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.

Working in local reserves and with local communities

Conservation Value

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
  • Community work
  • Game drive
  • Elephant sighting
  • Lion sighting
  • Hilltop wildlife viewing
  • Watching wildlife
  • Wildlife surveys
  • Hyena sighting
  • Habitat preservation
  • Camp life
  • Playing with local kids
  • Providing teaching equipment
  • Happy schoolkids
  • Baobab tree at sunset
  • Game of soccer
  • Traditional dance
  • Diary
  • Accommodation
  • Accommodation community project

Lectures in the field

During the conservation placement, your whole family will learn about Africa's wildlife and ecosystems from experienced wildlife rangers

Lectures in the field

Community work

During the second part of your experience, you will volunteer alongside a local charity, helping at disadvantaged rural schools

Community work

Game drive

You will learn to identify many wildlife species while on extensive game drives

Game drive

Elephant sighting

Seeing wildlife up close will be one of the highlights

Elephant sighting

Lion sighting

There is a resident pride of lions close to the camp, consisting of two females and two cubs. Tutuka volunteers often have lucky sightings.

Lion sighting

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.

Hilltop wildlife viewing

Watching wildlife

The advantage of being accompanied by your own ranger is that you will be safe in the bush, even when watching wildlife on foot.

Watching wildlife

Wildlife surveys

The whole family participate in wildlife surveys and learn to identify a wide range of animals, including all the indigenous antelope species.

Wildlife surveys

Hyena sighting

If you are lucky you will get to see some of the more shy species, such as hyena

Hyena sighting

Habitat preservation

As a family, you will be involved in the more hands-on conservation tasks, such as clearing land to preserve habitat

Habitat preservation

Camp life

Camping together and preparing meals around the fire is a special way to spend time together

Camp life

Playing with local kids

Getting to know the local school kids is one of the most fun parts of the community project

Playing with local kids

Providing teaching equipment

By volunteering with the Tutuka Experience, you provide the means to supply some basic teaching equipment

Providing teaching equipment

Happy schoolkids

The local kids are generally happy to go to school and easily show their appreciation for improved classrooms

Happy schoolkids

Baobab tree at sunset

Sunset is one of the best times to enjoy the spectacular landscapes of the Tuli Block.

Baobab tree at sunset

Game of soccer

A friendly game of soccer is surely the quickest way to break any cultural or language barriers

Game of soccer

Traditional dance

The local children will proudly show you their culture and traditions

Traditional dance

Diary

Tutuka is a great learning experience and makes for unforgettable memories.

Diary

Accommodation

Accommodation during the conservation experience is in traditional chalets

Accommodation

Accommodation community project

During the community experience, you will be accommodated at a rustic tented camp

Accommodation community project

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.

 

Download Project PDF

Hear from other volunteers who've visited Tutuka Family Conservation Project

We have had a most wonderful experience thanks to the Tutuka project. We all enjoyed it very much...... click for more...

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.

Anna-Maria Chrisensen, Laura, Jesper, Sophie & Charlotte

So much rich experience in so short a time – 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 – and that was just half of ‘our’ 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 – do it!

The Cockroft Family

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Your placement cost includes return flights and carbon offsets (if selected), return transfers from Johannesburg Airport to your project, all accommodation, meals (at most projects), transfers between projects if you are volunteering at more than one project, the 24 hour support of our South African ground manager, ACE T-Shirts, and, of course, the contributions to the projects, without which they could not operate. Read more about the costs, where your money goes and financing your volunteering placement here