Koffylaagte Game Farm 10 Day Volunteer program
Eastern Cape – South Africa
10 Days program consisting of 5 day game farm work experience + 5 day Eastern Cape adventures, including all meals, airport collection, and transfers;
R 12,000 inc. VAT pp (min 4 – max 20)
- 10 nights full board accommodation at our 4 star game lodge.
- 5 days interactive experience of our game reserve management, wild life conservation and breeding projects for White Rhino, Giraffe and Cape Buffalo as well as horses.
- 5 days guided Day Tours to some of the most interesting places and things to do in Eastern Cape, including full day visits to Addo National park (Big 5), Graaff-Reinet (historical settlers town) - Nieu Bethesda and Owl house, Baviaanskloof Wilderness (world heritage site), Jansenville – Mohair and Ostrich farms, Kirkwood – Citrus farm visit, township - soup kitchen.
- Airport shuttle to and from Port Elizabeth airport and all transfers during the course of the entire program.
- Alcoholic drinks and packaged beverages
- Entry fees to National Parks
- Items of personal nature
The Game Ranch:
The name Koffylaagte means “Coffee Valley” as this was the resting place of the early settlers. The 1870’s farmhouse and a wagon remain as testimony to that bygone era and the game lodge is designed and decorated remaining true to its South African heritage. This 4 star lodge offers luxury safari tents, farmhouse units and lodge rooms for accommodation and exceptionally warm hospitality .
The reserve which is home to 20 species of Southern African antelopes, zebra, giraffe, white rhino and cape buffalo as well as a myriad of birds including birds of prey, small mammals such as meerkat, mongoose, porcupine, small predators such as silver back jackal and lynx as well as primates such as vervet monkeys and a large colony of baboons, along with Karoo flora which resemble a succulent garden with some protected plants like cycad and elephant foot.
Airport transfers according to group arrival and departure to Koffylaagte Game Farm (130km from Port Elizabeth airport).
Afternoon check in to your rooms, briefing on the program itinerary over a welcome coffee and fresh farm bakes. Afternoon rest and relax. Welcome cocktails with your first African sundowner followed by a camp fire dinner.
7 am Get up, first grouping and assisting with feeding of Horses, Sheep and wildlife breeding projects. 8:30 am breakfast, followed by a game drive to spot the Rhinos and Giraffes in the reserve and having a walk with them, picnic lunch followed by introduction to fencing work. 5:30 pm return to Lodge for clean up, meet at bar for sun downers at 7:00 pm followed by camp dinner and evening fun.
Addo National Park visit:
7am Get up and assisting with the feeding of horses, sheep and wild life breeding projects. 8:30 ambreakfast, 9:30 am departure for Addo park, www.addoelephantpark.com guided game drive in this big 5 reserve famous for its elephant population and as the largest Malaria free reserve in the sub Saharan Africa. You will see many elephants and other species of wildlife, followed by lunch at Addo park, afternoon game drive continues. On the way back stop at Daniel’s Cheetah breeding project www.daniellcheetahbreeding.co.za and spend interactive moments with these elusive creatures. Return to Koffylaagte for Sundowners and camp dinner, filled with your stories from the day’s experience.
The Invasive Plant Eradication Day:
There are some invasive plants which are not indigenous to the territory or even to the Country or to the Continent such as the Opuntia humifusa or more commonly known as Prickly Pear cactus, which originally was brought to South Africa as an ornamental cactus from Mexico; however this prickly plant loved the country and decided to invade it. The day’s work involves teaming up to small groups of 2-3 and taking long walks along predetermined paths for searching and digging out fresh shoots of prickly pear plants, distributed by birds, Kudus and Baboons which enjoy its tasty and juicy fruits.
During this working first day you will walk in the game farm and have chance to see many species of wildlife, plants, birds and primates, also familiarising yourself to the reserve which when you leave will remain in your memories many years after.
Baviaanskloof Wilderness – World Heritage site:
A full day 4x4 excursion through the breathtaking wilderness and heights of this magnificent heritage to mankind. Picnic lunch, walking trails, observing this self sustaining wilderness with its own unique flora and fauna, as well as the rich wild life.
The excursion consists of a 250 km of off mountain trails and a heavy duty off road experience of about 60 km, including passages built by the famous architect to Queen Victoria; Thomas Baines. Whether a full circle of the entire wilderness can be achieved will be dependent on the road conditions at the time.
Fixing the Fences Day:
After the morning feeding of the animals and breakfast, we will engage with fence works. Koffylaagte with its 22 km of fence requires continues maintenance like any other game farm. The work usually involves cutting plants touching the lines, building around fence pockets and filling in with stones to block holes jackals and other vermin make along the fence to get into the reserve.
A day in the bush, especially in a game reserve is an adventure itself and undoubtedly will come with its own stories to decorate the big camp fire in the evening. Dinner tonight will be a barbeque (or a Braai - pronounced "bry" - as named in South Africa) cooked and served in the remote bush camp, following your desert a ‘night game drive’ with spot lights will introduce you to many nocturnal movements you would miss during the day.
Mohair and Ostrich Farm Visit Day:
At 10 am we will depart from Koffylaagte Game Lodge to Jansenville. Our first stop is at the Mohair Mill in Jansenville where we take a walk down memory lane and discover how the Mohair production began in South Africa, how it was developed over the years and finally browse through a selection of finished Mohair products. During your trip you will also visit the Sid Fourie house, founder of Jansenville, take a walk through his house and see how this beautiful small Karoo town was developed through the years. We will have a lunch at the Mohair Mill and will depart from Jansenville to Driekopsvlei Farm..
Hansie Terblanche, owner of this magnificent Karoo farm will take us through an interactive observation of the authentic mohair production process, from young sheep to old, sheering the wool to sorting, we will thanmove to the Ostriches, and experience the same first hand briefing for the authentic ostrich farming, how the care is given from eggs to adults breeding. Following a high tea in Hansie’s homestead , we will depart to return to Koffylaagte for your sundowner, before dinner is served!
Koffylaagte is set on the foot of a mountain 1200mt above sea level, which forms the extension of the Winterberg mountain range, a sister formation to the famous table mountain in Cape Town. The top of the Koffylaagte mountain is also table like flat structure and offers magnificent Karoo views overlooking the Darlington dam and Zooberg mountains. This day of the program is dedicated to tracking to the top of the mountain for a working day and a picnic lunch. While on top you will be checking the fences and also observing the troop of baboons and numerous protected cycad plants. The full day event is going to need your energy but will be very rewarding.
Graaff-Reinet excursion Day:
A 90 km drive from Koffylaagte deeper into the Karoo mountains will take you to this 1820's settlers town which is famous for its ornate architectural designs, delicious Karoo dishes and craft shopping. The visit to the town will follow with a sumptuous lunch and thereafter you will depart for the famous Valley of Desolation which is a national heritage site and will take your breath away. If you still had time, a drive to the owl house www.virtualtourist.comwill remain in your memories with its haunting story. Returning timely to Koffylaagte for the sundowners and camp dinner, followed by evening stories.
Port Elizabeth Day:
This is the last day and departure according to the scheduled return flight. The team departs Koffylaagte early morning after breakfast and spends the day at the Port Elizabeth beachfront with sightseeing and craft shopping until they are transported to the airport for the domestic flight to Johannesburg.