As well as being prepared for changes in what is an evolving project, exact project details are also always subject to change due to weather conditions, time of year and game movements.
Overall, we have regular contact with our partners, the reserve managers and other members of the broader conservation and research community to determine our areas of focus.
A typical expedition may involve the detailed monitoring of predators (lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena); herbivore sex/age ratio and its effect on predator movement; elephant impact vegetation surveys to monitor the impact on sensitive areas of the reserve; community projects that teach the importance of conservation. Other activities and ecological studies can also include darting/fitting radio collars to predators or invasive vegetation species eradication.
From a personal perspective, you will increase your knowledge of the South African environment, its importance and the threats to it, and help to increase both local and global knowledge and awareness, while contributing to our overall goals and objectives.
We also try to assist where required with off-site studies or mini-projects that may focus on different biota if we believe them to be relevant in the conservation context of the region. Such studies allow staff and volunteers to get a broader knowledge of conservation research across more than one ecosystem. Examples could include documenting bird of prey nesting sites; Celebrating environmental calendar days. Any such mini-projects are as required, would make up the minority of your time on this program, and only for durations of 4 weeks or more.
GVI Leadership Course
The focus of this course is to develop the participant’s teamwork and leadership skills by equipping them with skills to lead teams and support logistics. Interns will be completing weekly written assignments as well as oral and field discussions. The course will involve the participants watching presentations to learn theory or working on their assignments during the evenings or afternoons after having completed their field work. A mentor will be assigned to the intern and there will be weekly one-on-one meetings to provide feedback and weekly assessment on their progress. After successful completion of the internship and the final evaluation, a certificate and professional reference will be given to the qualifying participants.
How this project makes a difference
GVI spends up to 12 hours a day collecting data on large predators such as lions, leopards and cheetah. The information gathered is used to give an accurate picture of the predators’ impact on prey populations, determine social structure, genetics, and spatial movement. This vital information helps maintain a healthy balance of these natural resources and ultimately conserve some of Africa’s most important ecosystems.
Limpopo's short, mid, and long-term objectives
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Limpopo:
1) To provide long term and consistant data for Karongwe Reserve Management to assist with Reserve Management decisions based on scientific data
2) Increase local awareness of GVI's purpose and impact on Karongwe PGR
3) Increase scientific output
4) Contribute to three large scale reserve management projects alongside the Warden in accordance with the Reserve's Management Plan
5) Increase our in-country capacity by providing environmental and conservation education and training
6) Increase our in-country capacity through community upliftment projects