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Tutuka Family Conservation Project
Work with your family and bring your children's learning to life!
Tutuka, from the Zulu word 'to grow', encourages your family to work together in the African bush, assisting with current conservation work within a stunning open conservation area in southern Botswana. From conservation and ecosystem management work to observing the majestic native species in their own habitat, every aspect of of this project is aimed at including all ages and differing ability. You'll explore conservation philosophy and current nature conservation issues that southern Africa faces as part of this project.
- Conservation and habitat management of the Tuli Block area of Botswana
- Assisting in the conservation research of elephant herds, leopard and lion within the large transfrontier area
- Assisting with predator studies
- Theoretical topics covering the ethics of working with wildlife and their behaviour
- Joining Nholwasi Community Project, working with an established charity providing bush camps for local rural children
Base line research within this vast ecosystem is essential in ensuring collaboration of research between the borders of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, where borders are open and animals move freely. The community element of the project is vital in establishing the ongoing link between conservation and the local community, working alongside an established charity, Children In The Wilderness.
Lectures in the field
During the conservation placement, your whole family will learn about Africa's wildlife and ecosystems from experienced wildlife rangers
During the second part of your experience, you will volunteer alongside a local charity, helping at disadvantaged rural schools
You will learn to identify many wildlife species while on extensive game drives
Seeing wildlife up close will be one of the highlights
There is a resident pride of lions close to the camp, consisting of two females and two cubs. Tutuka volunteers often have lucky sightings.
Hilltop wildlife viewing
The Tuli Block is a huge area and some wildlife surveys are best done from the vantage point on top of a hill.
The advantage of being accompanied by your own ranger is that you will be safe in the bush, even when watching wildlife on foot.
The whole family participate in wildlife surveys and learn to identify a wide range of animals, including all the indigenous antelope species.
If you are lucky you will get to see some of the more shy species, such as hyena
As a family, you will be involved in the more hands-on conservation tasks, such as clearing land to preserve habitat
Camping together and preparing meals around the fire is a special way to spend time together
Playing with local kids
Getting to know the local school kids is one of the most fun parts of the community project
Providing teaching equipment
By volunteering with the Tutuka Experience, you provide the means to supply some basic teaching equipment
The local kids are generally happy to go to school and easily show their appreciation for improved classrooms
Baobab tree at sunset
Sunset is one of the best times to enjoy the spectacular landscapes of the Tuli Block.
Game of soccer
A friendly game of soccer is surely the quickest way to break any cultural or language barriers
The local children will proudly show you their culture and traditions
Tutuka is a great learning experience and makes for unforgettable memories.
Accommodation during the conservation experience is in traditional chalets
Accommodation community project
During the community experience, you will be accommodated at a rustic tented camp
Work with the Wildlife
All aspects of this project are focussed on ensuring each member of your family is contributing at a level of work suitable for them. Whether this is the more physical aspect of the work or the theoretical knowledge which accompanies the research of species such as elephants, baboons and predators within the stunning Botswana bush. Your whole family will discover and explore the bush ecosystems in a way suited to your age, so from youngster to grown up, there is something to learn. The African bushveld will be explored by both vehicle and on foot and will involve night viewing.
Conservation elements of the project will include some of the following:
Conservation and habitat management
- Physical habitat management including erosion control, rehabilitation of land through and removal of alien plant vegetation
Working on research projects within the reserve to assist in the research of wildlife species
- Recording elephant movements, herd dynamics and behaviour
- Determining number of baboon troops and individuals within those in the core study area, food utilisation and roosting sites
- Predator studies of lion, leopard and cheetah
- Developing tracking techniques and the basis of research skills such as GPS mapping and radio telemetry
Theoretical studies out in the bush learning skills including:
- Identification of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and trees
- Animal behaviour identification and interpretation of behaviours when working in the field
- Dealing with potentially dangerous animal
- Bush craft and survival techniques
Work with the Community
Tutuka Family Conservation Project would not be complete without the rewarding involvement of your own family with the local community. As a family, you will join our Nholwasi Community Project based in the Tuli block of Botswana:
- Assist established charity Children In The Wilderness in their goals to 'facilitate sustainable conservation through leadership development', by hosting rural children on bush camps to ignite their passion for their natural heritage and wildlife.
- Assist at the local village schools and develop their wildlife club.
Working in the local community can often expose your family to the realities of the harsh and often difficult lives these children face, which can be unsettling for your family and should be approached with an open view. The warmth you will experience from these children however will be a memory that will last forever.
Hear from other volunteers who've visited Tutuka Family Conservation Project
Anna-Maria Chrisensen, Laura, Jesper, Sophie & Charlotte
We have had a most wonderful experience thanks to the Tutuka project. We all enjoyed it very much...we had the best guide ever and were looked after and spoilt by Henny. Our stay in South Africa was unforgettable.
The Cockroft Family
So much rich experience in so short a time â€“ scientist Peter being taught how to divine water, all of us making mud and grass seed pies and then lobbing them out of the jeep, taking it in turns to sit up on the tracker seat and getting close to wildlife (one evening we saw 4 of the big 5 in the space of an hour), camping (not sleeping!) out overnight â€“ and that was just half of â€˜ourâ€™ project! The other half with the wonderful Esri felt more real and was characterised by lots of painting and my memorable moment which was being woken by mistaking a cocktail stick for a scorpion (I have absolutely no idea how the cocktail stick got in my bed!). The main message to any family considering this is â€“ do it!
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