Rates are inclusive of accommodation, food (breakfast, home cooked lunch & dinner), training week, equipment, activities, laundry service and local airport pick up/drop off. Please note that international and domestic flights, travel & medical insurance and personal equipment must be covered by the volunteer. Stays of 4, 8 or 12 weeks are available.
• 15% discount for returning volunteers
4 WEEK START DATES
|Arrival date||Departure date|
|7 Jan||4 Feb|
|4 Feb||4 Mar|
|4 Mar||1 Apr|
|8 Apr||6 May|
|6 May||3 Jun|
|3 Jun||1 Jul|
|1 Jul||29 Jul|
|19 Aug||16 Sep|
|16 Sep||14 Oct|
|14 Oct||11 Nov|
|11 Nov||09 Dec|
During your orientation week, you will enjoy a ‘behind the scenes’ look at all aspects involved in the running of our wilderness reserve. This includes a trip to reserve headquarters, the hub of activity and centre for most of our vehicles, equipment and staff. As you continue your time at Askari, data collection will begin as well as involvement in many reserve and monitoring projects. As part of the team you will see just how much work goes in to the everyday operations of the reserve to keep it functioning as a pristine habitat for our flora and fauna. 100% of your volunteer contribution goes into the project and reserve and apart from the accommodation and food costs for your stay, we hope the list below gives you an idea of what else is required to conserve our wilderness. For the operation of the reserve and our wildlife research and conservation, your contribution is invaluable in making Pidwa a benchmark reserve.
As part of our reserve ethos, we are restoring the integrity of all species which should naturally occur on Pidwa. In the past 8 years cheetah, zebra, wildebeest, sable, reedbuck, African wildcat and tsessebe have all been purchased and released to re-introduce the species, increase numbers or enhance gene pools.
Askari is responsible for both its own independent scientific studies and also contributions towards other conservation organisations. In 2013, field work for ‘Project Impisi’, our ground-breaking brown hyaena research was completed. This would not have been possible without the funds to purchase GPS enabled tracking collars and further research equipment such as camera traps and range finders.
For specific species on the reserve, veterinary interventions are sometimes required. This may be due to ill-health, an inter or intra-specific species interaction, for research purposes or even a human induced injury, such as a snare.
Askari is responsible for the breeding camps situated next to the Askari garden which increase numbers of the rare nyala and sable antelopes. These are released onto the reserve to replace past populations, which were lost to habitat destruction and hunting. Supplementary feed and veterinary bills are the high costs involved for this part of the reserve.
All your accommodation, electricity and food are included in the cost of your stay as well as a laundry service twice per week. You can also enjoy the large garden, outdoor furniture, sports equipment and large swimming pool.
During training you will be familiarised with all equipment you may use while on the reserve. This could be a saw or panga during physical work or a pair of callipers to measure tracks, the GPS console to record your data or radio telemetry equipment to track an animal.
During all activities at Askari you will be led by our FGASA trained, highly qualified and competent staff.
The majority of your time will be spent in our 11 seater Land rover open game viewer. We also use a Toyota hilux for the heavy work and trips to town are made in our air-conditioned 9-seater Hyundai ‘Giraffe van’! Around the reserve you will see many other vehicles at work keeping Pidwa operational. These include tractors, management vehicles, graders, diggers, quad and motorbikes. Fuel costs and vehicle maintenance make this one of the most costly areas of the reserve.
Safety is a priority for us at all times at Askari. Regularly serviced fire extinguishers and stocked First Aid kits are kept in all areas and vehicles.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Having returned for a second time, I was continually blown away by the knowledge and passion shown by the Askari staff. My time at Askari will push on to be the highlight of my year. This programme is highly recommended.
My stay at Askari has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. The amount of things I learned and saw was unique and soul-satisfying. Katie & Ed are amazing people in so many ways and I would love to come back for another stay at Askari
Askari was hands down the greatest experience of my life. The staff are amazing and friendly and the backbone of this reserve is strong. When you're not enjoying the countless wildlife you are partaking in meaningful activities that lead to the longevity of this reserve's ecosystem. I would suggest it for all who want to make a difference in their own and this earth's life.
Askari is a unique project where one can truly get to experience the African wildlife. Do not come here expecting to find lions or cheetahs that you will pet and touch, because this is not that type of project. But what you can find in very friendly staff, extremely knowledgeable guides such as Ed and Katie and memories to last a lifetime. Thank you Ed and Katie. - June 2016
I'm so very happy that I chose Askari for my south Africa volunteer program. The quality and knowledge of the team here is well above average - they are a superb team! I learned more than I expected and most importantly, I felt that I contributed to a highly ethical conservation program. "July 2016"
Askari was more than a 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 importan and current values of wildlife conservation. I recommend Askari to anyone trying to visit South Africa for its wildlife.