These inspirational journeys give privileged insights into cultures and the natural world whilst supporting conservation and local communities and, at no extra cost to a conventional African Safari, they provide opportunities to join anti-poaching units, help notch endangered rhinos, dart elephants and join AfriCat vets at work
Below is a selection of African tours this year, which focus on expert-led trips and Conservation in Action:
SOUTH AFRICA: – Rhino Conservation Tour – 25 – 31 May 2014 and 21 – 27 August 2014
The White Rhino Conservation Project is committed to notching and inserting microchips into a population of approximately 130 White Rhinos in the Greater Kruger National Park. The trip also looks at the conservation efforts being made to protect the prolific and diverse wildlife that calls the Greater Kruger National Park home and the chance to learn about tracking and spoor identification with daily interactive game walks.
NAMIBIA: Cheetah Kingdom – 27 June – 6 July 2014
Working exclusively with AfriCat, this is a unique conservation tour with the opportunity to work on the Annual Big Cat Health Examination weekend that takes place at Okonjima. While the first part of trip focuses on big cats, the second part of the journey concentrates on local people. Based in western Etosha and expertly guided by Tammy Hoth, head of Africat North, there is the opportunity to meet with local community leaders to gain an insight into what it really means to live side-by-side with lions and other predators.
TANZANIA: – Elephant Collaring Project – 20-28 September 2014
As a member of the project team you will play an integral role in collaring a wild elephant. This involves accompanying the helicopter crew as they scan 430 square miles of reserve looking for suitable elephants to dart and collar.
CONGO: Lowland Gorillas and Forest Elephants: – 17 -26 October 2014
This challenging new tour to Congo’s Nouabale Ndoki, follows in the footsteps of Africa’s most illustrious explorers in the wilds of the Congo basin and virgin rainforests.
Guided by highly knowledgeable Ba’Aka locals, you will track the elusive Lowland Gorillas and endangered Forest Elephants as well as meet researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Society. A particular highlight includes paddling to the Mbeli Bai feeding spot, which, in the past, has attracted up to 150 Western Lowland Gorillas in one sitting!
TANZANIA & UGANDA: Migration and Gorilla Trekking with Steve Bloom: – 10–18 December 2014
Here is an opportunity to travel with one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished photographers to witness two of the world’s most phenomenal wildlife spectacles. Steve will be on hand to advise on best angles, exposure and composition so you can capture both the frenetic wildebeest migration making their treacherous journey north, and, at the other end of the spectrum, one of the most humbling and serene wildlife encounters in the world – the endangered mountain gorilla.
Vacationgoddess.com thanks Steve Bloom for the gorgeous pictures appearing in this story.
For more information or to book with specialist tour operator Steppes Travel