Now this is fantastically cool! Imagine when your co-workers and friends ask what you did over the summer and you respond by saying that you helped to translocate elephants in the wilds of Africa! Through Ultimate Africa Safaris you can literally volunteer to help translocate African elephants from one location to another!
From August 3 to August 17, 2016 the Nakavango Conservation Program at the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve just outside Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is offering visitors the chance to take part in this once in a lifetime wildlife experience. For those wishing to stay longer Ultimate Africa can make suggestions – 3 to 5 nights in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park or Mana Pools National Park would be perfect! You could partake in wildlife viewing walks, canoeing, night time wildlife viewing drives… I digress…
The details: African elephants are a keystone species, and their numbers in a protected area need to be carefully monitored. Should a reserve become overpopulated with elephant, this will have a negative impact on the entire ecosystem and its inhabitants. In order to maintain ecological equilibrium in the Stanley & Livingstone Game Reserve, it has now become necessary to reduce the current population of elephants by 5–7%. Disturbance to the existing breeding herds will be kept to a minimum by translocating between 5-10 elephant bulls into neighboring national parks. Each animal will be darted with a tranquillizer from a helicopter. Once the elephant is recumbent, the game capture team and ground crew will move in. Assistance will be required at this stage from volunteers to monitor the elephant’s vital signs, temperature, breathing etc. while the team prepare to mechanically uplift and translocate the animal. Once it has been moved successfully, an antidote will be administered and the elephant will be released into its new home.
The Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Reserve is the only “Big Five” game reserve in the Victoria Falls region, and you will have the opportunity to view many other species of game during your time there. In addition you will work alongside partners from the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and African Wildlife Management and Conservation. The itinerary is as follows:
August 3, 2016 – Arrival, orientation, game drive, dinner around fire
August 4, 2016 – Breakfast, morning game drive, Elephant Op briefing with Q&A session, lunch, overnight
camping in bush on reserve
August 5, 2016 – Breakfast in camp, fence patrol with vehicles, lunch, afternoon: elephant monitoring
August 6, 7, 2016 – Leisure time with opportunities to enjoy adventure activities in Victoria Falls
August 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 2016 – Elephant Op to include detailed daily briefings with plan of action, packed lunches, de-briefing, dinner. The entire operation may takes less than 5 days, in which case you will assist with other Nakavango Conservation Programme (NCP) activities. Should the operation take more than 5 days and run into the weekend, they will do their best to give you leisure time on the Monday.
August 13, 14, 2016 – Leisure time
August 15, 2016 – Breakfast, NCP activity, lunch, NCP activity
August 16, 2016 – Breakfast, visit to community project at local school, lunch, final game drive, farewell dinner
August 17, 2016 – Breakfast, checkout procedures and feedback, mid-morning transfer to airport
The US $2,970 fee for this all-inclusive volunteer package helps to cover some of the costs of the exercise in addition to the volunteer’s accommodation, airport transfers, meals and participation in the operation (including observation time in the helicopter). The program also includes some leisure time in which visitors can enjoy other activities and sights available in Victoria Falls. The fee does not include international airfare or adventure activities in the Victoria Falls area.
Ultimate Africa founder and president