Askari is one of those stand out experiences you never forget. My hopes for the trip were to see the South African mammals and contribute to their management and conservation. Thanks to the Askari team, especially Joe and Katie for making this possible and for sharing a part of their knowledge and skills in such an inspiring way. The longer my stay, the more I saw how fascinating and diverse South Africa’s wild creatures are – not just the mammals! The ferocious, semi-nomadic soldier ants (matabele), the giant nest building hammerkop and the huge, fearsome martial eagle. There is a great range of activities that take place and always something new to learn. The management philosophy at Pidwa respects the resilience and complexity of the reserve ecosystem and aims to protect these values with the least amount of human intervention necessary – it is an amazing place to be.
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Askari is not only a place where you can come to make a difference, it is a place where you can come to learn about conservation. With enthusiastic, dedicated and educated field guides, a volunteer here will be exposed to awe inspiring diversity; from beetles to lions – there is a never ending colourful array of life forms that thrive here. It is truly an experience of a lifetime.
"A really amazing project. A stunning reserve. Although I did my research I wasn't prepared for such a rewarding experience. I couldn't expect how much I would learn and enjoy during my stay. I regret my 6 weeks were not 6 months. The project involves us in such wonderful tasks that are at the same time important and very much needed in order to maintain such an amazing place. The tasks and routines are part of a system that seems to have been built and shaped over all the years, nearly to perfection. Every week, every month has something new and exciting to offer. It is impossible to regret coming here (except the shortness of the stay, for even 6 months may not be enough), the amazing staff and the unique wilderness make sure of it."
I really enjoyed my stay at Askari. We did not only see a lot of animals, but also helped to conserve the reserve to maintain a good habitat for the animals and plants inside. Our stay was perfectly arranged with great accommodation and food and very friendly and helpful staff. There was some hard work to do, but it is always followed by a more relaxing activity like a game drive. I can recommend the Askari project to people who are not afriad to get involved in all the ins and outs of a game reserve.
"Askari is a unique and special place. the volunteer programme is well balanced, varied and above all enjoyable. I really felt that during my time here I was contributing to something worthwhile. Katie & Joe are clearly passionate about what they do and take the time to share their wealth of knowledge with you. Each and every animal sighting is different and special. I was fortunate enough to see pangolin, a lioness on a kill and many others, too numerous to mention. You are immediately made to feel welcome and Askari quickly became my Africa home away from home. Volunteering at Askari has definitely been a life-changing experience. I leave here with memories to treasure, great stories to share with friends and of course new found friends. Thanks to Katie & Joe for this amazing experience. Askari will be a hard act to follow."
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