Africa is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and magnificent wildlife, yet it is under threat.
Within the last 35 years, there has been an 85% decline in Africa’s wildlife
In 2017 alone, 1,028 rhinos were poached in South Africa
Lion populations have declined by up to 43% in the last 21 years, with less than 20,000 remaining in the wild
As a wildlife conservation volunteer with African Impact, you will understand, first-hand, the importance of conservation within the context of the country you visit and get the opportunity to get up-close and personal with some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife. Volunteers will be fully engaged in conservation efforts that include data collection, research, physical conservation, conservation education, well as the monitoring and studying of wild animals in their natural environment.
Decline of Animal Populations
The Importance of Wildlife Conservation in Africa
1. Healthy & Functioning Ecosystems
Aside from wanting to ensure future generations can experience the same wonders we can, conservation is vital to ensuring healthy and functioning ecosystems. The relationship between organisms of all sizes (from a tiny bee to the tallest giraffe) is delicate and forms the basis of the food chain. Any loss – or increase for that matter – of a species, can disrupt the food chain and destroy healthy and functioning eco-systems.
2. Wildlife Tourism, Economies & Jobs
The health of Africa’s wildlife also has a direct effect on the economies of countries who rely on wildlife tourism. In Kenya, for example, communities living within the Masai Mara National Reserve rely on the income provided from tourism. Tourism increases job opportunities, which in turn provides an income for a family. If big cats suddenly disappeared from the Masai Mara Reserve, fewer tourists would visit which would mean fewer guiding jobs and opportunities for local people.
3. Sustainable Future for Wildlife & Grounding African Population
Human disruption to wildlife, such as rapid population growth which has resulted habitat loss for animals, means we have reached a point where our eco-systems needs to be managed. National parks, protected areas and private game reserves are required to manage their wildlife and implement different conservation techniques to ensure a sustainable future for their animals where people and wildlife can live peacefully side-by-side.
How Wildlife Conservation Volunteers Can Help
This is where our wildlife conservation volunteers step in. In South Africa and Kenya, our volunteers collect data on wild animals that feeds into wider conservation initiatives and forms the basis of information used to make informed conservation decisions. In Zambia and Zimbabwe, we are working to reduce human-wildlife conflict and promote the peaceful existence of animals and humans. Across all of our projects we are getting involved in physical conservation to ensure the surrounding ecosystems are healthy for wild animals.
This work, alongside that of other inspiring conservation initiatives across Africa, is being felt and we are beginning to see improvements:
There has been a 7% elephant population increase per year due to conservation efforts across Southern Africa
There has been an 11% increase in the population of lions in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, where our lion conservation projects are located
Personal highlights from our projects last year include:
887 hours spent on physical conservation in the Greater Kruger area of South Africa
40 new hyenas spotted after starting a hyena project in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
15 new cheetahs spotted in the Masai Mara, Kenya
5 new leopards spotted in Masai Mara, Kenya
249 monitoring and data collection sessions undertaken on dolphin behavior in Zanzibar
African Impact offers 70+ projects throughout Southern Africa. Each of these projects is built around a pioneering effort to serve a specific need in a local community or environment. We prioritize sustainable outcomes through ethical contributions. Whether you want to volunteer in Africa with animals, join us in Zanzibar and work towards the preservation of the island’s resident dolphin population, help to research the Ngamo Pride on our lion conservation project in Zimbabwe (ahead of the world’s-first lion release), or join our team in the heart of the South African bush to photograph the Big 5, you will help African Impact’s efforts to preserve and protect wild animals.
Explore Southern Africa on this volunteer expedition with African Impact, ticking 6 countries and over 25 adventure activities (all included in the price) off your bucket list. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
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