Our Values

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 17 500 hectares of untamed beauty. In a world where habitat loss is the biggest threat to species it is essential to secure, increase and improve these wild habitats.

 

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. As the old saying goes, “why reinvent the wheel?”

 

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; to regain and secure a functioning ecosystem in which wildlife can thrive. 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.

Meet The Team

Katie and Edward organise and lead the Askari activities, and guide the volunteers around the reserve to experience the amazing array of wildlife.

KATIE

As an 11 year old girl living in the UK, Katie decided that she wanted to work as a guide in the African bush ….. and 20 years later, here she is, living her dream. In 2005 Katie graduated with a BSc in Zoology and Marine Biology, then moved to South Africa to start her field guide training. At Bush Academy she qualified as a field guide with FGASA Level 1 (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) and then went to Entabeni Private Reserve. Here she happily took guests around and taught them about the bush. During this time she gained her Level 2 award, and then her Trails Guide qualification.

 

Moving to the Lowveld, Katie started working as a science officer with volunteers on a predator research programme. In 2008 she was offered a chance to move to Askari, and, in her own words, “I didn’t hesitate for a second!”

 

Katie has a real soft spot for hyaneas and completed her Masters in Biological Sciences incorporating brown hyaena research on Pidwa. When not in the bushveld Katie loves travelling (50 countries on 6 continents so far), sport and snowboarding (although less of the latter in sunny South Africa!).

EDWARD

“Edward was born and bred in South Africa and grew up in the heart of Zululand. From his earliest memory, wildlife has been his passion and after completing his studies at one of South Africa’s top rugby schools, he obtained his FGASA Level 1. Ed qualified in both terrestrial and marine guiding and got his trails guide qualification after being the first in his class to pass the Advanced Rifle handling assessment. Ed went on to work at one of South Africa’s oldest private game reserves where he guided from the vehicle, on foot and by boat.

 

Ed decided to pursue his passion for wildlife full-time when a devastating shoulder injury ended his hopes of a professional rugby career. He began a degree in Nature Conservation which led him to Pidwa for completion of his university practical year. Starting as a member of the reserve management team, Ed was quickly snapped up to join the Askari staff. It was evident from his fun-loving personality that he would be perfect in the role of teaching and sharing his love for nature and Africa with others.

 

Ed sees every day as an opportunity to achieve greatness and believes anything is possible in the amazing African bush. Birds and honey badgers are his areas of expertise and he wishes to do a Master’s degree on honey badgers in the near future. He is a sports fanatic and keeps fit in his spare time; when he’s not out in the bush hunting for the perfect wildlife photo.”

 

Edward and Katie are supported by the Pidwa Reserve management team to ensure that Askari is involved in every aspect of the reserve. As part of Askari, you really do become an extension of the reserve staff team, so much more than a volunteer.

 

Edward and Katie look forward to welcoming you and sharing some great experiences with you.

 

 

THE TEAM

Lily & Lindiwe will be your ‘mums on the road’ as they look after the volunteers and accommodations at Askari. Jacob is responsible for the grounds and garden at Askari as well as assisting Askari with the management and feeding of the antelope breeding camps.

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A 'meet & greet' with the Askari pride today for our new team #askariwcp ...

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