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Field Research and Wildlife Internship, South Africa

Join our research team in the Greater Kruger Area and gain professional experience on a conservation-driven research initiative and wildlife internship. This unique personal development opportunity will allow you to design-your-own field research placement around an African species of your choosing.

ON THIS WILDLIFE INTERNSHIP, YOU'LL GET TO:

  • Customize your experience and study one species of your choosing throughout your wildlife internship
  • Live in one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa, which is home to the ‘Magnificent 7’: lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, buffalo, wild dog, and cheetah
  • Gain practical experience in wildlife research methods, including wildlife and habitat mapping
  • Expand your existing knowledge and gain new insight into the behavior of your chosen species
  • Learn how to use key research software and collect data for use in your own studies
  • Analyze raw data and help turn it into useful reports for land and wildlife management
  • Get involved in camera-trap surveys for the species of your choosing and update databases for use across reserves in the area
  • Be supported by our Internship Mentor and Professional Development Coach to help you realize and achieve your objectives
  • Work alongside a team of international and local experts, as well as fellow interns and volunteers

RECENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

WILD DOG

Thanks to intern Manon, we now have over 60 identikits of wild dogs, across different packs. This has transformed our data collection for the Endangered Wildlife Trust, as we can now easily determine which pack we are seeing out in the field and use photos to identify which individuals in that pack are present, and which are not.

CHEETAH

Thanks to intern Jurre, we have much greater insight into the behavior of two cheetahs who were recently reintroduced to a nearby reserve. Monitoring them on game drives and GPS data, Jurre was able to show whether temperature and rain affected the cheetah’s movements, as well as how much of the reserve each cheetah was using. This is the first research of its kind done in this reserve, so there’s plenty more to do.

LEOPARD

Thanks to intern Martina and many others, we will soon be able to determine the abundance and density of
leopards in the immediate area. Through camera trapping, incidental leopard sightings, and the use of an existing identification database, interns are able to statistically analyze this data using a capture-recapture model and work towards the greater goal of understanding the leopard population here.

About the Destination

During your Field Research and Wildlife Internship, 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, the 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 interns, volunteers and staff.

Whether you’re looking for gap-year travel, work experience, or simply a career-break, this is an experience that will give you new perspectives, new skills, and a glimpse into the beautiful African wild. Over weekends, our team can help you organize day and overnight trips to nearby attractions, including the world-famous Blyde River Canyon.

Dates & Rates

Apply Now

Our internship fee includes:
  • Accommodation throughout your stay
  • 3 meals a day cooked by a local chef (weekdays only)
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Transport to and from project
  • Mentorship from our research manager
  • 24/7 support from experienced international and local staff
  • Full orientation to ensure you contribute responsibly
  • Training in the basics of programs, such as Google Earth Pro and QGIS
  • Project equipment and resources
Our internship 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-placement activity
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts or souvenirs
  • Laundry

Volunteer Reviews

“African Impact was nothing like I expected it to be, but that’s what made it so special. I never expected to become a part of a family that consisted of volunteers and staff from around the world. I never expected to gain an in-depth understanding for African wildlife and to be able to actively apply this new knowledge as I was out in the bush collecting data. I never expected to have such astonishing sightings of the diverse wildlife. And most of all, I never expected to understand and observe the impact research can have on African wildlife.”

Ali Weaver, USA

“I feel privileged to have been able to do the things I have done, the research work is so important and so to be able to contribute is amazing. I loved every minute of the game drives and the other research based work. It also has been incredible to have been involved with the community projects, as I felt this was very rewarding. Not only was the work aspect great, but so was the lodge itself and the staff within it. The staff at every level were amazing, some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”

Liam Hicks, UK

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