Hello/Sawubona/Molo/Lotjhani/Dumela/Ndaa/Avuxen everyone! In just four short months I will be embarking on my first-ever international adventure to South Africa, where I will be spending a little over two-weeks (possibly three-months.. more on that later) travelling across the eastern portion of the country as a part of a travel course sponsored by my university. The course that I will be taking is entitled "Large Animal Ecology and Conservation in South Africa", which "will expose students to a range of approaches to conservation in South Africa (including many that are less common in the United States, such as hunting safaris and management of game for meat and other wildlife products) in the settings of national parks, private game reserves and farms, sanctuaries, and zoos. South African customs, history, and values will also be explored, as these critically inform local conservation attitudes and practices." Our tentative itinerary is as follows: May 3rd- Depart 4th - Arrive in Johannesburg 5th - Apartheid Museum/Soweto/Nelson Mandela Square and Moyo restaurant 6th - Travel Day - Fly to Port Elizabeth/Drive to Conservation Academy 7th - Addo Elephant National Park 8th & 9th - Private Game Reserves (I do not know which ones at this time) 10th - Drive to Plettenberg Bay/Visit Monkeyland and Birds of Eden 11th - Drive to Oudtshoorn/Visit Cango Wildlife Ranch and Ostrich Show Farm 12th - Drive to Mossel Bay/Great white shark research with Oceans Research 13th & 14th - Great white/cape fur seal/southern right whale/dolphin observations and research with Oceans Researh 15th - Travel Day - Fly to Johannesburg/Drive to Kruger National Park 16th, 17th, 18th - Kruger National Park The majority of my peers will be flying back on the night of the 18th; however, one will be remaining in the country and travelling to Pretoria to do reproductive research with the National Zoo, while myself and another student will either be travelling to Hogsback in the Amathole mountains (for 10-weeks) and then on to Limpopo (for 2-weeks) to conduct field research on the Cape parrot or we will be leaving South Africa behind to travel on to northern Thailand to conduct research on former logging camp elephants at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (for 6-12-weeks, TBD), depending on how some last details work out here in the coming weeks. That said, I am very excited to maintain an account of my travels here, as so many others have done before me; however, the reason that I am posting this thread so much in advance is because now that itinerary is close to being finalized, I was really hoping for suggestions on what books and field guides you all would think would be most beneficial in procuring before my travels, as well as any ideas on what to expect, what to really be on the lookout for, or any thoughts or knowledge on any of the collections. This is the first time that this course has ever been offered, so neither professor is really fully knowledgeable on what all we'll be doing, and with both of them having very focused specialties (rhinos/elephants/reproductive science and marine biology/paleontology), I thought it'd be nice to get some thoughts from people who might be more familiar with the areas to which we'll be travelling.. I really appreciate any input, whatsoever, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all!