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AFRICAN BIG 5 & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Quick Facts

from $575$6,075

AFRICAN BIG 5 & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Join our field guides and wildlife conservation research team in the most beautiful game reserves in the Greater Kruger Area for the ultimate African safari and encounters with Africa’s iconic ‘Big 5’. 

This volunteer program is ideal for wildlife lovers, nature enthusiasts, and aspiring conservationists or zoologists. 


Project Highlights

Spend your time in the wild, researching Africa’s ‘Big 5’ – Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Buffalo
Collect information that will influence wildlife conservation by protecting wildlife from threats such as poaching and habitat loss
Track the movements and behaviors of herds of elephants and prides of lions through the wild African bush
Witness nocturnal animals such as leopards in their natural habitat on unforgettable moonlit night drives
Go on morning walks through the bush to identify animal tracks
Camp out under the starry skies at our overnight research camp for a truly unique African experience
Offer much needed assistance with removing invasive plant species and going on anti-poaching snare sweeps
Live in the heart of the world-famous Greater Kruger Area in a private volunteer lodge surrounded by nature and open skies
On your free weekends, explore the spectacular Blyde River Canyon, go on a safari in the Kruger National Park, or experience the fascinating culture of the people in Eswatini

the destination

The Greater Kruger Area encompasses over 20 private wildlife reserves on the west side of the world-renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa. These private reserves come together to create one big reserve. A significant contribution to wildlife conservation efforts, helping to protect and preserve one of the world’s last remaining wildlife strongholds.

The whole area comprises almost 5.5 million acres of unfenced land where animals roam freely across wild savannah. The Greater Kruger Area is a major hotspot for wildlife conservation and offers endless opportunities for wildlife encounters with iconic animals such as elephants, lions, rhinos, and wild dogs. Many of these animals are endangered or vulnerable.

Your home during your time with us will be at Bushriver Lodge, an exclusive, fully equipped volunteer house just 90 minutes from the Kruger National Park. You will experience a safari-style lodge with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a swimming pool, viewing deck, WiFi, hot showers, and an outdoor area for star gazing and socializing.
2 cooked meals a day and a help-yourself breakfast
At the lodge there is free WiFi to enable you to make contact with home through WhatsApp, Zoom etc. It is also easy to purchase a sim and add data credit to allow you to use your own phone to stay in touch.
Bushriver Lodge is situated in the Lowveld - a semi–arid region. We are blessed with good weather all year round. Summer season (October to March) can be wet and hot. The hottest months are usually December, January and February. Winter Season (April to September) is dry and sunny. The coolest months being June and July when it does get cold at night and early mornings.

PROJECT IMPACT AREAS

Wildlife Research Game Drives

Venture into the bush on daily game drives in search of the Big 5 and other iconic African wildlife. You will monitor animals and collect vital data. Your observations are essential for providing critical information that will influence wildlife conservation strategies that protect endangered and vulnerable wildlife.

These game drives will also give you a chance to experience the wonders of the African bush and go on safaris in the most beautiful reserves in Africa.

Physical Ecology

Physical conservation work is a vital part of wildlife conservation (and a lot more fun than you would think it would be), so you will have plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty.

Whether you assist in getting rid of snares or removing invasive species, the work you do is key to the survival of wildlife and the success of wildlife conservation in the area. It transforms the land back into a healthy habitat where wildlife can flourish.

You don’t have to be particularly fit for this kind of work – we have a role for everyone.

Research & Analysis

You will work alongside our wildlife conservation research team to compile data into reports, maps, and up to date profiles (ID kits). Some of the techniques you will learn about include analyzing whisker patterns, scars, and ear notches to understand and distinguish individual animals.

These research sessions will teach you about data collection and compilation techniques that are used to influence wildlife conservation strategies. Conservationists and field guides can use this data to monitor the movements and health of wildlife for years to come.

Recent Reviews

Other Activities

With the world-famous Kruger National Park right on our doorstep, going on safari will be at the top of your list of things to do during your stay in South Africa. It is the largest game reserve in South Africa, and by far, the best. Mountains, savannahs, rivers, and tropical forests make up the landscape of Kruger National Park. The Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo – are the most well-known residents. But hundreds of other animals call the Kruger National Park home, so keep your camera ready!
The Panorama Route is a must-do during your time in South Africa. A weekend road trip along the Panorama Route gives you a chance to explore its wonders, including the spectacular Blyde River Canyon. It is the third-largest canyon on Earth. Two of the best ways to experience the canyon is on a white river rafting trip or microlight flight. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, Three Rondavels and God’s Window are the best viewpoints. Waterfall chasing is another highlight of the Panorama Route. The most impressive waterfalls are Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls, and Lone Creek Falls.
After the day’s excitement, you can relax beside the pool, have a drink at the bar, watch a movie, or enjoy a games night with the other interns and volunteers. We often have presentations by guides and staff members, which is a great way to learn more about the African environment and its inhabitants. You can also get involved in fundraising events such as games and quiz nights. Dinners on our viewing deck are a highlight at the Bushriver Lodge. As are the marshmallow roasting get togethers around the fire!

dates and rates

Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Manager will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

Clear

project fee includes

  • Accommodation throughout your stay
  • 2 cooked meals a day and a help-yourself breakfast
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • 24/7 support from experienced international and local staff
  • Full orientation to ensure you contribute responsibly
  • Project equipment and resources

project fee excludes

  • Flights (we can assist you with this)
  • Travel insurance (we can assist you with this)
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours not on the itinerary
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts, and souvenirs

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