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Volunteer at a Wildlife Reserve in Botswana

Wildlife Volunteers Botswana Gaborone
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Overview

Situated approximately 15km south of Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, this Nature Reserve is home to a variety of mammals including some rare and endangered species and a diverse array of reptile, amphibian and bird species.

From a wildlife conservation perspective, the reserve has played an instrumental role in re-establishing Botswana's white rhino population following massive decline in the past few decades and is also the countries only formally recognised wildlife rehabilitation centre and orphanage.

From an educational point-of view, the reserve has over the years established themselves as Botswana's main Environmental Education destination, averaging more than 10 000 school children visiting the reserve on an annual basis.

Aim of our volunteer programme

We aim at providing individuals from all over the world with the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with the wildlife, environment and people of Botswana.

The volunteer programme provides the setting to allow people from different walks of life to interact and learn from each other while at the same time allowing them to learn about conservation, wildlife and environmental education and to contribute their knowledge and skills to a worthy cause. By allowing volunteers to work behind the scenes, they are afforded the opportunity of experiencing how a well-established game reserve functions and what is involved in maintaining a project of this nature.

Activities

As a volunteer, you will be working alongside our volunteer coordinator, other volunteers and also the reserves permanent staff in different departments and areas of the reserve. Each 5-week programme is divided up into various rotations of approximately one week each so as to ensure that each volunteer has the opportunity to experience different parts of the reserve and so that they get exposed to a diverse number of activities within Mokolodi.

There are different focus areas in the reserve that require attention at different times of the year and as such rotations will vary between groups depending on season and the current management activities.

On the day of arrival the volunteers spend the day settling in and getting to know their surrounds and other volunteers. The programme starts the following morning (Monday) with an orientation session and a few talks about the area, the reserve, what to expect, some general rules and policies and a game drive through the reserve.

Next, rosters are made up and the volunteers begin their adventure in the reserve, working in the different departments that they have been allocated to. Generally, the volunteers work the same hours as the full time staff that they will be working with (roughly 07h30 until 12h30 and 14h00 until 16h30).

Within each weekly rotations, each volunteer is allocated a camp day – essentially a day to unwind, but also to allow them the opportunity to catch up on laundry, clean camp, update the Mokolodi blog and perhaps prepare meals for the rest of the team that is out in the reserve. The volunteers are responsible for developing their own rosters in this regard.

A weekly town trip is also arranged, normally on a Saturday, which gives the volunteers the opportunity to buy food and toiletries and also get a chance for a burger and to attend to personal matters. During the final week, the reserve arranges a function to say goodbye to those that will be heading off home or on further travels through the region.

What difference does this project make?

The reserve is a registered non-profit organisation established in 1994 when it was transformed from a cattle farm and designated as a game reserve totaling 4500 hectares in size. The land was donated in to a Trust for the children of Botswana so as to provide a natural area that would allow them to learn about nature, conservation and the environment and to ensure that the young people in Botswana grow up to be good custodians of their natural history, helping to conserve their common heritage for future generations.

Revenue generated from tourism related activities within the reserve is used to support Environmental Education Programmes at the reserves Education Centre, manage and conserve the reserves wildlife and natural resources, provide jobs to more than 80 people, as well as to develop and maintain the reserves infrastructure.


Key Info

English

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Facilities

The Nature Reserve is located approximately 15km south of Gaborone.

How long can I volunteer on this project?

Volunteer intake is approximately every 6 to 7 weeks and is based on volunteers staying for a minimum of a 5-week period. Volunteers can stay a maximum of two intakes (approximately 10 weeks + a week or two in-between) as this coincides with the maximum amount of days permitted under a Tourist Visa in Botswana per year.

What's Included?

  • Accommodation (shared self-catering chalets, with en-suite bathroom). Each chalet is equipped with its own small kitchen (stove, kettle, fridge, cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils) and each is equipped with an electric hot water geyser, fan, and mains electricity. Meals are not included.
  • Meet and greet at Sir Seretse Khama in Gaborone on arrival and transportation to the reserve.
  • On departure, each volunteer is taken back to the airport in Gaborone.
  • Camp welcome pack (including cleaning materials to get you started)
  • Transport within the park while carrying out duties.
  • Advise, local knowledge, amazing experiences and new friends!

What's not included?

  • Return airfares to Gaborone
  • Visa charges associated with extending longer than the standard 90 days (if the volunteer stays for longer periods)
  • Personal items, sleeping bag, toiletries, torch, cameras etc. (Expect hot sunny summers and cold winters)
  • Food, drink and personal items for the duration of the volunteers stay
  • Phone calls, transport costs not directly associated with Mokolodi
  • Medical insurance (medical aid), including Emergency evacuation cover - Mandatory
  • Travel Insurance, personal insurance

The rate for the first 5-week period is GBP 1,750.00

Should the volunteer stay on for another 5 weeks, they receive a discounted rate of GBP 1,550.00

Contact Project: Volunteer at a Wildlife Reserve in Botswana

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