Volunteer Abroad Botswana: Okavango Delta Wildlife Conservation
Your student activity will take you to the eastern edge of the Okavango Delta, to a conservation project which is responsible for the over 1,800 km² area of the Khwai Community Concession. Your tasks will range from observing over 480 bird species and their nesting places, the population and behaviour of herbivorous animals, predators and fish, to monitoring endangered species. Equipped with binoculars, a compass, walkie-talkie, tracking systems, range finder and a telemetry antenna you will follow the animal tracks in this breathtaking country and be confronted with new aspects of nature conservation every day.
- Experience the diverse flora and fauna of the 1000th UNESCO world heritage site
- Observe wild dogs, lions, elephants and other wildlife in their natural habitat
- Become part of a real species conservation project in Botswana
- Dedicate yourself to protecting and researching endangered wild animals
- Be part of an international volunteer team
Volunteering in Southern Africa
As a volunteer in the midst of Botswana’s Okavango Delta you learn how professional nature conservation is carried out both theoretically and in practice and what it means to play an active part in preserving a unique natural habitat.
Arrival and orientation in Botswana
Your internship begins and ends in the town of Maun, from where you will be picked up and to which you will be returned. If travelling by plane, you will probably fly to Johannesburg with a connecting flight to Maun. When planning your journey, you can count on information and support from Natucate.
Volunteer activities in Africa
In order to obtain a better understanding of the habitats of the unique flora and fauna, the local national parks and game reserves collect extensive data in their spheres of responsibility, which provide information about the animal and plant populations, their behaviour patterns and many other factors which affect the ability to protect them. The data are collated in a mutually accessible data pool, which is monitored by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) and is designed to ensure better administration of this vast area.
You and your team will start each day before the sun rises.
In the morning, your activities will include bird, track, herbivore and vegetation transects, as well as checking on camera traps. The early afternoon will be given over to data entry and planning the rest of the day. Afterwards, you will return to the field and carry out further research. At least one day per week will be devoted to inputting data so that you have a better understanding of the work which you will need to do in the next week. Other activities depend on the time of year, and include recording rainfall, high water levels and bushfires, taking photos, reporting poaching incidents and identifying and monitoring rare and endangered animal species.
Accommodation during the volunteer project
While working in the nature conservation project you will be on the move throughout the entire Khwai Community Concession game reserve on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta between the Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park. You will be based with the whole team in a camp on a picturesque island in the south-east of the region. You will sleep in spacious two-man tents which are arranged in groups of three – each with a bathroom for joint use. There is also a kitchen and washing machine as well as a central meeting place which is used for communal meals and training.
Leisure time as a volunteer in Botswana
In your spare time you will have ample opportunity to relax in the camp and surroundings, watch the animals, read or sit around the campfire socialising with the others and reflecting on the day’s activities. On free weekends you can explore the countryside of the Khwai Community Concession, visit nearby national parks and game reserves or go on a trip to Maun, the capital of the north-western region of Botswana.
FAQ – Learn more about this trip
During his internship in Botswana, Victor became active in conserving endangered species. In his report, you can learn more about his tasks and experiences.
Lisa joined our Safari Guide course in Botswana – and sent us some amazing wildlife images she took during her time in Southern Africa. Please take a look at them and enjoy.
“When I started the course, my goal was to simply be in nature and watch various animals – “back to the roots” so to speak. These expectations were more than exceeded.”
1. Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is without doubt one of the most spectacular natural sites in Southern Africa, if not in the entire world. Covering more than 20,000 km², the fertile oasis in the northwestern part of the country is the largest inland delta of our planet. The mighty UNESCO World Heritage Site is fed by the Okavango River, which once a year floods down from the highlands of Angola into an endless labyrinth of river courses, islands and lagoons. With a visit to the Delta, one of the last natural paradises on earth awaits you, whose awe-inspiring biodiversity will amaze every visitor.
Purpose of the conservation project in Botswana
Due to its unique biodiversity and fascinating hydro-geological characteristics, the Okavango Delta was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2014. The area is home to over 1300 plant species, 500 bird species, 190 reptile and amphibian species and 150 species of mammal. It is home to the rarely seen African wild dog and the big five (rhinoceros, elephant, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard).
International efforts have established a number of nature and species conservation projects which carry out research using tracking technology in a number of areas, such as populations and movement patterns of endangered wild dogs. Mapping (monitoring) of animal and plant species helps to monitor wildlife populations and to plan future conservation measures.
The idea is to understand the role played by certain plant or animal species in this ecosystem, enabling the introduction of appropriate steps in support of the natural dynamics in this environment and avoiding any adverse effects.
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