Journeys with Purpose (JWP03) Kalahari Expedition 2020

South Africa
Dates: TBC
12 nights/13 days

Fly in: JHB, TBC
Fly out: JHB on TBC
Group size: 6-8 pax (Closed Group)
**Due to Covid 19 pandemic we are waiting to see when airports will open to re-set these dates**

Rate: US$ 4932pp sharing (US$600 non-refundable deposit required to book a seat)

Summary

Africa…… The one place on Earth where you’re guaranteed to fall in love with raw, magnetic natural beauty. It is an intoxicating mix of sights and sounds, wildlife and natural splendour that enthrals, captivates and will literally take your breath away. Our Kalahari Expedition  is a unique adventure spanning into the remote Kalahari area in South Africa, in search of elephants. We will be collaring 4 elephants in this particular area.

Do YOU have any questions? We would love to hear from you.

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Highlights

Some of the extraordinary experiences you can look forward to as part of this group of eco-travellers includes:

  • 13 days / 12 nights in South Africa
  • An authentic wilderness experience in the remote Kalahari Reserve which is a private venture in the Molopo district of the Eastern Kalahari Bushveld.
  • Exploring and looking for wild dog, cheetah & Kalahari lions (South Africa)
  • Game Drive through the Kruger National Park (South Africa) in search of the Big Five in their untouched magnificent habitat
  • Four days collaring elephants in KKR
  • Making lifelong friendships with other people from around the world who are just as passionate about making a difference in Africa as you are
  • Enjoying an exceptionally organised once-in-a-lifetime African experience where all logistical details are taken care of for you.
  • Raising money for Wildlife vets to collar elephants

Frequency: Bespoke once-off expedition
Fitness Ratings: Moderate
Tour Features: Wildlife Conservation, Cultural Exchange, Youth Conservation Education, English-spoken, Fundraising for Wildlife Conservation Groups, Male/Female
Beneficiary: Wildlifevets
Accommodation: Mostly rooms/chalets/rondavels
Price range: Mid-range
Max: 8 eco-adventurers

Includes

  • Expedition leader Carla Geyser
  • Basic accommodation (all sharing)
  • All meals & water in itinerary
  • National Park fees & bed levies
  • Charter flights – JHB-KKR-HDS
  • US1000pp fundraising for our chosen beneficiary: Wildlife Vets
  • All activities detailed in the itinerary
  • Transfers to and from airports

Excludes

  • Any Flights & any necessary transfers to get to the start/finish of the expedition
  • Flights from HDS to JHB
  • Gratuities (*We recommend US$ 5 to 10 per guide or activity*)
  • Any visas & border costs
  • Self catering meals (on itinerary)
  • Alcoholic drinks & snacks
  • Any personal expenses
  • Comprehensive travel insurance (*Compulsory*)
  • Extra nights’ accommodation (pre/ post expedition)
  • Any extra activities not mentioned in itinerary

Itinerary

HISTORY

Seven elephants were introduced to a reserve near Kalahari from an Elephant Back Safaris company, after the closure of their commercial operation at the time. The companies management ethos was that any of the fostered elephants that started to show signs of wanting to move on will be respected and a solution to this will be sought for this elephant.

The reserve agreed to provide a new home for these elephant as it provided the ideal area for such a rehabilitation. It had all the right qualities like space and habitat available to make the rehabilitation of these elephants back to the wild a success

The reintegration of these elephants into their new home was very successful. The elephants have adapted to their new environment and being wild elephants and have consequently conceived and bred successfully on the reserve, with two male calves born in January 2019. This is a good indication that they are happy in their new environment. This was the pinnacle of the introduction project and proof of a successful reintegration of these elephants to the wild.

The success of reintegrating domestic elephants back into the wild is a relatively new concept given that it is still a young industry in this country. However, there have been a number of very positive releases of trained elephants back into the wild, the data of these releases slowly accumulating. There is little doubt that release projects correctly instituted with the right skills and commitment can realistically be achieved.

This project is supported by Elephant Reintegration Trust (ERT). ERT aims to provide avenues for the reintegration of previously captured elephant to become truly wild elephants.

The introduction of the elephant group in 2015 was a huge success. They have established themselves and it was shown that it was possible to release previous captured elephants back into the wild.

However, these elephants were raised together since young and never had contact with other elephants. Only when allowing these elephants opportunity to interact with other wild elephants and establish natural population structures can they be truly reintegrated wild elephants.

That means that the re-integration project of the elephants on the reserve needs a second phase before it can finally be a called a success. Elephants are extremely social animals, therefore the 2nd phase involves the introduction of more elephant from a wild source. This will allow the re-integrated elephants to interact with other elephants, with a further advantage of the benefits it might have to correct the issues as described above.

The proposal is to Introduce a small family group (6-10 animals) to normalise the elephant population and bring them closer to natural population structures and allow for extra females and mating opportunities for bulls. The current population is not sustainable in the long-term, neither from a structural or genetic perspective. Then at a later stage add in addition to introducing a family group, introduce a large bull of about 40-50 years old to the reserve.

To ensure that the reintegration process run smoothly, and both herds settle and adapt as well as possible, a lot of pre- and post-release monitoring of both these groups is critical. However, it is not just for monitor the reintegration process, but also to learn as much from this project as possible so that this knowledge can be applied to future elephant reintegration projects of ERT.

Increasing social pressure and animal welfare awareness sees society starting to frown upon keeping animals in captivity and interactions with humans. The means that more elephants that are currently in captivity will need to be returned to the wild, but options and reserves where this can be done is limited. The aim is to establish a reserve which is dedicated to the reintegration of captured elephants back into the wild. The knowledge gained from the reintroduction project in this particular reserve will be invaluable for future reintegration projects.

The four collars we are raising funds for will help with this process. We are looking at collaring 3 bulls and one female from the breeding herd. This will allow researchers the ability to monitor their behavioural patters and movements once the wild breeding herd is introduced on the reserve.

Another reason why we collar elephants is to protect them from poaching and retaliation killings when human elephant conflict occurs.

By Using satellite collars, ranger and game park officials will be able to monitor wildlife movements and provide enhanced security – a proven effective measure to protect threatened species. The data collected by the collars will also help teams predict where the elephants and their herds are moving to anticipate the dangers they may face

 

DAY ONE/TWO/THREE/FOUR/FIVE – EXPEDITION DAY JHB to Kalahari

Welcome to SA! Your adventure begins when you are greeted at the airport and helped through customs to your charter flight. We will spend the next 5 days collaring Elephants in the Kalahari, looking for a wild dog, Kalahari lions etc.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Kalahari Reserve
Type: Tents (Sharing)

DAY SIX/SEVEN/EIGHT – Kalahari to Hoedspruit

Today we fly to HDS area. We will be collected and drive to our accommodation for the next three nights. Our activities will include game drives and walks and trekking Elephants with Elephants Alive.

Meals: Self-catering
Accommodation: Ndabushi Lodge
Type: Rooms/Chalets

DAY NIVE/TEN/ELEVEN – Hoedspruit

We move to Ekuthuleni in HDS. We will spend one of the days in Kruger National Park,which is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Its high density of wild animals includes the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo’s. Hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks. Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape.. We will spend  a day exploring and looking for Africa’s Big 5. The other day will be spend on a Panorama Tour of the area.

Meals: Self Catering
Accommodation: Ekuthuleni
Type: Rooms/Chalets

DAY TWELVE– HDS to JHB

Leaving Kruger area, we fly to JHB for our last night. We depart the following morning for home.

Meals: Dinner
Accommodation: City Lodge (JHB)
Type: Rooms

*The animals (and vets) safety is ALWAYS a priority so we will work under their guidance. The terrain is very wild and there may be a chance that only the vets and pilots get to the elephants but we will do everything in our power to be included as much as possible.

*Please note this itinerary may change slightly but the expedition leader will keep you posted and updated. Terms and conditions apply due to availability.

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