This volunteer program will give you an opportunity to form part of an award winning conservation team and join in the behind the scenes efforts to make real and sustainable changes to preserve and save Africa’s fast deteriorating wildlife population, fauna and flora.
The experience consists of working with animals in a wildlife environment both on and off a 25,000 hectare Big 5 game reserve and wildlife animal breeding centre. The volunteer tasks range from hands-on to observational activities, and expose participants to the key aspects of conservation, ecology and animal management. This project aims to uplift the impoverished and create a better future for all living in and around the reserve.
Being the first private game reserve and park to reintroduce animals ranging from elephant, lion leopard and rhino, to dung beetles and red billed oxpeckers, you will have the opportunity to work alongside the pioneering conservationists who started the reversal of damage caused to the land and animals after the early settlers shot, drove out and eradicated thousands of species due to conflict situations around safety, land usage, availability to water and value of animal hides and ivory.
This world-renowned game reserve and park is known to locals and guests to be true to its name in the Shona tribes referral as "my friend" and give you the best in all-rounded African wildlife experience and an opportunity to make your mark and friends for life.
- Wildlife animal veterinary work as is required at time of stay
- Assisting at Born Free Foundation Big Cat Lion and Leopard Sanctuary
- Opportunity to help at our Animal Rehabilitation and Rhino Awareness Centre
- Predator tracking and monitoring (lion and leopard)
- Research, camera trapping and monitoring of brown hyena
- Walks and camp outs on Big 5 reserve with a qualified trail or dangerous game field guide
- Rifle handling on a certified range with a qualified rifle range officer
- Game counts, capture and observational exercises
- Tracking and monitoring of large herbivores including rhino and hippo
- Elephant population research and monitoring
- General reserve maintenance
- Local community and tribal projects and educational work
- Assisting the Anti-Poaching Unit efforts
- Eco education, environmental and conservation talks and lectures
- Learn bush and game ranging skills on an informal basis
- Plant and tree nursery and alien plant removal work
- Work on wildlife projects with our conservation and ranging qualified wildlife staff
- Gathering of evidence via Forensic Entomology and autopsy of killed or deceased animals
- Visits to other local nature resources and activities in the area
Weekly Schedule & Activities
The volunteers are the link to ensuring a sustainable and positive change to the reserve environment and its conservation effort as a whole. This positively affects both humans and animals with volunteers tasks based around duties and activities required at their time of stay. As the environment is an ever changing dynamic due to often uncontrollable internal and external factors, activities and tasks may vary.
- Airport transfers
- On-site accommodation and meals
- Tea and coffee with on-site meals
- All project on-site program activities
Mandatory Volunteer Requirements
Minimum age of 18
Special Skills Required
- Ability to speak or understand English is of assistance but certainly not a prerequisite
- A love for animals and nature is of importance and a desire to learn more a bonus
- Participants must have and exercise a willingness to be active in physical and observational tasks
- Acknowledgement and signing of project and house rules and regulations on arrival, which are available pre-arrival on request.
- Volunteers share en-suite (shower, toilet, basin) rooms on a same sex basis
- Requests for mixed accommodation are based on availability (on pre-arrival request only)
- Room cleaning service once in week, however, volunteers are responsible for the general cleanliness of the rooms
- Laundry service included once a week - we recommend not to bring any high value clothing
- All rooms have built-in or free-standing cupboards with a safe per room. Alternatively volunteers can use the common safe for their valuables.
You must arrive before 13.00 for the included transfer, if you arrive later than 13.00, the transfer cost of a one way transfer is ZAR 1500
Departure transfers are between 12-16:00.
Arrival and departure transfers from/to Port Elizabeth Airport outside these hours cost 1500 ZAR each way.
- 3 locally prepared, wholesome and nutritious meals daily, with cooked breakfast once a week
- Drinking water (rain water that is suitable for consumption), tea and coffee are provided
- Seasonal fruits are available. Chocolate, chips and soft drinks can be purchased on site.
- Alcohol may be consumed on site.
The project is unable to cater for special dietary needs, so please be prepared to take care of any special food requirements yourself.