Day 1 – Familiarisation and orientation
- Embark on a fascinating game drive through &Beyond Phinda’s Seven World’s of Wonder. The reserve is famous for its sightings of the iconic Big Five and cheetah.
- Enjoy a briefing and orientation session conducted by Les Carlisle, &Beyond’s Group Conservation Manager.
Day 2 – Guiding introduction
- Get behind-the-scenes and discover what each &Beyond guide and tracker has to learn and experience in their unique &Beyond training programme.
- Learn the art of photography and master skills that will be used throughout the rest of your safari.
- Delve into the bush on a guided walk with the focus on tracking, and participate in track and sign exercises, as well as tree and plant identification.
- Be captivated by a frogging expedition, (if frogs are active), and listen for distinct frog sounds, track them down, identify and photograph them.
- Gaze up at the night sky, a blanket of infinite sparkling stars and learn to distinguish myriad stars and celestial constellations of the Southern Hemisphere.
Day 3 – Guiding practical
- Get out your binoculars for a fantastic birding session. Take part in a bird ringing exercise, which entails netting and then recording measurements, and ringing (tagging) the birds before releasing them.
- Strap on your walking boots for a bush walk. This adventure will show you the focus and awareness our rangers need in the bush, and offers practical ranger rifle training, with an exhilarating simulation of a lion charge!
- Focus more on tracking and viewing nocturnal animals on an evening game drive. Enjoy an adventure-filled sleep out under the stars, and enjoy being out in the wild – under the protection of qualified night-security.
Day 4 – Walking Safari and Tracking
- Embark on a walking safari from your sleep out camp, and navigate back to the lodge, recalling your birding, tracking and tree identification skills along the way.
- Conduct a tracking exercise, using the skills you have learnt, and spot fresh elephant, buffalo or rhino tracks.
- Delight in an afternoon game drive and focus on hospitality, with a fun-filled session of craft gin and tonic or beer tasting. There will also be a delicious food pairing to enjoy too.
Day 5 – A day in the local community
- Spend an enjoyable day out in the local community and gain insight into projects that the Africa Foundation is undertaking.
- Interact with members of the community and learn about their way of life as well as the fascinating Zulu culture.
- Engage with students at Nkomo Primary School and assist in preparing lunch meals for children.
- Teach a classroom of kids and present a short presentation, which is in line with their school curriculum.
- Relish a delicious lunch in the community, and visit a craft market and local clinic.
Day 6 – Conservation Experiences
- Meet up with a wildlife research technician from the reserve, and find out more about the wildlife monitoring and research programs currently in place.
- Take part in the capture of a rhino for research purposes. Alongside the team, you will carry out either an ear notching exercise (for monitoring purposes) or collaring of a specific animal. If necessary, you may have the opportunity to participate in a rhino dehorning exercise, which will help protect the animal from poachers.
- Learn to use telemetry equipment, which is essential for the research teams to locate wildlife.
- Head out in search of elephant herds, and collect data which is used to inform the numerous research projects.
Day 7 – Farewell
- Spend your last morning over breakfast engaging in a debrief session of the week’s activities with Les and Andrew, and delight in the handover of a photography canvas that has been taken with pictures of your journey.
PLAN YOUR JOURNEY
The Phinda Story
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