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Endangered Species Centre - South Africa

This 21 day program is divided into three main sections: Participation, Conservation and Sight Seeing.

The focus of the program is on the cheetah, and during the course participants are involved with the everyday care of the cheetahs. This includes, cleaning, feeding, and where required, assisting with or observing any veterinary activities that may occur during their stay. The same activities apply to other species being cared for at the centre. The knowledge gained about the animals and work of the centre through this kind of participation is both specific and personal.

The Sight Seeing section of the program is where participants get to put theory into practice either through directed observation in the wild or at other centres that specialise in other areas of research or conservation.

The program is largely based on the interactive involvement of participants, who in the process gain valuable knowledge of and experience in nature conservation.

Students will also have the opportunity to visit numerous places of interest and attractions in the area, including the renowned Kruger National Park. Included in the program is the unique and memorable experience at Camp Jabulani with the resident elephant herd " the herds namesake also arrived at the Centre at the age of four months in a terrible state of dehydration and shock (he had been abandoned by his herd after getting stuck in a silt dam). It took a year to nurse him back to health under 24 hour dedicated care.

During this time participants may see and be involved in some of the following:
Darting of wildlife and possible translocations.
Tranquilization of a cheetah for health examinations and possible sampling of blood and other tissues to check for various disease statuses.
Tuberculosis testing in wildlife.
Lectures of darting equipment, drugs and their safety (subject to the current activities at the centre at time of travel)
Procedures requiring an external veterinary specialist
Hand rearing (previously an elephant, white rhinos, zebra and many tiny creatures have been hand reared in the past).
Wildlife casualties.
Post-mortems (subject to the current activities at the centre at time of travel)
Collection of samples for genetics, blood parasite studies and ticks (subject to the current activities at the centre at time of travel)
Work with exotic species such as frogs, snakes, birds and any cases that do happen to come into the centre.
Work together with the curators and the animals.


Hands on experience
Working with cheetah, wild dog, small spotted cats, African wildcats and more.
Preparation of animal food and feeding the animals.
Possibility of working with the wildlife vet (darting, capturing and operating on animals).
Possibility of assisting in the hand-rearing of animals.
Local community involvement (e.g. visiting schools in rural areas).

Informal lectures on a variety of topics, such as:
Animal identification
Plants and ecology
Fire arm handling and safety
Tracks and signs
South African history and cultural diversity

The lectures will be followed by practical exercises - for example:
Trip to reptile park
Identification of plants on walking excursions
Tracking in the bush
Trip to local tribal village
A trip to Kruger National Park
Natural and traditional food preparation.
Game drives

Sundays are off days, and are spent at leisure.

Costs of the program:

3 week program = 26000 ZAR

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I think you guys and gals are doing a GREAT job. Thanks!

Megan Dyer, Wildlife Biologist

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