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 Robbie 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!).

ROBBIE

Robbie joined the Askari team 8 years after his first trip to South Africa. During those years it was the passion, hard work and commitment that he demonstrated which led to him being chosen for the Askari team.

 

Starting with an array of volunteer projects (including Askari), Robbie was further selected for internships which fuelled his bush passion even more. After completing his BSc in Wildlife Biology, Robbie went on to gain his FGASA Level 1 qualifications at Bushwise Field guide training school.

 

From Bushwise, Robbie became the ‘Internship Manager’ at a Wildlife Research project where he aimed to align the key academic and field skills needed to assist interns in the pursuit of a conservation career. Robbie subsequently moved onto Assistant Base Manager before then joining the Askari team.

 

Robbie is a qualified FGASA Level 1 guide with his back-up trails guide qualification. He spends the majority of his time off pursuing further experience to progress towards a lead guide trails qualification. His passion is research and science and linking those aspects with conservation efforts. He is therefore very excited to be shortly embarking on his Masters degree.

 

 

Robbie 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.

 

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

 

 

THE TEAM

Lindiwe & Thandi will be your ‘mums on the road’ as they look after the volunteers and accommodations at Askari. Floid 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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So with all our other sightings at the time, I don't think I ever got round to sharing this one! On our most recent Kruger trip we had this stunning sighting of a secretary bird! This was a 'lifer' for many of the group and a real highlight of the day #askariwcp #birdingwillchangeyourlife ... See MoreSee Less

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