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Thursday 20 August 2015

A unique South African game reserve experience - on a budget

Gondwana Game Reserve in South Africa has launched a new tented eco camp for individuals or small groups of up to 10 people who want to find out about the life of a game ranger and spend time in the African bush. 

Located outside Mossel Bay, Gondwana is the only fynbos reserve in the world where the "Big Five" roam freely. It provided a memorable experience for my wife and myself. 

The new program, which starts on October 1, is part of a conservation experience program. The six-day experience is a chance to get involved with the conservation work of the Western Cape’s biggest game reserve - and to contribute. 

The eco camp is aimed at those who want to get back in touch with nature. 

Guided by experienced trainers and rangers, the experience includes wildlife management activities such as visual monitoring, research and tracking of elephant, rhino, lion and cheetah, monitoring of birds and leopards or translocation and veterinary care of wildlife. 

Participants also learn bush skills and interpretation, as well as volunteering with the local community.

True to its conservation ethos, Gondwana is a leader in a host of sustainable practises. The reserve is located in a biodiversity hot spot and is the largest privately owned piece of land in the region. It is home to numerous critically endangered fauna and flora species. 

The reserve comprises 11 000 hectares of African bush, with views that stretch across untouched valleys to the Swartberg, Langeberg, and Outeniqua Mountain Ranges. 

As a hands-on game ranger participants actively explore life and the animal kingdom in the wilderness, and experience the conservation work that is vital to the preservation of its diversity. 

The research and findings from the program are fed back to Gondwana’s conservation department to assist in decision making and enhancing the reserve management plan. The itinerary includes plenty of game drives, bush walks, and down time.

Accommodation is provided in an eco-friendly tented camp set in a protected valley in the heart of the game reserve. The camp facilities include five large, comfortable twin share tents set on raised platforms each with a bathroom and covered deck area. All meals are provided in the recreational communal tent which includes kitchen, lounge, working computer station, and indoor and outdoor dining. 

Would-be cooks will learn about preparing traditional dishes in the safari camp.

Rates for the six-day/five-night program start from R10,500 (around $1,100) per adult per program sharing a tented accommodation. The tariff includes aaccommodation in tents, all food, linen and towels, all day activities and game drives and all travel within the reserve and to community activities

Further information contact reservations email  or call +27 21 424 5430.

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