Askari Wilderness conservation Programme's Travel Journals

Askari Wilderness conservation Programme

  • http://www.askariwcp.com
Askari needs volunteers to actively contribute to and participate in the daily management, wildlife research and monitoring activities taking place on a game reserve in Africa. The programme fosters the conservation of wilderness and is based on Pidwa Wilderness Reserve in 25 500 hectares of untamed beauty. Volunteers at Askari will experience life on an active game reserve, enjoy world class wildlife viewing, while making a real contribution to conservation and the establishment of a benchmark wilderness area. Pidwa is well on its way to becoming a benchmark wilderness reserve as it has based all its ideals on mimicking the natural system as much as possible. Unfortunately humans have taken their toll on many wild areas of Africa and natural processes have been affected. The goal of Pidwa is to restore the balance that existed prior to human interference and this requires a little assistance. Askari volunteers are hands on members of the team responsible for all aspects of this assistance from varied reserve management projects to the research and monitoring of the reserve’s flora and fauna. Once you have completed your training, you will be immersed into a huge variety of reserve and conservation activities such as anti-poaching patrols, brown hyaena research, cheetah monitoring and habitat improvement to name a few. You will also spend a night under the African stars during sleep-out. Each day brings a new variety of things to see and do, and at any moment Askari volunteers can be called upon to assist with certain situations and emergencies that arise. The work at Askari is divided into 2 main categories Reserve management, and Wildlife conservation & research. A typical day starts around 6.00 am with a morning work session perhaps removing alien plants, repairing an eroded site or removing bush encroachment. After a mid morning breakfast the team heads out again, this time maybe to track cheetah or brown hyaena with the radio telemetry equipment. After lunch the team departs on another activity such as an herbivore age and sex ratio research drive. Volunteers also take it in turns to carry out various duties on a daily basis at Askari. These include meal preparation, data collection, vehicle checks and fence checks. All ingredients are provided for cooking along with easy to follow recipes so don’t worry if you’re not a master chef! Depending on the season, events such as prescribed burns and game capture and release take place. Both emergency and planned veterinary dartings also occur and volunteers are involved in all of these if they coincide with the period of their stay. Our activities are not only essential but also aimed at being educational, inspirational and fun. We are proud that we are valuable participants in the running of an active wilderness reserve.

Travel Journals And Articles

  • 'My time at Askari' by Fiona Leigh from Canada

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Jun 27, 2013 | South Africa

    I had an amazing time at Askari. People are very friendly and accommodating. The activities are always fun and game drives are always exciting (especially when an elephant in musth is less than a foot away from you). I hope to come back to Askari again and am glad that I had the opportunity to help work towards their goal of becoming a benchmark reserve.

  • 'My time at Askari' by Matt Bishop

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    My four weeks at Askari have been at times exhausting, at other times breathtaking, but always inspiring and rewarding. The dedication and enthusiasm the team here is very contagious. They lead by example, always challenging you to work harder and become better and the rewards for your hard work are experiences that you can sometimes scarcely believe. Spending time with the Askari lion pride or watching as the cheetah brothers …

  • 'My time at Askari' by Rachel Bishop

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    I stayed at Askari for four weeks and it was the best adventure I could have ever hoped for. Every day was different and we learnt so much about the bush and all its amazing wildlife. In our time here we helped to dart and release Nyala, took part in a mass capture of over 100 impala and build an aviary for Eddie the Eagle. We tracked the cheetah and …

  • Amazing spotted hyaena cub sighting

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    This week the team took a long drive to the very southern section of the reserve. It started off with a visit to the boma which is housing our 4 new lions, due for release soon. From there it was all about the giraffes as we passed plenty of them, including tiny babies. We then caught glimpse of an old termite mound, just off the road, which appeared to have some …

  • 'My time at Askari' by Rachel Nichols

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    My time at Askari has been amazing! Katie and Joe are a great team and really make you feel at home. The accommodation is far better than I expected, and the meals are delicious! Askari is all about returning the environment to its natural state and we had a number of lectures during the first week to explain how this is achieved. Practically we then got to help in the …

  • Bush school

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    Today was quite adventurous…possibly more for Joe and Katie than for the volunteers as they happily taught us how to drive the game viewer up and down a steep hill through the Selati River. We all did amazingly well…even if there were a few stalls initially. In the same day, we learned to shoot a rifle. Surprisingly, we all managed to shoot several bullets within the target and only a …

  • Prescribed burns 2011

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    Yesterday was burning time again when we set fire to specified areas of Pidwa as part of our prescribed burning programme. The ‘Working for fire’ team arrived on Sunday to recce the area and lead the burn. Weather conditions were not ideal as we had already received a little rain and the day was cool and overcast. This just meant that we needed to give the fire a little helping …

  • 'My time at Askari' by Sarah Gammon

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    The past four weeks at Askari have been incredible. You arrive and straight away feel like part of the team and that everything you do is contributing to the management and maintenance of the reserve. Joe and Katie are fantastic – they obviously care a lot about the programme and what they do and their enthusiasm instantly rubs off on you. You are involved in everything they are, which is …

  • 'My time at Askari' by Emma Gibson

    AskariWCP

    by: AskariWCP

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    I turned up to Askari slightly unaware of what I was going to be doing and to begin with it seemed daunting! However as soon as we began I was in love with the place and the work they do. All the staff were friendly and happy to answer questions and give you information. Not to mention the great house you stay in and the awesome food! I have been amazed …

  • My time at Askari by Emma Gibson

    Askari Wilderness conservation Programme

    by: Askari Wilderness conservation Programme

    created on: Feb 19, 2012 | South Africa

    I turned up to Askari slightly unaware of what I was going to be doing and to begin with it seemed daunting! However as soon as we began I was in love with the place and the work they do. All the staff were friendly and happy to answer questions and give you information. Not to mention the great house you stay in and the awesome food! I have been amazed …