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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 hyaenas 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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And some Kruger birds as promised. Among them you'll see a few of the migratory species including a Diederik cuckoo and our first Woodland kingfisher of the season. Another great and unusual sighting was Glossy ibis and of course we always love the Ground hornbills #askariwcp ... See MoreSee Less
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Yesterday the team spent a fantastic day in the Kruger National Park where the overwhelming theme was elephants! So many fantastic elephant sightings with plenty of impressive bulls and cute babies thrown in! No trip to Kruger is complete without lots of great birds too so they'll follow in the next post #askariwcp ... See MoreSee Less
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We've now seen impala lambs on all the different sections of the reserve and today, our first warthog piglets too 😍 #askariwcp ... See MoreSee Less
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