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Botswana Wilderness Survival Course

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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Experience raw, untamed Africa when you visit Botswana, an unpolished gem of a country - the ideal travel destination for those with a passion for conserving wildlife and a desire to venture off the well trodden path.

Botswana hosts a diverse array of ecosystems providing habitats for a wealth of African wildlife, including elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest, rhino, giraffe, hyena and the highly endangered spotted wild dogs. Join this project working in a wilderness reserve and enjoy the daily exposure to raw untamed nature. Each evening as the dust settles at the end of another clear and bright African day, you can see giraffes silhouetted against the warm glow of the setting sun.

Absorb the overwhelming scale and drama of Africa as you relax in the evening under an obsidian midnight sky witnessing the amazing constellations and listening to the calls of the roosting birds and settling wildlife. The primitive beauty of Botswana provides the backdrop for this exciting and worthwhile project which will teach you how to survive in the stunning but unforgiving landscapes which make Botswana one of the best countries for animal encounters. After gaining your new skills you will work alongside local staff as you carry out your various daily duties. If you want to help in the preservation and protection of some of the most impressive mammals in existence whilst learning bush survival skills then this is the project for you!


  • Make lifelong friendships
  • Come face to face with untamed African wildlife
  • Learn to survive in the majestic beauty of the Botswana wilderness


  • Minimum age 18 years
Airport Pickup Camping Emergency Ground Transport Meals Terrestrial Wildlife Encounter Free Time Breakfast
Location Botswana
Activities Wildlife conservation and survival skills
Learning wilderness survival skills
Animal monitoring
Surveying vegetation
Recording weather patterns
Updating records
Data collection
Report writing
Mapping wildlife patterns
Transport Airport pick-up on arrival and transfer to project
Accommodation Volunteer tented camp

Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)
In-country 3 meals a day
Airport pick-up
Transfer to project 
Local orientation and training 
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up


Botswana is incredibly special as it provides some of Africa's best game viewing, allowing access to sightings which are of a quality that is unique to the country. This project aims to give a real insight into the behaviour of some of the world's most beautiful animals and offers volunteers an opportunity to live and work in a true wilderness environment.

You will spend time learning how to survive in Botswana’s bush environment gaining important skills that will help you in the second part of your project and awaken your inner explorer. You will participate in hands on conservation work, helping to accumulate knowledge of the African bush and wildlife and the research you gather will help to develop the databases for the reserve.

The project focuses on elephant behaviour such as herd make-up, movements, parent/offspring behaviour, individual characteristics, feeding traits and so forrth, as well as predator activity, including species identification, territory utilisation, feeding and social behaviour.


The first two weeks of your project will see you learning all sorts of survival techniques used in order to live in the potentially unforgiving African wilderness. These may include bush navigation, medicinal uses of plants, important bush skills such as identifying animals and birds and their behaviour, tree and plant identification and the interrelation between all of these. The skills you learn will be dependent on the seasons and conditions during the time of your visit.

You will spend your final two weeks helping on a conservation programme, working with large wildlife. Your daily itinerary will vary according to the focus of the programme at the time of your visit but may include activities such as tracking the animals, in particular elephants and Botswana’s main predators, collecting data on general game, birds, vegetation and tree population and growth and mapping trends. More specific research may also be carried out by volunteers, depending on requests from academics, such as mapping a specific tree species or collecting information on the feeding habits of a particular animal species.


You can fly into Johannesburg airport and once there make your own way to Polokwane in the North of South Africa. Please aim to arrive on a Tuesday, as you will be picked up very early on the Wednesday morning. From Polokwane you will be transported to your project site in Botswana. Once there the local staff will introduce you to your project and the area. Your in-country coordinator will be more than happy to help you settle in and acclimatise and you'll feel at home in no time in this friendly, vibrant country.


Your first two weeks on the survival course will be spent moving between camps staying in tented satellite camps with bucket showers and long drop toilets. You will also get one night to spend sleeping under the stars around the camp fire, whilst you and your fellow volunteers take it in turns to keep watch. During your survival course you will really get a taste of living in the wild.

During the conservation part of your project you will be staying in traditional African wooden huts with thatched roofs (see photo gallery) and having a braai (BBQ) in the evening. The camp is unfenced and situated in the heart of the wilderness. Lions and elephants are seasonally regular visitors to the camp, along with many other mammal species. Volunteers live communally and will be expected to share their accommodation with other volunteers (same sex sharing).


All food is provided, with volunteers taking turns to cook the evening meals for the group. Breakfasts and lunches are on a self-serve basis, with fresh bread baked daily by camp staff. Food in Botswana is similar to that of other Southern African countries, but you will get the chance to try some of the uniquely Botswanan dishes, such as slow cooked beef or chicken, simmered in a three legged pot! Other common foods include sorghum, rice, pap, salads, cereals, eggs and beans - simple and nutritious dishes are key and vegetarians are welcome.

How the experience influenced my future  | 13 Aug 2018
I still can't believe how great it was, definitely the best thing I've ever done! Also it...

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Can't wait to return!  | 25 Jul 2018
I really miss Botswana, it was the most amazing place ever! I can't stop thinking about ...

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In your spare time embrace this extremely well preserved and underdeveloped country by trying some of the sporting and adventure activities that are available, including horse safaris, wilderness walking trails, mountain biking, game drives and many more.

Botswana has a reputation for being a leader within Africa in high cost, low impact tourism, having successfully formulated and pioneered strategies for the preservation of species that are threatened elsewhere, such as leopards, which has minimised the degradation of its precious reserves and made it the perfect place to see a wealth of wildlife.


4 Weeks US$ 2,995

Extra week US$ 695





You can join this project for a minimum of 4 weeks


Nearest airport(s): Polokwane (PTG)



Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisers will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.