2017 Botswana Coaching for Conservation Expedition

2017 Botswana Coaching for Conservation Expedition

Program Highlights

2017 Botswana Coaching for Conservation Expedition

Dates: July 31st - August 14th   |   Tuition: 4,799 Learn More

On this program...

  • Visit conservation center in Maun
  • Play soccer in bush camp
  • Hike Waterfall in Chambok
  • Observe large animals up close
 

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DEAR FAMILIES AND STUDENTS: Please begin by reviewing the suggested itinerary listed under the Pre-Enrollment tab, and then feel free to read through other sections to get a sense of the in-depth information and support we provide for all programs.  To submit an application, please follow the “Enroll Now” link.

Click on the sections above to learn more

Program Itinerary

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
1USA - BotswanaFly from the US to Maun-Botswana, with a connection in South Africa.Airplane
2MaunArrive to Maun in Northern Botswana and get settled into your accommodations.Maun Guesthouse
3MaunHave breakfast as a group and get acquainted with the city of Maun, where in a few short days we'll be assisting with an award-winning soccer and environmental education camp for local students. We'll have a driving/walking tour of the Maun , exploring the Thamalakane River , and visiting the Conservation Education Centre during one of their afterschool programs to get acquainted with the local community. There will be a group orientation and afternoon lecture about the goals and history of Coaching for Conservation.Maun Guesthouse
4Maun - OkavangoEnter the wilderness of northern Botswana as we transfer to a bush camp in the Okavango Delta . Make sure to bring binoculars and a camera! At this point, you'll be in the wild and have the opportunity to see the full spectrum of wildlife in the Okavango: hippos, lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, and much more. Upon arrival, we'll get situated at camp, have dinner, and meet wildlife researchers and camp staff who will give us an expert lecture and orientation about the goals of their operation.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
5Okavango DeltaWe will spend our days in the bush camp on a variety of activities, both preparing us for the upcoming Coaching for Conservation Camp, learning about the maintenance of a research station in the field, and learning about the groundbreaking work that's being done by local conservation and research organizations. Meals at camp are delicious, and you'll be staying in large canvas tents with comfy beds.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
6Okavango DeltaDuring our time in the bush, we'll go on regular game drives and follow along as resident scientists track prides of lions , packs of African wild dogs, clans of hyenas, leopards, and cheetahs. We'll learn how these animals interact in these unique landscapes (focus on behavioral ecology and animal behavior ), and learn lessons that can be applied with the many students that you'll be interacting with on the latter half of the program. We'll also receive lectures from some of the researchers on the biology and ecology of these fascinating creatures, and learn what's being done to mitigate human-animal conflicts with agriculturalists and ranchers in the region. For more information on the project with which we'll be collaborating, please read the sections below.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
7Okavango DeltaContinuation of training, fieldwork assistance, and camp maintenance.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
8Okavango DeltaContinuation of training, fieldwork assistance, and camp maintenance.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
9Okavango - MaunToday we'll transfer back to Maun, stopping along the way to observe the wildlife and shop at local stores for souvenirs. Upon our arrival, we'll have another group meal and explore some of the town before resting up for the coming days of soccer camp.Maun Guesthouse
10MaunStarting today, we'll be putting our knowledge and skills to use during the Coaching for Conservation soccer camp in Maun with hundreds of local schoolchildren. You will have a consistent and very important relationship with the children. Coaches will each be responsible for a team of school children (ages 10-12) as their guide, mentor, counselor, friend, coach and spirit leader! Each school will come to the program with big expectations for a fun filled week of soccer and conservation games . It will be your job to guide them, emphasize and reinforce or objectives of self-respect, respect for others, and respect for the environment, as well as the mantra of "learning from wildlife" by reinforcing each soccer and conservation activity with games and competitions, skits, songs, and team spirit. See below for updated information on Coaching for Conservation.Maun Guesthouse
11MaunCoaching, soccer, conservation activities with local students. Evening activities will vary.Maun Guesthouse
12MaunCoaching, soccer, conservation activities with local students. Evening activities will vary.Maun Guesthouse
13MaunCoaching, soccer, conservation activities with local students. Evening activities will vary.Maun Guesthouse
14MaunAfter today's camp, we'll wrap everything up with a thank-you dinner with Coaching for Conservation staff and some local families.Maun Guesthouse
15Maun - USAAfter two weeks-of life-changing experiences, we'll say goodbye to Botswana (until the next time) and board our flight back to the USA to share our experiences with our friends and families.Your own bed!

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Walking Tree Travel designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Walking Tree Travel stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our students, teachers, and staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Students will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with Walking Tree. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from other students. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.

Maun: International School Dorms; Mokoro Lounge

Moremi Reserve, near Santawane: Bostwana Predator Conservation Trust Bush Camp

Tuition & Fundraising

Tuition Includes:

Tuition Excludes:
Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.

Tuition is an estimate until dates and itinerary are finalized. 

We believe that cost should not prevent enthusiastic students from having the opportunity to join an WTT program. We are pleased to offer opportunities for fundraising and payment plans to help make this goal a reality. Please visit our Tuition and Funding page to find out more about tuition, fundraising, payment options, referral discounts, and more.

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Standards of Behavior

WTT provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with WTT.

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Passport & Visa Check

Passport & Visa Check

A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. U.S. citizens are permitted stays up to 90 days total within a 12-month period without a visa.

Health and Safety

GENERAL HEALTH STATEMENT
Walking Tree receives medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please send along any additional health issues that you did not list during the registration process. Additionally, once in country, Walking Tree leaders hold an online information session before the program departure and an arrival orientation in country to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff immediately respond to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols. All Program Leaders have on them at all times the contact information of the nearest and highest-quality health centers and hospitals in the regions to which we travel, and follow strict protocols when dealing with a medical emergency.

VACCINATIONS
There are currently no required vaccinations for entry into Botswana. That said, we suggest all participants make sure they are current for standard vaccinations (Hepatitis B, DTP, and Polio), as well as Hepatitis A and typhoid. For more detailed information we suggest that you contact your local travel clinic or family physician.

Travel Insurance

Our experience has taught us that international travel can sometimes be unpredictable. As such, WTT will purchase basic secondary travel and medical insurance for all WTT travelers via Travel Insured International. This service provides the following coverage at no additional cost to our participants:

PLAN COVERAGES

$500 Return Airfare for Trip Interruption
$750 ($150 per day) Trip Delay of six hours or more
$500 (Three or more hours) Missed Connection
$1500 ($250 per article) Baggage/Personal Effects
$300 Baggage Delay – 24 hours
$25,000 Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
$100,000 Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
Emergency Assistance Non-insurance Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services Included

ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL COVERAGES

The following additional optional coverage upgrades are available upon request for an additional premium charge to the traveler. For further information on the premiums associated with these optional coverage enhancements, please email your inquiry to our travel insurance program administrator, Hayashi Insurance Solutions: travelinsurance@jshinsurance.com

– Trip Cancellation Coverage – Reimburses the traveler up to the trip cost insured up to a maximum of $10,000 per person if the trip must be cancelled for unforeseeable life events including but not limited to; medical/health reasons, bereavement, etc.

– Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) – Reimburses the traveler for 75% of the non-refundable trip cost. Cancellation must be made 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure. Must be purchased at the same time as initial plan purchase and prior to final trip payment. *This benefit is not available to residents of New York State.

The Plan is administered by Hayashi Insurance Solutions (CA DOI 0F61680) a licensed Insurance Agency authorized to transact this insurance under the express authority of Travel Insured International, Inc. and its representatives, and on behalf of Walking Tree Travel, Inc. The Plan contains insurance benefits underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. Fairmont Specialty and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2015. The Plan also contains non insurance Travel Assistance Services that are provided by an independent organization, OnCall International, and not by United States Fire Insurance Company or Travel Insured International. Review the Plan Document for complete terms, including benefits, conditions, limitations and exclusions that apply. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions.

Global Leadership Curriculum

WTT has developed a curriculum that helps each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame their experience, and prepare them to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future. For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

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Language Resources

DUOLINGO

Want to learn a new language and be better prepared for your travel program? Duolingo is the easiest, most entertaining way to start learning and using a new language right away! The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate with locals in your host country and help your fellow travelers navigate a foreign environment.

Tap the Duolingo owl to get started, or download the app to your mobile phone.

duolingo owl logo

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Travel Day Details

Travel Day Details

Program participants will meet the group organizer at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the departure flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please notify your group organizer or contact WTT.

DEPARTURE FROM USA
Airline:
Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

RETURN TO USA
Airline:

Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event WTT is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please also make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Leader Profile

WTT will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Please read below to see who will be part of the support team on your program.

  • Morrison Mast Conservation Program Director

    College of William and Mary – B.S. Biology and Environmental Science & Policy

    Morrison is an obsessive and experienced traveler, having been to 50+ countries in pursuit of the life-changing experiences offered by the wild places of the world. Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and broken French, he is an avid wildlife photographer whose favorite subjects are beetles, spiders, and the oft overlooked microcosms they inhabit. Morrison is a percussionist at heart and has performed nationally and internationally with groups ranging in style from symphonic to experimental rock and traditional Turkish music. During his undergraduate years, Morrison conducted research in Brazil and Madagascar with conservation organizations that are actively working with communities to strike a sustainable balance between humans and the ecosystems that support them. Education is surely the most rewarding aspect of his work; Morrison constantly strives to inspire positive change by communicating his overwhelming awe of the natural world to others. Morrison hopes to build a career in biodiversity conservation and is currently in charge of developing and implementing new Conservation Expeditions.

    Group Roster

    Please check to make sure that your name appears below and is spelled correctly. For questions or edits, please email lacey@walkingtree.org.

     

    Community & Project Details

    COACHING FOR CONSERVATION

    If you’re a soccer player or young leader who’s interested in a great way to put your skills to use motivating young African children to be better soccer players by mimicking skills that animals use it the wild to survive, then perhaps this adventure is for you. The main focus of Walking Tree Travelers’ time in Botswana will be to help facilitate a soccer camp for over 100 fifth grade learners run by an organization called Coaching for Conservation. Coaching for Conservation (C4C) is an innovative program that combines sports and team building with environmental education, and offers a yearly camp to elementary school students throughout the region.

    C4C aims to help the conservation of Botswana’s natural resources by using organized sport to engender self-respect and inspire a generation of “kids who care”. The link between sport, health and conservation are not always immediately obvious, but C4C is tackling issues with an innovative sports curriculum which links soccer skills to conservation and wildlife messages by using games and skill sets taught through animal coaches and animal behavior. Leopards, for example, are territorial animals successful in the wild because they are good at hunting, but they respect each other’s space. On the soccer field, elementary school students can learn to maintain their own position, and strive to be the best dribbler or best shooter, while respecting each other’s positions on the field. The conservation message linked to the leopard coach is to teach that everyone (an animal, too) has the right to a territory in a healthy habitat that includes food, water, shelter and space. By extension, young students learn the value of Botswana’s wildlife and its habitat. In this way, the animals that must be protected become familiar mentors on the sports field, enabling a relationship of respect while creating an empathetic link directly to the species.

    BOTSWANA PREDATOR CONSERVATION TRUST

    During our stay, we’ll be partnering with The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust (BPCT) to learn about and participate in some of the research that is being done on large carnivores in the Okavango Delta. The BPCT is one of the longest running conservation research projects in Africa, and one of a handful of its caliber worldwide. Founded as the Botswana Wild Dog Research Project in 1989, today it covers all the large carnivore species in Botswana.

    The goal of the BPCT is to preserve Africa’s large predators – African wild dog, cheetah, leopard, lion and spotted hyena – and their habitats, using scientific inquiry to better understand the behavior and communication systems of these animals. BPCT also aims to link conservation and environmental issues to decision making in the ongoing development of rural Africa.

    During your training leading up to the Coaching for Conservation Camp, you will interact with BPCT field staff, graduate students and their 25 years of experience investigating and studying the conservation challenges and behavioral ecology of large carnivores. You will also have a chance to see these magnificent animals in their natural environments, then apply these lessons to your interactions with the students at the Coaching for Conservation Camp.

    MAUN

    Sitting at the edge of the Okavango Delta on the shining Thamalakane river, Maun is the fifth largest city in Botswana, and the jumping-off point for many an expedition into the wilderness. Dry and arid, antelopes can be seen drinking water alongside cattle and donkeys on the banks of the river. During our stay, we’ll get to know the town well, and take part in the many attractions and peculiarities that it offers the uninitiated visitor to southern Africa.

    OKAVANGO DELTA

    The term “delta” usually implies a river fanning out and emptying into the sea. But not in Botswana. The water carried into Botswana by the Okavango river fans out in to the Kalahari Desert creating a massive delta that simply evaporates at its furthest reaches. The yearly cycle of dry/wet seasons sustains one of most unique ecosystems on the planet, and one of the best for viewing wildlife. Recently named a UNESCO 1000 World Heritage Site, it is home to some of the world’s most endangered species, such as the cheetah, the white rhinoceros, the black rhinoceros, the African wild dog, and the lion. Visitors to the delta are there for the experience of sharing a landscape with big game and other animals, and often stay in tented camps and go on daily drives to learn about the unique species that abound in the Okavango Delta.

    Communication & Blog

    The easiest way for students to keep in touch with family and friends at home while traveling will be using Wifi (available at most hotels and some restaurants) via Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

    WTT tries to keep families and friends updated as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, they should direct all general inquiries to info@WalkingTree.org. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S.

    Here is the link to your blog:

    Packing List

    What follows is a guideline, but you know yourself better than we do so please modify as you see fit. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a backpack, roller or duffel bag and a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

    Please note that seasons in Botswana are opposite ours in the United States so we will be traveling during Botswana’s winter. Layering is the best way to prepare for variable conditions, as it will be chilly (55-70 degrees fahrenheit) during the early morning and nighttime, and hot (up to mid-nineties fahrenheit)

    Botswana Packing List

    Clothes:
    One pair of underwear for each day of the program
    One pair of socks for each day of the program (a mixture of good athletic socks and casual socks)
    4-7 t-shirts (some quick dry)
    2-3 long sleeve/button up shirts
    1-2 sweater/sweatshirts
    1 warmer jacket
    1 warmer hat
    1 rain jacket/windbreaker
    1-3 pairs of shorts
    4-5 pairs of comfortable pants/jeans (plan to re-wear jeans more than one day)
    1 nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer for such occasions)
    1 pair/s of durable athletic/walking shoes, appropriate for lots of walking
    1 hat with good sun protection
    1 pair soccer cleats (optional)

    Toiletries: Bring the BASIC toiletries you need plus:
    Sunscreen
    Band Aids and Neosporin, basic first aid
    Hand Sanitizer
    Medication in properly marked original container (better to pack this in your carry on luggage)

    Miscellaneous:
    Journal and pen (required)
    Small Alarm Clock separate from phone (required)
    Durable water bottle (required)
    Watch (required)
    Flashlight/headlamp (required)
    Sunglasses
    Small binoculars
    Book/s
    Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
    Electrical Adapter/Converter. Botswana uses a 3-prong Type M plug. Transformer necessary if electronic device doesn’t have one built in.
    Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-150 in newer bills, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
    1 quick-dry towel
    Batteries
    Deck of cards or other portable games
    Student ID

    Tuition Details

    Tuition Includes:
    all accommodations, basic travel insurance, 3 meals per day, drinking water, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, full time leadership team and taxes and tips.

    Tuition Excludes:
     International airfare, baggage fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed on the itinerary.

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