The Shamwari Conservation Experience is a once in a lifetime chance to get behind-the-scenes and involved with the conservation efforts of the world-renowned Shamwari Game Reserve. This is a call to action for your support and assistance, without which the achievements past, present and for the future, would simply not be sustainable and viable. Shamwari is the pioneer and leader in demonstrating how the conservation of wildlife, fauna and flora can be achieved through Eco Tourism. You can join the team of dedicated individuals who are passionate about nature and all it has to offer. Shamwari, best known as a luxury safari destination, is a fully operational 25 000 hectare Big Five game reserve.
You will be exposed to various short and long term conservation projects and the need for assistance by the award-winning Shamwari Wildlife and Conservation Department. The Madolos Retreat lodging in the far Northern extent of Shamwari Game Reserve, is aptly named after conservation doyen, Dr Ian Player, who was instrumental in saving the Southern African white rhino from the brink of extinction in the early 1960’s. Facilities are geared to comfortably host and service guests on a two per room-shared basis. As result, they are able to get participants involved in various components of conservation, wildlife and community work. The experience is thus a true reflection of the day to day operational requirements needed to manage the game reserve and its vast resources.
Shamwari has hosted behind-the-scenes operations and experiences for volunteers, gap-year, adult sabbatical and adventure seeking travellers for several years, developing specialized skills and knowledge in conservation, with a key focus on the conservation of wildlife, ecological and community work. Environmental education, social upliftment projects and partaking in sporting interactions with largely impoverished local communities, are an important part of the social responsibility drive, to improve the lives of those living in and around the reserve. Safari type game-viewing vehicles are used to traverse the reserve and surrounds, hosted by experienced and qualified conservation and guiding staff. It’s a malaria-free area and are only one and a half hour away from the closest major airport, medical facilities and other amenities in Port Elizabeth. The passionate and dedicated team looks forward to hosting you and showing you all that Shamwari and its abundant natural resources have to offer you.
LONG-TERM PROJECTS & POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES There are far too many activities to mention and highlight. Listed are a few of the general activities and tasks which are undertaken and you view what they have been up to more recently, by joining us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as detailed.
Game Monitoring: Rhino, Elephants, Predators
With regular monitoring, it is possible to identify individuals, compile information about the family structure and determine feeding and spatial ecology. Data collected is used to assist in the managing decisions for the reserve. Game Count Annual game counts are conducted to establish the carrying capacity of the reserve. Game counts assist in the decision making of predator to prey ratios and the movement of animals on or off the reserve.
Telemetry Tracking Monitoring of some high-profile animals like cheetah and leopard are required using telemetry tracking equipment as result of the neighbouring properties carrying livestock and the elusive nature of some of the species.
Restoration & Rehabilitation of Reserve Landscapes
The need to return the once pristine landscape to its original splendour includes the collecting and removal of old fence lines and rehabilitating degraded and overgrazed land.
Undertakings of research projects with a focus on a value-added outcome for the reserve or conservation as a whole, are viewed as an incumbency. These projects are often undertaken in conjunction with both local and foreign research and academic testing to capturing data on lesser known species such as the Brown Hyena.
Alien Plant Control
Exotic and alien plants were introduced to the land by the farmers for different reasons and uses. Today this exotic vegetation needs to be removed to be able to increase the natural biodiversity and decrease the likes of fire risk and better preserve the fast diminishing natural water sources.
Born Free Foundation Charity
The Born Free Foundation Charity and Shamwari Game Reserve are both committed to the conservation of wildlife. Creating awareness and educating the guest and local population as to the importance of the protection and conservation of wildlife, they aim to promote the protection of habitat, while maintaining a humane and compassionate approach to the care and welfare of any captive animals. This centre offers a great opportunity to showcase and create awareness about the horrific way in which wildlife is exploited in captivity around the world.
The visits to the centre are conducted with the overall focus on education and raising awareness as to the plight and ill treatment of these and other captive animals. No breeding of cats is undertaken at the centre which is sanctuary for Lions and Leopards who are unable to be reintroduced back into the wild. Your interaction with this team may range from a personalized behind the scenes tour, to assisting with maintenance and cleaning of enclosures and at times even feeding and other tasks required to ensure that the cats enjoy the peaceful existence they deserve.
Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC)
Shamwari ‘s Animal Rehabilitation Centre, along with its registered veterinary clinic, was established to aid in the rehabilitation and even rescue of injured or orphaned wildlife, sometimes from surrounding game reserves and communities. With an aim is to give the animal the best in required care and a focus on release back into their natural environment, participants may gain different types of exposure through this experience, which dependent on the needs and requirements of the operation at their time of stay, may range from merely observation, to a more hands on animal care.
The role of conservation does not stop at conserving nature alone, but also includes a responsibility to uplift local and impoverished communities. This responsibility includes education of the community as to the role and benefit of conserving biodiversity and further stresses the importance of conserving our natural resources. Near weekly trips are made into the local community to assist in and establish various community projects, that range from creating and maintaining vegetable gardens, recycling projects, painting classrooms and building jungle gyms, to longer term involvement, in champion of enterprise development and job creation projects.
Although these activities are a secondary focus, the great responsibility that comes with engaging with the community. With the best interests of vulnerable children and adults in mind, all participants, staff and service providers must be aware, vigilant and conduct themselves in a manner that is in accordance with responsible tourism practices. In so doing, the aim is to protect all parties involved, against any forms of prejudice, discrimination or abuse.
General Reserve Maintenance
Possible Activities Include:
Game capture and other wildlife veterinary work
Sleep outs on the Big Five reserve
Orientation and nature walks
Assisting in night and anti-poaching patrols
1 week 9200 ZAR
2 weeks 17200 ZAR
3 weeks 25200 ZAR
4 weeks 33200 ZAR
All on site meals
Laundry once a week
Cleaning twice weekly
All on reserve activities