The Nakavango Conservation Centre nestles alongside an “oxbow” of the Masuie River, a tributary of the great Zambezi River in the 2 500ha (6 000-acre) Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve.
The famous Victoria Falls are just 10km away. The Masuie River is the primary river flowing through the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve, incorporating the Nakavango Dam along its course, the dam being a vital water source for game in the dry season.
One of the tributaries of the Masuie River within the reserve is the Nakavango River, from which the student centre and original name of the property (Nakavango Estate) take their names. The Masuie winds its way along the western boundary of the reserve, exiting into the Zambezi River, downstream of the Victoria Falls.
The EcoTraining Nakavango Field Guide Level 1 course is based in the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve (in a concession) for the duration of the 55-day course. However, participants will also enjoy visits to the Chobe National Park in Botswana, the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and, of course, Victoria Falls, within the Victoria Falls National Park.
The Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve is the only property in the Victoria Falls region where Africa’s Big 5 can be viewed, and is thus fenced. The evenings transmit the characteristic calls of spotted hyenas, their tracks often being found right outside camp in the early morning.
There is a great diversity of wildlife on the reserve, from invertebrates, frogs and reptiles to birds and mammals. The bird species in the region include “specials” such as the broad-billed roller, Western banded snake eagle, Schalow’s turaco, Narina trogon and Taita falcon.
Mammals are abundant – from small gerbils and other rodents and several species of smaller carnivores to antelope, and right through to the large predators (lion, leopard, cheetah) and the African elephant.
Average summer maximum temperature (October-March): 40°C
Average minimum winter temperature (April-September): 5°C
Accommodation consists of 20 single rooms (nine allocated to nature guiding students), with shared ablutions and supplied bedding (single beds with sheets, a duvet, two pillows and a spare blanket for the colder months). Each room has a ceiling fan.
The communal area consists of the open braai (barbecue) area with a swimming pool, an open canteen area and a lecture room with a basic resource library. There is WiFi access at the centre. Participants are encouraged to contribute their experiences through electronic social media portals, in exchange for this service.
There is a fridge in the entertainment area, where students can store their drinking water/juices. A selection of affordable drinks are available on site.