Project Details

We provide volunteer experience and training in conservation research and wildlife management. Our focus is on human-carnivore conflict in the South-African Kalahari.

Who we are:

We are a team of conservation researchers and guiding professionals. Our experience and expertise encompasses safari-guiding, game-farm management, security & anti-poaching, university lecturing in the biological sciences, and academic research.

Having worked with large international volunteer research experience companies we increasingly wished to get back to the root of providing a small-scale, personal learning experience for small groups of volunteers. We continue to work collaboratively with former volunteers, many of whom have gone on to further study in biological sciences and conservation.

What we do:

We aim to provide training in conservation and reserve management giving volunteers the tools to better understand South African wildlife and ecology and, if they wish, to pursue a career in conservation research.

Our training is based on field research and is focussed on private reserves in South Africa which make up the majority of wildlife and conservation land-use in the country. Our main themes investigate human-wildlife conflict and how human livelihoods can coexist with predators in the Kalahari.

Our vision:

Our vision is to provide a genuine volunteer experience in the Southern African bush where volunteers can contribute to understanding an under-researched region and participate in high quality learning and data collection across a range of species.

Our goals:

We aim to better understand leopard, cheetah, and brown hyaena ecology on private reserves and provide management information to better conserve large carnivores on private land.

Our first goal is to build comprehensive distribution and density maps for leopard, cheetah, and brown hyaena, along with game and livestock species within private game reserves in the Kalahari.

Our second goal is to implement a reporting system by which livestock loss is reported and monitored in the region.

Where we work:

Our field sites are located in South Africa’s North West Province bordering Botswana. The sites are on the southern-most fringe of the Kalahari desert region which is known for its beautiful, expansive landscape, magnificent sunsets, and wildlife, including exceptional game viewing and bird-watching.

We are located an hour’s drive from the town of Bray where basic conveniences may be found. We are only a 6 hour drive from Johannesburg airport, yet have a wonderful feeling of being off the beaten track. We love the pioneer spirit of this frontier region.

Health & Safety:

The UK FCO states that most visits to South Africa are trouble-free. Our sites are located on private game reserves accessed by dirt roads. Crime is not a major issue in the region that we operate due to its remoteness from large cities in which most crime occurs.

An airborne doctor serves the reserve meaning that we are well able to swiftly deal with medical emergencies. Our field team are all experienced in running field-sites and working for extended periods in remote regions. Any minor injuries and illnesses can be treated at the clinic in the nearby town of Bray. There is no malaria in the area (but you should consult your doctor before travelling).   

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for motivated individuals who are passionate about experiencing all the bush has to offer. If you are looking for a small, personalised research and conservation project in a beautiful, under-researched region then we would love to hear from you!

Our interests are wide ranging: from carnivore ecology and human-wildlife conflict, to vegetation dynamics and small-mammal ecology. We hope to have something for everyone.

Our programmes are by no means limited to those studying the sciences, and we believe that a wide range of backgrounds can engage with conservation learning and contribute meaningful research and management data. We believe our programmes are idea not only for students seeking to further their knowledge and experience of their subject but also those who aspire to become involved with game-farm management, and those who wish to experience more of what the bush has to offer other than a tourist safari.

The main focus of the project is on
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Hough Sounes
Hough Sounes
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

WCRS-SA is a research organisation involving volunteers in wildlife management and research in South Africa’s North West Province. Our region of focus is The North West Province which has so-far received little research effort. We are establishing projects in the region in response to the concerns of reserve owners that the area has, to date, been overlooked in terms of wildlife conservation research.    

Mammal research:

Our projects are newly instigated and in the data-collection phase and we are currently working with land owners to explore their concerns regarding predator management. Our past work has contributed to South African national leopard population surveys and we have published scientific papers on small-mammal (especially elephant-shrew) taxonomy leading to better understanding of these little known species.

Invasive species:

Invasive species are a major problem in South Africa. We are involved in the management, monitoring and removal of invasive plant species from large areas of private reserves and the subsequent rehabilitation of Kalahari vegetation.

Wildlife Security & Anti-poaching:

Our staff have extensive experience of anti-poaching work (including rhino & elephant protection) and consultation in wildlife security matters. We continue to provide anti-poaching consultation to reserves and units in order to equip them with improved skills and techniques for countering wildlife crime.

Sustainable living:

In the Kalahari natural resources such as water are a precious resource. Our work contributes to the better management of water points and subsequent impacts upon vegetation. Our volunteers also gain insight into living with the land at our camps where we aim to produce a proportion of our own food on-site and source the rest of our needs from local producers.       

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