African Big 5 & Wildlife Conservation, South Africa

Top Volunteer Program 2018 - Big 5 Wildlife Research by African Impact

Join our field guides and research team for the ultimate African safari, enjoying daily drives through South African wildlife reserves to monitor and study the African ‘Big 5’ – the elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo.  By protecting these endangered and at-risk species, you can help us conserve these incredible animals for future generations to see.’s Top Rated Volunteer Program 2018


  • Be part of daily game drives to research Africa’s ‘Big 5’, providing critical information that will protect them from poaching, starvation and misinformed culling.
  • Join us in tracking the movements and behaviors of herds of elephants and prides of lions
  • Get to see nocturnal animals in their natural environment, catching often unseen behavior on once-in-a-lifetime night drives.
  • Have the chance to camp out at our overnight research camp – a truly African experience.
  • Assist our ongoing conservation initiatives, such as removing invasive plant species or anti-poaching sweeps, helping to directly preserve the habitat and lives of wildlife.
  • Live in the heart of the world famous Greater Kruger Area, in our very own private volunteer lodge, surrounded by nature.
  • During your free time, explore Blyde River Canyon, take in the sights of the Panorama route, go for a safari in the Kruger National Park, or put another stamp in your passport by visiting the intriguing, land-locked country of Swaziland.

About the Destination

During your volunteer placement, you will stay at our program base in the Greater Kruger Area of South Africa, a wildlife hotspot situated just 45-minutes from the world-famous Kruger National Park. Surrounded by game reserves, our spacious thatched lodge boasts a large swimming pool and is situated on 18 hectares of land. This beautiful landscape serves as home to impala, warthog, bush pig, nyala and a great diversity of birdlife. Here can you dine, relax and socialize with fellow volunteers, interns and staff.

The nearest town is Hoedspruit, a 30-minute drive from our lodge, where we do a weekly town trip on Fridays to visit the supermarkets and souvenir shops. You can spend your free time enjoying the incredible excursions on offer in this part of the world; game drives through the world-famous Kruger National Park, kloofing, taking to the skies on a microlight, or perhaps enjoying a weekend trip in Swaziland.

Whether you’re looking for gap-year travel, work experience or simply a chance to volunteer in Africa with animals, this is an experience that will give you new perspectives, new skills and a glimpse into the beautiful world of the African wilderness. At weekends, our team can help you organize day and over night trips to nearby attractions, including the world-famous Blyde River Canyon.

Dates & Rates

Our project fee includes:
  • Accommodation throughout your entire stay at our African Impact home in the African bush – a lodge surrounded by wilderness and shared by our volunteers, interns and staff
  • 3 delicious meals a day cooked by chefs from the local community
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by the African Impact team
  • Experienced international and local staff members who live and work alongside you every day
  • A full induction, orientation and training session to ensure you can contribute sustainably
  • All necessary project equipment and resources you’ll need on the ground
Our project fee excludes:
  • Flights to your chosen destination, but we can guide you on this
  • Medical or travel insurance
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts or souvenirs
  • Laundry
  • WiFi – it’s pretty slow here anyway!

Why volunteer with African Impact?

Why AI Africa Specialists
We live and breathe all things Africa

A ndzi ringeta ku endla xiculu. Don’t worry, you’ll get it when you get here.

Why AI With you all the way
We are with you all the way

Wrapping ourselves around you like a giant fluffy blanket, our awesome staff on the ground will make sure you see, do and experience as much as possible.

Why AI Measurable Impacts
We are about real, measurable change

Responsibility and sustainability is the aim of the game on our very own volunteer projects, having built and developed them hand-in-hand with local communities since 2004.

WHy AI Reviewed and Awarded
We knock it out of the park

But don’t just take it from us, read over 2000 reviews from our past volunteers and check out our awards.

Why AI Leading the Way
We are leading the way

With some of the most progressive policies, we are helping to push the boundaries of what the responsible volunteer travel industry can achieve.

Volunteer Reviews

“Having spent only 3 weeks with African impact, I have learnt an incredible for such a short period of time. The staff are amazing, the guides seem to know everything there is to know about the bush, not once in my time here were they unable to answer a question! The work can be tiring, but is rewarding as we can see the difference we are making. The drives are amazing and there is always something to see, the best of all for me being a sighting of a leopard with its cub! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and my only regret is that I didn’t book more than 3 weeks! I would recommend it to anyone without a second thought!”

Edward Selvey, UK

Throughout my time on the project, I was able to collect lots of data on game drives (while seeing some of Africa’s most incredible animals!), teach conservation education lessons to 7th graders at a local school, camp out under the incredible star-filled night sky every week, go on amazing weekend adventures during our time off, gain so much information about the species we study, and so much more! This trip was truly life-changing in that it opened my mind and perspective on so many things – I would recommend this experience to anyone with any background.”

Rachael Pulick, USA

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