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African Wildlife & Community Conservation Research
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African Wildlife & Community Conservation Research

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Studying abroad in Botswana with Wildlife Act

This summer I spent two months in Botswana studying abroad with Wildlife ACT, and it was incredible! Not only did we learn many new field research techniques such as camera trapping and spoor transects, we were able to participate in actual research projects whose results would be used to promote conservation. We also got to participate in community events and talk to and learn from local people in the area. Even though we did all these things we still had time to enjoy Botswana and even had an amazing time in Victoria falls. This trip helped me consider new careers that I hadn't thought of before and was an amazing life changing experience! Wildlife ACT made this trip an incredible experience for me, and I would happily do it again in a heartbeat.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

What a fantastic program!

Working with Wildtrax Explorations and Wildlife ACT has been such a treat! They made sure that this was a once-in-a-life-time experience, all the while learning new things and creating great memories!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

56 days in Botswana

First of all, what a wonderful experience! This 2-month study abroad internship is something that I was unaware of until entering my freshman year in school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where I first heard about this trip in a few classes. Now, during this past school year, my junior year, I received an email from my advisor to all students inquiring if anyone would like to join as there were a few spots open. So, I thought about it and remembered how awesome this would be when I first heard about it. I applied without ever really thinking about what I was getting myself into which I'm glad that I took that chance as this was an experience of a lifetime which I hope that I will get to experience again in the future. This course has provided me with more knowledge and skills that I could have ever imagined and not to mention bringing you as close as you can get to the real-world experience as a researcher and the wildlife within. Before this, I had a fair amount of interest in wildlife conservation although I wasn't sure if this was what I wanted to do as a career. After living and breathing what it's like to work out in the field for the past two months in Botswana, this experience has brought me closer to what I'd like to do in the future. I have also met a lot of amazing people throughout my time during this experience and have made connections throughout which is something that I would have never had a chance to do if it weren’t for this internship course. In the end, when I first signed up I didn’t know what to expect, and now, after completing this course, this experience is something that I will never forget and recommend to anyone with any interest.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Life will never be the same

I am leaving Botswana as a different person than the one who arrived... I have learned so much in so many different aspects of life; I have learned career related skills, I have learned research related skills, I have learned about the Okavango Delta, I have learned about the wildlife in Botswana, I have learned about the Tswana culture, I have learned about the coexistence issues in this region, I have had my eyes opened to so many different aspects of African conservation and the challenges there, and I have learned things about myself - how I do away from my comfort zone, how I deal with difficult situations, how to be a better teammate, and how I want to improve myself. Starting this program I had an idea that everything would be happy, fun, and mostly comfortable. I had an idea that it might be a sugar-coated experience, but it wasn't. And, I am glad it wasn't. This is real-life. This is a growing opportunity. This is challenging in its curriculum. At times it was physically challenging. It was challenging in the way it makes you think and consider new issues. And, for me it was challenging on a personal, character building level. It was not always easy. It was not always fun. But, this time was not wasted. It has impacted me on a very real level, and I feel like it was something I am so lucky to have experienced! Thank you, Wildtrax Explorations and Wildlife ACT, for the work you put into making this possible for us.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Wildlife act, Botswana human-wildlife conflict study abroad course

My time in Botswana was everything I thought it was going to be and MORE! I feel a sense of home every time I’ve been to Africa, but in Botswana I felt that even more so... the culture, the people and their wild beachy lifestyle, and how you can drive 30/40 minutes down the road from civilisation and be in the heart of wildlife and lion territory. This course teaches you SO MUCH about the ins and outs of conservation and human-wildlife coexistence in such a short amount of time, and you get first-hand experience with conservation experts (including trackers) that pass on their incredible wisdom and knowledge that I hope will stay with me forever. You experience the life for many of the poor communities and how they live, which sometimes can be hard as well as seeing poor animal welfare, but nonetheless it’s satisfying knowing what you are doing is hopefully going to help, and create the stumbling blocks to human-wildlife coexistence. Knowing that you are helping collect data for crucial decisions that may affect and/or decimate wildlife populations is incredibly rewarding too. My highlight of the trip was camping in Gomti plans, as soon as you cross that bridge (car may submerge in water.. all part of the wild experience!), you are in lion territory. At night sleeping under the stars with hippos just a couple of metres from you in the water, elephants passing through camp, and falling asleep to lion lullabies in the distance is INCREDIBLE to be in the heart of. Overall, the experience was incredible and I learnt so so sooo much, and the hard work and time that is put into designing the course is clear, and the effort in making sure everyone understands what they are doing is shown in feedback on assignments and with one to one support.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Thank you!

Thank you Wildlife ACT and Wildtrax Exploration for the opportunity to better my life skills, experience and knowledge through your course. it was a life changing episode which i cherish and appreciate. Your conservation efforts will change the lives of people as well as the wildlife that co exist with them. The world need more people and organizations like yours

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Perfect way to spend 2 months.

I am not sure this short review can do justice to how impressed I am with the course. It is fair to say that I have never had a more productive 2 months in my life, nor ever got so much out of a relatively short amount of time. The course has numerous benefits, varying from academic, practical experience and participation in genuine conservation work. The various projects that students have the opportunity to be a part of offer the chance to obtain skills essential for working in the world of conservation, but even if this is not one's chosen career path, these skills are transferable to any field. The practical side of the day to day field work offers the chance to work extremely hard on obtaining real data that is used for real conservation projects. Many other courses or programmes offered to international students make me very suspicious (whether the students actually do 'real' work is highly questionable), so to find this course is exactly as advertised is fantastic. The students are treated as partners helping on these projects as opposed to disposable individuals that are only there to fund the programme. The course also offers students to participate in a way of life that will stay with you forever. If you have already spent lots of time in the bush then rest assured this course will be right up there with top experiences and will be exactly what you want, and if having never travelled to any part of Africa then know that you will leave with a brand new passion and a skill set you may never have anticipated having!

If interested in furthering career opportunities in the world of conservation then I cannot express enough how beneficial this course will be. As students entering a competitive world to have real experience and real skills is becoming essential, the completion of this course can certainly offer the edge that is necessary nowadays. As well as this, those running the course are there to offer any advice, or encouragement in anyway to those interested in furthering their career. The effort gone in to ensuring student experience is maximised is astounding as well - more work has gone in to creating this course than into the 3 years of my university degree!

In addition to the aforementioned advantages of participating in this course is simply the fun you will have - it doesn't all have to be about furthering careers or academic improvements. Most of the time is spent in the field, and after a day of work evenings are spent relaxing around the fire under the star filled sky. Time is also given to learning flora and fauna and it is fair to say that some students left with a new found love for birding that I am sure they didn't expect. Being thrown in to a new group of people with different interests, experiences and personalities may at first seem a little strange, but spending all that time in the bush doing amazing work is certainly a bonding experience. Don't come expecting endless days off - you're worked hard and will never be bored - but a weekend off in Vic Falls was arranged as a mid term break. We were spoiled for accommodation and able to burn off some steam in an awesome town.

If you are considering doing this course then I cannot encourage you enough, provided you aren't too lazy that is and don't mind writing up a few reports here and there. Anybody who cares about wildlife, conservation or obtaining new knowledge or experiences and is looking for an amazing way of spending their summer will be blown away.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Awesome internship

The internship in Botswana was great, and I learned a lot. I loved being able to live in the bush for two months and that everyday we were among the animals I have always been dreaming about. I liked monitoring animal populations and talking to cattle post owners and herders in order to help reduce the challenge of conservation.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Wildlife Act Botswana 2016 research internship

With dedication and love for what you do, comes the best work, and Wildlife Act’s passion for conservation was very obvious to me. I’m so appreciative for the opportunity I was given with this trip and to be a part of something bigger than me or my daily life. I have taken so much away from this journey and I look forward to the future and all the things I still have yet to learn, and most of all I can’t wait to come back and see more of what Africa has to offer and what I can give back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Wildlife Act in Botswana

This truly was one of the most wonderful experiences in my entire life. It opened my eyes to a completely new world of conservation and wildlife that exists in Botswana. The first week of lectures provided me with insight to the conflicts arising in Botswana and it was amazing to be a part of a research project dedicated to finding possible solutions.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

Very satisfied student

Not only this program offers an exceptional internship/research program, it beyond doubt helps its students to become more mature and sophisticated as a human being. For example, I have learned many kinds of life skills that are crucial for my future job field as a environmental engineer. Also, the program has solidified my passion to work in an environment-related field upon graduation.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

The Perfect Conservation Study Abroad Experience!

If waking up to Go-Away bird calls and distant lion roars, then to be able to go on safari every day while conducting research projects, followed by nightly fires and with excursions to interact and work with the local population, then this is the program for you. Every day is a new adventure that you can only read about in books. If you dreamed of going to Africa, Botswana is the perfect country for it; the animal population there is not matched and the two locations are so different which makes the experience that much more exciting. This program is something I could have only dreamed of doing. In a short 8 weeks, I was able to learn so much about wildlife, research and management strategies, as well as make connections that will last a life time. It is a lot of work that is done each day, but you know it is going to something important and you do get lots of free time to hang with the other program members. The lodging is beautiful- don't worry you don't have to sleep on the dirt floor. Wildlife ACT coordinators are very invested in their work and you get to work right along side them with whatever they need to do that day. You will learn to conduct transects, learn about tracking, predator IDing, animal behavior, and so much more.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Community

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Academics

    9

Botswana study abroad

Really enjoyed this study abroad trip. Met a lot of very interesting and inspiring people. Through our these two month we always have things to do and is constantly working which is really nice because you never get bored.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

Botswana 2016

The overall experience I had was amazing. I learnt so much about the wildlife, community and country during my time in Botswana. I have come away thinking even more about conservation and the future. The people and other students I was with made the course even better and I have never laughed so much everyday. It was great to be having so much fun at the same time as learning a lot. The trip exceeded all of my expectations and seeing all of the wildlife from elephants to secretary birds was an unforgettable experience. Living in the bush definitely makes you feel 'at-one' with nature and the surroundings, although it was sometimes hard at first living out there, it is surprising how quickly I adjusted and became used to everything. Talking to local people is so interesting and spending the evening at ORI during the first week is one of my favourite memories. I enjoyed being out in the field but the trips like Chobe National Park and the cruise along the Chobe River were fantastic ways of relaxing away from the fieldwork for a while. All of the instructors were lots of fun and very supportive. I especially admire Hollie and everything that she has done for us on the course, including the way she dealt with everything after the elephant incident. The trip to Victoria Falls was just amazing and I know how lucky I am to have been able to see it. The course was filled with excitement, learning and wildlife. I miss everything about the country and the trip-I cannot wait to go back. The organisation of the course with regards to our projects could have been improved.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Review of Wildtrax Botswana (Kwhai - Chobe)

The time that I spent in Botswana is something that I can never experience again. This is a trip that undoubtedly will be useful to me in my future in terms of my career goals, but more importantly my experiences helped me to grow as an individual. This program is not rigid and has a very basic structure and because of that what you personally get out of the trip has to do with what you make of it. Participate in this experience and engage fully and you will find that you are a more well rounded, confident, and informed person when you leave. You will not want to leave at the end.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Delta thoughts

A huge culture shock for those coming from the western world. However once you get over the initial stages of bewilderment a real life altering and eye opening journey that will have you learning more about yourself as well as a new country and its customs and beliefs.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Great experience and well worth it!

This was a fantastic experience! You learn a lot about the ecology of the Okavango River Delta before going out and doing research projects which can easily be a huge plus for students who are not necessarily studying environmental sciences. The atmosphere at camp was really chill and enjoyable, but you have to be prepared for very rough living conditions at times. You are in the middle of the African bush, and very little ever happens the way either you or the instructors want it to which can be frustrating at times. Even that is a seriously good learning experience though. The research I did, while not always completely clear, in the end came together quite nicely, and it's being used for great purposes in wildlife conflict studies. Of course, just being in Botswana every day for 2 months is a once in a lifetime experience and something very few people can say they have done. Every day you see something new and fascinating. It has really sparked my love for conservation and inspired me to travel even more around Africa. Well worth the money and the long trip there!