The Nakavango Conservation Programme is held at the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve, a mere ten minute drive from one of the natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls.
Students from across the globe are provided the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in
- Conservation management activities
- Research projects
- Community development projects
During your experience, your knowledge of nature conservation and African wildlife will be greatly enhanced through your dedicated programme co-ordinators, and you will leave with a stronger understanding of conservation issues, and the knowledge that you have made a real contribution to nature conservation and local communities in Africa.
“I’m so excited to be associated with the Conservation & Community programme at the Stanley and Livingstone Hotel on the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve. Students from all over the world will have the opportunity to get involved with community upliftment projects, and conservation activities such as elephant monitoring, black rhino protection & monitoring, predator monitoring, alien vegetation removal, freshwater ecosystem analyses, environmental awareness, sleepouts in the African bush, raptor conservation, and so much more! “
- - Taryn Ingram-Gillson, BSc Hons Zoology, March 2012
You get the opportunity of exploring one of the most sought after destinations in the world – the awe inspiring Victoria Falls and surrounds. Your co-ordinator will provide a guided experience of the Victoria Falls itself, usually on the day after your arrival. During off-time, students can book one of the many activities at Victoria Falls, including white water rafting, bungee jumping, horse-back safaris, helicopter rides over the falls and so much more!
The programme also has a strong focus towards community development projects, and you will be participating in and contributing to the “Children In The Wilderness” (CITW) programme, in association with the world renowned ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris.
Country and area: Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls
Nearest airport: Victoria Falls International Airport
Transfer time: 15 minutes
Duration: 2 to 4 weeks
Weekends and evenings are spent at leisure.
Weekends are off-time, when students can choose to either stay at Camp Nakavango, or explore the surrounding area of Victoria Falls and enjoy some of the diverse activities on offer. Should you wish to book an activity in Victoria Falls, your student co-ordinators and facility manager will be happy to advise you and assist you with the booking/s. Discounted rates on activities are arranged for you through specific operators!
The following are just some of the activities on offer at Victoria Falls:
- White water rafting
- Upper Zambezi canoe trails (day trails or overnight trails)
- Boat cruises
- Livingstone Island tours
- Micro light flights (operate from Zambian side)
- Bungee jumping
- Helicopter flights
- Hi-Wire activities such as the gorge swing, zip line, flying fox
- Horse trails
- Village and township tour
- Vic Falls cycle tours
- Chobe day trips into Botswana
- Fishing safaris
- Victoria Falls Steam train rides
The Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve (Nakavango Estate)
The Reserve is a 2500 hectare privately-managed piece of pristine land. It is home to Africa’s Big 5 and hosts vast species of birdlife. The focal point of activity at the Reserve is preservation and conservation through non-consumptive activity in order to sustain and support the various ecosystems.
The Reserve is the only “Big Five” area in the vicinity of Victoria Falls, due to the presence of Black Rhinoceros. The Reserve was fenced in 2000, and is recognised as an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) for Black Rhino in the area. An intensive Black Rhino monitoring programme is in place, with the aim of increasing the Black rhino population in the area, in the fight against against the recent and widespread poaching of rhinoceros in southern Africa.
STUDENT PROGRAMME DETAILS
The Nakavango Student Programme has five major focal areas:
- Conservation Management
- Conservation Research Projects
- Community Development
Our student co-ordinators will ensure that you leave the programme with an excellent understanding of all activities and issues related to conservation management, African wildlife, important conservation issues and community development. You will be thoroughly briefed before each activity, particularly regarding the importance of the activity, and aspects related to safety precautions, as well as ethical and respectful conduct during activities. You will enjoy entertaining and interesting lectures on various topics, either delivered by our highly knowledgeable and qualified co-ordinators and reserve manager, or guest speakers. You will also receive practical education throughout all activities.
You can expect to get involved practically in conservation management practices, all of which are vital for the successful running of the game reserve. Conservation management activities may include:
- Alien vegetation removal
- Applying soil erosion control methods
- Vulture Restaurant maintenance
- Fence patrols
- Anti-poaching snare sweeps
- Waterhole creation, maintenance and monitoring
- Game counts
- Road maintenance
- Reserve clean-up operations
CONSERVATION RESEARCH PROJECTS
The research projects are primarily aimed at gaining a better knowledge and stronger understanding of specific species, enabling more informed decision making regarding species conservation action plans. The projects may be directly or indirectly connected to a particular species or group of species, which have been identified as per the Red Data Species list as Vulnerable to Endangered. Research projects that you may be exposed to during their stay at Nakavango include:
- Oxpecker monitoring
- Ground Hornbill monitoring
- Raptor conservation in association with EWT
- Bird species data collection for Birdlife Zimbabwe
- Freshwater ecosystem analyses along the Masuwe River, one of the tributaries of the massive Zambezi River
- Monitoring projects for specific species: Elephant, Black Rhino, Buffalo, and predators
The Nakavango Student Programme is proudly associated with the Children In The Wilderness programme, one of Wilderness Safaris’ outreach programmes based at Victoria Falls. You can expect to assist, within the framework of the CITW programme and under the guidance of the programme’s co-ordinator Sue Goatley, through the following activities:
- Tutoring of children
- Homework workshops for scholars
- Sports coaching for scholars
- Community clean-ups with the scholars
- School vegetable garden and nursery maintenance with the scholars
- Fundraising events for the initiation of specific community projects, such as the birth of a PC training centre in the community
All the facilities on the reserve, including the student facility, are committed to “green” operations in order to achieve balance with and minimise impact on the natural environment. Our Green operation projects that students may get involved with include:
- Installation of solar-operated pumps at waterholes
- Vegetable garden upkeep – sustains lodge, students programme, and staff community
- Indigenous tree nursery