volunteer wildlife experience lion south africa

Long-term wildlife volunteer

Work with endangered species and wildlife ecologists

Placement summary
 

Who should join this placement?
Anyone wanting to gain conservation experience, practical skills and knowledge. Volunteer and work with long-term projects focused on habitat restoration, wildlife research and the protection of species such as rhino, leopard and elephant!

Location: Big 5 reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

Length: 4 week min - 3 months max.

 

Group sizes
1 - 9 Volunteers plus guides and ecologists.

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What you'll be doing:
  • Radio collar tracking

  • Bush walks

  • Vegetation biomass surveys

  • Game transect surveys

  • Herbivore population monitoring

  • Safari drives

  • Track and sign

  • Jackal research

  • Animal ID data collation

  • Vet work with animals

  • Camera trap surveying

  • Habitat management

  • Predator monitoring

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Volunteer role and duties

Life as a volunteer
Play a key role in supporting ecologists and biomonitoring officers. You'll be supervised, taught and trained to complete the reserves conservation projects. Assist with capturing data when taking part in surveys, recording animal behaviour and herd structure when engaged in research plus help with practical conservation work. 

Gain skills and confidence as you help preform duties alongside the experts all while protecting wildlife!
 

Monday to Saturday

You'll be working on your conservation projects. Typically, you'll start the day early and continue working until sundown. Work on foot or from a safari vehicle during projects where you need to cover more distance.
 

Sundays and free time

Any free time not working you'll spend back at camp with the other volunteers.

Join any time

Placements are available throughout the year. Please contact us to arrange your dates.

Long-term placements
£1650

4 weeks

£4200

12 weeks

Join from a minimum of 4 weeks and stay up to 12 weeks.

 
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What is included? 

We have taken care of all the details so you can focus on the adventure of a lifetime!

The placement includes:

  • Airport transfers to and from the reserve

  • Accommodation during your stay

  • Transportation and guides for all confirmed excursions and group activities

  • Food and drink (excluding any personal extras)

  • Entry for any visits to external sites

  • All itinerary/activity equipment is provided

  • Wi-fi access

  • Conservation projects and activities

  • Meet and greet event in the UK

  • Fellow volunteer contact list, to be sent out prior to departure

  • 24-hour emergency onsite support

  • 100% financial security with your booking

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What is not included?

Please note, we do not book, manage or coordinate the following:
 

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Visa and Immigration requirements

  • Vaccinations and health screening/checks

  • Personal travel insurance

  • Optional activities (any booked during your stay)
     

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Requirements
  • Must be above 18

  • Must have valid travel insurance

  • Must have booked return flights

  • Must organise any relevant travel and immigration documents

  • Must undergo any relevant medical checks and vaccinations

These are your personal responsibility and proof that all requirements have been met must be sent ahead of your arrival.

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What you can expect
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Data capture

Assist the biomonitoring officers and reserve's ecologists with ongoing monitoring. You'll input and record observational data related to each project. Gain observational skills, learn what to look for and help with ecological management.  

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Surveys and transects

You'll play a key role in various practical ecological techniques. Help the reserve monitor grasses during vegetation surveys, monthly transects to gather data on herbivore populations or the movements or the reserves leopard population (May - June). Gain incredible skills!

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Safari drives and walks
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Tracking and monitoring target species

Get up close and personal with Africa’s magnificent wildlife. This will be a life-changing experience. Explore this beautiful reserve via safari viewers and on foot and learn about these incredible animals and their secret stories.

Track and monitor the species like elephant, rhino and big cats Get to know the techniques that ecologists use to protect these animals, working from vehicles with radio collar transceivers or tracking the animals on foot as you learn to interpret footprints and signs of "spoor".

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Big game vet work
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Camera trap surveying

This varied work depends entirely on the needs of the animals. Help with medical checks, emergency callouts. In dire cases, supplementary feeding of priority species may take place.

Camera traps are a tool that ecologists are increasingly relying on. You'll gain practical knowledge and understanding as you select locations, deploy and help analyse data and findings. 

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Radio collar tracking
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Discover nature

Radio collar tracking and VHF telemetry systems are vital for ecologists to monitor endangered species accurately and ensure that they are healthy. Get to know these invaluable tools and technologies as you search for target species.

Learn about animals big and small, from antelope to zebra; study the local flora and fauna; learn about the behaviour, biology and intriguing relationships in the animal kingdom. Learn to track animals in the wild and take home a new understanding about their complex ecosystems.

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