Askari Wilderness conservation Programme
Pidwa Wilderness Reserve
Limpopo 0895 South Africa
Phone : +27 (0)15 3184430
Mission Statement :
The goal of Askari is to restore the balance that existed prior to human interference on Pidwa Wilderness Reserve. This requires a little assistance and provides volunteers with the opportunity to make a genuine and valuable contribution to the conservation of Africas wild areas and wildlife.
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.