Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

“A rare opportunity to go where the safari tourists don't, helping a dedicated expert team carry out some of the most exciting conservation work in Africa.”

Highlights

Daily tracking of wildlife | Wildlife monitoring including cheetah, black rhino, wild dogs & vultures | Radio collaring | Night tracking excursions | Opportunity to explore different reserves on longer trips

Please feel free to contact the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

Toll free 1-866-821-6866

Check dates

2018: 3 Jan, 15 Jan, 29 Jan, 12 Feb, 26 Feb, 12 Mar, 26 Mar, 9 Apr, 23 Apr, 7 May, 21 May, 4 Jun, 18 Jun, 2 Jul, 16 Jul, 30 Jul, 13 Aug, 27 Aug, 10 Sep, 24 Sep, 8 Oct, 22 Oct, 5 Nov, 19 Nov, 3 Dec
Our top tip:
Bring binoculars and a wildlife guide book to make the most of your spare time and surroundings.
Trip type:
Wildlife volunteering.
Activity level:
Moderate/challenging.
Accomm:
Permanant campsite with communal kitchen, bbq area, and chalets with two single beds. You may be required to share a room; bathrooms are shared.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome at no extra cost.
Included:
Accommodation, training, equipment, airport transfers, all volunteer activities.
Meals:
All meals are provided.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

Environment

Getting here and back with minimal impact is important to us. We are uneasy about supporting most carbon offset programmes, as we feel that in most cases they are not in fact a “fair” trade off and do not address the real issue of decreasing people’s actual emissions. Instead we encourage smart traveling, which includes taking direct flights, our one day a week pick up policy (getting picked up as a group instead of individually), providing discounts for the longer volunteers stay or alternatively going to projects which are close by (presently our projects are all within a 45 minute drive of one another).

We are painfully aware that our mere presence is a burden on the biodiversity here, and therefore institute measures to limit our impact as much as we can. All of our accommodation is on the reserves within which we work and we endeavour to change and convert the accommodation environment into a sustainable system. While doing so we are continually showing our volunteers the environmentally friendly techniques we are developing and implementing along the way.

This includes firstly all those things that can be done by changing just a few things around the house at no major expense and include: energy efficient light bulbs, recycling of waste, geyser blankets to save power, rain water collection, the use of natural based cleaning products, the switching off of appliances/lights when not in use.

10% of our profits goes towards our Fund, which help fund local community upliftment initiatives and the purchase of VHF collars and the collaring of priority species to enhance monitoring efforts on reserves we work on. Without your participation, we can not do the work we do: Helping to save priority species (many of them being endangered like wild dogs, cheetah and black rhino) by gaining scientific understanding of their role in the delicate African ecosystem.

Community

100% of volunteers money, is put directly back in to our organisation. Each project provides sustainable employment for the staff and allows them to build personal financial security. All food and supplies are purchased locally, and volunteers are encouraged to buy their souvenirs from small village craft outlets.

50% of all our staff employed hail from local communities surrounding the reserves we work in. Along with this we are presently a Satisfactory Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Contributor as stipulated by the South African Department of Environment and Tourism. We strive to support other BEE compliant companies in whatever procurement we may have. Structured within our workforce is a learnership programme, whereby we train aspirant local community members to break into the conservation field, and in so doing build up valuable experience and skills needed to further their careers.

All photos by Christian Sperka.

16 Reviews of Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

4 out of 5 stars
SHOW
5
9
1
1
0

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2017 by

Every day brought something new and memorable. So that's a minimum of 28 new, exciting memories! Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Dec 2016 by

This was so much more than a vacation and I'd book again within a heartbeat. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Jul 2015 by

It is really hard to decide of many of the memorable and exciting experiences on this vacation which one stands out the most for me. Everyday it seemed that I saw something different in the bush, unexpectedly two male cheetahs appeared one morning, then there was the cheetah with her cub, there were rhinos and rhino babies, one interesting experience for me personally was a close encounter with an Assasin Bug(reduviidae, heteroptera). Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2014 by

The most memorable part was all the time we spent in the bush - at least 10h per day. To see the other side of the safari - i.e. not being in a traditional tourist vehicle. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2013 by

Amazing!! Words cannot describe this adventure- over 1500 photos taken and a million memories. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Dec 2013 by

Brilliant experience...We were in a Private Game Reserve with no tourists so it was really peaceful and secluded. The scenery was wonderful and the animals were amazing to see. I was also lucky enough to share my experience with a great bunch of people which made the trip even more memorable Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Jul 2013 by

This is not a vacation…rather an experience. The most exciting part was driving in to a pride of lions at seven o clock in the morning. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Jul 2012 by

The most exciting part of my vacation was we saw so many lions in the middle of the night, just a few metres away from us!!!!! Read full review

Reviewed on 01 May 2012 by

Three really memorable groups of experiences, firstly watching the wild pack of dogs close to the pick-up, much more beautiful than I expected close up...A brilliant vacation, really invigorating, and very informative and worthwhile. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Dec 2011 by

I had been at Tembe for almost a week without a real sighting of the wild dogs, so the first time they emerged from the underbrush was a huge thrill, especially when they brought all five puppies out! Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Dec 2011 by

Seeing a cheetah about 4 meters away looking very surprised when we disturbed his siesta whilst climbing a hill to check signals. Holding the head of a sedated wild African dog who had a new radio collar fitted. At night seeing and hearing a leopard outside the encampment calling for his mate. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Nov 2011 by

Lots of very enjoyable and valuable experiences which I will always remember. Highly recommended for anyone genuinely interested in wildlife and conservation.The park I was at is very beautiful with a real sense of the wild and opportunities to experience a lot. I was very glad I took part in the program. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Jul 2011 by

Staring into an elephant's eyes makes you feel like they carry the history of the world on their shoulders. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2011 by

It was a privilege to be involved in the wild dog rescue at Thanda Reserve when a poacher's snare was caught around her neck. Seeing the biggest tuskers when at Tembe was another highlight and identifying them was great fun. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Dec 2011 by

The day we went out to dart the escaped wild dogs was the most memorable part of the vacation Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Oct 2010 by

The wildlife was awesome especially being so close to lions and elephants...I'd rate it about 7.5 out of 10 because of the lack of work and not quite seeing how the trip was benefiting conservation. Still the animals are amazing and the people were great! Read full review

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