USA Horse Ranch programme!

If you’re passionate about horse riding, fancy experiencing the real American West, including 3 weeks of riding, wrangling and ranching look no further. You will experience life on a working ranch near the world-renowned Yellowstone National Park. You do not need any prior horse riding experience to enjoy this unique experience, as all abilities are catered for.

Become A Bonafide Horse Riding Cow Girl In The USA

Based on the working ranch for the duration of your trip. You will be involved in hands-on activities include participation in daily life in the west! That means trail riding, horse wrangling, cattle gathering, branding and small cattle drives. You will be carefully matched with a horse based on your riding experience and your goals for your 3-week project. The project will be tailored to your riding ability and interests as often as possible.

PHOTOS

Full Details

Do you remember not long ago the wind rushing through your hair with all the worries of growing up, school & the future forgotten and it was just you, riding your favourite horse through the countryside? We have the ultimate trip to tick off your bucket list. Even if you haven’t experienced that yet, we want to give you the opportunity to be given that feeling.
team-horse-riding-usa-gap-year-copyYou can let out your inner cowgirl out and join us for three whole weeks riding horses in need in the beautiful Wyoming, USA. That’s right: a good ol’ American Ranch with a group of like-minded people just like you!

This trip means you can travel on your own or in a small group, have lots of horse riding experience or not much at all and be any age. The main thing is that you are looking for a trip to remember forever. Just pop on a flight with a sleeping bag and your riding gear and get there!

On Arrival

There are picture opportunities from the start with the gorgeous views and scenery as you descend into Cody Airport where you and the rest of the group will be greeted by head wrangler.

As soon as you’re relaxed and ready for a good night’s rest, the team will take you to your cabin to get settled in. The next morning, on your first full day, you will have a horse specifically matched for you to guarantee you have the perfect horse for you to bond with throughout the whole three weeks. Once you’ve found your new friend, a professional instructor will teach you how to get into the swing of things. After all, that’s what it’s all about: the horses and having fun.

Life on the Ranch

You will get the true feeling of All-American ranch life every single day with activities on the itinerary including Herding Cattle (we have around 40 head), Riding up Mountains, Barrel Racing, Wrangling horses into camp and A chore here and there to keep the camp and yourself happy.

bottle-feeding-cow-gapyear-usa-copyThere are lots of activities to keep yourself happy and entertained. You’ll also be served delicious hot meals each day cooked in a Dutch oven over the campfire. Meals such as chicken and dumplings & pancakes and bacon. Yum. And it will give you the chance to bond with your fellow riders. The best part, though, is the entire time is tailor made to your attractions, interests and horse riding ability for the best possible time. So, if you wanted to get out and about for a meal in a bar or restaurant, you’re absolutely welcome to. There is no alcohol served at the ranch (we believe booze and horses don´t mix well, but you can head out to the local saloon to getting to know your new friends. The  ‘Silver Dollar’ bar is the local watering hole. There you can  unwind, grab a bite to eat and a well-deserved drink. You might even meet some All-American cowboys.

Flexible Itinerary But Expect The Unexpected!

Fancy an afternoon off to relax? Go for it. Want to carry on and make the most of it? Go for that. The Easy Ride Today? Yes. The more challenging but rewarding ride tomorrow? Yes. Want to go exploring in the local area with your group? There are local tour operators to show you around. And what an area to be in. Make sure you pack for all weathers in the West!

Stunning Country To Explore On And Off Horse Back

Right on the Rocky Mountains in the American West where you can go visit the picturesque Yellowstone National Park to see all the local wildlife, go white water rafting, visit a rodeo, museums, shops & swimming without having to organise a thing. We just want you to enjoy the beautiful area with the group and experience all that it has to offer.

A Great Experience Too!
At the end of it, they will even give you reference for your CV and/or university applications. Win!

I know you’ve probably read all this thinking, “yes it sounds perfect, where’s the catch with the price?” For three whole weeks in the stunning area of the Rocky Mountains USA with everything apart from flights.

Come on now, would you rather spend your money this summer on a trip of a lifetime or on booze in the local pub? I know what I’d do.

Your Role
You will also participate in activities with weekly groups who visit the ranch from Sunday to Friday each week. These activities include vet days (vaccinating horses), trail riding, riding fence (inspecting and replacing fences that local wildlife damage), moving cattle, clinics, riding with groups of youths, adults and parents.

And you will also have the opportunity to participate in additional activities including longer rides, trips to town and special clinics that run over the weekends.

You will have the amazing opportunity to ride and bond with your horse each day on the ranch. You will also complete the chores associated with riding, as a team. During your 3-week placement you will truly get to experience the Western lifestyle and country from the back of a horse.

Ranch Location
Your three weeks will be spent  Near Cody, Wyoming. This is located very close to Yellowstone National Park in a truly beautiful part of the USA. Think wide-open spaces, endless views and incredible terrain for riding.

ACCOMMODATION

Your accommodation
Your accommodation

Accommodation will be a shared a 2-4 person cabin on the ranch. Your meals will be served in the ‘Hub’ which comprises of dining room and kitchen area with a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside!

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Alcohol is not allowed or served at the ranch. Horses and alcohol don’t mix well. Besides that you will be very active during this trip, out for many hours during the day, so in the evenings you will probably be pretty tired. You do have the option to go into town weekends. Please note the drinking age in the USA is 21.
We do not allow people to book a fourth week until the second week of their stay, which makes changing airline tickets a problem, but in our experience, is best for you and for us as participants don’t know until they have been here for a couple of weeks whether they really want to stay longer.
You do not need any previous experience of horse riding, or working with horses to apply for this program. Clearly, if you do have previous riding ability, then you will be up to cover more, but if you have not had any experience of horses do not let that stop you. One thing is for sure, however, after your three weeks up here, you will be somewhat of an expert on horseback.
This program is open to people of all ages. There are no age limits, and you are welcome to join whether you are 17 (with parental consent), 18 to 80. We usually have an average of eight guests at one time.
We recommend that everyone bring their own helmet and riding boots.  We cannot provide helmets as they must fit properly and most people want to wear their own for hygienic reasons.  
They do need to bring their riding helmet and heeled boots (not hiking boots) for riding, as well as their sleeping bag, pillow and other personal items. We’ll send you out a full packing list as part of your predeparture pack after you have paid in full.
There’s no weight limit but if you are over 16 stone please let us know before booking so we can ensure we have a horse suitable for you.
People may arrive in Cody, WY (airport code COD) whenever they want (if they arrive a day or two early for any reason, we can provide them with a link to local hotels and motels). Most people arrive on the start day. We pick up everyone at the airport at the time of the last arriving flight on Sunday night, which is usually between 8:30-9:00 p.m. Sunday evening. If their flights arrive earlier in the day, they may sit at the airport (very small, one baggage claim carousel) and work on their computers/IPhones, or share a taxi into Cody ($10 per car load) with other Interns who might have arrived early

After the three-week Internship, we take people back to Cody in time to catch the first departing flight on Friday morning, usually leaving the ranch about 4:30 a.m.  If they leave later, we drop them at the place of their choice.  If not the airport, they need to find their way back in time for their flight.

If people book the two-week session you can depart on either the  Friday morning or Saturday morning – we can take you to your flight either day. 

We recommend 250USD spending money to cover extra actvities during your stay. This includes entrance fees to Cody Nite Rodeo, Thermopolis Hot Springs, car rental and entry fee for Yellowstone National Park, white water rafting or tubing the Big Horn River, Dinosaur Center, Buffalo Bill Historical Center Museum (affiliated with the Smithsonian), special meals out, fuel contribution  (since they usually don’t rent a car except for Yellowstone).  It does NOT include clothes and other personal items.  Whether they are here for two or three weeks, they will probably want to squeeze in most of these activities.

It does not include clothes and other personal souvineers you might want to pick up.  Whether you are here for two or three weeks, you will probably want to squeeze in most of these activities. 

 

Duration Option Price  
1 (Week)7 days from March 08 to May 02 2020GBP 789Book Now
1 (Week)7 days from May 10 to Sep 26 2020GBP 1259Book Now
2 (Week)13 days from March 08 to May 02 2020GBP 1259Book Now
2 (Week)13 days may 10 to Sep 26 2020GBP 1649Book Now
3 (Week)20 days from March 08 to May 102 2020GBP 1599Book Now
3 (Week)20 days may 10 to Sep 26 2020GBP 2039Book Now

INCLUDED

  • Airport transfer
  • Orientation on arrival
  • All accommodation & meals
  • Instruction by ranch staff
  • Tack & use of horses on the ranch
  • Full support and assistance
  • Buddy list of other participants
  • 24 hour support

EXCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance

Dates

2020

3-week Session – Choose to start any Sunday between:

March 8 and March 28

April 12 and May 2

May 10 and July 4

Aug 30 and Sept 26

2-Week Session – Choose to start any Sunday between:

March 8 and March 28

April 12 and May 2

May 10 and July 4

Aug 30 and Sept 26

1-week Sessions – Choose to start any Sunday between:

March 8 and March 28

April 12 and May 2

May 10 and July 4

Aug 30 and Sept 26

Thailand Ethical Elephant Project

This is not just any elephant programme. The Ethical Elephant project is one of the best out there, and that is why we offer it! This fantastic opportunity will see you working side by side with these majestic creatures, ensuring that they are fed, washed and kept happy the entire time you spend on the project.

THAILAND ETHICAL ELEPHANT PROJECT

GROUP VOLUNTEERING AND TRULY MAKING A DIFFERENCE

The elephant experience is an exciting, fun-filled way to get to know the Asian elephant. The elephant is iconic throughout Thailand and you’ll have the chance to learn about them and just how important they are to the people of Thailand.
Spending time in a rural village, you and your fellow travellers will help the local people care for the elephants. It’s a hands-on, action packed insight into the real Thailand.

The main highlight of this trip and also a really unique opportunity is not only to spend time with elephants, but also to live in a small rural Thai community, which is something which is fast becoming more and more difficult to experience. This is what it is all about. Living like the locals and truly immersing yourself in the culture of the people and the country.

Our project has been vetted to ensure it is ethically run. There is absolutely NO elephant riding by our guests.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore exciting Bangkok
  • Learn about Thailand’s culture, history and visit temples
  • Take a rustic train ride to Surin, through Thailand’s largest national park, Khao Yai
  • Walk with the elephants to the local river and help the mahouts bathe them
  • Help the mahouts clean the elephant areas
  • Harvest / plant crops (depending on the season) for the elephants
  • Kayak on the local river
  • Learn how to make simple but great Thai food
  • Eat, sleep and chill at the elephant camp
  • Have a once in a lifetime experience
  • Make new friends from all over the world

LEARN, PROTECT, CARE

Many elephants in Thailand have been taken out of their natural homes and have been abused and mistreated, all in the name of money. With your dedication to this project, you are preventing this kind of unethical practice and ensuring that the elephants have a chance to be Xtremely happy and free again.

While you are with us on the project, you will gain invaluable knowledge into the life of these elephants. By dedicating your time to the elephants, you will be helping to support them and their keepers and help guarantee that they are looked after.

WHERE? THE BEATING HEART OF THAILAND

Our amazing elephant project is Located in Surin, you will be surrounded by inspiring natural wonder, off the beaten track and far from the bustling streets that you would have seen in Bangkok.

We have about 35 elephants living in the elephant village, which is situated about 1 hour from the Cambodian border. Here you can indulge in a Thai cooking class and even brush up on your Thai with a Thai language lesson to really make your experience unforgettable. If you need to let out that inner adventurer, then you will also have the chance to kayak on the Mun river, which is part of the famous Mekong or pop over to Cambodia.

Volunteering on our projects is not only about seeing and experiencing an exotic destination but having a rewarding experience at the same time and truly giving back.

PHOTOS

ITINERARY:

DAY 1 – ARRIVE IN BANGKOK

Arrival day, the moment you have been waiting for! The start to an awesome life changing Thailand trip! First off, if you have not been travelling before… it will be ok. We make it a hassle free arrival, the Xtreme Team will collect you from Suvarnabhumi Airport (the international airport in Bangkok) and take you to your super convenient Bangkok accommodation, which is a stone’s throw from the famous Khao San Road. The accommodation has a movie room, 2 pool tables, free WIFI and lots of Xtreme Gappers awaiting to join the adventure.

You will have the rest of the day/evening (depending on when you arrive), to relax after a long flight and meet the rest of your group. Tonight we head out for a delicious Thai meal (local payment about £2) and explore the buzzing Bangkok area!

Inclusions:
• Breakfast
• Guided tour of Bangkok
• Overnight accommodation in a twin / triple shared room with air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and hot water

DAY 2 : WELCOME ORIENTATION AND EXPLORE BANGKOK

We will take it easy and all meet up at around 10:00 am to start a “real exploration” of Bangkok. This will be lead by our group leader, who will be with you for the next 2 weeks.

Prepare to see incredible things as we include an awesome boat trip through the ancient waterways of Bangkok. Not only will you get to experience stunning traditional communities off the backpacker trail, but we will also take you to the majestic Wat Arun – The Temple of the Dawn, Wat Pho, which is home to the most important reclining Buddha in the whole of Thailand and Wat Phra Kaew –  The Grand Palace.

watt arun thailandExpect an authentic look into traditional Bangkok and lets you see some of the most beautiful temples Thailand has to offer. The tour will last about 4 hours.

In the afternoon we head back to our guesthouse, just in time to freshen up and chill out before your ‘Welcome Dinner’ in the evening. After dinner, we are off to the infamous and exciting Khao San Road, the backpacker area of Bangkok,  where you will get a taste of the Thai nightlife.

Inclusions:
• Breakfast
• Guided tour of Bangkok
• Welcome Dinner
• Overnight accommodation in a twin / triple shared room with air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and hot water

DAY 3 – TRANSFER TO THE ELEPHANTS

Today we head to the elephant camp. We travel in a rustic train ride to Surin through Thailand’s largest national park, Khao Yai. In the western world we see are used to modern trains but in Thailand, the trains are much more rustic and fun! The train itself is an experience, with old style carriages that have their own special kind of unique character. Bring your camera for this because people back home will want to see just what we are talking about.

Inclusions:
• Breakfast
• Overnight in dorm style rooms in Surin

DAY 4-7 – VOLUNTEER AT THE ELEPHANT VILLAGE

Dear diary: Jackpot! If you are an elephant lover (and we’ll take a guess and say that you might be) then this will be the best part of your trip. You and your group will work together to make sure all of the elephants in the village are comfortable and well taken care of.
During your volunteer time in the elephant village, you will help feed and wash the elephants, play with them, plant crops and create vegetable gardens to create a sustainable source of food and more.

At the elephant village, you help the host family to look after the elephants and learn how elephants have been part of the fabric of life in this part of the world for generations. As you will be living so close to the Elephants, there will be plenty of opportunity to feed and interact with them.

General day-to-day activities include:

  • Walking and bathing the elephants at the river
  • Planting and harvesting food for the elephants
  • Learning to cook Thai food by helping to prepare dinner each evening
  • Kayaking and swimming in the river
  • Visiting the local market

Inclusions:
• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner while at the elephant camp
• Overnight accommodation in dorm style rooms at the elephant camp

DAY 8 – FREE DAYS OR ONWARD TRAVEL

If you are only volunteering with us for one week your adventure will come to an end. But don’t worry because the memories, the photos and the friends will last a lifetime.Well earned free-days. You will need a break, trust us. You can use this opportunity just chill or do a bit more exploring. Surin town is a super friendly place with a population of around 50,000 people. There are loads Khmer temples,  which means they will look very different to the ones you saw in Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. Surin is also famous for its really cool coffee shops to hang out in. If you are just looking for some fun in the sun, one of the local hotels lets you use their pool for a small fee for the day and for those with a bit more energy. There is a waterpark and a shopping mall if you want to do some souvenir shopping.

If you book 2 weeks or longer: Well earned free-days. You will need a break, trust us. You can use this opportunity just chill or do a bit more exploring. Surin town is a super friendly place with a population of around 50,000 people. There are loads Khmer temples,  which means they will look very different to the ones you saw in Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. Surin is also famous for its really cool coffee shops to hang out in. If you are just looking for some fun in the sun, one of the local hotels lets you use their pool for a small fee for the day and for those with a bit more energy. There is a waterpark and a shopping mall if you want to do some souvenir shopping.

There are also some awesome restaurants in Surin and we recommend you have at least one visit to a huge ‘moo gratha’ buffet. For less than 150THB you cook your own food on a charcoal grill at your table and it’s as much as you can eat. Different meats, fish, prawns, vegetables, noodles and all sorts of other bits and pieces – and ice cream!  The best value in town and a great night out.

Your guide and our local team in Surin will be able to help you plan what you want to do and be on hand whenever you wish!

All weeks on the programme follow the same format: Monday to Thursday at the programme, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday free to soak up life in Surin and the surrounding areas.
Note that return travel to Bangkok is not included but is easy to arrange, our guides will sort you out!

ACCOMMODATION

You will split your time between the accommodation in Surin town and the Elephant village, but both are in dormitory style shared houses.
The rooms in Surin town are clean and comfortable, and all rooms are equipped with fans. The bathrooms are shared with your fellow travellers and have Western-style toilets. There is a basic kitchen for you to use, and of course, the accommodation has free WIFI!
The accommodation is located close to a supermarket, a pharmacy, ATM’s and lots of local street food vendors and small restaurants.

Living with elephants: Be prepared for living in a rural setting

Monday to Thursday afternoon are your activity days, so you will be living at the elephant village. This is back to basics Thai Style living, sleeping on floor mattresses and with up to 5 people to one room. The family who looks after the elephants live in a house on the same grounds, and so do the elephants.

The house at the elephant village is basic but clean, has plenty of fans to keep cool and has Western style toilets. There are hammocks for you to chill in and there is no wifi, so you are off the grid, and it will be amazing!

The time at the elephant project is full of activities but also paced to ensure that all participants don’t get overheated (April is the hottest time of the year and the middle of the day is very hot – over 40C sometimes in April – so after lunch we usually have some quiet time out of the sun, like Thai’s in the countryside do). However, even in between activities you can sit an watch the elephants, learn about the community and Thailand from the team and get to know your fellow travellers.

Weekends.

Weekends are a great opportunity to either explore and enjoy Surin town – it’s a small town of around 50,000 people but a friendly place with lots of different bars / restaurants and a lively social life. However, many people on the elephant programme choose to explore further afield at weekends (with new friends they’ve made on the programme).

Many go to visit Khao Yai National Park (3 hours or so by train) for the weekend or even go to Angkor Wat in Cambodia – around 4-5 hours away. Our local team are always on hand to not only look after everyone but to help with suggestions and making bookings and so on.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions:

Airport pick up times are between 06:00 and 22:00 on the start date and only from BKK international airport. (we can’t do pick ups from Don Muang – DMK – I’m afraid)

If someone is already in Thailand then they can either ‘make their own way’ to the BKK accommodation on the start day (information will be in the pre departure pack!) from 2pm on the start day.

As with the rest of Thailand, Surin can feel hot and sticky all year round. March to May are the hottest months of the year, whilst June to September is when most of the rain comes. November to February are the cooler and drier months of the year. During the winter months of November to February it can get chilly, especially in the morning and evening so be sure to bring along an extra sweater or jacket.
We have different size groups depending on the time of year, but generally you will be with between 5 and 20 volunteers.
All bedding is provided, but if you want to bring one, make sure it is feather light and not too warm.Or alternatively, take a duvet cover.
Yes, Thailand is basically the backpacking capital of the world and super traveller friendly and our ground staff are always there to help when needed
No problem, most of our travellers are solo travellers. You will meet loads of people, travellers and locals, and make new friends really easy.
If you are planning on travelling to Thailand for 30 days or less and you have British, Dutch or USA passport you can get a Visa exemption on arrival. This is valid for 30days and cannot be extended in Thailand. If you are planning on being in Thailand longer than 30 days you will need to pre-arrange a Visa. You can prearrange a visa for 60 days which you can extend to 90 days in Thailand.

Remember, obtaining the correct visa is your responsibility.

We offer airport pick up’s between 06:00 and 22:00 on arrival day and would encourage you to try to arrive at the airport by mid-afternoon so that you have time to freshen up, relax and then enjoy your first night in this amazing city. If you are arriving outside these times or are already in Thailand, then you are more than welcome to ‘make your own way’ to the Bangkok accommodation.

PRICE

Duration Option Price  
1 (Week)GBP 659Book Now
2 (Week)GBP 799Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 899Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1119Book Now

INCLUDED

  • Airport pick-up on arrival
  • Two-night guest house accommodation in Bangkok
  • Breakfast is included on Days 2 and Days 3 (at the Bangkok accomodation)
  • Guided Bangkok Tour
  • Train transfer to Surin
  • Accommodation in Surin volunteer house
  • Accommodation at the elephant camp
  • Full orientation of project and surrounding areas
  • Daily transfers to and from project location
  • Thai language and cooking classes
  • Full ongoing support
  • 24 hour emergency support
  • Meals at the elephant camp. Day 4 – lunch and dinner (on arrival day at the village), on day 5 and 6 – breakfast, lunch and dinner and on day 7 – breakfast and lunch before heading back to Surin.

EXCLUDED

  • Your flights
  • Meals when enroute, in Bangkok or Surin – Please allow around $10USD/day
  • Visa (if required)
  • Travel insurance
  • Any additional activities not mentioned in the itinerary

Dates

2020 Start Dates:

March
6-Mar
20-Mar

April
3-Apr
17-Apr

May
1-May
15-May

June
5-Jun
19-Jun

July
3-Jul
17-Jul

Aug
7-Aug
21-Aug

Sep
4-Sep
18-Sep

Oct
2-Oct
16-Oct

Nov
6-Nov
20-Nov

Dec
4-Dec

Xtreme Marine Conservation & Dive Hero Belize

Hang loose and protect the world’s second-largest barrier reef clearing it of lionfish. Staying on an idyllic tropical island, join the Xtreme marine team to protect Whalesharks, Queen conch, lobster and eradicate invasive species. The perfect Caribbean Marine conservation and diving getaway.

Diving in Belize (4)

Get a PADI qualification, Become a diver and help protect the world’s second largest reef system. Staying on an idyllic tropical island, in the middle of the Caribbean you will be diving 12 times a week taking part in valuable and exciting Marine conservation initiatives.  The perfect place to disconnect from the world and live life to its fullest.

 

 Xtreme Marine Conservation & Dive Hero Belize

Become a true Marine conservation hero in Belize. Diving in Caribbean seas, submerged in turquoise waters you will find the second-biggest reef system in the world.  Belize a former English colony has the ultimate Caribbean tropical island vibe.  But like all complex and beautiful reef systems it is under threat.  Invasive species like the lionfish, not native to Caribbean waters are raging rampant all over the reef system and they need to be stopped. These beautiful but menacing little critters can hatch eggs in two days and a single fish can release up to 15,000 eggs.

Highlights

  • Explore stunning Belize and But, hey Marine conservation hero on the world’s second-largest barrier reef.
  • Learn to scuba dive and gain a PADI qualification.
  • Dive 12 times a week and discover new addiction in an underwater paradise.
  • Disconnect from reality and stay in paradise on an idyllic private island in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Live on an unspoiled island, contributing to Marine conservation and becoming a legendary diver In a Marine Park.
  • Hunt these evil Lionfish Critters. The other fish will thank you for it.
  • Get involved with Marine conservation efforts from other species such as lobster, conch and whale sharks
  • Contribute to the global Coral watch and reef check initiative
  • Cut your dive teeth in the dark with a night dive.  This will completely change your perspective of the underwater environment.
  • Let loose at the weekends on the mainland with some incredible extreme adventure activities!

 

PHOTOS

Belize Island (7)Imagine living on a tropical island helping protect the reefs by day and seeing 1 million tropical stars by night.  Learn to dive, get involved in conservation efforts and have the time of your life with the group of fellow Xtreme Marines! Beautiful beaches with white sand that will spoil you. Turquoise waters that will take your breath away. So let’s check out what happens on this program

 

On arrival

Arriving on Sunday you will be met at the airport by our representative and transferred to your accommodation. We recommend you meet up with the fellow course participants in a local restaurant that evening.  The introduction and orientation session takes place first thing Monday morning at 830.

Then half an hour later we hop on a boat for a two-hour ride out to your new home from home on a tropical paradise island surrounded by the world’s second-largest barrier reef.

 

The Adventure Begins!

Diving in Belize (2)If you do not have a PADI open water course or equivalent you will begin your dive training.  Contact us the details  of what happens during the section.  If you already have an open water course qualification, you are welcome to begin the Marine conservation section straightaway.

Once you are dive trained you will take part in 12 conservation dives per week.  We include most of the equipment but there is some that you will need to bring with you:

Bring your own wetsuit (a full 3mm suit is recommended) and booties, a dive mask and snorkel. You will also be required to purchase the relevant PADI Open Water manuals for training purposes if you are undertaking the PADI training. If you wish to take part in night dives you must also bring a dive light or waterproof torch with you. You cannot purchase these on the island so please bring these from home.

 

The Xtreme Marine conservation project in detail

IMG_4363Once you have completed your diving qualifications it’s time to get down to business. The Marine conservation programme focus on five core activities.  All of which take place in a protected area the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Park (SCMR) area.

Please note: In order to support the marine conservation projects and the local area, each participant will need to pay extra marine Park fees of USD25 per week or USD75 per month.

You will take part in several different activities during your stay, depending on the season and the needs of the project of the time.

 

Lionfish Population Control

Lionfish huntingThe seas around Belize are currently under threat from an invasion of the non-indigenous Lionfish.

Not native to Belize they eat the local fish, and degrade the reef.  They are outcompeting all the local fish population as well is killing them because they can release 15,000 eggs every four days.  The region is overrun by these beautiful yet perilous fish so they need to be eradicated.

As part of the Xtreme marine conservation dive team, you will be responsible for diving down and removing Lionfish using a special spear gun, and then analysing and collecting data on the local Lionfish population.  If you think that killing fish species is contradictory to conservation, then you do not understand the impacts of the lionfish on the native species.  If you ask squirmy wish about hunting fish this is not the programme for you.

But this is not just about eradication.  Surprisingly lionfish taste delicious, and you’ll no doubt get to try your catch once you return to your island hideaway.

Working closely with local partners we have been able to get the lionfish onto many of the local menus.  This provides a sustainable great alternative to the overfished fish stocks so you are actually contributing to conservation efforts in more than one way. Every fish you spear means others will live!

 

Whale Shark Monitoring

Diving in Belize (17)The whale shark population in Belize is exceptionally good.  Whalesharks the world’s biggest fish, our incredible to be in the water with.  The reef in Belize attracts some of the largest concentrations of Whalesharks in the world.  But with their food supplies dwindling the conservation project aims at sustaining the food supply for these impressive creatures.

It is widely known that whale shark numbers are in decline and unless action is taken they are under threat from extinction. Whalers who target them for their fins and meat prize Whalesharks this is your chance to give something back. When we encounter Whalesharks we do data collection and log their movements.

Please note: The main whale shark season runs between March-June, although sightings have been recorded throughout the year. We cannot guarantee a sighting of a whale shark. You must abide by the whale shark code of conduct when diving which means no touching!

 

Protecting lobsters

While lobsters are very tasty they are overfished.  It is important during the breeding season is that they are not finished so as part of the programme you will help monitor the population of lobsters underwater.  You also check out on local restaurants to make sure that lobster is not on the menu during the off-season.

Many Caribbean countries now have open and closed lobster seasons, with the closed season being when the female lobsters are ready to release their eggs. Belize’s closed season usually runs from February – June, and during these months, fishing for lobsters is banned, as is serving them on restaurant menus.

How does this help?  Well by identifying the male to female ratio of lobsters as well as locating females carrying eggs. By protecting the key areas where the female lobsters lay eggs, we can help protect lobsters in their own native habitats.

The underwater lobster survey is conducted using a ‘rover diver’ technique, with groups of six divers spaced along a line, with two divers carrying slates and a measuring stick. Divers move slowly along, allowing time to coax the lobsters out of their holes using the measuring stick, checking its sex, measuring its length and seeing if female lobsters are carrying eggs.

 

Queen Conch Monitoring

The queen conch carries a high commercial value and as a result it has become a victim of overfishing in Belize. This large, shelled mollusc takes around 3-5 years to reach maturity and in this time it can grow up to two pounds in weight and up to 8 inches long. If left undisturbed, a conch can live for up to 40 years.

Each year between July-October each year the female conch lays huge egg masses, and as part of the marine conservation diving team you will be responsible for locating and recording conch breeding grounds. Some conchs are being forced to breed further out in deep water due to overfishing.

In order to monitor the migration patterns of the conch, a number of individually-numbered plastic cable ties have been placed around each conch, so that every subsequent observation can be recorded. Divers will go down in pairs to measure and/or tag the conch and to record the lip thickness, which determines the age and maturity of each conch, as well as the size of spiral, habitat, depth and tag number. Follow up survey dives are then undertaken each week. Help to protect this unusual and rare creature and do your bit for marine conservation in Belize.

 

Coral Reef Conservation

Southern Belize has a unique marine ecosystem, and as part of the marine conservation dive team you can take part in a comprehensive assessment of the health of Belize’s beautiful coral reefs. This will include monitoring the number of species including Parrot fish, Groupers, Surgeon fish, Butterfly fish, Grunts, Snappers and Lionfish. You will also record signs of coral bleaching, damage or disease as well as mapping the composition of the reef.

Working along a 100m transect line, divers will be divided into three sub-teams, one focusing on fish, one on invertebrates and one for substrates. Divers will count the species in a specific area for a set time, and records will be taken as you go.

The Belize Coral Watch Programme was set up to monitor coral bleaching and health using a non-invasive method. Divers are trained to recognise the difference between coral bleaching and coral disease using the ‘rover diver’ technique. You will record and submit your research into an international database, contributing to a much-needed central overview of coral reef health across the world.

Day to Day Itinerary

An Xtreme Gap representative or a taxi will meet you at Placencia airstrip and take you to your  accommodation. Sunday night we suggest that all of our gappers get together and meet at a local  restaurant for dinner.

  • 8.30am – Monday morning – meet, greet and breakfast at the snack shack.
  • 9am – Monday morning – transfer from mainland to the island (expect a 2 hour boat ride).
  • 11am – Island briefing, accommodation allocation and equipment allocation.
  • 12.30pm – Lunch.
  • 1.30pm – Dive briefing.
  • 2.30pm – First dive, boat fun dive or refresher dive.
  • 6pm – PowerPoint presentation about the programme and the marine environment.
  • 7pm – Dinner.
  • Relaxation

Typical itinerary Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • 6am – Tea, coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit available.
  • 7am – Dive briefing.
  • 7.30am – Dive 1 – Conch or Lobster survey and Lionfish hunting
  • 9am – Breakfast
  • 10.30am – Fish Identification training session
  • 11.30am – Dive 2 – Fish Identification dive, Commercial fish survey and/or Lionfish hunting.
  • 1pm – Lunch
  • 2pm – Coral Identification training session.
  • 3.30pm – Dive 3 – Coral identification dive, Coral watch bleaching survey and/or Lionfish hunting.
  • 5pm – Lionfish presentation, dissection and data collection.
  • 7pm – Dinner
  • Relaxation

Typical itinerary Thursday

  • 6am – Tea, coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit available
  • 7am – Dive briefing
  • 7.30am – Dive 1 – Conch or Lobster survey and Lionfish hunting
  • 9am – Breakfast
  • 10.30am – Briefing for ReefCI check survey
  • 11.30am – Dive 2 – ReefCI check survey
  • 1.30pm – Lunch
  • Relaxation 3.30pm – Guided free dive to spear Lionfish and look for Lobster and/or Conch (seasonal) for dinner!
  • 7pm – Dinner
  • Relaxation

Typical itinerary Friday

  • 6am – Tea, coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit available.
  • 7am – Dive briefing
  • 7.30am – Dive 1 – Conch or Lobster survey and Lionfish hunting
  • 9am – Breakfast
  • 10.30am – Leave island to return to the mainland

There is one night dive per week planned to fit into the above itinerary.
The above itinerary is subject to change and weather conditions. The survey participation is dependent upon the length of the trip. For example, week 1 will be mostly learning species, doing Lobster and Conch surveys and Lionfish hunting.

Week 2 will be actual Commercial fish surveys and Coral watch surveys.

Location

Belize Island (4)Tom Owens caye is a 1½ acre island situated 36 miles from mainland Belize. It is surrounded by turquoise coral seas and situated on the continental shelf; dive sites are 5-10 minutes away! This is the ultimate place to learn to dive and contribute to Marine conservation.  While there is Internet access on the island, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy this beautiful planet.

Most of the dives take place in Sapodilla Cayes Marine Park (SCMR), an unspoilt ocean landscape only 5-10 minutes away from your island base.

Additional Activities

During the weekends there are plenty of options available to you if you want a bit of adventure.  The additional activities are not included in the price and payable locally.  You could visit Mayan ruins explore the jungles by kayak and interact with the indigenous Mayan population.  You can check out water fall underground cave systems go zip lining water tubing and so much more.

Accommodation

Belize Island (9)Living on a tropical island is pretty idyllic but you do have to make some sacrifices. Accommodation is basic but very clean and comfortable as for the location, it would make someone a five-star resort envious. Even Without a TV you will feel right at home. Programme participants stay in individual cabanas with shared bathrooms or twin shared rooms with bath. Couples are guaranteed their own room with bathroom.

Quirky, stone, individual cabanas surround the island. Every Cabana has incredible views of the Caribbean! Imagine waking up to the sound of waves lapping against  the shore and a spectacular Belizean sunrise! Guests staying in cabanas use the shared bathrooms.
For groups, friends and couples, there are twin, family and double en-suite rooms in  the main building. We never have more than 3 people in one room.  Hammocks are scattered around for that chill out moment with a cold rum cocktail.

During weekends accommodation is hostel style.  If you wish to upgrade, you can do so but will have to pay the difference in price locally.

Arrival Info

Please ensure your flight arrives on Sunday and you will need to arrange your own arrival into Placencia in Belize. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation in Placencia. If you would like help booking the flight from Placencia to Belize let us know and we can help you book it at a better rate.

Recommended method of getting there:

There are no direct flights from the UK to Belize. Our recommendation is to combine this program with a stop off in Mexico flying via Cancun and spend a week in Mexico.

Xtreme Gap Year owns a hostel in Playa del Carmen where you can stop off on the route. You then have the option to fly on to Belize or take an overland bus. You can also then take the advantage of completing a free diving course in Mexico should you wish which will come in handy on this program. Please ask us the details.

Other routes for getting to Belize are to fly from London Gatwick to Cancun in Mexico and hop on a safe and comfortable first-class overnight bus service into Belize City and then travel onwards to Placencia (using one of the methods listed above). Buses depart Cancun at around 10pm and arrive in Belize City before 8am (approx cost USD47).

An alternative is to fly via the US:

Then take a connecting flight onwards to Belize International Airport (BZE).

Please note that most connecting flights will require you to make a stopover overnight in the USA so you allow for this extra time when booking flights. Accommodation is not included for any USA stopovers so please factor this into your flight planning. Once you have arrived at Belize International Airport you then have two options to travel onwards to Placancia:

Internal Shuttle Flight:

If you wish to fly directly from Belize International Airport to the airstrip at Placencia our partner company in Belize can book these flights for you (but at your own cost). The internal shuttle flight takes around 1 hour and costs approximately £100 one-way or £175 for a round trip.

Please note that there are only around 5 internal flights per day so you will need to factor this in when planning your previous flight times. You will then be met at the Placencia airstrip by a representative and taken to your local accommodation.

 

 

End of the programme:

Friday is the last day of the programme and accommodation for this final night is included.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Simply put they kill the other fish.  And they breed so successfully and so quickly they hijack the native habitats of other fish. The Lionfish is also an invasive species, originally from the Indian and Western Pacific oceans. It was brought into Florida as an aquarium fish, and after a hurricane broke some of the aquariums containing the fish, they started to appear around the lower coast of Florida. They have now spread all the way up to Long Island, New York and throughout The Central American continent.

When scientists do dives to study the lionfish, sometimes they capture one, and trace it’s DNA. The odd thing lately, is that all the fish trace back to an original six or seven Lionfish from the ocean in which they came.

As you will be living on an island everything has to be imported so we take care of your meals.  You will eat well!

Typical Menu:

  • Breakfast: Flour tortilla or Fried jacks, bacon, eggs and refried beans
  • Lunch: Island chicken pasta salad
  • Dinner: Fresh fish filets baked in coconut milk, garlic, lime and cilantro with carrot
  • salad and yellow ginger rice.
  • Homemade chocolate rum cake with rum butter sauce
  • Purified water and fresh juices

We will do our best to complete further education courses such as PADI Rescue and Speciality courses Should you wish to participate in these (local payment).  However please be aware that the Xtreme Marine Hero Programme is primarily a conservation initiative.

We can guarantee the PADI Open water and mostly you should be fine for the Advanced Open water.

Weekend activities.

Mayan Ruins

Nim Li Punit (the big hat) sits atop a hill with amazing views of the surrounding forests and mountains. It is easily accessible by bus from Placencia, and quite often our guests are the only visitors. Lubantuun is about 45 minutes drive from PG and is the largest Mayan site in Southern Belize. The famous yet controversial crystal skulls was supposedly found at this site back in 1926.

Mayan Villages and Homestays

You can step back in time and visit the picturesque Maya villages of Southern Belize .  Surrounded by beautiful jungle and countryside you can experience how life is for the  indigenous communities of Belize. The experience can include Mayan home stays, local  story telling, dance, eating the local food and even having a lesson how to prepare  homemade corn tortillas.

Garifuna drumming lessons – www.warasadrumschool.com

Warasa Garifuna Drum School is a locally owned business that offers hands-on interactive experiences in Garifuna culture, including drumming, drum-making and  dancing. You can sit back and relax under our traditional thatch while watching our professional drummers and dancers to all the hard work (and when you see how fast the hands drum and how fast the hips shake, you’ll see it really is hard work!), or you
can try it yourself. Lessons in are available one-to-one or for groups of up to 20, and service comes with a very big white smile from our Director the one and only Ronald Raymond McDonald (yes, that is his name!).

Adventure tours

For those who like climbing, jumping off cliffs, exploring, getting dirty, going fast and getting wet an adventure tour in Southern Belize is meant for you! A short trip from Placencia you will find yourself surrounded by dense jungle, unusual creatures, stunning waterfalls, zip lining, tubing through the jungle and unexplored caves!

Rio Blanco Waterfalls

A tiny reserve, Rio Blanco National Park is as remote as it is beautiful! The nearby villages of Santa Elena and Santa Cruz organised the Rio Blanco Mayan Association in 1994 to protect the waterfall and 104 adjacent acres of sub-tropical forest. Jaguar, ocelot, margay, river otter and many species of birds and fish live in the part. Men from Santa Elena and Santa Cruz rotate ranger duties at the small visitors centre and local
women will open the craft co-operative shop when tourists arrive.  It is only a 15-minute walk on a gentle gravel trail to the falls. Benches provides spectacular views and a photographic opportunities. Thrill seekers can step out to the 20’ cliffs and jump into the swimming hole (if they dare!) Limestone pools above and
below the falls are perfect for swimming and wading. A great place to cool off!

San Antonio Waterfalls

Tucked away in the hilly Mayan village of San Antonio are the beautiful San Antonio falls. Smaller than Rio Blanco, you can wade or swim and those that want to challenge themselves may climb the boulders around the falls to the pools at the top and maybe even jump off the ledges here.

Blue Creek Caves

This trip is one of our ‘must do’ trips for our guests. Towering karst limestone hills, offering challenging hiking, surrounds the village of Blue Creek and a network of dry and wet caves. The Mayan name for Blue Creek Cave is Hokeb Ha, or where the water enters the earth!

To reach the cave, you’ll hike approximately twenty minutes over mostly easy terrain through the jungle and upstream along the banks of the green-blue river. As you approach the cave, the river breaks into small waterfalls and beautiful clear pools for swimming. The last 100 yards of the journey are the most challenging, climbing over roots and rocks.

You will be provided headlamps, life jackets and a trained guide to assist you as you step into the water and swim upstream towards the cave’s interior and the river’s source.  After you turn the first corner, all natural light disappears! You will see stalactites, stalagmites and other unique rock formations as you swim and hike upstream.

Tiger cave

The ancient Maya believed that the caves of Toledo marked entrances to Xibalba – the Mayan underworld! Caves were amongst the most sacred places and used for rituals, sacrifices and communication with the spirits. When you enter Tiger cave, it is easy to imagine the ancient Maya holding their  ceremonies here. The entrance chamber is strewn with shards of broken pottery other  evidence of Maya presence. As you explore the cave, you will see stalactites, stalagmites and other unique rock  formations. The cave has topography of narrow passageways, huge chambers and  underground rivers. Each turn a new challenge. The final chamber, more than a mile  into the cave, is filled with spectacular rock formations and well worth the effort.

This excursion is only recommended for people who are very physically fit. From the  road to the cave, visitors must navigate a steep drop down a dirt path. Inside the cave,  expect to walk on slick cave floors, climb boulders and navigate loose gravel slopes.  Also available are Chocolate tours, Zip-lining and tubing, River and sea kayaking.  Guests also have the chance to visit neighboring Guatemala or go to the beach town of Placencia.

Duration Option Price  
1 (Week)GBP 885Book Now
2 (Week)GBP 1569Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 2059Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 2799Book Now

INCLUDED

  • Incredible tropical island accommodation with Caribbean sea views.
  • Tasty and fresh Island meals
  • Xtreme Marine conservation activities guidance and training
  • All diving, typically 12 dives a week, subject to weather conditions and including at least one night dive
  • Diving equipment: BCD, regulator, fins, weights and tanks
  • Unfortunately as many lionfish as you can spear
  • 3-5 days PADI Open water course. * $50USD admin fee applies to be paid cash in country upon completion.
  • 1 week trip: weekend accommodation includes:
  • Sunday and Friday night prior to departure.
  • 2 + weeks trip: weekend accommodation includes:
  • Sunday, weekends Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Friday night prior to departure.

EXCLUDED

  • Mainland meals
  • Mainland activities and tours
  • Internal flights with Tropic air – $186.25USD one way, $264.25USD round trip
  • Internet access on the island – $15USD per week
  • Marine Park fees – $25USD per week, $75USD per month
  • Beers, sodas, rum drinks – typical price:
  • Beer: $2.50USD
  • Mixed rum drink: $4USD

Dates

You can start any Sunday through out the year. Check availability with us.

Closed in September each year.

 

Field Guide Course South Africa 4 Weeks or 1 Year

Xtreme Gap offers courses designed to supply the South Africa safari Industry with high caliber professional Field Guides. But these courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. So whether you have chosen a professional career linked to wildlife or nature or just finished school and are on a gap year, or if you have possibly taken a career break or are a regular traveller to the bush, this course is for you. Including work experience as a real guide!

Xtreme Gap offers courses designed to supply the South Africa safari industry with high caliber professional Field Guides. But these courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. Including work experience as a real guide!

 The South Africa Field Guide Course

“Nothing gets the blood pumping more than approaching a full grown African Lion on foot.”

Xtreme South Africa Experience (7)If you want to experience the real Africa, discovering Africa’s wild places, living out among the wild animals of South Africa’s largest game reserve area then this field guide course is for you. If you are short on time you can opt for 28 day course. However if you want the ultimate sabbatical experience you can even unroll on a one-year course. This includes six months training on game reserves with a six month work placement (unpaid).

One year spent training to be a professional field guide, gets you right in the heart of the African bush and nothing gets you closer to all the wild animals of Africa. As well as the possibility of gaining a professional accreditation (looks amazing on your CV) you will genuinely have the time of your life training in a completely unique environment surrounded by the wild animals in the African bush.

The cost of the course is not cheap, however it is a one-year course all-inclusive (excluding flights) and is a genuinely life changing voyage of self-discovery in an African environment. If one year course is too long or the cost is too high you can also enroll in our 28 day safari guide programme.

Field Guide Course South Africa  Highlights Include:

You will live and walk midst the spectacular wildlife of the African bush for one year – for the first half of the year you will live and learn at our camps and for the remainder of the year you will work at a Safari Lodge as a trainee.

  • Training at all 4 of our camps presents a constantly stimulating environment to learn in you will be exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains; landscapes; wildlife species; climates and more.
  • Our instructors, having many years of guide training experience and time in the bush, each possess different ways of training and guiding and this will enhance your overall training experience.
  • For parts of the course you will train in our Kruger Camp in the Makuleke concession which is a highlight for all our students. The Makuleke concession is not accessible to ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

YOU COULD GRADUATE WITH

  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate –  Rifle Proficiency
  • FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back-up
  • Basic and Advanced Birding
  • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2)
  • Navigation and Orientation
  • Guiding experience logged towards FGASA Level 2 practical assessment

Who typically does this course?

The course is open to all, people taking the course do not all wish to work in the industry, some of our customers undertake the course to get a good understanding of the bush and to experience more than your typical Safari holiday, others are gap year travellers wanting to get the most out of their South Africa gap year.

  • Gap Year Takers
  • Career breakers
  • Wild life conservation holiday enthusiasts
  • People with a career in Wildlife and nature

Photos

 

Itinerary

Important! Our camps are based within the reserves and we run 2 activities per day,  7 days a week. Many others Field guide course providers at other gap year companies, will offer accommodation outside of the big game reserves and then allow for activities only 3 days a week with an off day, test day, lecture day etc. Our camps are un-fenced  so dangerous game will wonder through from time to time and this makes for a far more authentic and Xtreme experience.

Our partners are the  only training provider that offer Field Guide training from within the Kruger National Park. This is something that most guides dream of training inside the Kruger. We have worked hard at securing the most unique locations for our camps  exposure we can confidently tell you, no one else can offer.

The one year course a typical day

Field Guide Course South Africa (20)A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee while you listen to the bush waking up and then leaving the camp for an outing into the wilderness.
The outings are extremely flexible and determined by the unpredictability of what is found during the outing in combination with the subjects that have to be covered. The outing could be a game drive following up on the  roar of a lion heard during the night or a walk, learning about the plant species occurring in the area. It could be a walk following fresh elephant tracks, learning how to track the animal and finding it or it could be a game drive to a waterhole where animals come to drink.

Learners return to camp in the late morning for a hearty brunch which is followed by a lecture on the subject of the day. Study and rest time is then followed by afternoon tea and another outing into the wilderness until sunset, if walking, or until well after dark if doing a game drive. Afternoon outings could include night drives looking for nocturnal animals such as owls, bush babies and leopards or it could be a walk looking for and learning how to identify interesting birds. It could be time spent studying the night skies or it could be a time for learners to test their 4×4 driving skills.

It is then back to the camp for dinner, stories around the campfire, discussing the day´s experiences and wondering about tomorrow´s adventures.

The emphasis is on practical day-to-day experiences in the bush. The daily outings are flexible and may focus on specific subjects such as animal tracks and tracking, birds, plant identification or animal behaviour, or may involve game viewing and learning about the ecosystem in general.

Professional Field Guide Course  (FGASA Level, Trails Guide, specialised modules and the Lodge Placement Programme)

Field Guide Course South Africa (13)This comprehensive and unique one year course has been designed to supply the safari industry with high calibre FGASA and THETA qualified professional Field Guides. This course is not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African bush.

Comprising this one year course is approximately 6 months of theoretical and practical training with our highly qualified instructors in which you will complete various separate certificate courses which should get you well prepared for the lodge placement period of actual lodge work and nature guiding at lodges with guests which makes up the second half of your course. We will place you at these lodges so that you can work with experienced guides to learn from them and to learn on the job so that at the end of the year´s course, you are not only qualified but also experienced. By this time you will be a prime candidate and should be snapped up immediately by a lodge for a guiding job.

This lodge attachment component will give you the practical experience and enable you to apply the theory you learned in the training at our camps. It also enables you to build up your ‘guiding days’ towards the one year of experience that is required by FGASA to be assessed for your FGASA Level 2 field guiding exams.

Field Guide Course South Africa (2)What qualifications could you graduate with?

  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam
  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Practical Assessment
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate  Rifle
  • Advanced Rifle Handling
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back-Up
  • Birding with Lawson´s Birding Academy
  • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2) – First Aid

A few of the subjects covered on this course:

  • The Introduction to Guiding in the Natural Environment
  • Creating a Guided Nature Experience.
  • Basic Bush and Survival Skills.
  • Geology
  • Basic Ecology
  • Basic Taxonomy
  • Mammals
  • Entomology
  • Reptiles
  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Trans frontier Parks and Biosphere Reserves
  • Historical Human Habitation

In addition to these subjects, you will also be taught the following:

  • Introduction to Eco Tourism
  • Planning of Game Drives and Walks
  • Dealing with Guests
  • Tracks and Tracking.
  • Approaching Dangerous Game Animals
  • The Game Drive Vehicle
  • Off-Road and 4×4 Driving
  • Night Drives

Lodge Experience:

Field Guide Course South Africa (6)As part of your year training, we will place you at a lodge in Southern Africa for a period of approximately 6 months. During your lodge placement you will be expected to carry out a wide variety of duties which may or may not include the following:

  • General Guiding Duties (can logged towards FGASA level 2 practical assessment)
  • Assisting in the bar, serving drinks, undertaking stock takes
  • Assist with meeting guest/s at meeting point/airport, carrying their luggage
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Reception duties
  • Food & Beverage duties

Certification and Accreditation

Field Guide Course South Africa (21)Our partners are a FGASA endorsed training provider who is accredited by THETA. This means our courses adhere to THETA standards. THETA is the Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority of the South African government. These are the two bodies responsible for regulating standards within the guide training industry in southern Africa.   For this course only, we will assist you by registering you for FGASA, THETA and eventually DEAT. Additional info on website

SASSETA  (Sector Education and Training Authority) – Due to the legal and professional requirements of being a Field Guide, there are certain steps that any student wishing to do firearms training is required to do. Additional info on website

PDP Public Drivers Permit  most lodges require that students have a PDP as this allows them to transport groups of people in a company vehicle. For this, students need to be 21 years or older. Additional info on website

DEAT  Department of Education and Tourism. We will assist with registering you for FGASA and once you have your Level 1, FGASA will automatically register you with THETA.   We will assist with your DEAT registration if you are 21 years or older.

Day to Day itinerary

Please find below a day to day itinerary, this is for the course starting in January, but it will be approximately the same for the other start dates.

Transfer from Emerald Backpackers to Nelspruit – time in Nelspruit, 3 days

  • FGASA Registration – Level 1
  • FGASA Registration – Trails Guide
  • SASSETA Firearm Competency Registration & Training
  • Course Questionnaire
  • DEAT registration
  • Accommodation in Nelspruit 2 Nights at Old Vic Travellers Inn

Transfer to Selati  – time in Selati, 30 days.

  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1 training, telemetry and 4WD no exams

Transfer to Karongwe – time in Karongwe, 57 days

  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1 additional training, 25 days
  • Basic Birding course – 7 days

OFF TIME 6 days   (make own travel arrangements)
(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

  • Animal Tracks and Tracking Course – 7 days
  • Navigation and Orientation – 7 days
  • Wilderness Medicine level One and Two  – 4 days
  • Karongwe, FGASA Level 1 Exam and Assessments – 7 days

OFF TIME 6 days   (make own travel arrangements)
(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

Transfer to Mashatu – time in Mashutu, 7 Days

  • Rifle Handling and Safety training

Transfer to Makuleke  – time in Mayu Makuleke, 49 days

  • Trails Guide course (FGASA exam and assessment) and Advanced Rifle Handling – 28 days

OFF TIME 6 days    (make own travel arrangements)
(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

  • Advanced Birding – 7 days
  • Consolidation – 5 days
  • Graduation – 3 days

(Each Student is allowed 2 guests for the Ceremony at an additional cost for the guests which will take place on the last two days of the course )

Final Day – Bush Bus Transfer from Makuleke to Emerald Backpackers

Frequently Asked Questions

These courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. So whether you have chosen a professional career linked to wildlife or nature or just finished school and are on a gap year, or if you have possibly taken a career break or are a regular traveller to the bush, this course is for you.
With our Field Guide Courses being endorsed by FGASA who have THETA accreditation, this means we meet THETA standards. THETA is the Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority of the South African government. These are the two bodies responsible for regulating standards within the guide training industry in southern Africa.
International or Non-South African Learners: If the learners is not taking up Field Guiding for a career which is mostly the case for our international learners, then he or she does not have to complete the FGASA component on the course. The learner however still has the opportunity to write the tests and practical evaluations and obtain a certificate..
There are four different camps. There is more information in the “Accommodation” section.

  • Kruger Park Makuleke
  • Karongwe Game Reserve
  • Selati Game Reserve
  • Mashatu Game Reserve

.

  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam
  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Practical Assessment
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate  Rifle
  • Advanced Rifle Handling
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back-Up
  • Birding with Lawson´s Birding Academy
  • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2) – First Aid

 

Normally you have about 5 to 6 Months lodge placement in your 1 year Field Guide course. The lodge placement starts after the trails guide qualification (after about 5 months of training). You come back to the camps after the lodge placement section to do an advance Birding and revision. You essentially use the lodge placement to work on your level 2 theory knowledge and to sharpen Birding knowledge prior to the advanced course.
The revision section enables you to rewrite sections that you may have failed during the year or to enable you to get assessed for sections you didn’t make previously.
It´s very difficult to estimate your expenditure during off time as it relates to your activities and travel. You might want to relax as the first free time you have is after 2 months!

The guys normally go to each others homes or travel together (I noticed this from experience trying to arrange activities for them). They take it easy during these times as our courses are full time, no other time off even during weekends the course runs 24/7 until off times.

So we don´t think you spend much over these periods, if you travel you tend to travel together (SA students normally use their own vehicles and club together) Or some stay at backpackers at low cost.   Don´t think you need more than R500 per day (about 40 gbp) (meals included, mostly they stay with SA families)!

Accommodation

Throughout the field guide course you will stay in tents, one camp has more luxury accommodation than another, but always clean running water and comfy beds! However don’t expect all the mod cons, electricity is only run with a generator occasionally so bring a good supply of batteries. the camp is open so animals can wander into the camp especially at night. There is a laundry service too.

The Training Camps

Located between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern sector of Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24,000 hectares (59305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in all of Kruger National Park. This area is off limits to your normal Kruger park tourist. The area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 after a very long struggle.

This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

Accommodation:  Students are accommodated in comfortable thatched, tented rooms placed on wooden decks in the shade of large nyala trees. Each room has an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower and washbasin with hot running water and a flush toilet and also has a veranda overlooking the surrounding bush.   The camp itself is not fenced which means that animals do move through the camp from time to time.

The central communal area: This area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.

Electricity:   There is no electricity at the camp  paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge batteries. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.
Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park.
Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population
found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino.

There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Accommodation:  The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent).   There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the Selati River.The central communal area: This area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp  paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use.

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage.

Beside elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, general game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland and a variety of antelope, and nocturnal species like springhares, bat eared fox, civet cat, genet cat, honey badger and mongoose, are prevalent throughout the reserve. The bird life is prolific with Mashatu Game Reserve recording over 366 different species. The 4-wheel drive safari vehicles enable the student to leave the road and provide guests with up close game viewing and fantastic photographic opportunities. Night drives, with the aid of powerful spotlights bring the bush to life.

Accommodation:  The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the dry river bed.here is no electricity at the camp  paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge batteries. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment.Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.

Duration Option Price  
28 (Days)One Month OptionGBP 3559Book Now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
28 (Days)One Month OptionGBP 3559 GBP 3381 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 27 - Jul - 2020 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Travel Advice prior to departure
  • Training by experienced field guides and instructors
  • Accommodation for one year
  • Transfers between the camps
  • All Meals
  • Game Drive
  • Walks and other activities like sleep outs etc.
  • Laundry
  • Certificates and registrations
  • SASSETA Competency Certification
  • 3 sets of uniforms
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Entry to Kruger park

75% is the success rate on succeeding the course

Excluded

  • All Flights
  • Extra Drinks (like beers, ciders and bottled water)
  • Costs for visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Accommodation before or after the course

Dates

Please get in contact to check availability.

2020:

1-Year Professional Field Guide:

3 August 2019-14 July 2020
1 September 2019-23 August 2020
1 October 2019-13 September 2020 – Sold Out!

2020 Start Dates:

28-day Trail Guide course (FGASA-accredited):

02 June – 29 June 2020 (Mashatu Camp)
14 July – 10 August 2020 (Makuleke Camp)
06 August – 02 September 2020 (Selati Camp)

1-Year Professional Field Guide:

04 January – 17 December 2020
01 February – 23 December 2020
01 August 2020 – 18 July 2021
01 September 2020 – 15 August 2021
01 October 2020 – 19 September 2021

“It was just immense!”
Henry Thomas
“On patrol one morning we were walking through dense bull reeds in a dry river bed, it was so exciting we just did not know what could be in front of us. We emerged into a clearing to see a full grow Bull Elephant in musk! He let out this huge sound and took off in the other direction. My heart was beating so loud it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!”
Olivia Wilkinson

Horse Riding and Conservation Mozambique

Horse Riding and Conservation Mozambique
Imagine untouched white sandy beaches, cliff top views overlooking the ever changing turquoise sea and a genuinely unique and exciting African experience. Experience an ever present spirit of adventure on horse back as you look after a herd of Horses and enjoy some of the best beach riding in the world. So if you are looking to develop your riding skills, discover the culture of Mozambique and make a difference in Africa helping our horses, please join! This is indeed a unique experience for horse riding enthusiasts.

Imagine untouched white sandy beaches, cliff top views overlooking the ever changing turquoise sea and a genuinely unique and exciting African experience. Experience an ever present spirit of adventure on horse back as you look after a herd of horses and enjoy some of the best beach riding in the world. So if you are looking to develop your riding skills, discover the culture of Mozambique and make a difference in Africa helping our horses, please join! This is indeed a unique experience for horse riding enthusiasts.

 Horse Riding and Conservation Mozambique

This programme offers you a unique experience to develop your riding skills, learn about the culture of Mozambique and make a difference helping our horses in Vilanculos & the Bazaruto Archipelago.

What you will learn

The Volunteer Programme is based on the coast in Vilankulo and offers students the chance to acquire a wealth of information about equine management, riding skills and life in Africa. Students are required to help organize out rides, manage clients, groom horses, participate in feeding and assist with any veterinary activities that may occur during their stay. In addition to working with the horses in Vilankulo, trips will be arranged to the Bazaruto Archipelago to work with our horse on the island.

You will explore than just one place in Mozambique!

You will become part of the family and form a deep bond with the horse under your care. Expect long riding sessions up some of the finest stretches of coast line in the world, and rich happy memories of your gap year in Africa.

The Horses

Mozambique Horse Conservation (19)These are not just any horses either, smuggled out of Zimbabwe escaping the chaos caused by Mugabe ´s regime by their owners they would have quite a story to tell, if they could talk.

We now have 60 horses in Vilankulos. 10 on Benguerra island and 50 on the mainland. Sadly depleted we only have 70 left from the original 104 that left Zimbabwe.

Gain hands on experience in Equine Management

We aim to equip students with the hands-on experience, knowledge, and skills to actively participate in running an African horse safari. We provide a wealth of information on equine management, riding skills, client hospitality, animal husbandry and community involvement.

 

Do I need riding experience?

Volunteering with us is basically riding out with our day clients on our fantastic horses. Our volunteers take care of the horses, clean them, feed them, ride them. It might be better for to be a rider to get the full benefit of volunteering with us. But if you really want to come, and learn how to ride and care for horses, of course we would love to have you!

 

Other Activities

Mozambique Horse Conservation (15)Off-days will be organized at different times during the week, as weekends are usually busy. Adventure activities are available in the area. Should volunteers decide to participate in these activities (such as scuba diving, snorkelling, dhow sailing & fishing) they can be arranged at participants´ own expense.

The waters around the Bazaruto Archipelago are one of the largest marine conservation areas in the Indian Ocean and optional activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, safaris and, fishing

 

Why Horse riding in Mozambique?

Our volunteers usually have a love of horses. The beach riding is some of the best in the world. We are also the Gateway to the Bazarutto Archipelago. We are close to Gorongoza and Tofu. We have some of the best dive sites in the world. We interact with schools and other projects to give our volunteers a good view of life in Mozambique. No day is the same!

Photos

Itinerary

Week 1: Introduction

This amazing experience starts with a one week induction to help you adapt quickly to the project. This will include lessons in local culture, basic history, language and equine care. You will also be familiarized with the current situation of the project and given instruction on health and safety. Your riding ability and overall equine knowledge will be assessed and you will meet the horses and be shown around the project.

Week 2:

At the beginning of the second week each you will Mozambique Horse Conservation (8)be assessed and given tasks and responsibilities to suit your experience. Riding and teaching lessons will be assigned to those who have previous experience while those with less experience will receive lessons to help them reach a better standard of horsemanship. All volunteers are free to put forward ideas that they feel will benefit the project and that their previous experience will allow them to carry out.

And then: From this point on each trip will vary
You will be involved in the daily care of the horses and you can also choose to deal mainly with the day to day running of the riding school.

Most important!

You will get a great deal of riding experience and will get to spend a great deal of time with some beautiful horses in a wonderful location.

At the end of your trip you, will receive a certificate Mozambique Horse Conservation (56)listing all the skills that we feel you have either learnt or utilized. This can be used as a reference when applying for jobs or for university and we will always confirm its veracity when approached by prospective employers or educational bodies.

Please note

All days here are different, as we have to rise to meet each new challenge as they come, but this is an itinerary of the kind of day you can expect to enjoy with us at Mozambique Horse Safari. Please be aware that, because we are a real project dealing with the day to day running of a herd of nearly seventy horses, we have to maintain flexibility. This can depend on the number of volunteers at the time, the needs of the horses, number of outriders or lessons booked. You have two days off a week to pursue a social life and have fun.

Accommodation

Mozambique Horse Conservation (32)You will be based in South Beach, Vilankulo at Blue Waters Beach Resort or Casa Gucci and on Benguerra Island we have a small volunteer house. Accommodation is a room with bed, mosquito net, ablution shower blocks and the resort has a swimming pool, restaurant & bar. The accommodation is within easy walking distance of the stables and a short ride from the town centre. Vilankulo itself offers easy access to internet cafe’s, ATM’s, supermarket, restaurants, bars, markets and much more. All volunteers are fully catered for and receive three excellent meals per day and a laundry service.   We have internet on the project the cost being 120 mets an hour. (Less than 5US an hour)

  • 5.00 am: Wake up get dressed and enjoy a early morning coffee. Prepare whatever you need for feeding and health checks.
  • 5.30 am: Jonathan our driver, will arrive and load up with feed, halters and medicines. You arrive at the paddocks in the cool of the early morning. Catch the horses and tether them to their feeding poles. Prepare feeds, and feed each horse its ration with nose buckets. While they eat, a visual check is conducted on every horse to check for cuts, grazes, ticks and general condition. Any problems are then addressed with the help of our grooms and senior volunteers. All horses hooves are then picked and inspected, again any issues are then dealt with. Each animal is then sprayed for ticks and released. This is then repeated in the second paddock. One or two volunteers may go, during this time, to the dam with Albert to collect water to fill all the troughs.
  • 8.00 am: Return to the house and eat breakfast. This is likely to be tea, coffee, toast, jam, scrambled or fried eggs, cheese, bacon and juice.
  • 9.00 am: Volunteers will then carry out their allotted tasks. This may include teaching in the riding school, lesson preparation, tack repairs and maintenance, treatment for any problems discovered that morning.
  • 12.30 am: Lunch is served. This may be spaghetti bolognese, stir fry, chicken casserole etc. All served with bread and butter, juice and salad.
  • 1.00 pm: After lunch you will get free time for relaxation. You can go to town, have a sleep or generally relax from the midday sun.
  • 3.00 pm: Participants will now prepare and start teaching riding lessons or taking beach rides. Those with limited riding experience may be requested to join the riding lessons. Other volunteers may work with horses who needing extra exercise or training.
  • 6.00 pm: Return to the house, unload and put away all tack and equipment.
  • 6.30 pm: Dinner is served, again a main meal with all the trimmings.
  • 7.00 pm: Free time. Relax on the veranda, listen to the crickets and tree frogs, chat about the days events, enjoy a cold beer and, for the most enthusiastic, prepare for the following day.

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Our volunteer project runs throughout the year and we except volunteers at any time.
The minimum time period we accept volunteers for is two weeks. The reason for this is that it can take a little while to adjust to life here and if you left any earlier neither you nor the project would benefit very much from the experience.

Minimum age

Please note this program has a minimum age requirement of 19 years old.

A positive attitude and love of animals. You also need to be a minimum of 19 years old
Mozambique Horse Safari is located in Vilankulo, Mozambique, Africa.
We will pick all volunteers up from the airport in Vilankulo, Mozambique..
The accommodation is a lovely rondavel which is a traditional African style room with a thatched roof and white washed concrete walls with view of the ocean.

Swimming pool, bar, restaurant.
20 minute walk on the beach or 5 minute drive
By vehicle or a pleasant walk along the beach
There is a large well maintained ablution block with hot showers.
Yes. Three meals.  Breakfast: Cereal, toast and tea or coffee
Lunch: Sandwich and fruit
Dinner: Hot Meal
Yes (please let us know upon booking)
VOLUNTEER PROJECT Tourist Visa available upon arrival.
Internet access is available and a local SIM card can be bought upon arrival for your mobile
phone.
Yes but usually only at high level resorts and activity centres. It is more common to use cash
Yes in Vilankulo but it can sometimes be unreliable.
Scuba Diving, Dhow trips & beach walks. June, July and August is whale watching time.
Everyone with horse riding experience, but you also need to be prepared to be compassionate, you have to have a generous nature and you must have a sense of humour.

 

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 1849Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 2379Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 3199Book Now

Included

  • Accommodation
  • Horse riding,
  • Three meals per day (home cooked and at restaurants),
  • Airport transfers,
  • Laundry service,
  • All use of the horses and equipment, trail rides and beach rides.

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Personal travel insurance,
  • Visas
  • Any personal spending money
  • Alcohol
  • Internet costs
  • Any extra excursions or activities.

Dates

We have multiple departures per month. Please contact us for specific dates & availability.

 

Great White Shark Conservation Project

Great White Shark Conservation Project
This programme offers the unique opportunity for volunteers to engage in the important research and conservation of great white sharks in Cape Town, South Africa. If you are adventurous and love the outdoor lifestyle then this is the perfect programme for you to have the most incredible once in a lifetime experience, as you get up close and personal with these infamous creatures!

No other conservation project provides a shot of adrenaline like this one. Great White shark conservation is as important as it is exciting! Get hands on with a Great White shark conservation project in Gansbaai South Africa! The world top location to see great white sharks.

 Great White Shark & Xtreme Marine Conservation

The Great White shark conservation project takes place in Gansbaai, the worlds number one Shark Diving destination.

https://vimeo.com/121889859

The work you do can help the world’s top apex predator.

Great White SharkConservation (27)As a volunteer you will be part of the shark team and assist in documenting shark activity by using aerial surveys of the island. You will be given a unique opportunity to view this magnificent animal in its natural environment by going out 5 days a week, either by boat or even more excitingly in  an underwater cage. You will be part of a team of Great White shark experts and other volunteers. The experts will provide you with all the knowledge you need, at the end of the programme you know all about the Great White through informative lectures and research.

Your lectures while on the programme consist of:

  •       Basic Shark biology
  •       Research and conservation
  •       Shark behaviour
  •       Conservation
  •       Changing attitudes
  •       Shark Attacks
  •       Basic seamanship (including anchoring positions, wind directions, currents)
  •       Cage diving procedures (procedures in the cage with and without regulator)
  •       Underwater filming
  •       Still photography
  •       Shark tourism

You will then have the chance to put this into good use, assisting in the conservation and research of the Great White. If the weather permits you will undertake frequent trips out to sea. Whilst at sea, the team will get you as involved as possible with all aspects of sea work, focusing on working with the sharks from below and above the water.

Photos

Itinerary

Great white shark projectThis programme does not have a set itinerary. Please request trip notes for more information on the day to day aspects of the project. Preferred start dates are the 1st and 15th of the Month with arrival and pick up in Cape Town. Every day is better than the previous one! You get to learn a lot about sharks by having some lectures and by being free to ask any questions to the crew. The days are never tiring or boring as you get to work in shifts on the boat. On days off there are plenty of activities to do. You can go for example to Cape Aghulus, where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet. Can you imagine being on the most southern tip of Africa? Of a whole continent?! The view is quite spectacular! What do you do on the boat? On the boat you   help tourists   to get ready to go in the cage: like giving wet suits, giving them a mask and weights, making sure everything is ok. You get the chance to go in the cage as well! You will be chumming (chopping up fish to feed the Great Whites so they come closer): You get to have a shower at the end of the day so it is not important how much you smell or are dirty! Everyone enjoys chumming because it´s the place where you can see the sharks well, since they are attracted by the smell. The accommodation is really nice! They are very cozy with a lounge area and a big kitchen! The fact that there is a kitchen is nice because we can decide whether to cook or go out for dinner.

Hands on conservation for the Great White Shark

Shark conservation South AfricaThis is your chance to become actively involved in the conservation of the Great White shark on your gap year. The Great White shark is arguably one of the worlds greatest predators, and at the same time under threat from ill educated and unethical activities conducted by mankind. Sport fisheries, which seek their jaws as trophies, and being accidentally caught in commercial fisheries are only two of the sharks enemies, but the deliberate killing of sharks by Asian fishermen which prize their fins for a bland tasting soup sees over 200 million sharks killed per year (across all shark species).

Help stop the decline of the oceans top predator

The Great White shark conservation is more important now than ever, with severe declines being documented in Northwest Atlantic, Australia, and Northeast South Africa. This fantastic opportunity gives you the chance to actually physically contribute to Great White shark conservation in South Africa, one of the worlds leading hot spots for Great White shark activity.

During the programme

Great white sharkOn this conservation programme you will join a world leading organization dedicated on protecting the Great White shark, operating in Great White shark conservation since 1989. You’ll receive training in Great White shark biology, behaviour, conservation, research, changing attitudes, shark attacks, basic seamanship (includes anchoring positions, wind directions), underwater filming, still photography and shark tourism. Weather permitting you will go to sea frequently. At sea, you’ll get involved as much as possible with all aspects of sea work. This will be focused on working with the sharks from above and below the water. Much emphasis will be placed on observing behaviour and the interactions of sharks around the boat. You will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure and safe in the cage.

Get in the Cage

In the cages you will record observations of the Great White sharks. This will include sex, size, markings and behavior. This training is designed to educate you to a level of competence of a field assistant. During the training, you will be evaluated on how you handle teamwork, take your own initiatives, take interest in the work and activities, show interest in learning.

Locating the Sharks

Finding the Great White shark is a skill, involving years of practice – the water temperature, depth, visibility, swell height, current and wind direction are all major factors.

Holy Shit! See them breaching

Great White sharks are surface feeders, you will be amazed when seeing the Great White lifting its head right out of the water to take the bait, and sometimes breach completely. In Shark Alley, close to Gansbaai, you will likely also see seals, penguins and the occasional dolphins frolicking near the islands, as well as magnificent Southern Right whales coming up from Antarctica to breed from May to November. These expeditions are more than just thrill-seeking adventures, they are educational experiences.

Find out more about this project on our blog

Accommodation

Accommodation at the volunteer house in Gansbaai. Gansbaai is a seaside village, which depends on fishing and tourism for its survival. It is situated approximately two hours south east of Cape Town. The shark team document a lot of shark activity using aerial surveys of the island. On one of the main research sites, Dyer Island, many other wildlife species can be viewed from the boat. It is the breeding ground for Jackass Penguins, Cape Cormorants and Gannets, whilst Geyser Rock opposite, is a breeding Mecca for Cape Fur Seals and currently home to approximately 20,000 seals. In season Whales and an occasional Dolphin can be spotted. This is a perfect habitat for the Great White.

Free Time

On the days when you´re not at sea, you can go on excursions in the local area and take part in activities such as wine tasting, penguin spotting, a visit to the most southern point of Africa and so on. Gansbaai is a lovely village and has several nice pubs and restaurants that you can visit, but there is no nightlife. The project volunteer coordinator will help you arrange some trips (at your personal expense), like these ones below:

Go Whale Watching! 

See whales that are bigger than the boat you are watching them from! Huge and mysterious, whales are a fantastic sight  the best time for spotting is between April and November.

Exploring the valley on horseback!  

Follow the rambling trails of the Walker Bay Whale Conservancy. These rides take you into the private nature reserve that runs along the Klein River and into the Kleinriviersberg Mountains. Available for all abilities.

Quad biking! 

Bike the trails around the Robert Stanford Wine Estate, through the vines and bush in a rather intrepid manner. For excitement just about equal to a shark encounter!

Explore.

Cape Town is ideally placed for the Orange River and Fish River Canyon \” fantastic places to explore. Being in South Africa also places you well for tours throughout Africa. Go up to Namibia, visit Victoria Falls or go on an epic trip through eight nations finishing up in Nairobi  you´ll experience lots of wonders enroute. We have a number of different tours to choose from, just drop us a line to find out more about them to experience Africa in an adventurous but safe way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but in a cage, only Mike Rutzen would be nuts enough to actually swim with these things.
A little, at first, but you will be surprised at how quickly you get to admire these huge predators. Much like falling in love with a goldfish. With big teeth.
Yes you will be there with other volunteers and you will be working side by side with our experienced crew, so you are part of the team.
The best time to volunteer will be in Winter (June to August) as the sharks are more active.
 

 

Duration Option Price  
1 (Week)GBP 579Book Now
2 (Week)GBP 1159Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 1349Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1619Book Now

Included

  • Pre departure information
  • Orientation programme on arrival.
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast at the volunteer house and lunch on the boat
  • Cap
  • White Shark Field Book

Excluded

  • All flights
  • Activities on days off
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Dinners
  • Lunch on days off

Dates

This trip starts on the 1st and 15th of the month with pick up from Cape Town.

You should arrange your flights into Cape Town the day before so the last day of the month or the 14th of the month. Many people book an extra few days in Cape Town. We can help you arrange this.

Safari Guide Training 28 Days South Africa

If you want to get under the skin of the African jungle, and really find out what it’s like to live in the South African bush surrounded by all the wild animals nature, whilst living in an unfenced camp in the Kruger National Park then this is for you. 100% pure adventure and one unforgettable month.

If you wish to experience an African Bush holiday while learning about the wildlife and environment, this might be perfect for you. During the 28 day Safari Guide training course you get under the skin of the African jungle, and really find out what it’s like to live in the South African bush surrounded by all the wild animals nature. You will be living in an unfenced camp in a huge National Park. 100% pure adventure and one unforgettable month.

Ready For The Ultimate African Wildlife Experience?

This is pure Africa in its rawest form, and a well-known  28 day  Safari Guide training course  aimed at those wishing to experience a bush holiday in South Africa, whilst also learning about the environment they are in it is for those that are passionate about nature, who would like a more in-depth experience and understanding of it. The knowledge you gain on this course, will take your safaris and bush holidays to the next level and give them a whole new meaning.

This is not people aiming to become a professional field guide, (something that can be done on our one-year course) but it is perfect if you have a month and you want to devote it to doing something completely different, and learning all about the skills needed to survive in the African bush, learning about the ecosystems, wildlife and unique and exciting African environment.

28 days of living and learning in nature at our wilderness camps provides you with the practical and theoretical knowledge of the natural environment. Upon completion of the course, you will be capable of conducting game drives and interpreting the natural environment around you. Our Field Guide training course consists of walks; one or two-daily lectures in our bush classrooms; game drives, as well as sleep-outs in the bush. Every minute of the day and night on this course is a learning experience, being constantly exposed to the bush. Our highly experienced instructors provide unique access to their vast knowledge and insight, making every lecture an inspiring experience.

Highlights of this course Include:

  • Gaining a deep understanding of the African Eco system
  • Living in a the great Kruger Game Reserve
  • Countless animal encounters
  • Experience the wild nature of Africa

Photos

 

Daily itinerary

A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee while you listen to the bush waking up and then leaving the camp for an outing into the wilderness. The outings are extremely flexible and determined by the unpredictability of what is found during the outing in combination with the subjects that have to be covered. The outing could be a game drive following up on the roar of a lion heard during the night or a walk, learning about the plant species occurring in the area. It could be a walk following fresh elephant tracks, learning how to track the animal and finding it or it could be a game drive to a waterhole where animals come to drink. Learners return to camp in the late morning for a hearty brunch which is followed by a lecture on the subject of the day.

Study and rest time is then followed by afternoon tea and another outing into the wilderness until  sunset, if walking, or until well after dark if doing a game drive. Afternoon outings could include night drives looking for nocturnal animals such as owls, bush babies and leopards or it could be a walk looking for and learning how to identify interesting birds. It could be time spent studying the night skies or it could be a time for learners to test their 4×4 driving skills. It is then back to the camp for dinner, stories around the campfire, discussing the day´s experiences and  wondering about tomorrow´s adventures. The emphasis is on practical day-to-day experiences in the bush. The daily outings are flexible and may focus on specific subjects such as animal tracks and tracking, birds, plant identification or animal behaviour, or may involve game viewing and learning about the ecosystem in general.

Welcome and Introduction
The game drive vehicle
Ecotourism and Guiding
Spotlighting
Field guiding as a profession
Basic 4×4 driving
Attributes, skills and duties of a field guide
Planning of game drives and walks
Bush navigation and orientation
Radio procedures
Ecology
Reptiles
Geology
Amphibians
Soils
Sensitivity
Weather
Anticipating animal behaviour
Plant communities
Career opportunities
Plant identification and uses
Identification and ecology of invertebrates
Grasses
Bush habitat management principles
Presentation skills
Creating photographic opportunities for guests
Animal tracks and tracking
Communication and facilitation skills
Bird identification and behaviour
Dealing with guests
Animal behaviour
Sustainable development and the wise use of natural resources
Approaching dangerous game
Ecotourism and local communities
Setting up a bush camp
Taxonomy
Sleep out in the bush
Working in the industry
Bush skills and survival
Testing and evaluations
Dangerous game / Basic rifle handling
Using binoculars

At the end of this course, you will be awarded a participation certificate.

Camp Locations

The course is run in 3 different locations you can choose which location  you prefer based on availability and start dates. Check dates tab on this programne page or email us your preferred start date.

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

Karongwe has the following habitats: undulating hills and valleys and broad-leafed woodland. We are allowed traversing over most of the reserve, except for one small section in the northern part of the reserve. This is not a restriction at all as it´s quite a small section of the reserve.

Temperatures at the camp: Our summers are warm to hot, with temperatures ranging from mid 20 °C (68 °F) on the cooler cloud-covered rainy days, to the high 30 °C (86 °F) on average days. Occasional hot day´s temperatures exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Winters are usually dry, with the average morning temperature of 6 °C (43 °F), with occasional cooler morning temperatures, and warmer mornings when there is cloud cover. Afternoon temperatures average in the mid 20s °C (68 °F), with ranges of 18 °C (65 °F) to 32 °C (89 °F) expected. Occasional winter showers prevail, but are unusual. Rain in the summer takes the form of heavy thunder-showers, or frontal rainfall over a longer period of time.

Animals found in the Karongwe Game Reserve: Karongwe is a good place for viewing leopard, lion and cheetah as well as elephant and white rhino. As the camp itself is unfenced, we often have four-legged guests in the camp. Hyena makes nightly patrols of the camp and elephant, cheetah and lion have also made appearances in camp on occasion. There is abundant wildlife with over 60 different mammal species including lion, leopard, elephant, white rhino and cheetah.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 walk-in style Meru tents, with twin beds (students share tents) where we provide the bedding, shared ablution facilities and a central communal area. We can accommodate a maximum of 20 students. We do have mosquito nets in camp. There are viewing decks in the central area of the camp, and many students choose to make the viewing decks their “bedroom” for part of or for the full duration of the course. The camp itself is unfenced.

The central communal area: This area is made up of 4 tall thatch-roofed open-sided decks which forms a square that encloses an open campfire area. One of the deck structures serves as the open air dining area, lecture room and study area. Two decks remain open to welcome the adventurous who want to spend their nights as close to nature as possible, while the last deck is home to Rob, your head instructor.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The kitchen is equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items, thus unfortunately there´s no space for personal items (drinks, water or other) of students.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders) are sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee is provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicles are open Land Rover TDI´s

The Concession

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the collective name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.

Temperatures at the camp: Mashatu camp can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius in summer time, while going down to temperatures of 8 degrees during wintertime. Temperatures remain quite high during day time in Botswana, never really going below 22 degrees, while reaching 39 degrees regularly in summertime.

The climate over most of Southern Africa is temperate. Hot, dry conditions are usually encountered in the Tuli region. Heavy summer thunderstorms of short duration in the late afternoon and evening may be experienced. Rainfall occurs mostly during the summer months (October – March).

Animals found in the Mashatu Reserve:

Beside elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, general game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland and a variety of antelope, and nocturnal species like springhares, bat eared fox, civet cat, genet cat, honey badger and mongoose, are prevalent throughout the reserve. The bird life is prolific with Mashatu Game Reserve recording over 366 different species. The 4-wheel drive safari vehicles enable the student to leave the road and provide guests with up close game viewing and fantastic photographic opportunities. Night drives, with the aid of powerful spotlights bring the bush to life.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the dry river bed. Learners bring their own bedding. There are no mosquito nets at Mashatu.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge batteries. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders): These are sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee are provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicle is an open Land Cruiser

The Location

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park.

Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Temperatures at the camp

Summer temperatures average from about 35-37 °C (97 °F) during the day, dropping to mid 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Winter temperatures drops to about 4 °C at night (our lowest was 1.5 °C (34.7 °F) here and averages between 18 -25 °C (64 – 77 °F) during the day. Occasional winter showers prevail, but are unusual. Rain in the summer takes the form of heavy thunder-showers, or frontal rainfall over a longer period of time.

Animals found in the Selati Game Reserve

A wide range of animals lives here, including lions, elephants, rhinoceros and leopard. Plains game such as eland, sable antelope, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, kudu, impala, baboons and monkeys can also be seen. Selati is a good place for viewing lion, white rhino and elephant. General game is plentiful and you might even get to see the large herd of eland, as well as the rare sable antelope.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the Selati River. Learners bring their own bedding. There are no mosquito nets at Selati

The central communal area: This area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The kitchen is equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items, thus unfortunately there´s no space for personal items (drinks, water or other) of students.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders): This is sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee are provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicles are open Land Rover TDI´s

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

 

Appropriate walking shoes (hiking boots). Thorns go straight through sport shoes!

Photocopies of your ID / Passport (might be needed for car rentals/other uses)

Sandals for around the camp

Khaki (or neutral coloured) clothing for the bush

Warm Jacket and jersey (gloves and scarf as it can get very chilly in the mornings and evenings in winter)

Hat for protecting both the head and neck

Sunscreen

Bath soap and towel

Torch very important (a headlamp is very handy as well as a standing lamp for in the tent)

Extra batteries

Pen / pencil and small notebooks

A4 Notebooks / Notepads

Small field note books

We supply some bedding but please bring sleeping bag and small pillow for sleep outs. (an extra blanket is recommended in winter) (no sleeping bag and pillow needed for short courses)

Raincoat / Poncho

Insect / tic repellent

Water bottles, at least 2 litres. We recommend a camelback, MTB or walking water pouch.

Any small snacks / cigarettes etc you would like as there are no shops in the area!

Any reference / field guide books you may have

Binoculars and a birding book are essential for your birding courses!

Camera

Rucksack / day pack

Any personal medication

CASH (in ZAR Rands only) – sufficient cash for 4 weeks if you intend to purchase from the camp shop. The camps do not have easy access to the closest towns which have ATMs but the ATMs may not always work

Battery operated alarm clock (cellphone/mobile batteries run out and students need alarm clocks to wake up at the allocated times)

The Makuleke Concession

Situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern sector of Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24,000 hectares (59305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in all of Kruger National Park.

The Makuleke concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 after a very long struggle. This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

Selati Game Reserve

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park. Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Karongwe Game Reserve

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

Karongwe has the following habitats: undulating hills and valleys and broad-leafed woodland. We are allowed traversing over most of the reserve, except for one small section in the northern part of the reserve. This is not a restriction at all as it´s quite a small section of the reserve.

Mashatu Game Reserve

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage and spans over 25 000 hectares.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the collective name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.

We have longstanding relationships with a few universities in both the United Kingdom and the United States. These universities have recognised the training we offer and will issue their learners with credits for attending specific courses with us.

If this is relevant to your enquiry, the specifics of our course will need to be forwarded to the relevant university. They will be able to advise on whether or not they will recognise any of training courses for credits and if these credits can be transferred between institutions.

Duration Option Price  
28 (Days)One Month OptionGBP 3559Book Now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
28 (Days)One Month OptionGBP 3559 GBP 3381 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 27 - Jul - 2020 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Qualified & Experienced Instructors
  • Lectures
  • Game drives, open vehicle drives and specialist trainers
  • Walks
  • Accommodation (shared)
  • Meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Tea, coffee and cordials
  • Further details on request or registration

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Transfers to and from the camp
  • Accommodation before and after the camp
  • Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at the Kruger Makuleke camp)

Dates

Please get in contact to check availability.

2020:

1-Year Professional Field Guide:

3 August 2019-14 July 2020
1 September 2019-23 August 2020
1 October 2019-13 September 2020 – Sold Out!

2020 Start Dates:

28-day Trail Guide course (FGASA-accredited):

02 June – 29 June 2020 (Mashatu Camp)
14 July – 10 August 2020 (Makuleke Camp)
06 August – 02 September 2020 (Selati Camp)

1-Year Professional Field Guide:

04 January – 17 December 2020
01 February – 23 December 2020
01 August 2020 – 18 July 2021
01 September 2020 – 15 August 2021
01 October 2020 – 19 September 2021

 

“This was an amazing experience, so thank you for all your help getting me to Africa. Living in the reserve was something I will never forget and I am really blown away by the whole thing.”
James Mclean
“I heard about this mystical bush place: and every time anyone spoke about it, they got a misty eyed, far-away look in their eyes now I know why:

Around a ´get to know each other fire´ we were greeted by two male lions booming their hello, a 100 metres from camp:  Imagine a place where you walk under baobabs and into fever tree forests, through mopani and onto floodplains. Nyala, impala, kudu, eland, zebra, buffalo and elephant around, not to mention racket-tailed rollers, grey-headed parrots and lemon-breasted canaries to make every birder´s heart jump

To top it all, you can draw on the experience of the best instructors in the industry: To all of them, we owe a ´termite mound´ of gratitude.  

Kevin Holroyd
““The beauty of the course is the extended time one spends out there, nothing is rushed and every day one learns something new, building a quite awesome knowledge base. The experience is total and is built of a complicated set of components, animals, birds, trees, plants, insects, soil, water, weather, stars. Sights, sounds, smells, magic… The bush does funny things to your head. It has got inside mine:”
Nick Baker

Namibia Wildlife Conservation Experience

Join a group like minded of volunteers on the biggest wildlife conservation project in the world. This spectacular Namibian wildlife project can use your help. Based in raw African natural setting you will take care of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and (baby) baboons. You will make a difference and help to save the wild animals of Africa!

Join a group volunteers on the biggest wildlife conservation project in the world. This spectacular Namibian wildlife project can use your help. Based in raw African natural setting you will take care of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and (baby) baboons. You will make a difference and help to save the wild animals of Africa!

The best Africa wildlife Conservation volunteering Project

Set in an awesome private game reserve you will get the opportunity to join other volunteers experiencing hands on conservation with animals in the heart of the African bush.  The animal  sanctuary  mission is to take in all kinds of injured or abandoned or orphaned animals, and they need the support of people like you to help care for them. Become a surrogate mum to baboon babies, feed the lions and go for bush walks with big cats. All in a days work at the Namibian wildlife conservation experience programme.

Namibia Wildlife Conservation Experience Highlights

  • Get up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife.
  • Set on a huge private game reserve in the African Bush.
  • Learn everything about, cheetahs, lions and small orphaned monkeys.
  • Join a group of other conservation volunteers.
  • Bush walks and enclosure patrols.
  • Feeding wild animals and babysitting baboons.
  • Sleep outs under the stars (weather permitting).
  • Help to save the wild animals of Africa.

Your role as a wildlife conservation volunteer

Some of your responsibilities will include preparing food for the animals, patrolling carnivore enclosures, walking with the caracals, playtime with the baboons, game drives, camera trap setting and collecting, learn about carnivores during staff-led carnivore feeds, and manual farm work such as de-bushing and pulling grass in the field, working in the vegetable garden, building fences etc.

Photos

 

Your role as a volunteer is key to the success of this project, which is renowned for the variety of animals and activities that you can experience. Participation in the program ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals, which are housed in natural environments around the site.

What you will get out of this project:

namibia wildlife conservation gap year (24)This is a genuine once in a lifetime experience of living and working in the real Africa, meeting a variety of people from different backgrounds as well as gaining a unique opportunity to take a hands on role in conservation.

  • Have a greater understanding for African conservation.
  • Have had hands on experience with African wildlife.
  • Have many happy memories of your experiences in Africa!

About the Project

The project takes place in a stunning Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on our 3,200 hectare reserve near Windhoek. This is a haven for orphaned and injured African wildlife. We strongly believe the wild belongs in the wild and direct all our efforts towards long term rehabilitation. Unfortunately not all of the animals who come to the wildlife sanctuary are able to be released back into the wild. Only those that can´t, mostly for reasons of human impact, remain on the sanctuary.
Many of the animals have been orphaned, hand raised from a very young age or have become too used to captivity and cannot safely be released. None of these animals would have survived without the food, care and nurturing from our sanctuary and this is where you come in, to continue to care for these amazing creatures.

namibia wildlife conservation gap year (31)We provide a safe home for lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and baboons. Our Sanctuary also provides a home to a bat eared fox called Ore, a duiker called Sylvie, a zebra called Frankie, a vervet monkey called Scarlett as well as several meerkats, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and rabbits.
The Sanctuary is based at our beautiful reserve which hosts an abundant amount of wildlife and roaming game including giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeest, springbok, eland, jackal as well as wild cheetahs and leopards. These animals are all protected within this conservation area and our guests and volunteers can enjoy seeing the wildlife on a daily basis driving around the reserve.
Why you can play an important role .
The Wildlife Sanctuary and sister programme the Carnivore Conservation Research project could not function without the hard work, dedication, support and time of people like yourself. In 2011, over 400 volunteers gave thousands of days of their time to support the project. They came from all over Europe, Australia, South America and Canada to name just a few.
With no experience or qualifications necessary, our projects offer people the opportunity to make a lasting and tangible difference to the lives of the vulnerable San community and Namibia´s wildlife.
If you feel this project is right for you stay can stay any length of time from 2 weeks to 8 week.  All funds from the wildlife conservation project are ploughed back into our projects, enabling the Foundation to grow and become even more successful in achieving our vision of an Africa where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together, and conserving the land, cultures, and wildlife of Namibia.

Your daily activities

namibia wildlife conservation gap year (56)Daily activities will include food preparation, like throwing meat to the Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, African Wild Dogs and hand feed the Meerkats. You will also prepare vegetables, fruit and millipap to feed to the Baboons and farm animals. You will also be responsible for cleaning the animal enclosures. You can walk with the tame Caracals and experience how they hunt in the wild and spend time with the tame and semi tame Cheetahs in their enclosures.
The orphaned baboons play a large part in our project. You will also rotate responsibility for bottle feeding, walking and sleeping overnight with the five baby baboons (when needed), which are currently too small to live in the camp with the young baboons.
Volunteers will help to care for and feed the animals on a daily basis as well as helping with maintenance work at the Sanctuary. Maintenance work may include de-bushing to help remove invasive species, digging trenches to help water supplies to camps, and other manual activities. Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the sanctuary work including the rescue, care for, cleaning and feeding, and rehabilitation and release of the animals at the Sanctuary. These animals include cheetahs, leopards, lions, African wild dogs, caracals, baboons, chickens, geese, zebra, and donkey. In addition, we care for sheep and goats in an effort to relate to local farmers and land owners on predation management.

Lots of different animals

There are a variety of animals located at the sanctuary who need to be cared for by our wildlife volunteers including: semi-tame meerkats, pigs, sheep, guinea fowl, chickens, turkeys, leopard tortoises, rabbits and lots of dogs. Baboons form a large part of the project; volunteers become surrogate mums for the little ones, bottle feeding and sleeping overnight with them. They also go for walks with any babies currently at the sanctuary and our tame bigger baboons. We cannot predict when young baboons will arrive at the sanctuary so the numbers and ages may vary.

Animals in the wild and game drives

VillageLifeSafari1-300x225You may be lucky enough to spot some of the other wildlife freely roaming in their natural environment on the farm including; leopards, cheetahs, game (kudu, oryx, hartebeest, duiker), wart hogs, porcupine, aardvark, ostriches, caracals, jackals, wild baboons, African wild cats, hares, mongoose, meerkats, vultures, eagles, and various other bird species.
Bush walks with the animals
The leopards love their daily walk with our volunteers, climbing trees in their natural environment and are already practising their stalking skills. The two are firm favourites amongst our volunteers who currently get to experience feeding and meeting them up close

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

You can stay for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of 8 weeks
We welcome volunteers from all across the world aged 18+ to join our projects. No experience or qualifications necessary
During this trip you will be part of a group of other Gappers and you can expect groups sizes of between 15 to 20 people per month. The age is between 18 and 30 and the average is 24. Our peak months are July-September.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has advised us that visas are necessary for volunteer placements in Namibia and need to be arranged in advance.

18 is age limit

Please be aware that the wildlife volunteer project only admits volunteers over 18 years of age. In special circumstances we will consider 17 year olds, but ONLY if accompanied by a parent.

Volunteers need to complete a visa form and return it to their nearest Namibian Embassy- You should send this together with a copy of your passport and copy of a certificate showing your highest academic qualification currently held, for example GCSE, A Level Degree. This application will take three to four weeks to process, so early attention to this matter is advised. When completing the form you need to fill out an address. This will be in the pre-departure pack that you receive after payment to Xtreme Gap.

The cost of this visa can be paid directly to the Embassy. For those people who live in countries with no Namibian Consulate, you can use an agency in Namibia to obtain your visa. The Agency that we recommend is: GK Consultancy. In addition to the visa cost, there is a fee associated with using an Agency ” normally £30 – £40 per application.

Windhoek has a semi-desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures tend to drop at night. On average, Namibia receives about 300 days sunshine a year. Summer is from October to April. Temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celcius and plummet at night to cool levels. Average daily temperatures range from 20 to 34 degrees Celsius. Rainfall usually occurs between November and March, when heavy thunderstorms can be expected. Winter is from May to September with wonderful warm days which are contrasted by very cold nights, when temperatures often drop to below freezing so please bring warm clothing and a sleeping bag. Average temperatures range from 6 to 21 degrees Celsius.

The most popular time to travel to Windhoek is between March and October, when rainfall is lowest and temperatures are mild.
Flights should be booked to arrive at Windhoek International Airport, Namibia. Please note that passengers through Johannesburg have been experiencing an ongoing problem with luggage. If your flight comes via Johannesburg your luggage may take a couple of days to arrive. Please put all valuables in your hand luggage along with a change of clothes.Mark your cases clearly with the address
You will be met by a representative at Windhoek International Airport. The transfer time to the farm is approximately 45 minutes. On arrival you will be introduced to the Volunteer Coordinators and shown around the accommodation and facilities. An induction meeting will be held with you in your first couple of days. Activities are continuous on the farm and animals need tending to, so you will be hands-on on from your first day.  Arrival transfers on Mondays and Thursdays are included, otherwise you will have to pay an additional N$500
Vaccinations are required to enter Namibia. Please contact your doctor to arrange this. Do not forget to carry the vaccination certificate with your passport.
We will send you the kit list in pre-departure pack after booking. This will contain all the items you are likely to need on your trip. The volunteer work includes being very hands on with animals, building enclosures and walking with baboons so you are likely to get very dirty! Old and dispensable clothes are advisable for daily activities. The type of clothing you should bring depends on the time of year you visit. May to September is the winter period and can be very cold at night and early morning and daytime temperatures can vary. A sleeping bag is recommended! October to April is the summer period and rainy season and whilst generally hot during in the day it can become chilly in the evenings.
The currency is Namibian Dollars, but the South African Rand is widely accepted. We are able to take MasterCard and Visa payments at the project. ATM machines are present in Windhoek and withdrawals may have a small surplus charge. We do not advise bringing travellers cheques as we cannot cash them; you will only be able to get them cashed in town (NOT at the airport). If you do bring travellers cheques please ensure you have enough money to last until you are able to get them cashed.

You will need about £40 a week, as most of your expenses are covered within the programme.

All the money raised through our volunteering program goes directly back into the project which provides employment, education and accommodation to the local Bushman community and ensuring the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which are housed in natural environments around the site.Volunteer Role at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Lots! Why not book a tour after you have done this project. Namibia is a beautiful country with a stunningly diverse array of landscapes. Make the most of your time in this amazing country by combining your project with a tour. Depending on your time and budget, you can choose from a whole variety of trips from 3 days to two weeks or longer. Ask us for the options.

Off course you can, please check our  Facebook page gallery, and also sign up for trip notes.

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 1059Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1899Book Now
6 (Week)GBP 2789Book Now
8 (Week)GBP 3389Book Now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
4 (Week)GBP 1899 GBP 1861 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
6 (Week)GBP 2789 GBP 2733 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
8 (Week)GBP 3389 GBP 3321 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 27 - Jul - 2020 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Pre departure information.
  • Transfers to and from the airport (Monday and Thursday)
  • Accommodation.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Tea and coffee.
  • Arrival orientation.
  • Full support and assistance from your program coordinator throughout the programme

If you start on a Monday or Thursday the transfer is free of charge. If you starts on any other day of the week it will be N$500 for the off-day transfer.

More information regarding the meals provided

Breakfast is self service and includes toast & cereals. Lunch is typically cold and varies between sandwiches, soup or filled pancakes and fruit when available. Dinner is a hot meal or on occasion a braai (barbeque) and includes meat, vegetables, bread, pasta and rice.

Excluded

  • All flights.
  • Personal travel insurance (which should include cover for repatriation).
  • Internet and telephone calls.
  • All items of a personal nature, such as gifts, clothing (work and other).
  • Drinks and snacks, which can be bought from the shop at the farm.
  • Extra excursions.
  • Optional transfer into Windhoek on a Sunday.
  • Optional Lodge nights.

Dates

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Galapagos Conservation Project

The ultimate conservation experience in the worlds most diverse and naturally rich islands. The Galapagos. Spend up to a month here volunteering on a research project. This program offers a broad and balanced introduction to the forestry conservation projects currently underway on the Galapagos, and will put volunteers right in the thick of it, with hands-on responsibilities, at a central location on San Cristobal.

The ultimate conservation experience in the worlds most diverse and naturally rich islands. The Galapagos. Spend up to a month here volunteering on a research project. This program offers a broad and balanced introduction to the forestry conservation projects currently under way on the Galapagos, and will put volunteers right in the thick of it, with hands-on responsibilities, at a central location on San Cristobal.

 The Ultimate Galapagos Conservation  Project

Overhead, a bizarre blue-footed, blue-beaked bird lets rip an almost smug sounding, drawn out croak. He´s answered from the distance, a high pitched screech issuing from an Albatross, perched like a king on a monolith volcanic protrusion that shadows the cacti below, shrouding it from the deep blue, dark blue, sun filled sky. From the lava lizards that scurry in the dust, to the swarms of miniature penguins on the cliff tops, the giant tortoises bathing in the sun, to the rich, dense forests of the lush green highlands, this could be nowhere but the Galapagos. On the  Galapagos Conservation Project  you will discover a place buzzing with energy, from the yellow sand shoreline, to the anthracite volcanic peaks; an archipelago starkly alien, yet teeming with life at every turn. A little world as its most celebrated visitor once remarked, within itself.

Galapagos Conservation Project Highlights Include

  • Living and working in the stunning Galapagos Islands
  • Working alongside Conservation Experts and learning more about the Galapagos Conservation Project.
  • Exploring the islands and learning more about the eco system

Photos

Where the Wild Things Are: Conservation in the Galapagos

IMG_1324One thousand kilometres west of Ecuador, the Galapagos are a beating heart marooned in the Pacific. Famously packed with examples of unique and untouched life  from the red-billed booby bird, to the world´s largest tortoise these islands are a haven for naturalists, historians and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Having never been attached to mainland, the rare glimpse of evolutionary development provided by the species that sprawl this archipelago, helped Charles Darwin construct his theory of natural selection; it is a fascinating, alien-like world to behold.

However, with increased tourism and globalisation, the carefully balanced ecosystems of the Galapagos have come under threat. It is estimated that approximately two invasive species are introduced to the islands every day, each with the potential to unbalance and damage the natural symbiosis that exists amongst the native species of the Galapagos.

As more and more invasive species are introduced, the need for effective conservation programmes is greater than ever, and while a lot of the attention has been focused on the islands´ animal life, there has been little effort to conserve the highland forest habitats and plant life in these areas.

IMG_1513As a volunteer with the Xtreme Gap foundation you will be placed on the front-line of forest conservation in the Galapagos, with a responsibilities ranging from reforestation to environmental education of the local populace. Our biological station has attracted researchers, natural history organisations and volunteers to the island of San Cristobal, one of the five inhabited Galapagos, and home to one of the rich highland forest habitats that has come under threat.

This program offers a broad and balanced introduction to the forestry conservation projects currently underway on the Galapagos, and will put volunteers right in the thick of it, with hands-on responsibilities, at a central location on San Cristobal. This is an opportunity to really get stuck into conservation efforts that will make a serious difference to the future of the native species that have made the Galapagos so famous. What´s more, with an all-encompassing volunteer itinerary, you will have every opportunity to engage with the local culture and people while, immersing yourself in the natural wonder and unique world of this fascinating Archipelago.

The Programme

Start dates the first Tuesday of the month in Quito. You will have your briefing and then you need to fly to the Galapagos the next day. Please note accommodation is not covered in Quito.

Volunteer activities may vary from week to week, and we make every effort to ensure each participant experiences every part of the conservation project. Some of the typical activities include:

Reforestation

You will focus on aiding the continuation of native Galapagos plant species in the biological reserve. This means seed collection, nursery work, forestation line maintenance and seedling planting; like I said, it´s all very hands-on!

Station Maintenance

Helping construct and maintain the biological station to ensure it continues to function as a hub for scientific conservation. This could mean anything, from construction activities to ensuring the station has a clean water supply.

Education

We are really passionate about spreading the word when it comes to conservation on the Galapagos, and this means education; for both, locals and volunteers. You may be asked to take classes to introduce the local people to environmental concepts, or to keep them abreast of our efforts. You could even be on a hike yourself, visiting one of San Cristobal´s many natural wonders to learn of its role in the island´s ecosystem.

Agriculture

Naturally, we grow our own organic produce in a sustainable way and you may be tasked with managing this.

We also have some ´mini projects´ that we encourage our volunteers to get involved in, these include fenology studies, petrel observation (nest finding, behaviour observation), germination projects and coffee production.

Please note this project is not involve much wildlife conservation, is more biodiversity and land-based conservation. You still have plenty of access to enjoy the wildlife in the Galapagos but it is not hands-on animal research.

On the Weekends

IMG_1601Most weekends (you may be needed some Saturday mornings) we leave our volunteers entirely free to explore and enjoy the island.

With such a rich array of wildlife strewn across this rugged and untouched landscape, we doubt you´ll ever be short of entertainment. You could seek out the red footed booby, the elusive Chatham mockingbird or take the 35 minute hike to chill with the Frigates on the cliff tops through the forest.

For surfers there´s a great swell at the nearby Playa Punta Carola, while the swimmers can hit Playa Mann or de Oro, for a more relaxing beach visit.

Accommodation

new houseIt doesn’t get more authentic than this! Rustic ´half-and-half´, bamboo cement houses, which can accommodate up to 45 people in a single room, make for a really immersive experience. Nestled in the thick forested highlands of San Christobal, you will be indelibly surrounded by nature and away from all the technological ties you´re used to.

Arrival   Information

When you arrive in Ecuador you´ll probably fly into Quito international, and can grab a taxi from there to town. We have an office there, where you can attend your introduction meeting (these take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) and get the low down on the project.

There are a few standard costs associated with arriving in the Galapagos, and we recommend setting aside $450 for flights and $110 for the Galapagos National Park fee. There is an airport at San Cristobal, but sometimes flights are diverted to Baltra, where you can transfer by boat to San Cristobal.

If you´re looking for a raw and hands-on experience that´s different from your typical gap year circuit, one that will drop you right on the forefront of conservation, right in the thick of the natural world, and in smack bang in the middle of a new and exciting culture, then this is the perfect opportunity for you; see you in Ecuador!

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

The Galapagos is a place that can be visited at any time. There are two season, and the warmest is between December to May. It is the time when the sky is always clear and the sun shines strongly. If you love to dive in amazing places, the best time to visit Galapagos is from June to November. During this season the weather is a little cold, but it gives you the chance to enjoy the best of the Galapagos’ famous marine reserve.
The official language is Spanish.
Sure! You can take Spanish lessons and learn to surf with our  Spanish and Surf programme in Montanita!

The official currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. The bills are the same as US bills. The coins are also the same as used in the US, as well as similar Ecuadorian coins. Most shops and restaurants will not accept bills over $20, so it is worth having small currency denominations on you.
Yes. In Quito there are exchange bureaus that you can access easily.
Yes. You can use your ATM in most places around Ecuador to debit money. Credit cards are accepted at supermarkets, pharmacies, stores, restaurants and big shops. Most ATMS and credit card companies will charge a small service fee for international usage.
Absolutely! You will have plenty of access to the internet in Quito.   So keep an eye out for the nearest internet caf, or ask one of our on site staff.
Internet cafes will offer low prices on international phone calls. In Quito there are plenty of phone cabins where you can make international phone calls at low rates.

Citizens of the European Community, the United States, Switzerland, England, Canada, Australia, Japan and most other countries need a passport valid for at least 6 months after arrival for entering Ecuador. Please check with your embassy for latest information.

On your flight an international embarkation card is obtainable on which you indicate, besides personal data, that you are entering as a tourist for a maximum stay of three months. Herewith you apply for a stay permit of three months. Please keep the copy of your embarkation card, because you might need it for your departure.

Can you extend your stay to longer than three months?
You can extend this stay permit three times, each time for one month more; this can be done in Quito, Manta or Guayaquil. This means that you can stay in Ecuador for six months as a tourist. If you wish to stay longer it is necessary to contact the Ecuadorian embassy in your home country in advance (see useful links/addresses) in order to apply for a visa.

Ecuador doesn´t require any vaccinations, although we highly recommend updating your tetanus, polio and typhoid vaccinations as well as a hepatitis A vaccination. Yellow fever is recommended if you´d like to travel to the north-coast (Province of Esmeraldas) or several parts of the Orient.

Malaria medication is only necessary if you´d like to travel to the jungle in Ecuador or the north-coast (Province of Esmeraldas). We recommend taking a prophylaxis with you, for example Lariam, but you might buy those things in Ecuador much cheaper than in your home-country. Of course, as it is the case in any travelling outside of your own country, you should have good travel insurance and know how to use it, in case you should need it. Make sure your visit your GP well in advance of your trip for advice on vaccinations and medications.

During your stay in Ecuador, it is necessary to carry a copy of your passport and the entrance stamp. It is not necessary to carry your original passport with the entrance stamp with you during the whole time (even if some guidebooks tell you so). The Oriente and the  Galapagos Islands are an exception; please take your passport with you while travelling in these areas.
It might be a bit early to talk about your departure yet, but we´d like you to know that you have to pay a 25US$ departure tax when leaving Ecuador. This tax has to be paid in cash directly at the airport. Please make sure that the receipt you get is fixed on your boarding pass otherwise you won´t be able to board!
Food: you can have lunch for about 2 $, a pizza for two persons might be at about 10 US$, dinner in a better restaurant starts at 15 $
Bars: beer costs between 1 US$ and 2, 50 $, cocktails between 2US$ and 3 US$.

 

 

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 529Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 759Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1499Book Now
5 (Week)GBP 1799Book Now
6 (Week)GBP 2199Book Now

Included

  • Pre departure information pack
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Research Materials
  • Local Co-ordinators to supervise research tasks
  • Warm welcome: Quito Briefing on Arrival

Excluded

  • Flights international and flights to the Galapagos
  • Park Fees
  • airport pickup in Galapagos
  • Visas
  • Accommodation in Quito for the briefing

 

Dates

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