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Kruger National Park
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Holmdel, New Jersey
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327 posts
19 reviews
10 helpful votes
Do you know of this group
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My daughter is a student at a University in the US. She was given some information on BIG CAT Research project. Raven Adventures sponsors this trip every year at Kruger Park. When I looked into the company I could not find anything.

I wonder if anyone has ever heard of them or this Big Cat Research Project

san francisco
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837 posts
29 reviews
22 helpful votes
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http://ravenadventures.com/big-cat-project/

https://www.goeco.org/area/volunteer-in-afri…

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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64 reviews
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Roundtrip airfare JFK-JNB-JFK can be bought on jetblue for $1684 for June, 2018..

Guess what? This booking uses the South African Airways nonstop flights between JFK and JNB. I doubt that Raven pays any more than that for the internartional flights. That leaves $2311 per person for 13 nights camping, driving around, interaction with the staff that conducts the trip. $177 per day might be a decent value.

But they should be providing quality food that they (not the paying volunteers) prepare. Since they describe the participants as volunteers, not guests, I suspect that they may indeed be involved in food preparation, camp cleanup.

Here are some 'asterisks' to consider - using quotes from their marketing description..

"..to witness lions on a kill.." Actually, you can expect numerous vehicles at such a sighting, Blocking the road. Cutting off your view. To have such an experience - just you - ain't gonna happen.

"..leopards hunting in the bush.." Well, we know that leopards are most active at night. They are secretive, shy, and primarily nocturnal. Even the leopards in private reserves - that are accustomed the vehicles - do most of their hunting at night. You would be lucky to see, and spend any time, with a leopard. Their marketing does describe optional night game drives for $55PP.

"..cheetah gazing across the savannah.." This is almost funny. Cheetahs are uncommon in the Kruger area, whether we are thinking of the actual Kruger Park - or the many private reserves around it. In 29 years of working in the photosafari business, I have seen many cheetahs in Kenya and Tanzania - three in South Africa. I know that cheetah sightings are more common down in such reserves as Phinda In KawZulu Natal province. Up around Kruger? Not so much.

Summary - If there are big cat experts conducting these 2-week trips, They deserve to be paid for their experience and teaching skills. But at $177 per day per volunteer, It would be easy to think that $100 per day goes to the organizers. $1300 per volunteer. If Raven doesn't know about the lower airfares I used in my math, they may see this posting and investigate what is available.

Edited: 2:22 pm, October 28, 2017
Winchester, United...
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753 posts
38 reviews
37 helpful votes
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This company also says they want $25 daily for park fees which at the moment it is less then this and they want total amount for the whole trip in Cash only to be paid to them !!!!! Why not tell people to buy a wildcard ?

Pretoria, South...
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4,122 posts
27 reviews
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Do you know them, Dave? Google threw up a name&shame Facebook page that makes some disturbing allegations against the owner. And while name&shame on social media is an exceptionally bad decision-making tool, if I were a parent I'd be concerned all the same.

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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10,399 posts
64 reviews
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Auntie - I don't know anything more than what I see on their site and I don;t want to get into an argument with the owners.

But I think that leopards 'hunting in the bush' & cheetah 'gazing across the savannah' - would be better described as moments that MIGHT occur.

I'm just sayin'..

Edited: 12:06 pm, October 29, 2017
London, United...
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1,253 posts
1 review
3 helpful votes
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It's all mention of Greater Kruger Park.....which is often used when talking about one of the private reserves on the western boundary.

2 posts
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I actually went last summer as a research volunteer on the big cat research project. If you still want information?

London, United...
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1,253 posts
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Megan C,

Yes, please do share your experiences.

Atlanta, Georgia
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340 posts
12 reviews
12 helpful votes
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Tootsie.

There is more marketing than facts.

Bwanadave is right.

I see a Megan C post ( her only one ever!!)on this thread,saying she went last year. What are the chances?

I would run.

2 posts
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I went at the end of July in 2017 till about the middle of August. I stumbled across this post (again) when looking for the contact information for Raven Adventures as there website has been taken down. I went with three other college students from the United States. After I paid for my airfare I was sent all my ticketing information and flew out of New York City to Johannesburg. From there we drove to Kruger National Park where we stayed in the camps moving from camp to camp frequently for about two weeks. We observed many lions and leopards and wrote accounts of what we observed and the gps coordinates of the cats and stuff like that. Though rare we even saw two cheetahs on our trip. All of our meals were taken care of by those in charge apart from we decided to go and buy pizza. The camps are safe though some animals got through but they did not bother us. No one on our trip had any problems. I had a great time and really enjoyed the trip and learned more than I have ever in any lecture class.