5 Month Gap Year Programme / Safari
The next scheduled departure is the 1st of April – 31st August 2022 departing from The Crags Plettenberg Bay Western Cape. Maximum group size 11 participants.
We combine an overland safari with interaction in various communities in neighbouring countries lending a helping hand at their villages with materials and your labour. You will get to enjoy social interaction in these villages and experience some very rural living conditions. Our vehicles are made for the African bush and come fully equipped with camping gear. On your journey leaving the ocean and mountains behind you head through deserts and mopane forests, through game reserves, national parks and wilderness areas meeting a diversity of cultures and people.
You get to explore old San rock art caves and look for medicinal plants and learn some basic survival skills. We are privileged in this part of the world to be able to experience rock art dating between 6 000 - 70 000 years of age and many stone age sites stretching from the coastal region to the interior.
Our Gap Programme is defined as an Overland Life skills safari and includes 3 SADC regions namely South Africa, Namibia and Botswana returning back to the RSA.
Our itinerary takes us north to Augrabies National Falls to witness the mighty Gariep River before venturing through the Richtersveld National Park bordering Namibia by canoe for 5 days.
Entering Namibia we travel off the beaten tracks and visit secluded sights en-route to Lüderitz and onto our base camp for the next 2 odd months on a private game farm on the border of the Namib Naukluft Park.
We will be based here for 8 weeks looking to assist the local community better their living standards, setting up a camera trap data capture project of the desert creatures.
We get to explore the surrounding tourist places from here including Sossusvlei Sesriem, before travelling north along the skeleton coast to Damaraland to hopefully catch a glimpse of the Desert Elephant. From here we pass through Etosha National Park and the Caprivi Strip entering Botswana 11 weeks after leaving Plettenberg Bay.
Entering Botswana from the North West, we travel south following the Okavango River stopping in the Tsodilo Hills area, and an interlude with a Bushman Village for a week. We will explore the Okavango Delta extensively by Mokoro, on foot and alu crafts.
Off through Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, Nxai Pan Makgadigadi National Park and the Kalagadi Trans frontier National Park on safari moving from campsite to campsite. We do use 3 different camps as temporary bases in Botswana when not in the parks.
We enter South Africa through the Kalahari and travel south to the Karoo region and the Baviaanskloof World Heritage site camping for the last time, looking for San rock paintings in these fold mountains comparing them to other sites in Namibia and Botswana.
Your last week is spent in The Crags Plettenberg Bay where you are accommodated in 4-star accommodation and have the chance to unwind, reflect on the journey, sort your photos out and perhaps enjoy some of the tourist attractions in this area.
We share and learn knowledge daily on different sciences within the Field Guides Association curriculum, from mammal ethology, bird, reptile and plant identification, geology covering soils and grasses, medicinal and edible plants, basic survival knowledge and understanding of the ecology, and the inter-relationship of the ecosystem. These outings will take you out of your comfort space and question your understanding of the environment and your fragile ability to survive in a wilderness situation. A degree of fitness is required but most of all an open mind and a good pair of hiking boots.