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Matkaohjelma

Botswana Wild

2 Day Johanneburg Welcome Orientation

Your project starts with a 2-day orientation in Johannesburg at Curiosity Backpackers.

Arrive in Joburg or Jozi, as it is known locally, and get shown around by people who know the city well. The orientation is excellent for first-time visitors to find their feet the local way and meet other volunteers on your project.

Day 1
You will be picked up from the airport and taken to the hostel. Here you will be given a chance to settle down before you receive your welcome pack. You will be given a briefing on your volunteer program and then meet other travelers and volunteers for a welcome dinner.

Day 2
Embark on a captivating exploration of Johannesburg and Soweto after breakfast. Discover the Maboneng Precinct, a vibrant hub of creativity, art, and culture, redefining the city's history and future. Explore landmarks such as the Carlton Centre and Ghandi Square, witnessing the urban renewal of Johannesburg. In Soweto, South Africa's largest township, capture iconic moments at Orlando Towers and Soccer City, the World Cup final venue. Visit the Hector Pietersen Memorial for insights into the 1970s youth uprisings, and stroll along Vilakazi Street, home to both Nelson Mandela and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. Enjoy lunch, shop for local arts and crafts, and delve into the rich history of these dynamic neighborhoods.

Day 3
After breakfast we will take you to Johannesburg Airport or your bus stop for your onwards travel to the project.

Volunteer Tasks

Your daily journey will involve approximately six hours of volunteer work, divided between early morning and late afternoon tasks to steer clear of the midday heat. During lunch and the early afternoon, you have free time to indulge in reading, relaxing, playing games, or even taking a siesta! For those more active individuals seeking less downtime, there are consistently available activities around the camp, such as downloading camera trap data, identifying spoor, and capturing images of birds and insects for identikits.

The late afternoons typically culminate with a breathtaking sunset atop a rocky outcrop, and if the weather permits, evenings are spent enjoying the night sky around a campfire.

1. Research:
- Conduct mammal and bird surveys
- Study migration patterns throughout the year
- Develop elephant identikits
- Monitor camera traps and document nocturnal activities
- Contribute valuable data to the broader management planning of the area

2. Conservation Projects:
- Undertake activities based on conservation needs
- Fence repair, waterhole construction, soil erosion control, and more
- Play a vital role in protecting and maintaining the wilderness area

3. Wildlife Observation:
- Observe wildlife in their natural habitat
- Encounter herds of elephant, zebra and giraffe, with opportunities to track leopard, lion and hyena.
- Immerse yourself in the sounds and sights of the African bush

4. Sleep-Outs:
- Experience the magic of Africa's starlit sky
- Witness breathtaking sunsets over the plains
- Fall asleep under the vast African sky, listening to the sounds of nearby creatures

5. Discover:
- Learn to identify species in the African bush
- Engage in spoor identification and cast-making
- Participate in conservation debates and bird identification sessions
- Absorb the silence and vastness of the surrounding landscapes

Weekends
There will be free time on weekends where you can catch up on sleep or relax in the camp. Sunday is your day off, there are opportunities to go into the village or hang at the swimming pool. We can take you on walks/game drives and can arrange to go to other places in the area such as Solomon’s Wall (depending on the availability of guides).

Courses

On this project you will get involved in whatever is needed, but we want you to have fun and learn along the way. You will attend lectures in our ‘bush classroom’, and will be given practical exercises to carry out to re-enforce what we teach you. Part of your stay will include attending two courses which are included in the price. Your ‘working hours’ will vary but usually be about 4 - 6 hours a day, after which you then get to freshen up and join us for some sort of activity – take a walk on our beautiful islands, go on game drives, or sit quietly at one of our hides and enjoy seeing the animals and watch the sunset.

COURSE 1 - BIRD IDENTIFICATION
This course will teach the beginner how to start to identify birds without having to page right through the entire bird book each time. It will teach you how to identify using beaks, feet, location, colours, behaviour, etc. It will also include details on the habits of some of the birds in our area as well as breeding and nesting. There will be a lot of practical aspects to this course where you will have the opportunity to observe various birds in different habitats and record what you have seen. The Tuli Block is very rich in bird life and there are nearly 400 species of birds here so we would like to start to build up a list of what we have seen. This course will also equip you to identify birds in other areas of the world, simply by using the same technique.

COURSE 2 - CONSERVATION DEBATE
This discussion-based class is very interactive and encourages all who visit us to think about their daily lives at home and how they could make a difference. There is much discussion around wildlife and the welfare of all creatures as well as the habitat they live in and you will gain many insights into how we can help improve the plight of all who inhabit the planet.

Location

Central Tuli Block: Historically a mixed-use area, the Central Tuli Block has been transformed into a wildlife sanctuary. Private conservationists worked to re-wild the region, making it a haven for Africa's iconic species. This program aims to provide an authentic wilderness experience for youth while contributing to the conservation goals of the area.

Inclusions

2 Day Johannesburg Orientation
Return transfer between Johannesburg and the project
Accommodation
Volunteers will receive three meals a day (including braai once a week)
Guided activities
Game drives
Sleep-outs under the stars
24-hour support and supervisor at the project
Donation to the project
Certificate of completion

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Completed Application form
Basic level of competency in English
Copy of return flight itinerary
Passport should have at least 6 months validity left after the end of your trip. There should also be at least two blank pages.
Medium level of fitness
Medical Insurance that includes evacuation

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.
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Majoitus

Accommodation at the project is in a fully equipped tented camp in a magnificent setting in the middle of the reserve.

There are 2-6 person walk-in safari tents with bunk beds, sheets and pillows. Volunteers need to bring along their own towels and a sleeping bag for occasions when we sleep out for the night (summer lightweight sleeping bag, winter thicker warmer sleeping bag). There is no electricity in the camp but we do run solar-powered lights. Bathrooms are shared, with hot and cold showers and flush toilets. There is a common area for eating, relaxing and reading and a beautiful boma for fireside evenings. The kitchen is equipped with gas appliances and all meals are provided. Pizza nights are a highlight with the home-made pizza oven. You can charge cameras and mobiles using the solar power.

You do your own laundry in the camp. We expect you to keep your room and personal belongings tidy at all times and participate in any chores as required for the cleanliness of the shared facilities.

There is a plunge pool in the camp where volunteers can cool off.

After-hours entertainment
There are books and magazines and a number of puzzles and games which you can use. There is a plunge pool in the camp where volunteers can cool off. Evenings will be spent either around the camp fire in the boma, sleeping out at one of the hides or going out on a night game drive. We do not allow any alcohol on the Reserve.

Paikalliset kuljetukset

Return transfers between Johannesburg and Polokwane are included. We can also collect you at any hotel or place of accommodation on the arrival day, should it be within close radius of the City centre or Airport

Getting to the Project
After the 2-day orientation in Johannesburg, you will be transported to the bus station in Johannesburg to catch the bus to the Polokwane station (approximately 6hrs to station). At the station you will meet your shuttle driver who will take you to the Botswana border to meet your project leader (approximately 3hrs drive to border) Alternatively, you can fly from JNB - Polokwane to skip the bus (at your own expense).

Johannesburg to Polokwane on route Mainliner JHB-POL
Depart: 08:15 ZA | Arrive: 14:15 ZA

Leaving the Project
Departure time - You MUST take a late evening flight out of JNB, as the bus from Polokwane will only arrive in JNB in the late afternoon. Alternatively, you can fly from Polokwane - JNB if you wish to skip the bus (at your own expense).

Polokwane to Johannesburg on route Mainliner POL-JHB
Depart: 10:30 ZA | Arrive: 15:35 ZA

Ateriat

During the introduction weekend in Johannesburg you

All meals are provided for you whilst on the project and this is participative. We have a roster and all volunteers are expected to take their turn preparing meals, etc.. Much of the cooking can be done over a fire and we will teach you to bake breads and rolls. The camp has a kitchen with gas fridge, freezer and stove and is fully equipped with crockery, cutlery and glassware.

Meals are simple and wholesome. NOTE: Please do let us know up-front if you have any special needs regarding food.

- Breakfast is a simple oats, breads, spread, cereals - self service.
- Lunches and Dinners are substantial home-cooked meals.
- Tea and coffee will be available all day.

There will be periodic visits to a local village where there is a small local shop to buy simple snacks, but we recommend you bring extra snacks from home or Johannesburg. A refrigerator is available for you to use for your personal food and drinks

Lisäinfoa

Extra information
Internet
There is no WIFI at the camp itself, however there are areas on the farm where cellular signal is available, so if volunteers have cell phones which can access email, they will be able to. Should family need to get hold of a volunteer they are able to email or call us, and we will pass on the message. There is intermittent cellular signal on parts of the farm, but it is not guaranteed. Should we travel to Bobonong or Alldays, internet cafés are available there.

Shops/Grocery Stores:
When possible, trips to visit a local village will be scheduled to pick up basic snacks and cool drinks

ATMS:
There are plenty of ATMS in Johannesburg where you will have your orientation. Please exchange your foreign money in Johannesburg airport as it cost effective and safe. You will need PULA for Botswana and you would need to take this with you from Johannesburg or home.

Supervision/Co-Ordination
As the nature of the work varies we will place volunteers under the supervision of various staff members. We will have one member of our team assigned as “team leader” to facilitate the smooth operation of the volunteers stay and provide guidance where necessary.

Weather in Botswana
Botswana generally experiences a subtropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.

Dry Season (March to October):
This is the dry season with warm days and cooler evenings. During the winter months (June-August), temperatures can drop significantly at night and early morning. This is a lovely time of the year for wildlife viewing as animals tend to gather around waterholes.

Green Season (November to February):
This is the summer season with higher temperatures and the welcome of summer rains. While there can be rainy days over this time, afternoon rainstorms are most common, bringing a welcome relief to the heat. The landscape becomes lush and green, and this is when many of the baby animals arrive.

Packing list
DOCUMENTS
Passport (There should be at least 6 months validity left after the end of your trip. There should also be at least two blank pages.)

LUGGAGE
Suitcase or rucksack. One piece of luggage which does not exceed 80cm x 60cm x 30cm in size, and of a total mass (all luggage and goods combined) not exceeding 20kg.
Daypack for daily use

CLOTHING
Neutral-colored attire suitable for the bush, avoiding bright colors or neons
Lightweight shorts and tops for daytime activities
Long-sleeved tops and pants for evenings (to guard against mosquitoes)
Lightweight hoodie/jersey for summer and warm jacket for winter
Lightweight waterproof jacket (especially useful during the rainy season)
Pajamas, socks, and underwear
Sturdy closed shoes
Flip flops or sandals
Swimwear
Hat and sunglasses
Warm beanie for winter
Garden gloves (provided for activities like building waterholes or repairing fences)
Buff (multi-functional headwear)

GENERAL
Towel
Sleeping bag
Large water bottle
Head torch (a cell phone light may not be sufficiently bright for this purpose)
Sunscreen (ensure an ample amount for sun-exposed work)
Insect repellent
Personal toiletries (preferably eco-friendly)
Camera with necessary batteries and chargers
Binoculars (if available)
Journal/cards/games/art supplies as desired
Reading books and mammal/bird identification books (if available)
Basic first aid kit (plasters, headache tablets, antiseptic cream, etc.)

IMPORTANT
Please ensure you have all necessary personal medication and enough for your stay plus a couple of extra days. Obtaining medicine and prescriptions in the remote camp area may be challenging.

EXTRAS
Snacks if desired
Pocket money (for local purchases.)

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