Eco Ranger Experience | Journeys & Africa Eco Ranger Experience | Journeys & Africa

Eco Ranger Experience - 9 Days

Eco Ranger Experience
Travel with a purpose
This is an authentic life changing adventure. Be a ranger for a week while experiencing the magic of the northern Kruger National Park. Engage in the basics of typical ranger training including practical bush cooking and bush survival strategy.
Guests will have fun learning the basics of ranger-training in the African bush. The Eco Ranger Experience is not a formal training program; learning is practical rather than in a formal classroom environment. Lectures are, however, incorporated into the program; mostly restricted to safety briefs and formal instruction. Formal lectures are restricted to no more than 60 minutes a day.
Departs selected Saturday’s 2020:
  • 22 February 2020
  • 18 March 2020
  • 22 April 2020
  • 20 June 2020
  • 22 August 2020
  • 12 September 2020
  • 17 October 2020

Highlights:

  • Stargazing
  • Animal tracking
  • Bush sleep-out
  • Survival skills
  • Practical bush cooking
  • Big 5 game viewing

Day 1
JOHANNESBURG to HOEDSPRUIT AREA via DULLSTROOM

Guests board a shuttle transfer from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit via Dullstroom. The village of Dullstroom is South Africa’s premier fly-fishing destination.

Lunch stop en route (own account) and dinner at the lodge.

Overnight at Timbavati Safari Lodge or similar – Dinner and breakfast

Day 2
HOEDSPRUIT to MAKULEKE CONCESSION

Guests enjoy breakfast at the lodge and then are transferred to the Kruger National Park’s Pafuri Gate in the north-eastern corner of the Limpopo Province. A representative will meet and transfer guests from Pafuri Gate to the Makuleke Camp.

Lunch at Makuleke Camp. Guests attend a safety briefing, an orientation of the camp, including an introduction to the camp staff and an overview of the course material.

Guests have leisure time to settle in before the afternoon’s practical activity either on a game drive or a bush walk.

Overnight at Makuleke Camp – Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities

Day 3
MAKULEKE CONCESSION

Basic ecology and geology

Meals are served at the camp and each day’s activities are divided into three sessions.

Guests board a vehicle for a game drive or join a guided bush walk. The focus of the morning activity is on basic ecology and geology.

Lanner Gorge is carved into the sandstone and although thought to be younger than 2 million years old, it’s an important feature in the Makuleke Concession. The landscape is ancient and is thought to date back more than 250 million years.

Around noon, guests partake in an interactive discussion with the instructor on geology and soils; weather and atmosphere; food web and energy flow; and habitat ecology and conservation. The Makuleke Concession of the ‘Pafuri Triangle’ is created by the intersection of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers. The Limpopo, a dying river, is estimated to be more than 65 million years old. The Luvuvhu, a young river, has carved its way through the region’s sandstone to form Lanner Gorge.

Participants board a vehicle for a game drive or join a guided bush walk. Apart from elephant and buffalo, guests may see nyala, eland and Sharpe’s grysbok, not commonly seen elsewhere in Kruger National Park. Guides will illustrate the theory discussed earlier in practical learning, whilst out in the field. Guests are encouraged to apply these skills in an informal Q&A session whilst out in the field.

Overnight at Makuleke Camp – Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities

Day 4
MAKULEKE CONCESSION

Animal, bird, and tree identification and behaviour

During the morning game drive or guided bush walk, guests are introduced and exposed to the nuances of animal, bird and tree identification; essential skills for any avid outdoorsman.

Guests are encouraged to engage with the instructor and join the interactive discussion on the finer details of animal, bird and tree identification during the noon session. The Makuleke Concession is locally renowned for 5 bird species resident in the area. With luck guests will see Pel’s fishing owl, three-banded courser, racket-tailed roller, bat hawk and black-throated wattle-eye.

The afternoon’s game drive and walk emphasis will be on animal, bird and tree identification. Although Africa’s mega-fauna features highly on most participant’s lists, will be given the opportunity to identify the more iconic trees in the concession.

Overnight at Makuleke Camp – Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities

Day 5
MAKULEKE CONCESSION

Animal tracks and sleep-out and astronomy

This morning, guests will walk the trails from camp focusing on animal tracks. This is wilderness immersion at its best. The science of animal tracking is, perhaps, the world’s oldest. This is an exclusive, hands-on experience.

Participate in an interactive discussion on the theories and practical application of tracking in the African bush. Tracking contributes to key insights on how animals behave. It’s an art that teaches observation, reasoning, and deduction. The discussion topic and practical application elements includes an introduction to basic tracks and tracking skills.

In the afternoon, guests focus on the key points of the day’s theory and apply these principles either on a game drive or on a bush walk. This evening guests spend the night in the bush applying basic survival skills including the sourcing of water; preparing a bush fire; practical bush cooking and safety. Understanding energy-output-for-benefit ratio and making smart decisions.

Activities will include astronomy and orientation by understanding the southern hemisphere constellations including the Southern Cross. Survivalists claim that navigation is the key to getting home. On clear nights and on a full moon guests can also apply basic navigation theory and get a directional fix from the moon.

Dinner around the campfire with storytelling.

Overnight at Makuleke Camp – Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities

Day 6
MAKULEKE CONCESSION

Anti-poaching and 4WD driving

This morning guests walk back to camp applying tracking, navigation and orientation skills.

Guests participate in an interactive discussion on anti-poaching. There are two general categories of anti-poaching. The first targets the illegal incursions and includes coercive methods to track and catch poachers. The second deals with campaigns and policies to prevent the illegal trafficking of animal products i.e. targeting the supply and demand chains of the trade. The discussion will include basic anti-poaching strategies and logistics out in the field. The specifics covered will include snare collection and rifle safety. Learning the basics of effective rifle-safety and 4WD driving, an essential skill in the field. Guests join an afternoon game drive to an area where they will practice basic 4WD skills and other aspects of good marksmanship. En route, apply the basic theory of snare collection.

Overnight at Makuleke Camp – Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities

Day 7
MAKULEKE CONCESSION

Field observation challenge and awarding of certificates

Meals are served at the camp. Guests are assessed on the application of their newly acquired bush and survival skills in a practical and fun way.

Guests attend the awards ceremony and a spectacular bush dinner.

Overnight at Makuleke Camp – Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities

Day 8
MAKULEKE CONCESSION to HOEDSPRUIT via KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Guests board an early transfer from Makuleke and spend the day travelling south through the Kruger National Park. Breakfast packs will be provided.

Lunch in Kruger National Park (own account). Guests exit the park at Phalaborwa Gate arriving at the Lodge late afternoon. Board an open safari vehicle for an evening game drive.

Dine at the lodge.

Overnight at Leopards Lair – Dinner, breakfast, and 2 game activities

Day 9
DAY OF DEPARTURE - HOEDSPRUIT

Guests enjoy an early morning game drive on an open safari vehicle before breakfast.

Board a transfer to Eastgate Airport or Johannesburg (own account).

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Can this be booked on other dates

Yes, however a minimum of 6 guests would be required

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Trip Facts

  • 2 - 8
  • 3 - 4 Star