Outdoors Information

Things to Make Your Gap Year in Africa Easy!


The kind of things you pack when you go on a trip says a lot about where you're heading and what you're going to be doing.

Taking a warm top and a 'blanky' is OK if you're going to stay at Granny's house, but when you're taking a gap year in Africa, these items come highly recommended...

Work Pants with zip-off longs x 2

Great for casual wading in the water and getting within meters of Southern Right Whales breaching just off your sea sprayed research boat.

This is what work at the O.R.C.A Foundation in Plettenberg Bay was all about. Plettenberg Bay is a coastal town located along the world famous Garden Route. It's where some of the worlds most fascinating marine species can be seen, anything from Humpback Whales to Great White Sharks.

My gap year travel here gave me a once in a life time chance to work with these magnificent marine species in exciting and groundbreaking marine conservation volunteer work.

My Gap year at the O.R.C.A. Marine Foundation was also spent doing:

Rescue and rehabilitation of marine species
Sampling, tagging, monitoring and dissection of fish species
Participating in commercial marine-eco tourism activities, that included whale and dolphin watching tours, sea kayaking, township tours, and river ferry cruises
Supervised collection of touch pool and aquarium species for the O.R.C.A. Education Centre
O.R.C.A. patrol boat trips to collect data, monitor the bay and take photos of whales, dolphins and other marine species

The Fleece Beanie

The Kapama Private Game Reserve gets cold at night; I reckon fleece beanies are essential. Long nights monitoring and tracking game is an amazing experience, chills or no chills.

I found the stars in the sky were a thousand times brighter than they are in the city. Though the stars were beautiful, most of the time the thrill of stalking around in the bush took preference. Darting parties were conducted to inspect and tag animals for conservation purposes.

The monitoring programs enable conservationists to keep records of the movements and numbers of the game in the area.

Working at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre involved feeding and taking care of baby animals. Quite a few species are bred here, including the cheetah, which is a most interesting cat when you get to see one close up.

Other activities we were involved in: Camping in the reserve to get the African feeling
Target shooting
Capturing of wild animals when required by the reserve or the sanctuary
Assisting in hand raised animals
Elephant back safaris

Handy Gloves for the Colobus Trust

You can't even begin to imagine how a pair of gloves help while you're fixing fences and chasing baboons and monkeys all day. They're also a great help for removing vegetation from power lines to prevent these silly monkeys from being electrocuted. Another priority was removing the snares in the Diani Forest in an effort to protect the Colobus Monkey and its habitat.

I've never done anything quite like conducting a census for monkeys. Counting hundreds of colobus, sykes, vervet monkeys and baboons is an oddly rewarding experience.

What else did I do on my gap year on the South Coast of Kenya:

Repair and installing Colobridges, monkey-crossing bridges over Diani Beach road
Remove vegetation from power lines to stop monkeys from being electrocuted
Work alongside the school children doing studies on medicinal plants used by the community

Binoculars: Eyes in the Field

For the Shamwari Game Reserve, Binoculars were undoubtedly the most useful piece of equipment I had. You'll understand why they are often called field eyes when you get to Shamwari.

They are especially useful for the mammal monitoring and tracking program that requires diligent scanning of at least 20,000 hectares of African bush. You also need them while taking game counts and conducting the anti poaching patrols. This makes you feel like you're really playing your part in things.

These missions in the name of nature are incidentally carried out from the back of land rovers; the genuine experience!

We spotted so many varieties of amazing animals; I don't even know where to begin. While stacking up thorn trees around the village, a technique used to keep predators out and livestock in, we were surprised by the sighting of a cheetah, a perfect time to zoom in with those binoculars.

My gap year voluntary work on Shamwari also covered the following: Assisting with game darting
Alien vegetation control and identification
Camp outs in the bush
Feeding of predators at The Born Free animal rescue sanctuary

A Trusty Pair of Hiking Boots

If you're walking through 54 000 hectares of mountains, plains, indigenous fauna and flora and the incredible rock formations of the Warmwaterberg Mountains, I recommend getting good boots.

Most of the animal research projects at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve involved tracking. This meant covering a lot of rocky terrain in order to complete our objectives of game counts, monitoring and transect analysis. Camps outs in the bush and nocturnal game monitoring turned out to be extremely adventurous.

Generally, it was more of a team thing. I felt connected and part of something that, beyond just talking about it, really was doing something to help conservation efforts in the real world.

These are only a few examples of the hands-on experience we had:

Plant studies and identification
Animal habituation
Bird monitoring - bird counts on the dam including the raptor family
Medicinal use of plants and vegetation biomes

Worldwide Experience provides conservation volunteers & gap year in Africa opportunities on some of Southern Africa's premier private game reserves. This gives volunteers from around the world a chance to work closely with animals and to help forward the South African National Park's conservation objectives.


MORE RESOURCES:
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Good Fridays outdoors I remember | Ledger Independent  Ledger Independent

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Seeing the first signs of life outdoors in spring is fitting for the Easter season  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Danny and Cristina Collins worked for months getting their new guided hiking business — 37 North Expeditions — ready to launch. But a year ago, their first trip ...


For local adventurer, the outdoors is her classroom, by Steve Gilbert  The Keene Sentinel

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Brower: The evolving outdoor vibe in Granby, Colorado  Sky Hi News

Patrick Brower, Grand Enterprise Initiative Imagine that. Activity is brewing in Granby that promises to change the look and feel of downtown and the town in ...


Good Friday, Easter services at Notre Dame Cathedral will go on -- outdoors  UPI News

Services for Good Friday will be held outdoors at Paris' fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral and one of the relics saved from the blaze this week will feature ...


OUTDOORS digest  Youngstown Vindicator

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Outdoors Xtras: A beastly backpack, muddy water and cajun cooking  Tribune-Review

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Toano Middle School breaks ground on outdoor classroom  Virginia Gazette

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Scott Rall: Recycling options exist for old sporting stuff  Daily Globe

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On April 11, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm David Bernhardt, nominated to take the helm at the Department of Interior following the departure of Ryan Zinke.


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CHARLESTON — Spring is here and black bears will be coming out of their winter hibernation and looking for food, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resou.


Focused on Fitness: Learning mixed martial arts outdoors  WJTV

WJTV is focused on fitness throughout the month of April. WJTV 12's Shay O'Connor brought her sidekick DeAngelo Marquise for a quick workout with a master ...


Seniors Outdoors! weekly events  The Durango Herald

Seniors Outdoors! has announced the following activities for next week:


Jersey Shore Outdoors: LBI Area Fishing Update by Jim Hutchinson, Sr.  TAPinto.net

Water temperatures in the southern Ocean County area are slowly rising into the mid 50's, and that means the fish are getting more active. At this point good ...


Iowa's Great Outdoors - Morel Mushrooms & Ticks  Local 5 - WeAreIowa.com

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AddThis Sharing Buttons.


Puget Sound Outdoors holds womxn and nonbinary climbing trip  The Puget Sound Trail

“Do you like inclusivity, body positivity and empowerment?” This is the line that heads the “Womxn and Nonbinary Climbing Night” emails that Puget Sound ...


Midd Gone Wild: New Student Environmental Club Takes to the Outdoors  Middlebury Campus

For students who may be interested in engaging intimately with the environment, the Wild Middlebury Project is a great place to start.


Anderson: Some state legislators would again dip into trust fund for outdoors  Minneapolis Star Tribune

Public beware: Some again want to dip into lottery-fed environmental fund.


Outdoors with Luke: Turkey hunt turns into an adventure  Herald-Banner

In my humble opinion, wild turkeys are the crappie of the hunting world.


Prescribed fires have little impact on turkey nests  Magnoliareporter

As hen turkeys begin to nest and hunters continue searching for a receptive gobbler, an occasional image is shared throughout coffee shops and social media ...


Many Easter services are slated outdoors  Thegardenisland.com

Sunday Easter services outside the church walls include: • United Christian Fellowship of Kauai, in collaboration with New Hope Kilauea, Island Worship Center, ...


Look What the Cat Dragged In: Parasites  The New York Times

You got a kitten. Congratulations! You've joined the club of more than 36 million Americans with pet cats. Now, will your kitty be an indoor cat or an outdoor cat?


Grady Phillips, founder of Grady's Great Outdoors, dies at 88  Anderson Independent Mail

Henry Grady Phillips, founder of Grady's Great Outdoors in Anderson, died Sunday.


Math League Champs, Enjoy Art Outdoors & More…  Osprey Observer

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Workshops offer women outdoors skills instruction  Toledo Blade

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Be safe when exercising outdoors  Tyler Morning Telegraph

You've made a plan to be more active, and you're ready to go outside and get started. But before you do, make sure that you can exercise safely in your.


How You Can Keep Outdoor Allergens From Coming Indoors  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

When springtime pollen arrives ― it comes on strong and quick, and can bring symptoms of sneezing, and itchy watery eyes with it. An allergist explains effective ...


Outdoors in Maine: Club fighting against salmon endangered classification  Lewiston Sun Journal

There's a worthy saying that goes like this: “Bad things happen when good men do nothing.” The Veazie Salmon Club, to its credit, is not sitting on its collective ...


OUTDOORS CALENDAR | Outdoors | wiscnews.com  WiscNews

April 15 through July 31 – It is illegal to allow dogs to run on DNR lands and Federal Waterfowl Production Areas lands during this time unless the dog is.


Palmetto Gas wants to help customers add life to their outdoors  Sumter Item

With the opening of the second phase of its business earlier this month, Palmetto Gas wants to help area residents 'make your outdoor area your favorite room in ...


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Active outdoors: Awareness helps avoid spring booby traps  Concord Monitor

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Outdoors notebook: Bass fishing, turkey season and more  AL.com

Bass fishing action, turkey hunting, and a meeting of Alabama's Forever Wild are all on the agenda.


North Iowa fishing report for April 21 | Outdoors | globegazette.com  Mason City Globe Gazette

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Learning takes to the great outdoors for Rochester students  Foster's Daily Democrat

ROCHESTER — Some of Rochester's youngest scientists paid a visit recently to check in on progress toward new outdoor classrooms and other amenities in the ...


Ky. Afield Outdoors: Lake Cumberland striped bass heating up  Ohio County Monitor

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Menhaden: The little fish causing a big stink  Virginian-Pilot

No single fish swimming Virginia waters has caused the kind of decades-old debate that menhaden have.


Art Lander's Outdoors: Snakes are common across rural Kentucky, and play beneficial role in nature  User-generated content

Snakes are common across rural Kentucky, and play a beneficial role in nature. Warming temperatures bring snakes out of hibernation, usually by mid-to-late ...


OUTDOORS: You wanted top fishing spots? You got them  Leader Publications

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a presentation that state Department of Conservation fisheries biologist Kevin Meneau offered on fishing hot spots in the St.


OUTDOORS: Salmon season-setting process broken  Peninsula Daily News

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$2M land buy laying groundwork for new outdoor rec venture  RichmondBizSense

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Girl Scouts of WNY celebrates women and the great outdoors this week  Olean Times Herald

Girl Scout Camp Week, which started this Monday, is a time to celebrate Girl Scouts as groundbreakers, big thinkers and role models in the great outdoors.


Local News, Outdoors: CRITTERS OF NORTH IDAHO: Wild Turkey  Coeur d'Alene Press

On Jan. 26, 1784, Benjamin Franklin described in a letter to his daughter the bird he championed as the perfec.


Blazing the trail  Aitkin Independent Age

Brianna Speldrich starts a day of research by packing a kayak to the end of a trail, blazing a new trail through thorns, brush, mosquitoes and ticks to a remote ...


Get Outdoors: Pattison State Park  KBJR 6

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Outdoors in Maine: Studies aim to understand smelt cycles  Lewiston Sun Journal

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Courtyards act as transitions between indoors, outdoors  Las Vegas Review-Journal

Dear Gail: We live in an older neighborhood on a nice quiet street. We have a very large front yard and were thinking about adding a courtyard. We entertain a ...


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Connection to sunlight, outdoors drives modern-home demand  Washington Post

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Outdoors briefs: Smith River State Park now open to float  Great Falls Tribune

Montana State Parks announced that Smith River State Park is open to floaters as of Monday, April 15. The park opening had been scheduled for April 1 but was ...


1st Massachusetts farmers moving toward approval to grow marijuana outdoors  MassLive.com

The Cannabis Control Commission approved the first two provisional licenses for companies — Theory Wellness and BCWC — that plan to grow marijuana ...


Victim of fall, Nampa woman remembered for love of outdoors and adventure  malheurenterprise.com

Family members say Amanda Poole, who died March 30 in a fall from a cliff, should be remembered for her sense of adventure and love of life.


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PORT ANGELES — Significant restrictions in recreational fishing opportunities along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound were revealed when ...


Falcons won’t play outdoors until November 17  NBC Sports

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Nonresidents of Tennessee can obtain Native Tennessean licenses  Kokomo Perspective

NASHVILLE — — Nonresidents of Tennessee, who were born in the Volunteer State, have the opportunity to apply for Native Tennessean annual licenses.


Grand Teton and Yellowstone waive entrance fees this Saturday  Teton Valley News

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Inside the Outdoors: The intersection of cars and wildlife: What happens if you hit an animal?  Canyon Courier

The sun is just breaking over the mountain as you drive to work, and a deer springs heedlessly and unavoidably into your path. Later in the evening, the ...


OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: Still sporting the antlers  Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI—Dave Rave, DNR Bemidji area wildlife supervisor, recently spotted a buck still sporting his antlers near the Minnesota Department of Natural ...


New nonprofit gives back to veterans, military members through outdoor experiences  Dubois County Free Press

Not surprisingly, the magic happens around the campfire, the walks in the woods and the drives to the hunting grounds. Those are the moments that stick with ...


Linda Tatsapaugh '88, Davidson Outdoors Host Tree Climb With a Purpose  Davidson News

Lydia Soifer has always enjoyed a good tree, first as a young kid swinging from a low branch in her back yard, then later, perched on a high limb reading a book.


Industry Buzz: Moosejaw's bike and ski store, the Outdoor States podcast, Todd Walton, Snow Peak, Hobie, and more  SNEWS

Camber Outdoors recently announced the 2019 Pitchfest finalists: Sarah Lockwood of College Outside, Nailah Blades of Color Outside, CJ Riggins of RSport, ...


New battlefield park ranger relates job to teaching  Frederick News Post

Jana Friesen McCabe didn't always want to be a park ranger. She wanted to be a professor of Latin American history.


Enjoy the great outdoors at Earth Day celebrations  Journal Inquirer

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'I can do it!': SportsAbility provides outdoor opportunities at Maclay Gardens State Park  Tallahassee.com

Hundreds of outdoor activity lovers bustled through Maclay Gardens State Park Saturday afternoon. SportsAbility, a program with the Florida Disabled Outdoors ...


County Board to Consider The Salt Line's Planned Outdoor Cafe  ARLnow

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BLANE KLEMEK OUTDOORS: 'Squirrely squirrel' tales always good...  Bemidji Pioneer

This past winter a black-phase gray squirrel, evidently the smartest of the lot, figured out that if he or she climbed the nearest bur oak tree adjacent to the platform ...


Outdoors Report: Missoula conservation group seeing rapid growth  KPAX-TV

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Clearing the Mount Washington Auto Road, one foot at a time  The Union Leader

GREEN'S GRANT — On Wednesday, the annual clearing of the Mount Washington Auto Road entered its second week, with a team working in the “S Curves” ...


Where to Find the Best Outdoor Happy Hour Bars in DC  Washingtonian

Take advantage of specials in the sunshine at these bars and beer gardens.


Where to find the original ‘duck boots’ and other outdoor essentials  KSTU FOX 13 Salt Lake City

You've likely seen the iconic snow- and rain-boot known as the "duck boot," but do you know who came out with the very first pair? Ryan Poulin from LL Bean ...


Outdoor notes: New process for awarding big game draw permits starts this year  Scottsbluff Star Herald

Hunters should be aware of a new process for awarding big game draw permits starting this year, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says. Applicants ...


Outdoors in Maine: The sad and avoidable snowsled contradiction  Lewiston Sun Journal

How about these for contradictory headlines? Headline one: A Great Season of Snowmobiling. Headline two: More Snowsled Deaths in 2019. The first story, by ...


Spring football notebook: South Dakota Coyotes enjoying life in the great outdoors  Sioux Falls Argus Leader

VERMILLION — The last few wintry days not withstanding, the South Dakota football team has enjoyed practicing outside whilst renovations begin inside the ...


Colorado's best outdoors photography from March 2019  The Denver Post

Check out photos of ski joring, Frozen Dead Guy Days, high country snow and lots of skiing all shot in March.


Central Nebraska Humane Society unveils 14 new outdoor kennels  Grand Island Independent

The dogs at Central Nebraska Humane Society seemed very happy with their new outdoor kennels Friday morning.


Hookset Brothers Combat Recovery believes the outdoors is healing for military veterans  Connecting Vets

At the heart of Hookset Brothers Combat Recovery's mission is a belief that something magical happens when veterans who suffer from combat-related ...


Industry Buzz: Cotopaxi Foundation, Patagonia lawsuit, Coozie Outdoors, REI profit, Bill Supple, and more  SNEWS

On Cotopaxi's fifth birthday, the brand is launching the Cotopaxi Foundation to help educate and support underprivileged and underrepresented communities.


Outdoor notebook: Mission 22 Fun Bird Dog Tournament in Meriden to raise money for veteran suicide prevention efforts  Butler County Times Gazette

Bird dog enthusiasts have an opportunity to show off their pups' skills and help a good cause at the same time this fall during the Mission 22 Fun Bird Dog ...


REI classes: hiking, cycling, camping, photography, and more  Business Insider

Enjoy the outdoors or try something new with REI classes and events. Classes include hiking, cycling, camping, photography, and more.


Outdoor track: Teams to watch  Press Herald

GIRLS. 1. Cheverus: The defending Class A champions are seeking their third straight title. Cheverus returns Victoria Bossong, Emma Gallant and Emma White, ...


Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Notebook | Outdoors  Ashland Daily Press

USFWS distributes excise tax funding. Outdoor recreationists who hunt, shoot, fish and boat are providing more than $1 billion this year, funds generated ...


Outdoors: Turkey season washed away ... again | Recreation  The Southern

As you read this Sunday morning, I should be turkey hunting.


Dressing up for the outdoors gets a dressing down  Coeur d'Alene Press

The preening in which a teenager engages a mirror often sets me back on my heels, and I consider buying a pipe.


Outdoor briefs for Thursday, April 11 | Outdoors | bismarcktribune.com  Bismarck Tribune

The state Game and Fish Department's annual spring aerial mule deer survey began Monday in western North Dakota. Weather permitting, the survey takes a ...


Outdoors in Maine: Special moose hunts honor disabled vets  Lewiston Sun Journal

American veterans who served their country richly deserve our appreciation, no matter where, when or how they served. If they wore a U. S. military uniform, they ...


After 30 years, Warrens may sell Cascade Inn to Experience Outdoors owner | News, Sports, Jobs  The Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID — After more than 30 years, The Cascade Inn could switch hands at the end of the summer. Joe Warren is letting Bill Walton operate the motor i.


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