This overseas internship is training, adventure and nature experience all in one, in a nature conservation programme that will give you an insight into the breathtaking nature of Botswana and provide you with valuable nature conservation experience. During the two month course, you will receive in-depth information about the main nature conservation issues and wildlife management in Africa. Moreover you will acquire extensive knowledge out in the field, in collaboration with the Okavango Research Institute of the University of Botswana (ORI).
During the course of your placement you will find yourself in different parts of the Chobe region and the Okavango Delta in the north of Botswana, where you will be able to apply your newly acquired skills and theoretical basic principles in the wild. Your placement will take you through a rapid succession of constantly changing landscapes. You can’t get closer to nature than here – Go NATUCATE!
To be able to participate in a work placement you will need to apply in writing and prove that you are enrolled as a student at a university or equivalent institution. Furthermore, you must be at least 18 years old and have a good knowledge of English. Other than that, your physical fitness should be such that you are able to cope with more basic conditions. That’s why we require a doctor’s certificate concerning your state of health as well as a vaccination certificate. If you have a strong interest in nature and you want to find out more about nature conservation and the protection of endangered species, this work experience will be of benefit to you long after your studies are over.
Your work placement will begin and end in Maun. You will land in Johannesburg first and continue from there. You will be picked up at the arranged time from Maun Airport and taken to the camp. The same goes for departure. It is advisable to contact us before booking your flights, so that we can discuss your travel plans together. We would be pleased to help you.
In Maun there will be an introduction meeting where all participants will get an overview of the course structure and possible research topics. On the third day after your arrival all participants will travel to the research-camp which is located in the midst of Okavango Delta. They will acquire new skills regarding nature conservation and wildlife management and dedicate themselves to own research projects for one and a half months. Later on they will present their results to other participants of the course.
This placement has been especially conceived, in conjunction with the Okavango Research Institute of the University of Botswana (ORI), to equip students from a variety of disciplines for working on nature conservation projects. Participants will be instructed in the theoretical and practical aspects of nature conservation and animal protection in Africa, which will be illustrated in extensive case studies, numerous practical applications, excursions and discussions with all parties involved. The aim is to introduce future nature conservationists to standard research techniques from data collection and analysis to field research and environmental management. During the course, the emphasis will be on the two important work areas “Human-Wildlife Conflict” and “Biodiversity Monitoring”.
Biodiversity monitoring purposes the monitoring and surveillance of species and population dynamics in ecosystems. It provides an essential tool to adaptive management that enables perturbations to be measured in space and time and reviews the effectiveness of different conservation measures. Thus biodiversity monitoring contributes to urban and conservation planning processes.
The Human-Wildlife Conflict Project is an important research area forming part of your work experience. In conjunction with the Okavango Research Institute of the University of Botswana, it attempts to identify conflicts between man and wildlife and to develop concepts for measures to prevent such conflicts in the future.
The vast expanse covered by the Okavango Delta is home to innumerable wild animals who either live their permanently or roam through large parts of the area in the course of the year. However, in recent times man has seized more and more of their refuges or even water sources, making them inaccessible to animals. Consequently, it frequently happens that animals such as elephants destroy the farmers’ farms or fields in their daily quest for water. The aim of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Project is therefore to achieve a balance which is fair to both man and animal. Using development aid, training courses and educational schemes the project helps the farmers and local people to build protective walls, makes other water-holes for the animals away from the settlements and shows the people how they can live in harmony with wildlife. To date very few studies have been made analysing the interaction between man and animal in Africa. It is therefore all the more important that information about spatial patterns, environmental effects or socio-economic aspects of the Human-Wildlife Conflict be collected, in order to identify potential conflict situations and introduce countermeasures such as land use planning. During your work you will learn much about the culture and peoples of this country and will gain deep insights into the heart of Botswana.
We realise that some of the people on our projects in Southern Africa want to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. Please note that NATUCATE makes no guarantee that you will see a variety of animals, in particular the Big Five, as nature doesn’t always give us what we want. To make such a guarantee would be unprofessional and against our corporate philosophy.
Everyone interested in our projects in Southern Africa should be aware that these courses aim at educating the participants. The courses have a set content and deal with a variety of topics that are introduced in English. A number of theoretical and practical examinations as well as presentations in English are part of the learning experience and can be challenging for non-native speakers.
Please note that the courses are not simply safari excursions but require effort. But if you are interested and also willing to learn something completely new, the challenges and tasks will be manageable for you. You should not get discouraged – feel free to contact us so we can discuss the detailed learning plan and explain the general procedure of the courses to you.
You’ll receive extensive training in the following areas:
On arrival into Maun, Botswana, students will stay at a gated campsite in twin dome tents on cots. There are male and female communal bathrooms with basins, showers and toilets. Hot water is provided via solar geysers. Communal laundry facilities are available to students with detergent for washing clothes provided. A communal kitchen and dining area are situated within the campsite. Meals will be prepared together with other students in the camp. Food for three meals each day will be provided along with drinking water.
After their first week in Maun all participants will move to the research-camp which is located in and around the Okavango Delta. Students stay in twin dome tents on cots and have male/female pit-toilets and bucket shower facilities. Meals are prepared by an in-house cook in an open communal tent dining area. The fire is burning every night under the magnificent African skies full of bright stars, the Milky Way, and listening to the sounds of the bush!
Everybody interested in internships abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
Most evenings and at the weekends you will have sufficient time to take care of personal matters or to sit round the camp fire with the others. As you will be out and about mainly in a group, you will have the opportunity to make new friends and occasionally contacts are endure well beyond the stay in Botswana. During the two months, two excursions are planned: a safari along the Linyanti River and a three-day excursion to the fantastically beautiful Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. In Chobe National Park you can also travel down river in a boat. So you can expect plenty of fun!