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Our Values

Askari provides volunteers with a lifetime opportunity that will never be forgotten; to actively contribute to and participate in the daily management, wildlife research and monitoring activities taking place on a game reserve in Africa. The programme fosters the conservation of wilderness and is based on Pidwa Wilderness Reserve in 17 500 hectares of untamed beauty. In a world where habitat loss is the biggest threat to species it is essential to secure, increase and improve these wild habitats.

 

Pidwa is well on its way to becoming a benchmark wilderness reserve as it has based all its ideals on mimicking the natural system as much as possible. As the old saying goes, “why reinvent the wheel?”

 

Unfortunately humans have taken their toll on many wild areas of Africa and natural processes have been affected. The goal of Pidwa is to restore the balance that existed prior to human interference; to regain and secure a functioning ecosystem in which wildlife can thrive. Volunteers at Askari will experience life on an active game reserve, enjoy world class wildlife viewing, while making a real contribution to conservation and the establishment of a benchmark wilderness area.

Meet The Team

Katie and Ed organise and lead the Askari activities, and guide the volunteers around the reserve to experience the amazing array of wildlife.

KATIE (Pr.Sci.Nat; MSc; BSc Hons)

Following a trip from the UK to Zimbabwe at 11 years old, Katie decided that the African bush was the only place for her. Fast forward 15 years, and following the completion of a BSc in Zoology and Marine Biology, she made the move to South Africa to live out her dream and start her bush career. At Bush Academy she qualified as a field guide with FGASA Level 1 (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) and then went on to work at Entabeni Private Game Reserve. Here she happily took guests around and taught them about the bush. During this time she gained her theory Trails Guide qualification.

 

Moving to the Lowveld, Katie started working as a science officer with volunteers on a predator research programme. In 2008 she was offered a chance to move to Askari, and, in her own words, “I didn’t hesitate for a second!”

 

Katie has a real soft spot for hyaneas and completed her Masters in Biological Sciences incorporating brown hyaena research on Pidwa. Katie has since qualified as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions. Her specialised field is Ecological Science. When not in the bushveld Katie loves travelling (50 countries on 6 continents so far), sport and snowboarding (although less of the latter in sunny South Africa).

EDWARD (FGASA II guide, Lead trails guide, Track & Sign Professional)

Edward is South African born and entered the conservation and tourism industry back in 2011, right before completing a National Diploma in Nature Conservation. Since then, he’s been a guide, worked with volunteers and had the opportunity to train men and women interested in becoming guides at two different training providers around South Africa.

He formed part of the Askari team between 2014 and the start of 2018 when he decided to further his qualifications and gain more life experience. Over a 2 year period, after leaving Askari, Ed took on the challenge of becoming both a Level 2 and Level 3 guide, currently working on the final stages of his Level 3 qualification.
It was also during this time that he became a Lead Trails guide and gained the Professional Track and Sign qualification before spending 6 months abroad learning about life itself.
Edward is a very keen photographer, sport lover and bird enthusiast. When not in the bush he enjoys time with his family exploring new corners of the country and making memories to write books about.

 

Edward and Katie are supported by the Pidwa Reserve management team to ensure that Askari is involved in every aspect of the reserve. As part of Askari, you really do become an extension of the reserve staff team, so much more than a volunteer.

 

Ed and Katie look forward to welcoming you and sharing some great experiences with you.

 

 

THE TEAM

Lindiwe & Thandi will be your ‘mums on the road’ as they look after the volunteers and accommodations at Askari. Wellex is responsible for the grounds and garden at Askari as well as assisting Askari with the management and feeding of the antelope breeding camps.

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AMAZING NEWS this evening 🥳🥳🥳🥳. Our president has announced that South Africa is open to ALL. There is no longer a list of high-risk countries not allowed, no minimum length of stay.....everyone is welcome (with a negative covid test result). We are ready to put some passengers on this game viewer again!!! And we can't WAIT to share sundowners with you all 😊😊 ... See MoreSee Less

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*TRACKING CERTIFICATION ALERT*

Unfortunately I know that many of you, our volunteers, supporters and followers are back in lockdown 🙁 I promise that there are some new episodes of #AskariTV on the way to try and help pass the time - you aren't going to recognise the new, GREEN bush since we were last live on your screens!

In the meantime however, I have another very exciting opportunity to share with you, an amazing and productive way to pass some lockdown time, get a TRACKER CERTIFICATION!

Many of you learnt some tracking skills at Askari already, some have even taken assessments and gained qualifications. Well now there is the opportunity to even do this from home! Obviously we'll look forward to putting it into practice once you get here but in the meantime this really is...something for everyone. Whether you've done it before or not, this new online course is simply fantastic. And such a nice introduction ready for when you can finally get to Askari in 2021.

This is a FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) endorsed course which enables you to gain a certificate and, unlike a lot of these new online courses that have popped up, this is so AFFORDABLE. There is no timeline to complete it, you can work at your own pace and it really is for all levels to enjoy. You can find all the details on this website. This was designed by a close mentor, friend and ex employer of mine and his partner (the most qualified wildlife female cybertracker in the world!), I can't recommend it highly enough. Start today with "An introduction to tracking in southern Africa".

www.trackermentoring.com

Finally, we would LOVE to hear from our Askarians who get involved, please send us the updates from your course, hard tracks that you got right, we would love to take this journey with you as much as possible while we can't physically be with you 🙁

Happy tracking #askariwcp #trackermentoring
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'October at Askari'....check out all the action in this short video from our work, wildlife and the first summer rains this month #askariwcp ... See MoreSee Less

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