Things to Make Your Gap Year in Africa Easy!

The kind of things you pack when you go on a trip says a lot about where you're heading and what you're going to be doing.

Taking a warm top and a 'blanky' is OK if you're going to stay at Granny's house, but when you're taking a gap year in Africa, these items come highly recommended...

Work Pants with zip-off longs x 2

Great for casual wading in the water and getting within meters of Southern Right Whales breaching just off your sea sprayed research boat.

This is what work at the O.R.C.A Foundation in Plettenberg Bay was all about. Plettenberg Bay is a coastal town located along the world famous Garden Route. It's where some of the worlds most fascinating marine species can be seen, anything from Humpback Whales to Great White Sharks.

My gap year travel here gave me a once in a life time chance to work with these magnificent marine species in exciting and groundbreaking marine conservation volunteer work.

My Gap year at the O.R.C.A. Marine Foundation was also spent doing:

Rescue and rehabilitation of marine species
Sampling, tagging, monitoring and dissection of fish species
Participating in commercial marine-eco tourism activities, that included whale and dolphin watching tours, sea kayaking, township tours, and river ferry cruises
Supervised collection of touch pool and aquarium species for the O.R.C.A. Education Centre
O.R.C.A. patrol boat trips to collect data, monitor the bay and take photos of whales, dolphins and other marine species

The Fleece Beanie

The Kapama Private Game Reserve gets cold at night; I reckon fleece beanies are essential. Long nights monitoring and tracking game is an amazing experience, chills or no chills.

I found the stars in the sky were a thousand times brighter than they are in the city. Though the stars were beautiful, most of the time the thrill of stalking around in the bush took preference. Darting parties were conducted to inspect and tag animals for conservation purposes.

The monitoring programs enable conservationists to keep records of the movements and numbers of the game in the area.

Working at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre involved feeding and taking care of baby animals. Quite a few species are bred here, including the cheetah, which is a most interesting cat when you get to see one close up.

Other activities we were involved in: Camping in the reserve to get the African feeling
Target shooting
Capturing of wild animals when required by the reserve or the sanctuary
Assisting in hand raised animals
Elephant back safaris

Handy Gloves for the Colobus Trust

You can't even begin to imagine how a pair of gloves help while you're fixing fences and chasing baboons and monkeys all day. They're also a great help for removing vegetation from power lines to prevent these silly monkeys from being electrocuted. Another priority was removing the snares in the Diani Forest in an effort to protect the Colobus Monkey and its habitat.

I've never done anything quite like conducting a census for monkeys. Counting hundreds of colobus, sykes, vervet monkeys and baboons is an oddly rewarding experience.

What else did I do on my gap year on the South Coast of Kenya:

Repair and installing Colobridges, monkey-crossing bridges over Diani Beach road
Remove vegetation from power lines to stop monkeys from being electrocuted
Work alongside the school children doing studies on medicinal plants used by the community

Binoculars: Eyes in the Field

For the Shamwari Game Reserve, Binoculars were undoubtedly the most useful piece of equipment I had. You'll understand why they are often called field eyes when you get to Shamwari.

They are especially useful for the mammal monitoring and tracking program that requires diligent scanning of at least 20,000 hectares of African bush. You also need them while taking game counts and conducting the anti poaching patrols. This makes you feel like you're really playing your part in things.

These missions in the name of nature are incidentally carried out from the back of land rovers; the genuine experience!

We spotted so many varieties of amazing animals; I don't even know where to begin. While stacking up thorn trees around the village, a technique used to keep predators out and livestock in, we were surprised by the sighting of a cheetah, a perfect time to zoom in with those binoculars.

My gap year voluntary work on Shamwari also covered the following: Assisting with game darting
Alien vegetation control and identification
Camp outs in the bush
Feeding of predators at The Born Free animal rescue sanctuary

A Trusty Pair of Hiking Boots

If you're walking through 54 000 hectares of mountains, plains, indigenous fauna and flora and the incredible rock formations of the Warmwaterberg Mountains, I recommend getting good boots.

Most of the animal research projects at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve involved tracking. This meant covering a lot of rocky terrain in order to complete our objectives of game counts, monitoring and transect analysis. Camps outs in the bush and nocturnal game monitoring turned out to be extremely adventurous.

Generally, it was more of a team thing. I felt connected and part of something that, beyond just talking about it, really was doing something to help conservation efforts in the real world.

These are only a few examples of the hands-on experience we had:

Plant studies and identification
Animal habituation
Bird monitoring - bird counts on the dam including the raptor family
Medicinal use of plants and vegetation biomes

Worldwide Experience provides conservation volunteers & gap year in Africa opportunities on some of Southern Africa's premier private game reserves. This gives volunteers from around the world a chance to work closely with animals and to help forward the South African National Park's conservation objectives.

In The News:

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Love and the outdoors | Community  Independent TribuneYou know, Cupid is a bowhunter. Sometimes we get caught up in our own adventures so much, we forget the ones we leave tending everyday affairs.
Laqshya Media launches tool to measure reach of outdoor campaigns  Economic TimesThe tool allows clients to identify locations with the highest audience density in order to reduce spill-over and quantify an OOH campaigns reach and ...
BILL HOWARD: Couples can enjoy the outdoors together  SCNowYou know, Cupid is a bowhunter. Sometimes we get caught up in our own adventures so much, we forget the ones we leave tending to everyday affairs.
2019 NASCAR Monster Energy, Xfinity & Gander Outdoors Truck Series TV Schedules  TVInsiderThe “Great American Race,” the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, is the official start of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup ...
Take The Spa Outdoors (Yes, In Winter) At This Brooklyn Wellness Escape  ForbesThe pop-up spa at a Brooklyn hotel's outdoor terrace features six glorious glamping tents outfitted with wellness-inducing infrared saunas.
Register now for Tree School Umpqua | Outdoors  NRToday.comOregon State University Extension *Service* of Douglas County will offer a day of classes centered on forestry and natural resource topics from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., ...
What's Up Outdoors: In search of sturgeon on Lake Winnebago  Brainerd DispatchOn a cold winters weekend people find things to pass the time in many different ways. Some stay indoors and stay warm, and others embrace the weather and ...
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Valley Outdoors Cabin Fever Expo celebrates 20 years | Local  Milton Daily StandardFor photos of the event from this past weekend, check out the 2/18 edition of The Standard-Journal!
National backyard bird count gets Siouxland bird watchers outdoors  KCAU 9If your a bird watcher or would like to know more about the hobby, this weekend is the perfect time for you.
GALLERY: Treverton learners pursue adventure outdoors  Estcourt NewsTreverton College recently held an Outdoor Pursuits weekend. That means there is no conventional sport at Treverton but the children are taken out in their ...
OUTDOORS: Latest gun bills seem senseless | Sports  Finger Lakes TimesThe current gun bills running through the state Legislature leave a lot to be desired. It reminds me of the SAFE act, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's historic law that was ...
DC Inmates Weren't Allowed Outdoors For Months, Advocates Say  DCistResidents at the Correctional Treatment Facility say they're begging for *fresh* air and sunlight, but aren't getting any. The DOC says inmates haven't been ...
Essex Investment Management Co. LLC Sells 1,212 Shares of Johnson Outdoors Inc. (JOUT)  Fairfield CurrentEssex Investment Management Co. LLC lessened its holdings in Johnson Outdoors Inc. (NASDAQ:JOUT) by 6.3% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent ...
OUTDOORS: Cabin Fever unbearable this time of year  Monmouth Daily Review AtlasIt was sure nice to get a little reprieve in the temperatures last Thursday. The warmer temperatures melted a lot of ice and snow that was in yards and driveways.
The Elgato Eve outdoor weather sensor is down to just $42  iMoreThe Elgato Eve Weather Wireless Outdoor Sensor is down to $42.42 on Amazon. It normally sells for around $50, and this is the lowest direct price drop we've ...
Outdoors: 'Cabin fever' brings the outdoors inside  Daily RecordThe definition for "cabin fever" is "irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.".
In Chicago's Epic Freeze, Some Homeless Feel More Comfortable Outdoors  NDTV NewsBlanca Rodriguez, a 52-year-old homeless woman, spent a night at one of the warming centres Chicago set up ahead of the Arctic-like weather that froze a large ...
Do Prisoners Get More Time Outdoors Than Our Kids?  The WireThe good news is that what's good for the children is just as good for their parents.
Russian islanders too scared to go outdoors after invasion of aggressive polar bears  The TelegraphA Russian Arctic archipelago on Saturday declared an emergency situation over an "invasion" of dozens of aggressive polar bears that have entered homes and ...
A way to beat cabin fever? Many made their way to the Outdoors show  OurQuadCitiesQuad Citians rocked their best camo and brought the kids out with them to get some relief from the weather. What better way of doing that then with some ...
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Dennis Mammana: Get Ready for Yet Another 'Supermoon'  NoozhawkIf the full moon appears especially large when it rises over the horizon around sunset on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 18 and 19, that's because ... well ... it is.
Outdoor Channel to air mid-Maine bass fishing action  Bangor Daily NewsIf the winter weather's got you down, and you want to relive the good old days — like back in August, when the temps were much warmer, Outdoor Channel has ...
Blog: Don't drive on the ice  Glens Falls Post-StarI've never really understood the allure of driving a car or truck on a frozen lake.
Outdoor Furniture: Decorate your balcony for summer  Times of IndiaSpring season is just around the corner and in case you are a purveyor of the outdoor leisure time, it calls for revamping your balcony with the best outdoor ...
Johnson Outdoors Reports Fiscal First Quarter Results  GlobeNewswireRACINE, Wis., Feb. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- JOHNSON OUTDOORS INC., (NASDAQ: JOUT), a leading global innovator of outdoor recreation ...
Hamilton steps down from Roaring Fork Outdoors Volunteers after 24 years at helm  Aspen TimesA man who helped found Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers and led it for nearly 25 years announced his resignation Wednesday.David Hamilton will work with ...
Is AdTech Moving Outdoors?  ForbesAdvertising-technology spending surged right through 2018 and is forecasted to continue at a clip of above 10% annual growth rates through 2022. We take a ...
Xfinity, Gander Outdoors Truck entry lists for Daytona  Yahoo SportsNASCAR has released the preliminary entry lists for this weekend's Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series races at Daytona International Speedway.
Ramble on: exercising your mind in the great outdoors  The Irish TimesThat's Maths: nature provides a myriad mathematical puzzles to ponder as you walk.
Hope Outdoors, churches help hunters with disabilities  WDAMHope Outdoors helps people with disabilities get involved with outdoor activities such as hunting.
Students learn about the outdoors at Outagamie Conservation Club  Fox11online.comOUTAGAMIE COUNTY (WLUK) -- Dozens of students took to the trails on Wednesday, learning about the outdoors. The partnership between J. R. Gerritts ...
Taking it outdoors! Bengalureans' new weekend regime includes travelling for fitness  Economic TimesBENGALURU: Bengalureans are giving weekend travel a fitness spin. Weekend fitness outdoors is the new way to unwind for the city's health-conscious.
Avoiding the great outdoors  Bangkok PostExercise enthusiast Saowaphak Pinijpichitkul mistook the toxic haze that had shrouded Bangkok earlier for dense morning fog, and thus didn't realise the health ...
Resilience Outdoors - En route  Nursery WorldRead Resilience Outdoors - En route childcare and the latest childcare & early years news & best practice on Nursery World.
The Great Outdoors w/ Charlie Potter 2.10.19  WGN Radio - ChicagoJoin host Charlie Potter for your weekly news and interviews related to the environment, nature and the great outdoors.
Do not workout outdoor if the temperature is below THIS  Times of IndiaWorking outside has a multitude of benefits. But along with the benefits of exercising outdoors, there are some.
U.S. Senate passes bill to fund Land and Water Conservation  KPAX-TVBOZEMAN – The U.S. Senate recently passed Public Lands Package 928, a bill that includes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which helps fund ...
Winter well-being: a forest nursery where children spend time outdoors  ITV NewsRead the latest Central stories, Winter well-being: a forest nursery where children spend time outdoors on ITV News, videos, stories and all the latest Central ...
Johnson Outdoors to Release Fiscal 2019 First Quarter Results on February 4, 2019  GlobeNewswireRACINE, Wis., Jan. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- JOHNSON OUTDOORS INC. (Nasdaq: JOUT), a leading global innovator of outdoor recreation equipment ...
Ammo seller Vista Outdoors’ stock plunges to record low; CEO doesn’t know when sales will bottom  MarketWatchShares of Vista Outdoor Inc. plunged to a record low in active trade Thursday, after the ammunition and outdoor recreation products seller missed sales ...
Teksupport drops phase-one line-up for its new Gather Outdoors Festival  MixmagBringing house and techno to the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York.
Ex-Cabela's employee launches website selling outdoors products  Lincoln Journal StarA former Cabela's employee has announced the launch of an ecommerce company focused on selling outdoors products.
Massive flood control project for Waikiki would gobble up schools’ outdoors space  Hawaii News NowThe student council at Hokulani Elementary in Manoa are standing up to the federal government by saying 'no' to the Ala Wai Canal project.
Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 review: a classy outdoors smartwatch for explorers  T3Despite some issues, the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 appeals as a Wear OS watch for exploring the great outdoors with.
Crippling elk hoof affliction finds its way to Idaho  Bonner County Daily Bee(Photo courtesy WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE) A crippling disease causing abnormal hoof growth in elk has found its way to Idaho.
Camber CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge sparks major backlash  SNEWSOn the final day of the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show last week Camber Outdoors announced its CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge. Following a panel discussion ...
Don't Let a Breakup Ruin Your Love of the Outdoors  OutsideWelcome to Tough Love. Every other week, we're answering your questions about dating, breakups, and everything in between. Our advice giver is Blair ...
Trending: Our Top Outdoor Stories This Week | 2019-02-17  GearJunkieREI CEO Jerry Stritzke resigns, the man who killed a cougar speaks out, the RAM Multifunction Tailgate, and more popular stories this past week, Feb. 10-16 ...
PETA supporters to dress in 'sexy underwear,' cuddle outdoors in downtown Nashville  WZTVNASHVILLE, Tenn. --Two PETA supporters plan a public display of affection by cuddling on a bed outside in Nashville. According to a release from the ...
Banff Film Festival directors on the challenges of shooting outdoor movies  Deseret NewsA look behind the scenes of the filmmaking process for award-winning outdoor shorts at this year's Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour.
Jerry Davis: Exchange student loves Wisconsin’s outdoors opportunities  Madison.comWe can't hunt unless we're in some type of club and then it's mostly hunting preserves,” Marieke (Rieke) Kuchenbecker said of living in Germany. “We can't have ...
Outdoor groups may sue over Crazy Mountain access, they warn Forest Service  Billings GazetteA coalition of outdoor groups and individuals is threatening to sue the Custer Gallatin National Forest for “failure to protect and defend public access rights in the ...
Outdoors: Crying wolf doesn't advance gun rights  The SouthernThe uproar created by the Illinois General Assembly's action to license gun dealers in the state has largely died down.
Two Rivers hosts Explore the Outdoors Expo  KKCO-TVThe first ever Explore the Outdoors Expo showcased different businesses that take advantage of our beautiful state--and it's just what Grand Junction is hoping to ...
Outdoor Corner: Has spring sprung?  Beauregard Daily NewsAll this warm weather has the bass on the march to their bedding areas to look for locations to perform the yearly ritual of spawning.
Life in the great outdoors: Handy camping tips from readers  New Zealand HeraldWe asked for your tips for great camping holidays. Here are our favourites.
Enter To Win Tickets To The Outdoor Life Field & Stream Expo  wjimam.comAttention hunters, fisherman, campers, and outdoorsmen -- The Outdoor Life Field & Stream Expo is coming to the Lansing Center!
13 classic styles on sale this weekend from Patagonia, The North Face, and more  Business InsiderFrom Patagonia fleeces to Hydro Flasks to Mountain Hardwear's StretchDown, these are the beloved classics you can get for up to 50% off this weekend.
Mystery sound traced to outdoor water spigot | The Mighty 790 KFGO  KFGO NewsI have first-hand proof outdoor spigots can turn on by themselves.
19-year-old University of Vermont student found dead outdoors after frigid night  USA TODAYThe student died in the early morning hours after attempting to take a shortcut, according to police.
Curling goes outdoors as temperatures drop  BBC NewsFreezing conditions enabled curlers in some parts of the country to enjoy the traditional sport outside.
Op-Ed: Access to the Outdoors Is a Basic Human Right  OutsideThe Outdoor Equity Fund, supported by more than 50 state and national organizations representing social, environmental, immigration, and health justice, will ...
Outdoors: Lehigh Valley boasts only father-and-son Game Wardens in the state  Allentown Morning CallNorthampton County Game Warden Brad Kreider (left) and Lehigh County Game Warden Tyler Kreider comprise the only father-and-son Game Warden pair in ...
Learning in the snow: How children develop through all-weather outdoor play  The Conversation - CanadaOh, to be a child again! To find joy in the newness of each day and be in awe of what lies waiting to be discovered. As researchers, through a case study, we ...
Snow won't slow show-goers who live for the outdoors  OregonLiveIt's snowing, you say? Curl up, start a fire, hope the paper gets delivered (oh, wait), drink hot soup, Stay warm? Heh, heh...Snooze and lose. Why are all those ...
Exeter Go Outdoors worker who looted stock told to pay back £60,000  Devon LivePhilip Cook set up his own online business selling camping gear he took from work. He would fill his car with boxes of clothing from the store in Marsh Barton ...
Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo brings out eclectic mix of vendors  MyTwinTiers.comThe Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo brought out an eclectic mix of vendors at the Murray Hill Athletic Center.
Mechanicsburg considering change to outdoor alcoholic beverages ordinance  The SentinelMechanicsburg Borough is looking at an ordinance change that would allow borough council to permit public consumption of alcoholic beverages for special ...
Wicklow Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2019 to 2024 meetings this month  WicklowNews.NetDo you cycle, walk, swim, run, canoe, hunt, fish or take part in other outdoor recreation activities or provide services for those that do? County Wicklow outdoor ...
Women Are Still Not Treated Equally in the Outdoor Industry  OutsideA recent study on gender equity exposes discrimination in the outdoors.
Louisville Group Counts Fewer Homeless Sleeping Outdoors  WOWKAn annual count from the Coalition for the Homeless in Louisville, Kentucky, showed a drop from last year in the number of homeless sleeping outside in ...
McCann, Bjugstad eager to play outdoors with Penguins at Stadium Series  NHL.comPHILADELPHIA -- Jared McCann couldn't wait to check the calendar as soon as he and Nick Bjugstad were traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 1.
Otumfuo outdoors committee to probe KNUST violence - Graphic Online  Graphic OnlineThe Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Otumfuo Osei Tutu II today inaugurated a three-member committee to ...
Outdoors congress to gauge reaction to CWD carcass bounties  Madison.comThe Wisconsin Conservation Congress plans to ask outdoor lovers this spring whether state wildlife officials should again offer bounties for deer infected with ...
The Best Underwear for the Outdoors? A Speedo.  OutsideFor years, I struggled to find an adequate underwear solution. Then one day I read a news report about the prison in Guantanamo Bay.
Make your own outdoor storage box  Stuff.co.nzThis is a handy and easy to make storage box for all those bits and pieces. You will need: One sheet of IBS V-Groove 9mm-thick plywood cut into: 2 pieces at ...
Tom Porch | 1935-2019: Dispatch sports reporter wrote on outdoors for 15 years  The Columbus DispatchTom Porch, who wrote about the outdoors for nearly 15 years as a Dispatch reporter in the Sports department, died on Saturday at age 83. A native of Pittsburgh ...
Colder weather not stopping people from enjoying outdoor activities in the Valley  FOX 10 News PhoenixPHOENIX (FOX 10) - Despite temperatures dropping in the Valley, Encanto Park was still full of people this weekend looking to enjoy the weather before the ...

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