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The Wildlife Conservation Safari in Manyoni Private Game Reserve is a specialised itinerary for those who are interested in joining the Wildlife ACT professionals on the ground, participating in and understanding what is happening in the field of South African wildlife conservation.

Wildlife conservation safari

If this is you, consider joining us for this unique safari experience to have the privilege of working alongside active and passionate conservationists in carrying out vital work which forms part of the conservation strategy of Wildlife ACT locally and in the KwaZulu-Natal province more broadly. These are some of the activities you could participate in:

  • Orientation and conservation game drives
  • Participation in a rhino dehorning
  • A rhino tracking walk and monitoring
  • A bush walk to collect camera trap data
  • Endangered species monitoring sessions

Camera trap work contributes vital information to and aligns with the long-term leopard survey of the province. Rhino conservation efforts, like rhino monitoring and dehorning, reduce incentives for poachers to enter protected areas. Endangered species monitoring enables reserve Management to make well-informed decisions on crucial conservation actions.

Stationary game vehicle with people next to water in Manyoni Private Game Reserve

You get to connect in a truly meaningfully way to the beautiful bushveld, its fascinating language, and the animals that call it home, while still enjoying the comforts and luxuries that a private game reserve offers. This, of course, includes those all important evening sundowners to celebrate and discuss the day’s activities!

Rhino dehorning

Unfortunately the Zululand region has become one of the focal points for wildlife criminal syndicates and rhino poaching continues to have a big impact in the region. Wildlife ACT is a co-founder of Project Rhino, which is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions that work towards eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal.

Rhino dehorning during wildlife conservation safari in Zululand

As this pressure continued, the last resort was to dehorn rhinos populations, and this has since become a key strategy in reserves with smaller populations as it acts as an effective deterrent to poachers. Wildlife ACT fundraises to support the unfortunately much-needed dehorning of rhino to protect them in this way. As part of the wildlife safari you can choose to participate in the capture operation and witness the team at work over the course of a day. We may have to be flexible on the dates of this work due to weather, so have set it for the first morning to account for this.

Endangered species monitoring

Wildlife ACT’s main focus on Manyoni is the monitoring of the African wild dogs, cheetah, elephant and lion. During these monitoring sessions, any incidental sightings of other priority species including rhino, vultures and leopard, will also be recorded. Our team also occasionally assists with game counts and vegetation assessments on the reserve. 

Cheetah and cubs sedated during wildlife conservation safari in Zululand

Monitoring endangered species is an essential and critical step in their ongoing conservation as it keeps track of animal movement patterns, habitat utilisation, population demographics, snaring and poaching incidents, and breakouts. This valuable information, which Wildlife ACT gathers on various projects, has numerous management applications, including the planning of successful introduction and removal strategies of Southern Africa’s wildlife.

Leopard survey

Camera trapping is one of the most effective ways to monitor leopards and other elusive, nocturnal species. Wildlife ACT works in partnership with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and Panthera to carry out an annual provincial leopard survey.

Leopard lying in grass at night

The data from camera trap images is used to determine leopard densities, demographics, and population trends at various key sites in KwaZulu-Natal. This information is used in provincial and national management planning and decision making. Traditional monitoring techniques, such as direct observation, are somewhat ineffective for leopards due to their elusive and solitary behaviour, wide home ranges, and ability to move in and out of protected areas.

Rhino dehorning during wildlife conservation safari in Zululand

One of the key strategies is to dehorn rhino populations in reserves with smaller populations, which acts as an effective deterrent to poachers. You will participate in the capture operation and witness the team at work over the course of a day. We may have to be flexible on the dates of this work due to weather, so have set it for the first morning to account for this.

Contact us for more information and to book your spot with us on the next Wildlife Conservation Safari.