This fabulous project was developed to simply save the lives of the majestic native animals of South Africa. The Wildlife Protection program is based on a spectacular Game Reserve just outside Port Elizabeth. The 6000 hectares of land are filled with a variety of wild life, including the ‘Big 5’. In addition to the mixture of grasslands and sub-tropical vegetation, the reserve has naturally formed pockets of water, amazing rock formations and splendid flora. This program plays a significant role is helping to maintain the reserve and protect the animals, supplying a willing volunteer labor force to assist them. Like many conservation programs, funds are greatly lacking, and volunteers are essential to the success of the project. Duties of volunteers vary on a day to day basis and are dependent on factors such as the weather. The work is mostly outdoors and will sometimes be in unpleasant conditions, so volunteers will need to be willing to lend a hand with all sorts of tasks.
Goals of this Project:
- Work to save the lives of vulnerable animals
- Improve the future prospects of endangered animals in South Africa
- Research the animals on the reserve to learn more about their lives and ultimately, how to protect them
- Create an environment that enables different cultures to work together with the goal of saving animal lives.
Volunteers on this project play an essential role in the protection of South Africa’s wonderful wildlife on this special game reserve. No two days are ever the same on this project, and volunteers will gain amazing experience working on research, reserve maintenance and actually caring for animals. From participating on animal counts to monitoring animals and accompanying guides on game drives, this is an amazing opportunity for any international volunteer and a fantastic ‘behind the scenes’ experience that most people would never have the chance to participate in. This game reserve protects animals from the many dangers they face from a multitude of fronts. By participating in this program, volunteers will be providing true assistance to protecting these majestic creatures.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Work in the elephant sanctuary
- Track and monitor animals
- Participate in animal counts
- Mend fences and clearing paths
- Remove alien vegetation
- Feed animals
- General visitor management
- Accompany guides on game drives
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Upon arrival into Port Elizabeth airport volunteers will be collected at 4 pm by a representative of the local project team and transported to their assigned accommodation where they will attend the full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in South Africa. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: MONDAY (Before 4 pm)
- Program Departure Day: SUNDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Port Elizabeth International Airport, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (CODE: PLZ)
Return airport transfers depart the reserve either Saturday 9 am or Sunday 6 pm. Accommodation can be arranged near the airport on the Saturday night if your flight departs on Sunday.
Wildlife Project in Port Elizabeth will be accommodated in shared staffing accommodation which is separated by gender. Bedding is provided, but we recommend that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag. Toiletries, towels and any personal hygiene equipment are the volunteer’s responsibility.
Breakfast and dinner will be provided on weekdays. Breakfasts generally consist of coffee, toast and cereal. Dinners consist of wholesome South African food which could include dishes such as stews, casseroles, as well as vegetables and salad. Special dietary requirements can be catered for, but volunteers need to tell us in advance. There are many delis, cafes and markets where volunteers can buy lunch and weekend meals for under $5.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to give their time and energy to help protect and conserve the native wildlife of South Africa. This project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in animal conservation/zoological studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by one of local project leaders. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
Project Location: Located in Port Elizabeth, known as ‘the friendly city’ in the Eastern Cape of the country, this program is a hands-on conservation project, with volunteers working in a game reserve to help preserve the country’s magnificent native animals.
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every MONDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.
A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
7:00am Breakfast in the communal area
8:15am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor
8:30am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.
4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
Evenings Free time to simply relax, hang out with your fellow volunteers, have dinner together, then relax some more!