Askari WCP

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10 / 10 after 91 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.askariwcp.com

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The Askari Conservation Programme has been a life changing experience. You get to do various activities that are key to the success of conserving the Pidwa Wilderness Reserve. There is more to conservation than just collecting flora and fauna data, for instance, removal of invasive species, collecting garbage, protecting trees from elephant etc. are all key components that are important and you learn this here. The accommodations are awesome, the staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the area is breathtaking. The skills and knowledge I have gained here is something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. It is rare to see successful conservation in action.

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Posted: May 30, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: macrobin
Age:

My stay here at Askari has been an eye opening experience. It has given me some insight into how conservation in South Africa works. I also believe that this may be a further career move for me. The programs here were fun and hard combining knowledge and physical abilities. Activities such as the cheetah and brown hyaena telemetry have given me insight into how the animals live there day to day lives the bush. I could go on all day, Askari is one of a kind program and everyone should take part at one point in their lives.

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Posted: May 27, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
20

My time here was even better than expected. All the staff is really nice and helpful, and willing to make you have a good time. The activities are always useful and I’ve learnt how to conserve an area. It’s a great programme and the fact that we are able to stop and enjoy all the animals around us from the smallest spider to the huge elephants. It’s fantastic because we are not only working but enjoying the wildlife of the place and the staff are always able to answer every question and explain you the features of the animals. I felt really comfortable here and I was able to learn and enjoy the beautiful place.

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Posted: July 24, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
New User

Comments

ok nice

It was amazing!
Everything from the scenery, wildlife sighting to staff and accommodation was awesome!
Joe and Katie are so lovely and knowledgeable and the rest of the staff is just as nice and they are all ready to help as much as they can!!
The work was a wonderful experience and you know you are doing something useful!
I loved the place and really felt at home there.
Cannot wait to go back for a longer stay.

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Posted: July 5, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Babs310
Age:
New User

The lions will keep you up all night! No, really. I actually slept through them the first few nights, and everyone made fun of me. But what a sound. Certainly not something you will hear in most bedrooms in the world. Although all the big name animals are there, my favorites were the spectacular animals that I didn't know would be there. They were complete surprises and gave me the experience of seeing something I had never heard of before, compared to seeing animals you have seen pictures and videos of since being a kid. This ranged from stick insects to bee eaters to genets to Gymnogenes brown hyenas to "how many kinds of antelopes are there?". And to see them in their own habitat, with on their terms, and to see how they interacted with their environment, and other animals was precious. There is also some structured learning so you get the big picture on what the reserve is trying to accomplish, and the people runing it and guiding you are top notch. Very passionate, and as excited about what each new day will bring as you are. And to contribute in my small way to the conservation efforts there creates a connection with that place that I would never have with a place I simply drove through on a safari. If you want to experience a place, spend some time, experience the environment, meet the people, work together, laugh, contribute to it and it will become a part of you.
My only problem now is figuring out how to get back there!

Regrettably, I only had time for the two-week program; but even that short duration was an awesome experience. The passionate, knowledgeable, and entertaining Katie and Joe are your guides as you learn and experience first hand, the workings of a wilderness reserve and all the management issues and activities involved in creating and maintaining a natural ecosystem in a modern world.

You work hard on some projects, not so hard on others, and the physical work is well balanced with informative seminars by reserve staff, braai, and plenty of free time, which is desperately needed to organise the hundreds of photos you will take and share with other volunteers.

I especially liked the focus on creating a wilderness area, as large as possible, to house endangered animals while developing the native habitats those animals need, rather than creating a maximally stocked reserve built for taking tourists on safari. As the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come”, and I mean the animals will come. The excellent habitat there provides the cover, the food, and diversity needed by a huge range of animals, and you will enjoy seeing all of them.

The accommodation is clean, comfortable and homey, but not posh and impersonal. You chip in to keep the place clean and each other fed, but also have your laundry done for you, computer access and TV entertainment – but you won’t need the TV. As with any great experience, it rests firmly with the people. Katie and Joe are great, and they are supported by a very expert and dedicated reserve staff, and an owner that has a great conservation ethic and love of the bush. The other volunteers are great to get to know and the program is small, so you are not lost in a crowd, and therefore get lots of personal attention.

I thoroughly enjoyed my short stay there, and hope to return. If at all possible, spend a month - and Katie will get you your very own bee-eater

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Posted: December 6, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Chuck
Age:
New User

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