Lion Lover's Trip to South Africa click on her blog below for regular updates......
My Itinerary for my Trip to South Africa
I fly out on July 7th arriving on July 8th.
Janine has kindly offered to put me up whilst I am in Johannesberg so I will get to spend some time with her which will be great and I'm very excited about! Thanks Janine
From there on the 11th I will be travelling up to the Limpopo province to start my research project.
I will be spending 5 weeks on Karongwe Game Reserve and 5 weeks on the Venetia Limpopo Private Nature Reserve.
I will spend a week doing intense training on triangulation, telementary, animal identification, conservation, reserve management, bird/mammal/reptile identification, tracking, tree identification, geology, ecology and basic first aid. This will be done through lectures and practicals. I will then have to sit exams to make sure my knowledge is up to scratch!
After that I will spend the rest of my time helping out with the research which aims are:
To determine the impact of reintroduced mammals on game reserves and to help with their management and conservation. Research of this kind will play an important part in the management of future conservation areas.
To investigate the impact of predators on the prey species for more effective conservation and management of these valuable resources.
To establish and monitor the density of large predators within the reserve.
To record prey selection and kill frequencies and the impact on prey populations.
To monitor movement patterns, territories and competition between predators on the reserve.
To investigate the reserves prey populations, distribution and density and how this relates to the predators movements and territories.
The animals which I will be following are lions, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, brown hyena, black backed jackals and wild dogs.
I will also get the chance to spend 6 days in the mountains. This will involve helping to set up and run a biodiversity study, to compile a comprehensive species inventory of this highly important and fragile area, which is soon to become a national park, and to encourage community involvement and skills exchange with local guides.
If all goes to plan I am hoping to apply for an internship whilst out there. If I am successful it means I will get to spend another 10 weeks out there as an unpaid staff member.
I am so excited, and hope this is the start to making a permanent move out to South Africa.