To take part in this Wilderness Experience course you must be at least 18 years old and have a good knowledge of English to understand the instructions given by the course supervisor and the research literature. The application documents also include a vaccination certificate and a document concerning your state of health. You should be fit enough to be able to walk in high temperatures. No specialist knowledge is required. It's far more important for you to be interested in nature and enthusiastic about photography. Before departing to Southern Africa you also need to make sure to get travel insurance. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.
Arrival and departure: You will arrive in Johannesburg one day before the course begins, and spend the night there. You will be picked up and brought to the course on the following day. You will be brought back to Johannesburg at the end of your course before continuing your travels or returning home.
Course: At the beginning of the course, the group will get hands-on with the equipment to become more familiar with the technology. This will allow you to make the best possible use of the equipment. The day will begin in the early morning with your first trip to the African wilderness where you and your group will get your first practical experience alongside an experienced nature photographer taking photos of wild animals in their natural environment. Theoretical units will be provided just before midday after you returned to the camp, along with a discussion of what you have done that morning and the photos that were taken.
The group and the group leader will provide all participants with constructive criticism, suggestions and useful tips or inspiration for your next photographs. The group will set off on their second trip of the day as soon as the temperature starts to drop in the afternoon to find additional motifs and apply what it has learnt. This will give you an opportunity to become familiar with the wildlife in this unique natural environment and practice capturing the animals or the wonders of the African wilderness with creativity and technical expertise. In-depth knowledge about your particular motif can be helpful and will allow you to make a proper assessment of an animal so that you can take the best possible picture of it. The group will return to camp before Sunset to eat dinner together and spend a few hours in the common room or around the campfire.
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.
You will share a two-man tent with another member of the group, and use the camp’s shared sanitary facilities. The camp also has a large common room where the theoretical teaching units are provided. It is also where you will share mealtimes together and spend some of your free time. You will be provided with a light breakfast in the early morning, a hearty brunch after your first excursion of the day, a snack in the afternoon and a balanced meal to end the day. Tea and coffee is available throughout the day, and juice is also provided at mealtimes. The camp’s tap water is also fit for drinking. The camp's electricity comes from generators, because it has no connection to the power grid. This means that you will have some ability to charge electronic devices. The camp also has solar lamps and satellite telephones, as mobile reception is generally quite poor.
All students in this course 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.