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Choosing an organisation to arrange a conservation placement for you is an important decision: Not only are you dedicating a significant amount of time and money to your conservation adventure, but you have also made a conscious decision to join a working and educational conservation project rather than a pure holiday. So you will want to make certain that your efforts and resources are put to the best possible use, that you will be partnered with a wildlife project that you can subscribe to wholeheartedly – and that you will be safe and happy, of course!
By travelling with African Conservation Experience, you are assured of the following:
African Conservation Experience is all about organising experiences tailored to your needs. You will start off with a personal conversation about your trip with a member of our team, so that you can make an informed decision and ensure that your trip meets your needs and aspirations. Like our conservation travellers, our team is diverse, including members from different ages, nationalities, and professions, which makes us relatable to people from a variety of backgrounds. We offer great flexibility with your placement dates – weekly departures are available to most projects, some of which run all year round. After all we want to send as much support to our partners throughout the seasons as we can! Our team will discuss a date with you that fits into your life.
We will discuss your requirements, expectations and answer any questions you may have to ensure you have the wildlife experience you are looking for. We will keep in touch and answer any queries you have along the way.
We offer top class in-country support with our southern African team headed up by Martin Bornman, our Logistics and Operations Manager, who is a South African National, a qualified Health and Safety Officer and First Aid Officer. He is also a certified conservationist with a wealth of experience in conservation issues – and holds a degree in psychology! Our team on the ground will meet you on arrival at Johannesburg airport and make you feel welcome and safe before seeing you onto your transfer vehicle or flight. They will be available 24/7 throughout your stay in southern Africa if you need assistance with anything – or just want a chat. They will also personally see you off at the end of your placement to make sure you are safely checked-in for your return flight.
African Conservation Experience remain at the forefront of developments in the field of conservation. We are up to date with research and the development of political and ecological issues and are upfront regarding our stance on big conservation issues e.g. cub-cuddling. We have longevity in the industry, we select projects set up with focussed conservation goals and therefore have a genuine role for volunteers. No projects exist purely to take volunteers and the maximum number of travellers at each project is relatively low. We inspect all projects and do peer reviews with recognised professionals before starting to work with a new project.
Conservation in this corner of Africa is a small, connected community made up of parks boards, researchers and conservationists. We have been working among these stakeholders and have played an important role in this community since our inception in 1999.
African Conservation Experiences staff are not only experienced in travel management but also carry zoological and conservation related qualifications. Our team members travel to the projects regularly so that we have up-to-date information for you and can talk to you about our conservation projects with first-hand experiences.
We empower local initiatives. A big chunk of your placement fee goes directly to your chosen project to finance their everyday operating costs. In fact, we prioritise working with projects that have little or no other sources of funding, so you know that your money directly enables the conservation work that you will be involved in. We help set up projects, provide them with the resources needed and share our experience to ensure that our partner projects, our conservation travellers and the communities and ecosystems in which we operate can benefit. We also often provide interest free loans to our partner conservation projects to support them with investing in new facilities, and we have sponsored much-needed equipment, from hydrophones to a helicopter for rhino monitoring.
African Conservation Experience are pioneers of conservation travel and have been operating since 1999. We have a strong and established network in the conservation travel community and have over 17 years experience supporting wildlife conservation through tourism. We are conservation travel specialists in southern Africa and make it a priority to keep up to date with all the key conservation topics, initiatives and industry professionals, as well as maintaining a close relationship with all our partner projects. We are also fully bonded through ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence) and are a member of the Year Out Group. To date, we have arranged conservation placements for over 5,000 travellers from all over the world – all of whom have had a safe and engaging experience.