Askari Wilderness Conservation Programme
Askari provides volunteers with a lifetime opportunity that will never be forgotten; 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.
Every day means new tasks, and you will get to participate in and contribute to many of the various challenges and tasks that managing a game reserve is.
Having been at Askari 3 years ago I have been following it’s progress on facebook with Katie’s great picture. 3 years later I am back in South Africa and it would have been rude to not pop into Askari for 2 weeks. It was just as much fun as I remembered , if not even better with the additions of the pool, sable station and the bird loving South African bloke. So cheers guys. December 2015
I very much enjoyed my time here in the African bush and was so happy to return as the intern. It just goes to show that hard work and commitment really pays off. It was almost 5 years ago since I was last here, so I’m really pleased this opportunity came to fruition. I enjoyed every sighting, big or small. Seeing the big 5 was just the icing on the cake. January - February 2016
I have greatly enjoyed my 2 weeks here at Askari. The team was very welcoming and friendly and I would definitely consider returning as 2 weeks simply isn’t enough time to experience the beauty of Pidwa and all it has to offer. I have seen some amazing things which I will look back on with the fondest of memories from experiencing the elephant darting, not once but twice, to watching young hyaenas run around with flowers in their mouths and identifying some incredible wildlife. These are just a few of the things that have made the past 2 weeks truly special. Thank you.
This experience has been extremely life-changing. The knowledge and experiences I gained here have helped me learn a lot more about myself. The small group sizes allow for a more intimate experience with the wildlife.
As someone who has been involved in quite a few volunteer projects, I can honestly say Askari is one of the best. Fun, interesting and you leave feeling you have done good with your time. The staff are awesome and make your experience here fun and rewarding.
Askari was a more than satisfying experience for someone looking to see a great part of South Africa. I think you all do an excellent job of maintaining the reserve and properly teaching the important and current values of wildlife conservation. I will recommend Askari to anyone trying to visit South Africa for its wildlife.
In the beginning I was looking for a wildlife volunteer job. Thee are a lot of opportunities. But I read good reviews about this project so I choose this one and it was great. We have seen and done a lot, it was informative and we had a lot of fun. Of course to see the animals in wild was very great. I recommend this project to everybody. Maybe I will come back. Thank you Ed and Katie for this wonderful time February 2016
Best way to learn about wildlife and vegetation, conservation and reserve management. Came here with the idea to learn a lot about the animals, leaving Askari with way more knowledge that only about the animals. Thanks for everything. - February 2016
My time at Askari was incredible. We do so many different activities, one day seems like two days. You can’t imagine what is happening in the bush until you see it for yourself. We participate in each task and choice about the bush. You become part of an awesome team where you make new friends. People who share the passion and who want to make a difference. Do not hesitate, just do it. This is adventure! - November 2015
This programme far exceeded all expectations. I learnt an incredible amount about a wide range of conservation areas whilst getting up close and personal with the animals. The team are impressively knowledgeable and passionate about what they do. They warmly welcomed me into the Askari family and I can honestly say I’ve has the best time of my life. I will definitely be coming back to Askari and strongly recommend this place to anyone who loves wildlife, is prepared to get their hands dirty and has a keen interest in conservation. September-December 2015
A month I will never forget! I can’t recommend the Askari conservation programme highly enough! From day one I loved every moment and Ed and Katie go out of their way to ensure you have the most amazing trip! The programme is really well organised so that there is a balance between the wow of seeing an elephant pass right by the vehicle and the conservation work involved to ensure their natural habitat remains. I have learnt so much in my time at Askari and feel incredibly lucky to have been part of this world and the fantastic work the whole team carry out on a daily basis. I am so happy I was able to contribute to this unique programme. Askari is a very special place and I think it’s safe to say it’s stolen a piece of my heart forever. March 2016
At 56 years old I am the oldest person on the project but fitted in very well, this is testament to the staff and also a great bunch of volunteers. The project was very well planned and the daily itinerary was also varied and interesting. The knowledge of the staff was excellent and the games at the house and on drive made it fun whilst learning. I would urge anyone, young or old, with a passion to make a difference for Africa wildlife to sign up. This may well be my last trip to Africa as a volunteer. I would just like to say thank you for making it the best. January 2016
Absolutely loved my time here at Askari, complete mixture of learning about the conservation work that is done here, physical but rewarding tasks like fence clearing, and incredible wildlife encounters, alongside sleep outs and braai's. Ed and Katie are awesome and so much fun - would definitely recommend anyone to volunteer at Askari. January 2016
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.
Plus, I now have the best stories to tell in the pub about holding scorpions, camping next to rhinos, hearing a wild lion roar, watching cheetahs hunt.
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 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.
Well where to start . . . every aspect of my two week trip on the Askari Wilderness Conservation project was amazing. If you’re looking for a volunteer project with a huge variety of activities, wildlife everywhere, great food, fantastic homely accommodation, no two days the same, great value, friendly and knowledgeable staff, then Askari is for you.
My time at Askari was amazing! I really want to come back and stay longer. The surroundings are beautiful and you really feel like you are doing something useful.
I have been on a few volunteer projects around the world but especially in Africa and I can honestly say Askari is by far the best value and the most amazing project. I highly recommend it anyone and think you are crackers if you don’t consider spend some time there.
This month has been one of the best of my life! I feel like I now have a greater understanding of the ecological balance of life out here.
You leave Askari knowing that the time you spent as a volunteer did make a difference to the running of this benchmark reserve. The experience will change your life and leave you wanting to return again and again.
It isn’t one of those volunteer programs where the project is running and the volunteers are extras. Here the volunteers are vital for the functioning of the program. We were always doing something important and were always aware of the rationale behind every activity.
Unforgettable! Unmissable! Sensational!
The closeness to the animals you get to experience here teaches you an even greater respect for them and their habitat. Definitely an experience I will remember with great joy for the rest of my life.
A month in a true wilderness with enthusiastic guides and everything from elephants to dung beetles to discover – what could be more amazing. I am closer to the top of the age range of volunteers and not that fit and I would say do NOT let age put you off – all the tasks and activities are manageable and give such a sense of achievement as you can see the benefits. Katie and Ed are both so enthusiastic and all the staff at Pidwa/Askari went out of their way to make the experience as great as possible for us. Book, come and enjoy – you will not regret this and you will leave a much happier person. This is true conservation, with real wild animals in the most incredible private place. March 2016