INTO THE WILD GAP YEAR PROGRAM
The Greater Kruger Area provides the perfect environment for you to explore your purpose in life whilst broadening your horizons through cultural and impactful experiences.
Discover your self-awareness in the heart of the African bush with like-minded individuals and consistent professional guidance. Based in a comfortable and fully equipped lodge situated on the Oliphants River spend your days with us exploring wild game reserves on the search for the African Big 5 and much more, learn how to conduct and prepare conservation research work that contributes to the conservation of wildlife species and their habitats.
You will experience African cultures in local communities where you will contribute toward impactful social projects working side by side with African people as they conduct their daily lives.
Take part in strength finding and enhancing workshops that motivate you guiding you toward discovering your true purpose in life along with your fellow gappers.
All this whilst relaxing at your base, Olifants River Camp where you can sit in comfort as you as you watch hippos in the river right in front of you.
The Greater Kruger Area encompasses over 20 private wildlife reserves on the west side of the world-renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa. These private reserves come together to create one big reserve. A significant contribution to wildlife conservation efforts, helping to protect and preserve one of the world’s last remaining wildlife strongholds.
The whole area comprises almost 5.5 million acres of unfenced land where animals roam freely across wild savannah. The Greater Kruger Area is a major hotspot for wildlife conservation and offers endless opportunities for wildlife encounters with iconic animals such as elephants, lions, rhinos, and wild dogs. Many of these animals are endangered or vulnerable.
Situated on the banks of the Olifants River your home during your time with us will be at a private base camp which is open to the Kruger National Park. You will experience a safari-style camp with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a swimming pool, viewing deck, WiFi, hot showers, and an outdoor area for star gazing and socializing.
2 cooked meals a day and a help-yourself breakfast
At the lodge there is free WiFi to enable you to make contact with home through WhatsApp, Zoom etc. It is also easy to purchase a sim and add data credit to allow you to use your own phone to stay in touch.
The project is situated in the Lowveld - a semi–arid region. We are blessed with good weather all year round. Summer season (October to March) can be wet and hot. The hottest months are usually December, January and February. Winter Season (April to September) is dry and sunny. The coolest months being June and July when it does get cold at night and early mornings.
PROJECT IMPACT AREAS
Days 1 - 10: Welcome to the wild
What better place than the African bush to isolate with dedicated team members to ensure safety against Covid19. Enjoy game drives in reserves surrounded by wild African animals. Spend evenings at the lodge sitting around the fire sharing stories and building new relationships. This is the perfect opportunity to experience and develop skills around developing social connections. This is fundamental in life and business as a skill that is the basis for forming relationships and healthy boundaries to support and enhance your life experience.
c. Social Confidence
d. Healthy Barriers
e. Mutual Respect
Days 11 - 20: The Outer Edges
Build cultural awareness, adapting to your new surroundings. Reflecting on our lives, taking time to observe the world around us allows for us to gain perspective on immediate situations giving greater clarity with a sense of calm re-aligning to our greater purpose.
a. Stress & anxiety reduction
b. Situation/problem management
c. Greater focus
d. Calmer life experience
Days 21 - 30: Purpose
Find purpose and meaning in what life has to offer. Identify your own passion and advocacy and stand tall with new confidence. Learn about how conservation works and how you can contribute, spend time in the bush with conservation professionals learning about their lives and what life is like protecting animals in the wild. Through reflection consider your purpose in life. It is our driving force that leads to not only a satisfying future but greater motivation, passion and happiness in daily life. Often this is not found until later in life, if at all. Encouraging the exploration of purpose leads toward more dedicated and focused individuals who are more likely to succeed.
a. Life direction
b. Decision confidence
c. Motivation & passion
d. Personal Prioritisation
Days 31 - 40: Trust
Identify individual strengths that contribute to a team goal. Get involved in healthy debates and learn to influence others. All the elements of working in a successful team. Here you experience exciting adventures where in teams you will find your courage to zip line through the treetops and together contribute toward impactful work on a collaborative project. Key critical thinking skills are, analysis, interpretation, inference, explanation, self-regulation, open-mindedness, and problem-solving. Gain a better understanding of how to manage situations as well as understanding ourselves and our abilities. Critical thinking provides different perspectives and promotes personal growth and overall happiness.
a. Creative problem solving
b. Psychological resilience
Days 41 - 50: Independence
Learn the importance of proudly standing on your own two feet. Being self-aware allows us to appreciate who we are as individuals. Strap on your hiking boots as you head out into nature to explore the area and yourself. Reflect on life as you visit a local community project that empowers local people to provide for themselves. We can objectively evaluate ourselves, manage our emotions, align behaviour with our values, and understand correctly how others perceive us. This is an essential life skill to establish confidence and emotional resilience.
a. Communication skills
c. Positive outlook
Days 51 – 60: Looking forward
Your time is coming to an end. This is your opportunity to reflect on your journey through this program and on your value, purpose and strengths. Here you embed positive change in your life and look forward with confidence. Learn to be intentional in using your natural strengths to propel yourself through your life. The culmination of all your personal development work, your impactful field work and experiences throughout this journey. Reflection on goals set in the initial weeks take this chance to work closely with the team and fellow gappers to share experiences and explore how everything learnt can be applied to life going forward.
a. Greater confidence and emotional resilience
b. Goal setting and achieving skills
c. The importance and strength of working together
d. Discover your purpose in life
e. Greater sense of self-awareness
f. Improved decision-making skills
With the world-famous Kruger National Park right on our doorstep, going on safari will be at the top of your list of things to do during your stay in South Africa. It is the largest game reserve in South Africa, and by far, the best. Mountains, savannahs, rivers, and tropical forests make up the landscape of Kruger National Park. The Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo – are the most well-known residents. But hundreds of other animals call the Kruger National Park home, so keep your camera ready!
The Panorama Route is a must-do during your time in South Africa. A weekend road trip along the Panorama Route gives you a chance to explore its wonders, including the spectacular Blyde River Canyon. It is the third-largest canyon on Earth. Two of the best ways to experience the canyon is on a white river rafting trip or microlight flight. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, Three Rondavels and God’s Window are the best viewpoints. Waterfall chasing is another highlight of the Panorama Route. The most impressive waterfalls are Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls, and Lone Creek Falls.
After the day’s excitement, you can relax beside the pool, have a drink at the bar, watch a movie, or enjoy a games night with the other interns and volunteers. We often have presentations by guides and staff members, which is a great way to learn more about the African environment and its inhabitants. You can also get involved in fundraising events such as games and quiz nights. Dinners on our viewing deck are a highlight at Olifant's River Camp. As are the marshmallow roasting get togethers around the fire!
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.