rotary safari

Rotarian Action Group Endangered Species and Lake Chelan Rotary, have firmed a joint venture with Kosen Safari’s (Rotarian owned Kenyan safari company) and Rhino Mercy (Rotarian founded US conservation NGO operating in the Greater Kruger National Park of South Africa).  This Rotary partnership provides a unique African safari designed by Rotarians for Rotarians.  This African Safari adventure combines the traditional African Safari Experience with visits to local Rotary clubs and Rotary projects.  Rotarians Hillary Kosen and Tom Tochterman believe experiencing the good works of Rotary in the context of the African bush will benefit Rotarian effectiveness in addressing and meeting the values of Rotary and living the Four Way Test.  This program and itinerary will:

  • demonstrate that saving endangered species can advance economic and community development by providing jobs and services in the discipline of conservation,
  • demonstrate that effective delivery of basic education and literacy can be enhanced by introducing relevant environmental curriculum at the primary school level in communities most affected by human/wildlife conflict, and
  • demonstrate that by discouraging wildlife crime and providing alternatives to affected communities that peace and conflict resolution can be advanced in the absence of the false economy provided by poaching and overharvesting.

Join us in Africa for this multi-sensory wilderness experience that will change your life while making you more committed to “Service Above Self” than you thought possible.  The itinerary that follows may not be exact but provides an excellent outline of what to expect.  You will also find biographical information for Rotarians Hillary Kosen and Tom Tochterman.

Day 1 – Johannesburg, SA

Arrive in Johannesburg South Africa at Africa’s most modern International Airport, OR Tambo International.  Rotarian Tom Tochterman will be waiting as you enter the main passenger terminal after clearing passport control, customs, and baggage claim.

We will check into the  Southern Sun Hotel, City Lodge Hotel or Hotel Intercontinental.  After a short rest, meet in reception for local wine, group introductions, and discussion of itinerary.

  • Arrive at OR Tambo International Airport (ORT), Johannesburg South Africa
  • Meet greet at airport with host, Rotarian Tom Tochterman
  • Check into airport hotel

Day 2 -The Three Rondavels

Depart the Johannesburg for the wild African Savannah with rest stops including The Three Rondavels, with a view that rivals the Grand Canyon.

Arrive at the main gate of the Balule Nature Reserve, Olifants West entrance.  This is the officially beginning of  your adventure,  This is the beginning of the Big Five apex predator safari experience!  We will trek across the reserve to find your luxury accommodations.

  • Drive to Balule Nature Reserve, in the Greater Kruger National Park (approximately 6 hour drive with rest/scenic stops)
  • Arrive at Ezulwini Game Lodge
  • Evening Safari (arrival time permitting, game drives begin at 1630hrs)

Balule Nature Reserve

Balule Nature Reserve shares an unfenced border with the renowned Kruger National Park and will provide an unforgettable safari experience.

Ezulwini Game Lodge

Ezulwini (Zulu for paradise) offers lodges of outstanding quality.  Experience superb service and traditional cuisine in exceptional, panoramic, African settings.  Indigenous African fauna and flora enhance your visit to this timeless continent. 

Each of our lodges has its own unique character and charm, and will provide you with an authentic, atmosphere-filled, African adventure.  Relaxation comes easily when surrounded by the restful allure of nature in our ecologically orientedlodges.  

After your departure, our lodges will provide you with enduring memories.

Day 3 – Photo Safari

The photo safari begins on Day 3 before sunrise!  Don’t worry coffee, tea, and rusks will be waiting for you!

We will venture off the reserve to a primary school in a local village where an education officer teaches the relevance of good environmental stewardship; the Bush Babies Environmental Education Project is endorsed by Rotary Action Group Endangered Species.

We will return to the reserve in time for an evening safari!  The nocturnal animals are some of the most understated beauties of the bush!

Bush Babies

The Bushbaby (Galago moholi) symbolises and defines our Environmental Education Program, where learners are the ‘Babies’ of the community learning about the ‘Bush’. With the support of local communities, tribal authorities and participating schools the Bush Babies Program is now at 10 schools within the communities boarding the western boundary of Kruger National Park. Currently, reaching 870 children aged between 12-15 years old, we aim to create an environmentally literate community.

The Bush Babies Program is interlinked into the curriculum of the local schools, bring knowledge to life whilst raising awareness about their surrounding environment, providing a better understanding of conservation and leading to sustainable use of resources and ultimately installing an ethical ethos in our future generations.

The schools are visited on a weekly basis, by our Black Mamba Environmental Education Officer and a different aspect based on the theme of the day is discussed to familiarize the learners with their natural environment and emphasizing the importance of protecting it for future generations. Black Mamba Rangers make regular visits to the schools and teach the learners about poaching and how they are working to protect these species and how its affect’s them personally as well as the environment.

Day 4 – Photo Safari

On Day 4,  your photo safari begins on before sunrise!  Again, don’t worry coffee, tea, and rusks will be waiting for you!  By now you should have figured out what rucks are.

We will return to the reserve after the morning safari and spend a relaxing day at the lodge.

In the evening we will spend the evening doing a Rotary make-up at the Rotary Club of Hoedspruit, South Africa.

Hoedspruit Rotary

Hoedspruit is a town in the North East corner of South Africa adjacent to the world famous Kruger Park.  Once a sleepy railway halt, it is now a town of approaching 4000 people and is the epicentre of the ecotourism and game conservation industries in South Africa which hosts tens of thousands of tourist each year, and a thriving mango, avocado and citrus growing farming community. The tourism, farming and associated support industries have made Hoedspruit one of the fastest growing centres in South Africa today.  

The Rotary Club of Hoedspruit (Hoedspruit Rotary) was formed in 2015 and its members’ efforts have already established it as a significant entity in the community through the projects and other activities undertaken by them.  In 2016 over R 100,000 was raised and distributed by Hoedspruit Rotary for the benefit of anti-poaching and community uplift programs.

Day 5 – Hoedspruit Endangered Species

After resting up from another morning safari, we will go off reserve to visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center where many species live under the care and custody of well trained animal keepers.

This is not a zoo rather a sanctuary for rescued animals many of which are intended to be reintroduced into the wild. A once in a lifetime experience up close and personal to some of the most exotic sub Saharan animals.

Day 6 – Safari and Much More

Morning and evening Safari and much more. Nobody ever tires of the morning safari when apex predators are finishing up on their nighttime escapades!

You cannot get tired of the sight of the animals up close and personal

Another mid-day excursion off the reserve to visit the Sigagule Children’s Center, a project supported by the Rotary Club of Hoedspruit.

When we return to the reserve we will be provided a presentation about the Black Mamba all female anti-poaching unit, a project endorsed by the Rotary Action Group Endangered Species.

Founded in 2013 by Transfrontier Africa NPC, to protect the Olifants West Region of Balule Nature Reserve. Within the first year of operation the Black Mambas were invited to expand into other regions and now protect all boundaries of the 52,000ha Balule Nature Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

Our teams work to the concept of the “Broken Window” philosophy, striving to make our area of influence the most undesirable, most difficult and least profitable place to poach any species. With a passion for wildlife and rhino conservation, these women are the voice in the community through their conservation work.

The objectives of the Black Mamba project are not only the protection of rhinos through boots on the ground but also through being a role model in their communities. These 32 young women and 1 man want their communities to understand that the benefits are greater through rhino conservation rather than poaching, addressing the social and moral decay that is a product of the rhino poaching within their communities. They are concerned for their children’s sake as the false economy has brought loose morals and narcotics into their communities.

Day 7 – Return to Johannesburg

There is no better way to remember your time in the Kruger National Park than during a sundowner.  The African sunset with all that it conceals and brings to life will forever change how you view the world and how it must be protected and enjoyed. As you have experienced the sun setting on the African landscape hold dearly the sights, sounds, and smells; the smooth and the rough; the life, death, and birth; the weak and the strong. Remember that it takes all of it to make such a wild and beautiful landscape.

As you return to urban life and your work life routine, it is our sincerest wish that your time in Africa will inspire you with a renewed outlook of those around you, the places you work and play, and a new appreciation for the importance of ‘pro-environmental choice making’.  We hope that you too had that ‘ah-ha’ moment during your visit and you are moved to return to this spiritual place…the African bush.

Day 8 – dep. Johannesburg arr. Nairobi

Upon your arrival at Jomo Kenyatta international Airport in Nairobi Kenya Rotarian Hillary Kosen will pick you up and take you to your luxury city hotel.

Kosen is a member of the Lake Chelan Rotary, a native Kenyan and an experienced safari guide.  There will be meeting to discuss your upcoming visit to the Massai Mara and the Rotary projects you will see.

Offering the perfect fusion of European luxury and Kenyan hospitality, Villa Rosa Kempinski is a unique destination where guests can spend time relaxing or working.

In addition to the 200 rooms and suites distributed throughout its ten floors, you will also find exquisite dining opportunities here. Our dining selection includes Cafe Villa RosaK Lounge our lobby lounge; Balcony Bar, Chinese Restaurant 88; Italian Restaurant LUCCA; and our Levant -style lounge and restaurant Tambourin.

Day 9 – Elephants & Giraffe

Today we visit the David & Daphne Sheldrick Elephant rescue center and the Giraffe education center.  Both of these locations are within Nairobi.  In addition, we will visit the jewelry center and in the evening have a social with the Milimani Rotary Club.  Milimani is involved with our Rotary projects in Kenya.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is focused on the protection of elephants, rhinos and other wildlife at a field level, over the last 40 years we have aided countless African animals, from elephants to antelopes and always with the following in our minds – animals have a right to be free, to roam wild, and to be safe in their surroundings.

We have a responsibility to afford them that right and challenge those that would seek to take it away or harm them.  We are proud of what we have achieved, and we are grateful to those that believe in us and support us, making our lifesaving work possible.

There is much more to do, however in seeing what we have achieved and the difference we make every day, we know our experience and integrated field projects work for wildlife and, matched with your continued support, we can and we will achieve so much more in the years ahead.

The Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife (A.F.E.W.) Kenya was founded in 1979 by the late Jock Leslie-Melville, a Kenyan citizen of British descent, and his American-born wife, Betty Leslie-Melville. They began the Giraffe Centre after discovering the sad plight of the Rothschild Giraffe. A subspecies of the giraffe found only in the grasslands of East Africa

This is the only sanctuary in the world within a capital city that enables you to come into very close contact with the world’s tallest yet endangered animal, the giraffe. We are situated in a quiet natural environment, whose biodiversity makes us home to a herd of Rothschild Giraffe, some Warthogs and over a hundred and fifty species of birds. We inspire children, youth and communities to interact with nature and conserve the environment for posterity.