How to Attend Safari School

A See-and-Study-Wildlife Vacation           

Instead of merely driving around in search of wildlife to gape at, a major South African wildlife centre offers the opportunity to observe rescued animals up close in their enclosures while studying  methods of saving and preserving the natural bush veld and its creatures. 

Game drives pass giraffes and zebras
Game drives pass giraffes and zebras

Rescued rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, wild dogs, lions, African wild cats, bald ibises, blue cranes, ground hornbills, sable antelope and wildlife are the featured guests, but human visitors are invited to encounter and care for them through the Wildlife Conservation Experience of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre  in South Africa.  In an extensive three week program of lectures and hands-on experience, participants observe the everyday care of the creatures, study conservation, and tour wildlife areas. 

Cheetahs lounge on a compound porch
Cheetahs lounge on a compound porch
A rescued lion rests after a kill
A rescued lion rests after a kill
Rescue rhinos reside in the camp
Rescue rhinos reside in the camp

Many of the animals on site in the nature preserve have been rescued from trauma ― orphaned, caught in snares, mutilated for their horns.  While being treated, healed, rehabilitated, they can be observed up close or watched from live action cams which also broadcast online.  Some guests “adopt” favorites and participate in their long term care.

Young cubs frolic in the cheetah nursery
Young cubs frolic in the cheetah nursery
Rescued cheetahs can be observed up close           
Rescued cheetahs can be observed up close           
Guests have "adopted" this baby cheetah
Guests have "adopted" this baby cheetah

Participants stay in luxury villas of Camp Jubulani, a Relais and Chateau property within the Kapama Private Game Reserve.  Each suite has a separate lounge area with a mini-bar and fire-place.  Pure cotton sheets, massive stone tubs, glass-enclosed outdoor showers are other amenities.  The cuisine fuses taste with local ingredients.

Seating areas feature local materials
Seating areas feature local materials
Curtained bed in a suite bedroom
Curtained bed in a suite bedroom
Guests enjoy a candlelit dinner in camp
Guests enjoy a candlelit dinner in camp
Guests can interact with a rescued serval
Guests can interact with a rescued serval

Besides studying conservation and ecology, volunteers can take part in quad biking, paint ball games, environmental spa treatments, and game drives in open safari vehicles or on elephant back. Excursions to visit Jessica the Hippo can be arranged. 

Guests may view wildlife on elephant game walks.
Guests may view wildlife on elephant game walks.
Game drives may get a glimpse of migrating storks
Game drives may get a glimpse of migrating storks
Outdoor spa treatments are environmentally based 
Outdoor spa treatments are environmentally based 

Hoedspruit which originated as the sheep and cattle farm of Willie Schurrmann is now operated by his daughter Lente Roode whose love of wildlife started at age six when the family rescued an orphaned baby cheetah which became a beloved family pet.  She and her husband acquired adjoining land and when predators made it difficult to raise cattle, they converted their farm to the 30,000 acre Kapama Game Reserve which has become one of the leading breeding and study centers for endangered animals.

The Kapama Game Reserve covers over 30,000 acres
The Kapama Game Reserve covers over 30,000 acres
Camp Jubulani at sunset
Camp Jubulani at sunset

Photos by Sharon King Hoge, Allen and Heidi Roberts

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