist with an ongoing rhino conservation project
  • Track and monitor wildlife movement on a renowned reserve
  • Spot Africa's big five wild animals
  • Enjoy a bonfire as you camp under the stars
  • EVisit the beaches on a multi-night excursion to Kosi Bay along the country's northern coast
  • Experience tribal culture and traditional storytelling

Overview

Experience life in the Pongola Game reserve and learn about conservation on the front lines. If you're lucky, you might just spot Africa’s “Big Five” in the region — the African lion, African leopard, African elephant, Cape buffalo and rhino. By night, you’ll live at a rustic Home Base on the reserve, hearing Zulu stories and learning about tribal culture. By day, shadow wildlife conservationists in the South African bush, go on game drives to observe animals and learn modern methods of sustainably preserving the region’s endangered species.

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Community Service

Join professional conservationists in the field, assisting with habitat restoration efforts and wildlife monitoring. Help the conservation team eradicate an invasive plant species, learn about anti-poaching, undertake a snare patrol to identify leopards, and learn from passionate wildlife protectors about their personal experiences fighting poachers. Track the movements of elephants and other wildlife by satellite, and learn how rangers set camera traps—join them in combing through video footage to spot camouflaged leopards and other threatened species. Finally, uplifting the surrounding Zulu community is critical to conservation: promote successful and safe conservation programs for this region's endangered wildlife.

Hands-On Learning

You'll hear from experts in the field about the challenges facing preservation of various species such as elephants and rhinos and what it means to manage wildlife. Learn to spot fresh prints, identify wildlife tracks, stay safe in the bush, discuss endangered species and more. Discover the biodiversity within the bush ecosystem and appreciate animals from the impressive Big Five to the miraculous dung beetle. Visit a local community to learn about Zulu culture and the role the community plays in conservation. During your community visit, enjoy tea with and hear stories from a Gogo (Grandmother in Zulu).

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Adventure

South Africa is a microcosm for the wonders of Africa—from its rich cultures and dramatic landscapes to its legendary wildlife. Experience it all on this program’s overnight excursions: Go on a true bush safari, and sleep under the stars on the reserve accompanied by professional field guides. On a multi-night excursion, paddle in two-person kayaks as you spot kingfisher and heron in Kosi Bay. At the program’s close, snorkel in the warm waters of Kosi Bay on the Indian Ocean, and learn about the region’s diverse coastal environments.

Lodging

On this safari adventure, students will lodge in several locations. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, the group will stay in a guest lodge. For the remainder of the program, Home Base accommodations include wooden cabins, canvas cottages, and a safari camp, which is outside under the stars. Students will share accommodations with roommates and have access to bathrooms, and enjoy communal meals as a group.