Getting on/off motorcoach; driving a total of 100 miles, approximately 2.5 hours total. The beginner bush skills course consists of walking in the bush, on potentially uneven ground. The pace and distance covered during the course are gentle, and are dictated by the group's abilities. If you are unable to participate, you have the option of remaining at the lodge to enjoy the scenery.
Taken at the hotel.
After breakfast, we will check-out of the hotel and travel by coach to the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre, which has gained international recognition for bringing the cheetah back from the brink of extinction through its captive breeding programs. Our visit of De Wildt will be with one of the center’s enthusiastic researchers, who will provide insight into the long term conservation of the African cheetah. In addition, we will learn about the efforts that the center is making toward the conservation and reintroduction of other species, including wild dogs, brown hyena, antelope and Cape vultures. Our visit will consist of a talk given by the researcher, after which we will board an open-air 4x4 vehicle and be driven into some of the large, fenced enclosures, where we will have the opportunity to view some of the cheetah and other endangered animals from the vehicle.
Boxed lunch will be provided, to be enjoyed at the Cheetah and Wildlife Center. Bottled water included.
After lunch, we will re-board our motorcoach and drive to Plumari Game Reserve. After arriving, we will embark on a beginner bush skills course within the Reserve, in the company of a local expert. This hands-on, interactive course is designed to give a basic understanding of the African bush and the skills needed to survive there. During the gentle walk in the bush, we will discuss and experience: how to navigate by day or night; survival skills such as walking techniques and use of terrain; how to interact with dangerous and/or useful animals such as snakes, insects, birds, fish, etc; how to track animals; useful plants and herbs; location and procurement of potable water and edible food; basic first aid; medical dangers such as malaria and bilharzia (schistosomiasis); communication skills needed for survival in the bush; equipment one needs in the bush; and what materials occur naturally in the bush that one can use to survive. The course is designed with safety at the forefront; at no time will we be put in dangerous situations, nor will we come into contact with dangerous animals. Plumari Game Reserve sits beneath the Magaliesberg mountain range near Johannesburg, providing an awe-inspiring wilderness setting nearly 12 square miles in size. Here, one finds a pristine African bushveld with an abundance of wildlife including the Big Five (rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard; leopard may be hard to spot), as well as hippo, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, and wildebeest, to name a few. There are also over 350 species of bird resident to this area.
Dinners at the lodge will vary between buffets and a la carte choices, but will always be a 3-course offering; water, coffee, tea will be provided, with other beverages available for purchase.