South Africa Wild Adventure
Wonderful wildlife adventures in South Africa!
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Group Size: Avg 8, Max 20
Trip code: SABA
Duration: 15 days
Enjoy 15 days of wildlife conservation, safaris and adventure in South Africa! Stay on a private game reserve, enjoy game drives, and see animals up close as a member of a wildlife conservation team. Volunteer with kids at local community projects, experience horseback safaris, and go on guided bushwalks through gorgeous South African landscapes. You’ll also enjoy an unforgettable 2-night camping adventure in world-famous Kruger National Park! This unique South African adventure will take your breath away!
- Live in spectacular surroundings in the heart of a South African private game reserve and enjoy volunteering and safari adventures!
- Help with wildlife conservation & anti-poaching projects, protecting amazing animals on the reserve, plus help kids at a community daycare project
- Explore the game reserve and spot unique wildlife on game drives, bushwalks and an unforgettable night safari
- Spend time with the reserve's beautiful elephants and help feed and care for them
- Enjoy an unforgettable 2-day camping adventure in world-famous Kruger National Park!
Day 1: Arrival. Arrive at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport between 10am-2pm, where you'll be met and transferred to the game reserve. Enjoy a welcome meeting, meet your group and settle in to life on this stunning South African game reserve.
Day 2: Orientation Day and Night Game Drive. The guides will introduce you to the reserve and you'll take part in your first conservation volunteering activities, which may include tracking and monitoring the wildlife or maintenance and repair duties at the reserve. In the evening, you'll head out on an unforgettable night safari experience.
Day 3: Game Drive, 4x4 Experience & Bush Walk. Enjoy a game drive around the private reserve, spotting all the wonderful wildlife and getting up close to some of the animals in the area. You will also head out on foot around the reserve and learn about the flora and fauna, insects and birds that can be found here before driving around the reserve in a 4WD vehicle!
Day 4: Community Volunteering, Target Shooting & Anti-Poaching Patrols. The game reserve is closely linked to local daycare projects. As a volunteer, you will play games and engage in activities with the kids, help to prepare meals, and muck in with any maintenance or building projects. You will also head out on anti-poaching patrols, searching for and removing illegal wire snares or damaged perimeter fences to help protect the reserve's wildlife. You can also try your hand at target shooting with a .22 calibre rifle!
Day 5: Panoramic Tour Today is dedicated to the natural beauty of South Africa. See rolling green mountains from God’s Window, intricate rock pools at Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and the breathtaking Lisbon falls among other incredible natural wonders that pepper the South African landscape. Allow around R250 (approx. £15) for breakfast and lunch out.
Day 6: Chimp Sanctuary & Sudwala Caves. An exciting day trip today! Visit Sudwala Caves, an impressive network of underground chambers dating back to prehistoric times. Then head over to a wonderful sanctuary for chimpanzees that have been displaced from their natural habitats. Take a look at some chimps lazing around in the sun and wander the beautiful surroundings of the reserve.
Day 7: Elephant Experience and Wifi time. Meet the tame elephants who call the reserve home. Get up close to these majestic creatures and help the reserve staff care for them. Later on have some chill time and the group leader will take to you another camp in the reserve to use the wifi for a few hours.
Day 8: Conservation Volunteering, Community Volunteering & Bush Walk. Begin with some vital conservation volunteering around the reserve. You’ll then learn about the wild elephants, before going on a guided bushwalk focused on the reserve's birds, reptiles, trees and grasses. After that head to day care project and volunteer with the local kids!
Days 9, 10 and 11: Kruger National Park. Head into town to pick up supplies and then venture into beautiful Kruger National Park. Spend 2 nights camping out in this sensational spot, and head out on game drives and wildlife experiences. Dinner is included, but you should allow some spending money for breakfasts and lunches. Return to the reserve on the evening of day 11.
Day 12: Adventure activities. Today is all about awesome adventures, as you lock and load for some paintballing, and then jump on the back of a quad bike to roam the indigenous forest trails and blue gum plantations, before ending up at a spectacular waterfall. Round off the day with some adrenaline-pumping white water tubing down the Sabie River Gorge! Lunch will be eaten out, so allow around R250-300 for food.
Please note: Adventure activities are subject to availability and may change dependent on the season and the weather.
Day 13: Cheetah Project & Wildlife Centre. Get up close to even more incredible animals today as you visit a cheetah breeding project and encounter these beautiful big cats. See how animals are cared for on a visit to the fascinating Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Allow around R250 (approx. £15) for breakfast and lunch out.
Day 14: Horse Riding & Farewell. Then opt to head off on horseback to see the reserve and spot more amazing animals on safari, or head back to base for some down time.
In the evening, you'll get the chance to sit down to an optional farewell dinner, and celebrate all the amazing experiences you've had over the past 2 weeks. If you wish to take part in the farewell dinner, this will be at an extra cost of around £10.
Day 15: Departure Day. Depart from the reserve after breakfast and transfer back to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (Nelspruit) to catch a flight after 10am
Please note: The itinerary is subject to change and is for guidance only - some activities may be done in a different order to what is listed above, and some activities could change depending on weather conditions or for operational reasons.
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To get here, you’ll need to arrange a flight into Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and you must arrive between 10am and 2pm on your start date (Monday). You will be met at the airport by a local staff member, where you will wait for the rest of your group to arrive, before being transferred to the game reserve by minibus, which is located about 1.5 hours drive from the airport.
Return transfers are included and you must book your flight to leave Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport after 10am. Depending on how many travellers are in your group there may be only one transfer to the airport which may mean you have to wait at the airport until your flight. Although small, the airport has basic facilities with a selection of restaurants, shops, a bar, and complimentary WiFi.
14 nights of accommodation are included, staying in a lodge with a plunge pool on a private game reserve. You will be sharing with other travellers, as well as possibly with other longer-term reserve volunteers. Your guide lives close by on site, so is on hand if you need them. 2 nights will be spent camping in beautiful Kruger National Park.
Accommodation on the reserve is in basic single-sex shared dorms, sleeping 4-10 people, with shared bathroom facilities. There are communal indoor and outdoor areas including a Boma (campfire) area, which is also lit up at night, and where everyone gathers as a group. The lodge is situated in lovely surroundings.
Internet and mobile phone network availability is limited at your camp. You will need to bring your own phone or tablet device to access the internet. If you wish to get better mobile network coverage it is advised you purchase a local SIM card with data at Johannesburg airport when you arrive in South Africa.
Usually twice during your stay there will be an opportunity to either go to the main lodge on the reserve or the local town to access WiFi.
There are free laundry facilities on site where you can do your own laundry. Lockers are not provided. We recommend that you bring a torch with you, as the outside areas at the reserve can be very dark at night.
During your downtime at the reserve camp, there are few activities available on site, so you may wish to bring books, music, DVDs, cards or games with you to pass away your leisure time.
South Africa is known for warm weather, but please bear in mind that the temperature can drop at night, and it can be cold during the winter months, so you are advised to pack some warm clothing. You will be given a full recommended kit list once you book onto the programme.
Although you'll be doing your daily activities with your group and guide, other visitors stay on the reserve.
Please Note: The accommodation areas on the reserve are not fenced, and the odd animal has been known to wander close to the camp. If this occurs, the rangers will ask you to remain inside, and there are radios at the accommodation to notify guides of any animals straying too close.
Most meals are provided during your stay at the private game reserve, apart from during your day excursions. You will therefore need to bring some spending money to cover the cost of some meals when you are away from the reserve. Dinners while camping in Kruger are included but breakfasts and lunches are at your own cost. All other meals during your day trips away from the reserve are at your own cost and snacks and extra drinks can be purchased on trips into the local town.
There is a shared kitchen area at camp. During your stay at the game reserve, everyone is expected to get hands-on helping out with daily cooking and washing-up duties.
Breakfasts mainly consist of yoghurt, fresh fruit, toast, cereal, tea and coffee. Lunches include fruit, pizzas, pies, sandwiches, hamburgers and sausages. For dinner, good wholesome South African meals will be eaten. These are usually dishes such as stew, BBQ’s, casseroles, vegetables and salad, so you'll never go hungry!
If you have specific dietary requirements such as vegetarian or lactose intolerant this can usually be catered for. You must inform us at least a month in advance of your departure if you have dietary requirements. For more restricted dietary requirements such as gluten free or vegan you may have to purchase some additional food yourself on town visits.
If you wish to take part in the farewell dinner on day 14 this will be at an extra cost of around £10.
Tea, coffee and fruit juice will also be available daily at breakfast and lunch. Safe drinking water is provided, although you will also have a chance to buy bottled water and other drinks on your weekly trip into the local town, where you can stock up on supplies. It is advised that you bring a proper water bottle which you can take out with you on daily excursions, as these are not provided.
Alcohol is not provided on site - you will be able to purchase this during your weekly trips in to town, and on the first day when you stop for supplies en route to the reserve. Please drink alcohol responsibly. South Africans enjoy a social beer or two around the campfire, but please have consideration for the rest of your group when it comes to the excess use of alcohol while at camp.
Free Time at the Reserve
You will have time off during your stay at the reserve, which will mostly be spent relaxing around your camp, getting to know your group and enjoying the amazing natural environment.
During your downtime at the reserve there are few activities available on site, so you may wish to bring books, music, DVDs, cards or games with you to pass away your relaxing leisure time. Or just spend some time getting to know your new group of friends, playing volleyball or splashing about in the plunge pool. Saturday night is party night at the camp, where you can hang out with all the other volunteers at the reserve and have fun around the campfire. On day 14 you have the chance to join a special farewell dinner and evening for an extra cost of around £10.
The minimum age for this game reserve trip is 18 and the trip is suitable for participants between the ages of 18-30.
Nationals of the EU, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand don’t require a visa to enter South Africa. South African Immigration does ask that you have two completely blank consecutive pages in your passport, though as long as you hold a valid passport (and a valid return ticket) you will be granted a temporary visitor’s permit on arrival, allowing visitors to stay in South Africa for up to three months. You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after you return.