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
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
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
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
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
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.
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A Review of Inflatable Boat Manufacturers
There are many manufacturers of inflatable boats on the market today. Included below is an overview of each of the key manufacturers.
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.
Discover Knotts Berry Farm
Of course you know about Southern California's premier attraction, Disneyland in Anaheim, but did you know that less than ten (10) minuets down the freeway, in Buena Park, is another great amusement park, Knott's Berry Farm. Knott's Berry Farm, America's first theme park, is located at 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620, telephone number (714) 220-5200 and has over one hundred fifty (150) rides in six themed areas: Ghost Town, Fiesta Village®, The Boardwalk, Indian Trails, Wild Water Wilderness® and Camp Snoopy which is the official home of Snoopy and the Peanuts characters.
GOA - A Carnival of Beaches
The state of Goa on the West coast of India, is located in the coastal belt known as Konkan. While this tourist magnet has much to offer: old churches, carnival atmosphere, Portuguese flavour, wildlife, nature and tantalizing cuisine, yet, mention Goa and the first, often only, image that flashes in one's mind is of the BEACHES.
Going it Alone: The Waterfall at Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska
I stood at the observation point on the balcony at the Visitor Center overlooking the great Mendenhall Glacier at Juneau, Alaska. Before me was a beautiful scene.
Tamil Nadu - A potpourri of culture and festivity
Tamil Nadu is a delightful anachronism. With a rich culture reaching back to the early dawn of history, the land of Temples is also a modern developing state.
All the Way to Timbuctu
Yes, it's real. There is a place called Timbuktu and it is not just an imaginary figment at the end of an exclamatory statement.
Motorhome Camp Grounds Stalls should be Astroturf
Having traveled from state to state and every city in the United States over 10,000 population occasionally staying at motor home camp grounds it seems that a few new ideas might be worthy of mention. Motor home campgrounds generally consist of a cement parking stall, which is level and then hook ups for electricity, water, waste and Cable TV if you so need it.
Eight Tips For A Bug-Free Summer
(NC)-With approximately 42,000 mosquitoes for every person in Ontario, most of us spend a great deal of our summers swatting away these pesky insects. Protecting yourself against mosquitoes will not only make your summer more enjoyable, it will help prevent you and your family from getting annoying and sometimes dangerous bug bites.
Gambling Isnt the Only Thing to do in Las Vegas
Do you think the only thing to do in Las Vegas is gamble? Would you believe that there are a multitude of great hiking trails in a place where all-you-can-eat casino buffets are par for the course? Southern Nevada is chock full of great hiking trails ready to be discovered. Hiking areas near Las Vegas include: Red Rock, Mt.
Discount Lift Tickets - Learn what Colorado Ski Resorts Do Not Want You to Know!
How to get discount lift tickets for popular ski resorts in Colorado including Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, and Beaver Creek.The ski resorts make it difficult for anyone coming from out of state to get a great deal on lift tickets.
Shark Attacks! How Common are They? Where do They Occur?
Last week in Australia, one man's day at beach could have turned into a disaster: He was attacked by a seven-foot bronze whaler shark while surfing about 100 yards out from Sydney's Bronte Beach.Fortunately, the man, Simon Letch, stayed calm and "shoved the board at [the shark] like a barge pole.
Improving Your Aim
If your aim is not good, or is not quite what you want it to be, there are several ways you can work to improve it. Most people can hit the target almost every time when they are not rushed in any way.
Tanzania Safari Top Five National Parks and Game Reserves
Ask about perfect wildlife destinations and a Tanzania safari will be at or near the top of the list every time.But what about the national parks and game reserves within the country itself? Which are the best to visit because they can't all be equally good.
Old Barney -- A Visit to Barnegat Light, New Jersey
Barnegat Light, NJ is the home to "Old Barney" a historic lighthouse located at the northern tip of Long Beach Island. Long Beach Island, or "LBI" as the vacationing folks like to say, is a narrow island nearly twenty miles long and six miles at sea off the coast of Ocean County, NJ.
Rafting on the Rogue River in Oregon
Oregon's Rogue River is one of the nation's most beautiful. The Rogue River begins in Crater Lake and extends 215 miles until it empties in the Pacific Ocean.
Experience The Real Florida
Every year around 40 million visitors come to Florida for the sun, sea and attractions. Most visit the world famous theme parks or enjoy the fabulous palm-fringed sandy beaches.
Comal White Water or More Blue Green
White Water on the Comal river in Central Texas is more of of toobers paradise than a rafter or kayaker's dreamland, but for a fun and relaxing family adventure I highly recommend the trip. For the second time in the last two years my family and I spent a few days partaking of fun, water and sun in and around New Braunfels, Texas on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers.
San Francisco Beaches
When you are planning a vacation to Maui or Rio de Janeiro you may put beaches on the top of you list of things to see. However, when planning a trip to San Francisco, you may have heard of North Beach, but North Beach doesn't have any beaches (though the neighborhood was named after a beach that used to be on its north shoreline).
Side-Tripping in Montana
Nightlife in Big Sky, Montana is more exciting than you would think. Especially for a pair of happy-go-lucky California girls in town just for the heck of it, on a spur-of-the-moment vacation in search of a Western adventure.
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