If you are looking to get out and get your hands dirty on safari, consider visiting a park or reserve that offers a chance for you to participate in their conservation work or in reserve maintenance. Some reserves, such as Amakhala and Samara, offer volunteering opportunities for periods ranging from 2-8 weeks. Others, including Desert Rhino Camp in Namibia and Phinda Reserve in South Africa, offer opportunities for guests to track and even dart rhinos. Ant's Nest in the Waterberg Region of South Africa offers guests the opportunity to participate in their annual game census for one week each year. In Kenya's Laikipia region guests can help track lions as part of the Laikipia Predator Project or participate in a number of other activities, like training the K-9 anti-poaching unit and taking pictures in support of ongoing Grevy's Zebra research at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Whether for 2 weeks or an afternoon, participating in conservation and reserve management while on safari will be enjoyable, rewarding, educational, and provide a window into all the work that goes into maintaining the reserves and protecting their wildlife.

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Jenna Stockman