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South Africa: Safari Service Expedition™

South Africa: Safari Service Expedition™

Be on the front lines of black rhino conservation, and learn how to track, monitor and protect South Africa’s most majestic wild animals.


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  • Assist with an ongoing black rhino conservation project
  • Track and monitor wildlife movement on a renowned reserve
  • Spot Africa's big five wild animals from a game vehicle
  • Kayak the Pongola River and camp under the stars
  • Enjoy the beaches of Kosi Bay along the country's northern coast
  • Experience tribal culture and traditional storytelling

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Experience life on Somkhanda Game Reserve, the only community-owned reserve that’s home to Africa’s “Big Five”—the African lion, African leopard, African elephant, Cape buffalo and rhino. By night, you’ll live at a rustic Home Base on the reserve’s perimeter, hearing Zulu stories and learning about tribal culture; by day, shadow wildlife conservationists in the South African bush, going on game drives to observe animals and learning modern methods of sustainably preserving the region’s most majestic, endangered wild species.

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Community Service

Join professional conservationists in the field, assisting with habitat restoration efforts and wildlife monitoring. Help the black rhino conservation team eradicate an invasive plant species, join the anti-poaching unit on a patrol for illegal snares, and learn from passionate wildlife protectors about their personal experiences fighting poachers. Track the movements of elephants and other wildlife by satellite, and learn how rangers set camera traps—join them in combing through video footage to spot camouflaged leopards and other threatened species. Finally, uplifting the surrounding community is as critical to conservation as direct animal work: Learn how the reserve works hand in hand with the surrounding Zulu community.

Hands-On Learning

Somkhanda Game Reserve is unique for being community-operated: The land is owned by the South African Gumbi tribe, and members of the tribe work on all its teams, including wildlife monitoring and conservation. In contrast, many other commercial game reserves forcibly displace the indigenous communities that live nearby in favor of transforming the land to attract tourism. Fortunately, Somkhanda celebrates its native residents, and you’ll learn how these individuals treat wildlife protection not only as their profession, but as a matter of personal and cultural importance. Learn to spot fresh prints, identify different wildlife tracks, stay safe in the bush, discuss endangered species and more.

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South Africa is a microcosm for the wonders of Africa—from its rich cultures and dramatic landscapes to its legendary wildlife. Experience it all on this program’s overnight excursions: Go on a true bush safari, camping in Somkhanda Game Reserve accompanied by professional field guides. Paddle down the Pongola River in two-person kayaks as you spot kingfisher and heron, and run the easy rapids that connect its crystal clear pools. At the program’s close, snorkel in the warm waters of Kosi Bay on the Indian Ocean, and learn about the region’s diverse coastal environments.


Home Base is a converted farmhouse located on the perimeter of Somkhanda Game Reserve, providing easy access to fieldwork activities and opportunities for spotting wildlife. Accommodations are basic, but clean and safe. Students sleep in gender-segregated rooms with roommates, and have access to shared bathrooms. This program features several overnight excursions that involve tent camping on stretcher beds.

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Dates & Tuition

South Africa: Safari Service Expedition™ 14-Day Program
2018 Dates
Jun 22 - Jul 5, 2018
Jul 8 - Jul 21, 2018
Duration: 14 days
Tuition: $3,999
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 32
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.

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