What is an experience with WILDCON like?
As your expedition incorporates the classical safari experience in pristine wilderness areas as well as the unique and humbling opportunity to be directly involved in the conservation of its wildlife – it’s a little different in each area that you visit but your classical safari aspect can include morning and afternoon / night game drives, fine dining and luxurious accommodation. Your day starts quite early for game drives as this is when the animals are most active with a return to camp for breakfast / lunch when it is hottest and the animals don’t tend to move about much. Depending on the camp and area that you are visiting, other activities can also be arranged such as bush walks, village visits, boat trips, hot air ballooning and often much more.
The Conservation aspect of your expedition is however guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on you from an awe-inspiring, necessary, humbling and rewarding wildlife activity.
PLEASE NOTE: WILDCON SAFARIS and EVENTS will not intervene with wildlife in any way other than for ethical and justified conservation, management or research purposes. Wildlife and client safety are a top priority and WILDCON SAFARIS AND EVENTS abides by professionalism and integrity at all times.
Depending on the flagship wildlife species we are working on together, it is also usually an early start to the day as this is done purely for animal safety reasons as under anaesthetic, wildlife loses the ability to self-regulate their temperatures – hence we prefer to work on them in the cooler morning hours.
Once on the open game drive vehicles, we will all head out to meet up with the game reserve’s ecologist and the relevant wildlife veterinarian and helicopter (if used) who will explain the different drugs to be used during the conservation procedures; their effects; their risks etc.
Once a suitable animal have been located (by the helicopter – if used) and all the briefings have been conducted, we watch as the selected animal/s being darted (by the wildlife veterinarian) and observe the events as they unfold
Once the animal is down (8-10 minutes) and only when it is 100% safe, we will safely escort you off the vehicles to the animal. Under the guidance and supervision of the relevant qualified WILDCON guide/s and wildlife veterinarian, you will be able to assist with the important tasks that need to be conducted during the wildlife conservation procedure.
- These tasks can include the following (depending on species):
- Manoeuvring of the animal into a safe position to be able to work on it
- Covering of animals eyes and ears to minimize stimulation on the animal
- Monitoring of the animals’ vital signs breathing rates / temperatures / heart rates etc.
- Measurements will need be taken (horn / tusk lengths and girths / shoulder heights, feet circumferences etc.)
- Small ear notches may have to be cut for visual ID purposes (rhino)
- Assisting with the genetic DNA samples that may have to be taken (rhino / elephant / lion / wild dog)
- Assisting with the de-horning / microchip insertion procedures (rhino)
- Water may have to be poured over the animal to keep it cool
- Antibiotics will need to be injected
- The reversal drug (only once all the conservation work is done) will also need to be administered.
- Once all the conservation work has successfully been completed, we safely escort the group back to the vehicles and the animal will be woken up with a reversal drug. You will be able to safely observe as safely rises and wanders off back into the bush.
PLEASE NOTE: RESPECT FOR THE ANIMAL. The animal/s that we work on will be under the influence of anaesthetics and ultimately under our control which is not its natural state. It is STILL however a wild animal and we must always maintain respect for it during this humbling conservation experience that is always a privilege to be a part of.