My second visit to Askari was even more amazing than my first - and I never thought I'd be able to match the first one! Every day is a new and different experience & adventure whilst at the same time contributing to the important conservation work that the reserve is dedicated to. There is a great variety in the tasks and the animal sightings, whilst never guaranteed, are always breath taking. Katie and Ed are amazing teachers and every volunteer leaves with so much knowledge, understanding and appreciation for the South African bush - plants, insects, animals and birds. If you want to get involved, get hands on with conservation work and have the experience of a lifetime then I can't recommend Askari highly enough. I can't wait to get back for another visit :)
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I felt privileged to work as a volunteer at Askari for a month, that I could share in the vision of a wilderness reserve managed for habitat and wildlife conservation as the first and only priority. And have such fun doing it! We slept under the stars one night and watched the sunrise with lions roaring in the distance. We watched hyaenas play, elephants wander up close, and lion cubs tumbling about under their mother's watchful gaze. A cheetah brought down an impala and fed with her cubs right outside the front gate - amazing to see. We rescued trees strangled by wire and murdered more prickly pear than I can remember. Thanks so much to the Askari staff Katie & Ed, and Pidwa staff Andrew and Elricht for their incredible knowledge, good company and honesty about the management dilemmas facing wilderness reserves and national parks under pressure on a crowded planet. It was a great experience -- highly recommend it!
Askari is a unique volunteer project that has real conservation goals. Whilst volunteering I learned so much you would never learn in another safari type experience. At the same time staying in a beautiful place with wonderful people, made great friends, had lots of fun, and contributed to the real conservation of South African ecosystems. The staff are friendly and knowledgable and the accomodation is beautiful and comfortable. Overall, definitely an amazing experience!!
Before coming to Askari I was very nervous but excited and I didn’t really know what to expect. But as soon as I arrived Ketie and Ed were so welcoming and I felt at ease straight away. Over the past month has been the most amazing experience. I’ve had opportunities to see Lions, Elephant, Honey Badgers and many more. I’ve learned so many things from all the different animal species to birds. We also had very full-on activities like darting Sable which was incredible a very special couple of days I’ve enjoyed every single moment here and it’s been a life time opportunity doing this amazing programme. I’ve met some amazing people and a big thanks to Katie and Ed for making this experience the best!!
People often ask me what my experience with Askari Wilderness Conservation Programme, Pidwa Wilderness Reserve was like and I find myself speechless. The indescribable natural beauty, talented staff, comfortable accommodations, and unwavering amazement of the surroundings made it an unforgettable experience. Always feeling safe with our hosts Katie and Ed every moment was an incredible learning experience. In after two short weeks seeing and being able to identify over 100 species of birds and over 60 species of mammals this is an opportunity of a lifetime. When an opportunity comes up to volunteer with Askari WCP believe me you won’t regret participating in an incredible conservation programme within a benchmark wilderness reserve.
A chance unlike any other to learn about the importance of sustainable design and increase knowledge around environmental science, conservation, wildlife monitoring, and so much more. I hope to return and experience this wonderful and inspirational place, Pidwa Wilderness Reserve forever has a place in my heart. Thank you Katie and Ed for making it a truly amazing experience!
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