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Komsberg Wildnerness Nature Reserve

Komsberg

Website:
www.visitkomsberg.org external site

Telephone (UK Mobile):
07946 313718

Address:
The Wildlife For All Trust
The Oasis, Highbrook Lane
West Hoathly, Sussex
RH19 4PL, UK

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Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve is a big place: 16,000 acres or 65 square kilometres. Komsberg means "surrounded by mountains". The reserve includes a large area of mountain plateau, extensive mountain slopes and gullies, and seasonal rivers lined with thousands of Acacia trees winding downwards into the valley below.

Measuring from top to bottom, the descent is over 2,400ft (730m). Several dramatic overlook points provide excellent views of this spectacular scenery. And at Komsberg, you will experience a real feeling of peacefulness and wilderness.

Komsberg is situated within South Africa's upland succulent Karoo. This unique habitat is rich in plant species and therefore of great interest to botanists. As well as many special flowers and an almost-extinct species of grass, Komsberg has an important population of the endangered star tree.

Mammals include springbok, klipspringer, steenbok, bat-eared fox, dassie, baboon, black-backed jackal, caracal, porcupine, meerkat, and much more. Birds range from the black eagle and other birds of prey to flamingos and the exotic malachite sunbird. We expect up to 190 bird species will be recorded at Komsberg. Reptiles are also numerous, including brightly coloured lizards and tortoises. We plan to re-introduce endangered species such as the Cape mountain zebra and black rhino.

You can look forward to mostly sunny weather during your time at Komsberg. Whereas our mountains can be extremely cold during the South African winter (May to August) when it can even snow, temperatures are pleasantly warm to hot between November and March. At 5000ft (1700m) above sea level, the unpolluted air is genuinely refreshing.

To summarise: Komsberg offers a true feeling of wilderness. There is a lot to see which is interesting and unusual. And there's plenty of sunshine and fresh air

FAQ

Do I need any relevant qualifications or experience?

No, it is enough to have an interest in nature and a willingness to help.

How long are the eco-tourism holidays?

10 days duration. You will be met from Cape Town International Airport mid-morning and returned mid-afternoon to fit in with most flights.

Do I need to be fit? Am I too old?

You do not need to be super fit. But you should enjoy walking and being outdoors, as well as being capable of light physical work. You should let us know if you have any health problems at the time of booking your place. People aged 18 to 75 years are welcome.

What will I be doing?

On some days, you will be helping with practical jobs such as boundary fencing or maintaining water holes. At other times, you will be observing and monitoring Komsberg's special wildlife as part of the reserve's survey work and research. (If you have a particular interest in either birds, mammals, plants, or reptiles, we will make good use of this specific enthusiasm.)

The days will be long and rewarding, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy both the peacefulness and adventurousness of Komsberg. Basic training will be provided.

Night-time extras

On one or two nights, after the evening meal, you will be able to enjoy Komsberg after dark. A night safari drive will allow you to see nocturnal animals such as porcupine by spotlight - part of our regular monitoring work. You can also stand in awe under the bright stars of the Milky Way as you will never have seen them before. We are fortunately situated just a few kilometres from the South African National Observatory; being at the edge of a high mountain plateau, well away from the light and industrial pollution of cities, Komsberg is an outstanding place for viewing the night sky. We hope that these after-dark activities will further enhance your appreciation of the natural world and the wider universe.

Where will I be living?

You will be staying on Komsberg in a historical farm house, built in 1817, recently refurbished to provide accommodation for eco-tourists. Each person will have their own private bedroom. Meals will be cooked and eaten together; please note that all food will be vegetarian. Also please note that we have a strict no-smoking policy, both indoors and outdoors.

Who will I be working with?

You will be one of a maximum of four eco-tourists. You will be looked after by two friendly and experienced Wildlife For All staff. Numbers of people are purposely limited to enhance the unique wilderness experience that Komsberg can offer. (In national parks, for example, you will see hundreds of people.)

Do I need to take any special health precautions?

Fortunately, the usual essential precautions for travel in Africa are unnecessary. We are in a malaria-free area and our water supply is clean. However, we recommend you are covered for tetanus; please check with your doctor. You will need to bring plenty of sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

Eco-policies:

Komsberg is owned and managed by The Wildlife For All Trust, a British registered charity (no. 1006174). Wildlife For All has worked in South Africa since 1991 and is also registered as a charity there.

Wildlife For All began its conservation work in the early 1980s. We concentrate our efforts on protecting endangered species and their threatened habitats, as well as providing the public with down-to-earth education about the real environmental problems such as overpopulation and the "me, me, me" mentality. We have projects in Britain and overseas.

Wildlife For All Trust is not interested in self-promotion or making headlines. Everyone, including the director, purposely works non-paid - allowing us to spend all donated money where it is genuinely needed. Our unusual approach is targeted and practical ... and it really works.

What your money will pay for. The cost is £995. This covers your transportation from Cape Town International Airport to Komsberg and back again, food and accommodation whilst at Komsberg, daily transport costs within the reserve, and other project and equipment expenses. The remainder of your money will go towards the future development and expansion of Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve. (We would like to make clear that Wildlife For All staff purposely work on a non-paid professional basis, so you will NOT be wasting your money paying for someone's salary).

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