Recent guest comment
“We had such an incredible time at Eco camp that we extended our stay! A truly unique and unbelievable experience with a fantastic bunch of passionate, fun and enthusiastic conservationists. Learned soooo much but also haven’t had such great fun in a long time. Our stomachs are sore from all the laughing! So apologies we didn’t make it back to Cape Town – but we wanted to continue to play our part in the war against the Wattles! Let me know how we can help to publicise this place more – it certainly deserves a lot of attention and we would love to spread the word for this new venture in any way we can!” – Sam, November 2015
Gondwana Game Reserve, an 11 000 hectare private Big 5 reserve on the Garden Route has launched a 5 night conservation experience for individuals, families or groups who want to get more involved in Africa on their safari. Participants will be involved in wildlife and veld management, learn important bush skills and interpretation, as well as volunteer with the local community. The research and findings from the program are fed back to Gondwana’s conservation department to assist in decision making enhancing the reserve management plan. The itinerary will include plenty of game drives, bush walks, and down time in an utterly inspiring landscape. This is your chance to get involved with the important conservation work of a Big Five game reserve and not only enjoy but contribute.
A Typical day
06:00 – Wake up
06:30 – Breakfast (cold buffet & Ranger’s fry up)
07:00 – Depart on Morning activity (Example – locating cheetah/monitoring/leopard cameras)
10:30 – Move to conservation project site (Example – Erosion site/Wattle clearing site/water system assessment )
13:00 – Packed lunch in bush or @ camp
14:00 – Continue with conservation/field project
16:00 – Depart on evening game monitoring drive
18:30 – Return to camp and freshen up
19:00 – Dinner (homemade, hearty meals as well as a potjie & braai night)
20:30 – Evening talk and prep for next day’s activity
The Conservation program starts every Monday at 1pm with departure mid morning on Saturday and runs all year around. The program is designed for 5 nights and can be shortened to a 3 night experience as well. Please contact us for your preferred dates. The program caters for both families and adults and we try to group families together in their own program weeks where possible. Due to the nature of the program children must be 6 or older.
These programs create an opportunity for parents and children to have fun in nature while learning about conservation and participating in important projects. We ensure the activities are not too long nor strenuous for the little ones to keep them motivated and happy. Family projects are developed for all age groups to be able to actively participate. The regular more adult program brings in elements of wildlife monitoring and research which will be substituted with activities like fishing, treasure hunts and nature crafts. Dates available on request and are subject to availability. Designated family weeks available.
Rates October 2015 until October 2016
Incl. TOMSA 1%
Excludes conservation levy
|5 Night program: Rate per program per person||3 Night program: Rate per program per person|
|Adult sharing||R 10 500||R 8 400|
|Adult single||R 17 325||R 12 495|
|Child Sharing 6-12||R 8 400||R 6 720|
|Child Single||R 13 860||R 11088|
Please make sure you request a Monday start day and input a 3 or 5 day duration when booking online!
For exclusive bookings or longer stays please contact us for an individual quote.
Please see the link below for Elela Africa, our German representative for any enquiries regarding the Gondwana Tented Eco Camp for individuals, travel agents and tour operators. Click Here
Accommodation: Tented Bush Camp
Your base during the program will be in our eco-friendly tented camp set in a valley blanketed in Fynbos in the heart of the game reserve. The stylish solar powered camp includes 5 large, comfortable twin or double tents set on raised platforms. Each tent has a bathroom with a shower, toilet, vanity sink area, as well as a covered deck area (2 additional tents are for staff). All meals are provided in the main tent which includes an open plan kitchen, lounge, and dining area. There is ample outdoor recreational areas including a covered outdoor lounge area and dining boma, a pool and hammock relaxation area, as well as an outdoor shower.
- 5 Night / 6 Day program (Monday arrival, Saturday departure) or 3 Night / 4 Day program (Monday arrival, Thursday departure)
- Accommodation in upmarket tented bush camp in the heart of the reserve
- All Meals
- All linen and towels
- Daily Housekeeping Service
- All day conservation activities and Game drives
- All travel within the reserve
What’s not Included:
- Beverages (alcohol and soft drinks)
- Flights to South Africa
- Transfers to and from the Reserve can be arranged from Mossel Bay (2:30pm pick up from Backpackers) for R275pp per trip
- Personal insurance
- Reserve conservation fee (R200 per person per stay)
Visual monitoring, research and tracking of wildlife:
- Learn how to identify animal tracks and dung and use radio collar technology to track and follow key species throughout the Reserve.
- The data collected is key for determining species distribution and habitat utilization.
Monitoring of the Cape Leopard cameras established on Gondwana and surrounding area
- The Cape Mountain leopard is a critically endangered animal. Learn how to participate in photographic surveys and radio collar data to determine species distribution within the surrounding area.
Bird identification and monitoring
- Learn the skill of bird identification and use it to determine bird distribution and movement on the reserve in different habitats and seasons.
Translocation & Veterinary care of wildlife – season dependent
- Gondwana frequently introduces new animals onto the reserve and distributes certain species to other reserves throughout South Africa. Different live game capture techniques are used for different species.
- While Gondwana’s wildlife population is completely self sufficient and free roaming there are certain endangered and specialty species, which require human intervention for injury, vaccinations, parasite control, or collaring for monitoring purposes.
- (Note: veterinary and game capture/release is not guaranteed during your program and is done on an as needed basis.)
Feeding and monitoring of animals in Boma – season dependent
- Certain wildlife are kept temporarily in a boma (holding enclosure) when they are released onto the reserve in order to safely settle them into their new environment, such as predators and elephant.
- While enclosed they need to be fed and maintained. Volunteers will be involved in the various boma feeding programs
- (Note: no animals are guaranteed to be in the bomas during your program.)
Bush Skills and Interpretation
- Bush skills are an ancient art. Participants will learn much of this art and use it in their day to day activities while on Gondwana:
- Track/spoor identification
- Antelope and bird identification
- Tree identification
- Fynbos identification
- Map Utilization (road, contour, aerial Google maps & GPS navigation)
- Approaching wildlife by vehicle and on foot
- 4×4 Driving skills
- Basic survival skills
- Basic first aid
- Learning to make a shelter, fire, fishing rod, and compass
- Learn how to forage and fish
- Celestial identification and navigation
- Erosion control
- Erosion sites
- Participation in eradication of alien vegetation (Black Wattle, Port Jackson)
- The encroachment of alien vegetation on Gondwana is one of the reserves’ greatest environmental threats.
- Gondwana has embarked on one of the largest environmental rehabilitation programs in the region. Participants have the opportunity to learn more about the vegetation, and to participate in the eradication of the targeted species.
- Assessment of Productivity of Water systems within the reserve
- Fence patrols
- Road maintenance
- Boma Maintenance
Gondwana is closely associated to the local community. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with the community and participate in:
- Community kids programs – whereby groups of school children are brought to the reserve and participate in conservation and envronmental education days with lots of fun activities
- Community adult development programs
What to Pack:
- Warm jacket and jersey for nights and game drives
- Jeans / khaki pants
- Closed sneakers or hiking boots
- Summer: t shirts, shorts, flip flops, bathing suit, light button down bush shirts
- Winter: long sleeves and short sleeves, pants and shorts
- Warm and cool PJs