The focus of this project is to monitor endangered African wildlife and assist in vital conservation efforts, with a special focus on the Big Five and large predators. Service Learning students are involved in a variety of research initiatives, gathering information in the field and assisting with computerized data-capturing which is shared with relevant researchers and authorities. Most of the data gathered supports the long-term objectives of wildlife trusts and foundations such as The African Lion & Environmental Research Trust and Save the Elephants. Conservation activities on the reserves may also include the removal of alien plant species, the creation of waterholes and wetlands, road clearing, and litter collection. This work is essential to the management of the reserve and to providing a safe environment for people and animals, whilst supporting balanced ecosystems.
Timeframe for Involvement
The minimum recommended duration for this program is 7 days. The maximum length is 14 days.
- Carry out real and active wildlife monitoring research to provide crucial information for wildlife trusts and organizations working in the area.
- Assist a field team with conservation initiatives such as alien plant control, soil erosion prevention and repair, and other reserve management maintenance where needed.
- Gain new knowledge and insight into Africa biodiversity and conservation.
- Learn about African animals and how they fit into the ecological landscape of the greater Kruger region.
- Learn about indigenous vegetation in the Kruger region and critical reserve management issues such as soil erosion, pollution and water conservation.
- Develop vital research skills such as observation, recording, storage and analysis of data.
- Be involved in practical activities such as operating camera traps, sweeping for snares, tracking game, identifying wildlife through photography and removing alien vegetation
This module is based in the greater Kruger Park area in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa. The Kruger Park area is a treasure trove of biodiversity that supports hundreds of species of animals and plants. Students will be accommodated at Dumela Lodge near Hoedspruit.
Dinner and Djembe Drumming
Gold Restaurant is an experience of the opulent heartbeat of African cuisine and culture. Tailoring its menu to the diversity found across the African continent, Gold Restaurant offers a gourmet selection seasonally adapted from Northern, Sub-Saharan, and Southern Africa. Guests will have the opportunity to join in a djembe drumming session. Feel the pulse of Africa as you drum and dine.
As the most southwestern outcrop of the African continent, Cape Point rises above the cobalt and turquoise-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. With the sound of the sea rushing below you, climb up to the lighthouse for a view of misty mountains in the distance at one of Cape Town’s most scenic and significant vantage points.
Cape Malay Cooking Class
Jasmina’s house is part of the colorful and immensely cultural tapestry that is found in the Bo Kaap district of Cape Town. The Malayan cuisine that she imparts is also a part of the rich heritage of the area, seasoned with distinct spices, and created from recipes that have been handed down many generations. You can learn how to make a mouth-watering Malayan meal in the warmth of her kitchen, from traditional samosa starters to rich chicken curry. Afterward, you can enjoy the living dish of history you helped to spice.
Robben Island Overnight
Step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela for a night by staying in prison accommodation, along with a private tour of the prison and island. Get a feel of the isolation and challenges that the prisoners faced for decades in one of the world's most famous prisons on Robben Island. This is a unique experience that will bring you closer to understanding the challenges that Mandela and many other historical figures faced in their fight for freedom and equality.
Monks Cowl Drakensberg Hike
Located in the Kwazulu Natal province of South Africa, the trails of Monks Cowl showcase the incredible scenery of Drakensberg in the midst of mountains and valleys. Experience the beauty of South Africa as you explore these picturesque landscapes.
Hiking the Chokka trail is a 14-kilometer adventure, taking you through the Coastal Cradle of Humankind. During the hike, you will have an opportunity to see the second-largest blowhole in Southern Africa and the remains of the Osprey and Cape Recife. After the hike, there is an included tour of the SANCCOB Penguin Rehabilitation Center. Continuing via Shark Point, there is calamari tasting at Port St. Francis, then a canal cruise in the late afternoon. The day ends with dinner at Joe Fish Restaurant or a local boma for braai.
The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of Apartheid. The museum is a superb example of design, space, and landscape. It offers the international community a unique South African experience. A series of 22 individual exhibition areas takes the visitor through a dramatic emotional journey that tells the story of a state-sanctioned system based on racial discrimination and the struggle of the majority to overthrow this tyranny. The exhibits include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels, and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that contribute to the saga of Apartheid.
Pilanesberg National Park is set within the crater of an ancient volcano, formed 1.2 billion years ago by overflowing magma. It exists in a transition zone between the dryness of the Kalahari and the wet vegetation of the Lowveld region. This rich transitional zone attracts an incredible variety of game animals, flora, and fauna that are not often found living side by side. Virtually all of the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the “big five", wild dog, roan, tsessebe, sable antelope, and more than 360 bird species.
AWOL Bicycle Tour
This international, award-winning, socially responsible bicycle tour in Masiphumelele, Kommetjie is a new take on township tours, providing guests the opportunity to meet and interact with the local community from a bicycle seat. A qualified local guide will escort guests around the township, visiting interesting places and explaining Xhosa customs. The tour includes lunch at a local township restaurant that serves delicious authentic African food.
Step through the entryway to this beach and find yourself face to face with one of Africa’s quirkier inhabitants - penguins. A colony of African penguins resides on Boulders Beach - a stretch of sand dominated by giant seaside rocks and penguin nests.
Bo-Kaap Walking Tour
This tour winds its way through jewel-toned houses and mosques, providing commentary on the history and tradition behind the iconic architecture of the Bo-Kaap district. As you follow your guide through this segment of Cape Town, we invite you to explore a side of South African history defined by cultural fusion and crossover. Watch tradition unfold into a modern landscape of vibrancy as East meets West at the southern point of Africa.
The Soweto Day Tour takes in the highlights of this iconic township including Nelson Mandela’s former home and the Hector Pieterson Museum. You will get close to Soweto Culture, meet the people, try local foods, and maybe even some Omqombothi (traditional beer) at a shebeen. This tour is one of a kind. It takes you through the smell of pavement-cooked meals and the buzz of people going about their daily chores in the streets. Come and experience the humanity, hospitality, and warmth of township life - the "ubuntu" of South Africa.
Abseiling Table Mountain
Abseiling is one of the best ways to explore the rocky crags of Table Mountain. This thrilling activity includes a relatively technical hike, so a moderate fitness level is required to experience this adventure!
Find out why Table Mountain is one of the seven natural wonders of the world as you climb to the top. The mountain stretches gloriously on the Cape Town horizon, rising effortlessly from the lights and bustle of the city. As you ascend, the rugged terrain becomes a world in and of itself, with age-old rocks, grasses, and shrubs covering the mountainside. The top of Table Mountain provides astounding views of the city on one side and the sea on the other, with rolling clouds over rocky peaks. A cable car provides a scenic descent, suspended gracefully over jagged rock and the famous flora of the mountain.
Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center
This center provides a sanctuary for many wild animals such as leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, and vultures that are the victims of habitat loss. While Moholoholo is directly involved in research, breeding programs, and rehabilitation, it also helps tribal communities and farms by adopting and relocating 'problem animals’ that would otherwise be poisoned or injured if left at the mercy of people. The aim of this rehabilitation facility is to promote awareness about environmental upheaval and to support endangered wildlife.
Class in the Clouds
Did you know that Table Mountain is believed to have more plant diversity than the British Isles put together? Class in the Clouds gives learners the chance to learn all about the amazing fauna and flora found in the Cape Floral Kingdom while enjoying the view from the top of Table Mountain.
Induna offers a wide variety of adrenaline-racing activities such as white water rafting, ziplining, and quad biking. Only twenty minutes away from Kruger National Park, Induna’s pristine location provides an unforgettable setting for adventure sports and outdoor team activities.