Based in the heart of a Big 5 Game Reserve in South Africa, you will be monitoring the endangered Big Five African animals (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo) and to assist in vital conservation within the reserve. Combine this project with a volunteer trip to beautiful St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal to help on community projects and SAVE, plus we'll give you a free Elephant Interaction experience! Click here for more details!
African Wildlife Big 5 Conservation Project, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Thanda Private Game Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal near South Africa’s East coast.
Big Five Monitoring 40-50%
Conservation work within the Park 30-40%
Data Recording 10-20%
Your role as a volunteer will include:
- Monday through to Friday, you will participate in 2 activities per day, which usually include game research drives or conservation activities.
- Monitor the behavior, feeding patterns and movement of the 2 elephant herds
- Collate and record data on a pride of lions in the bush by observing hunting, social, breeding and territorial behavior at various different times of the day. This also involves some night drives.
- Monitor the rhino population to support the data recorded by the anti-poaching team during the day. This will help the reserve managers to understand the health of the animals, which are part of an endangered species reintroduction program.
- Capturing data as required by the reserve management team on their ongoing endangered species work , plus assist in doing regular game counts
- Carry out physical work to help regenerate natural bush from reclaimed farmland including the prevention of further soil erosion and the removal of old fences to avoid injuries for animals.
- Contribute to the long term strategy of removal of Alien Plants from the park.
What is the minimum stay?
Where exactly is it?
Thanda Private Game Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal near South Africa’s East coast.
What will I be doing?
Have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of conservation initiatives on Africa’s Big 5 and other wildlife species.
- Live in the heart of a Big 5 game reserve
- Carry out research on endangered wildlife within the reserve to provide information for the Thanda Foundation, Space for Elephants and ALERT
- Partake in research drives and conservation activities
- Monitor the night time movements of the predators in the park
- Monitor the movements and behaviors of the 2 herds of elephants and the 2 lion prides
- Assist with weekly game counts
- Assist on conservation initiatives within the Park such as alien plant control, soil erosion and assisting the reserve management where needed
- The project fee entails financing that goes directly back into the project that you are involved with via the Thanda Foundation
- Transport between Durban airport and Thanda on Sundays only. We will arrive at the airport for 10.30 and leave at 14.30
- Orientation program, including a security briefing on living within a Big 5 game reserve
- All daily transfers to and from your projects during your stay
- Full board and lodging, which includes 3 meals a day at our volunteer house
- Assistance at your projects by African Impact staff and volunteer coordinators
- Personal Travel Insurance for the duration of your placement
- All transport to Durban airport All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other)
- E-mail / Internet and telephone calls
- Soft drinks, beers, wines and spirits
- All visas for border crossings
- Any excursions over-and-above your planned itinerary
- A very small cost for laundry service (Roughly R60 for 15 items)
- Wifi which costs R40 for 30 minutes and R70 for 60 minute
For this project, enthusiasm for African wildlife is essential, research, knowledge and experience is helpful, but not necessary. On arrival you will have a comprehensive orientation facilitated by your volunteer coordinator including:
- Overview of the aims of the project and your role as a volunteer
- An introduction to where you are staying and description of the game reserve.
Volunteers need to be 18 years and older to participate on this project.
Please note that in Africa (and particularly in this region) we experience a lot of water shortages and there may be times during your stay when this may affect you. Please keep an open mind and be conscious about how much water you use on a daily basis.