Big Five Conservation Supporter

founded in 2003
The Great Projects
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Coordinator | Lauren
Coordinator | Lauren
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.
On this amazing volunteering project you will have the chance to work towards the conservation of Africa's 'Big 5' in their natural home. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 17+

About the project

This project gives you a fantastic chance to dive into conservation efforts in one of South Africa's most beautiful locations and make a difference to the abundance of wildlife that calls the region home. This project is very important as it is playing a role in helping to reintroduce wildlife to an area it once thrived in. Without conservation projects such as this one being in place, the Eastern Cape of Africa would be without any of its incredible wildlife. 

One of the largest conservation issues in Africa is a lack of education about why the animal life in the country is so important. This project aims to tackle this too by giving volunteers the chance to teach at a local school and help the youngsters gain some knowledge about conservation as well as other topics. By showing the next generation of locals about the importance of the wildlife they share their home with, the animals have a much greater chance of thriving and surviving. 

The location

Based in the beautiful Eastern Cape region of South Africa, this volunteering project is located just 15km from the dazzling Indian Ocean and it presents you with the opportunity to really make a difference in an incredible surround. The reserve itself measures a large 10,000 hectares and the pristine wilderness found here is home to all manner of spectacular wildlife including the 'big 5!' Keep your eyes peeled and you may be able to see buffalo, lion, leopard, rhino and elephants during your time here!

Volunteer work

As a volunteer on this project you will essentially become an "assistant conservation manager" and you will be able to become a fully-fledged member of the in country team when volunteering. Tasks you could be helping with include game capture, elephant impact monitoring, and maybe even learning from the rhino anti-poaching team! 

Your work is invaluable to the project and volunteers provide the extra support that this busy reserve needs to run. Every task you take part in has a purpose here so you will leave South Africa with an incredible sense of achievement after working hard to achieve a common goal. Volunteers are expected to work hard when on the project, but the reward comes in the knowledge that you have helped to make a difference. No particular skills are needed to become a volunteer here apart from a desire to help the cause and the ability to work as a team, so everyone is welcome.

We recommend that you come with a moderate level of fitness as the days are extremely busy and you will be involved in a whole host of activities! In terms of skills, all we ask is that you arrive with a willingness to get involved with tasks and a dedication to the ethos of the project, as well as a respect for the enchanting wildlife, and committed project staff with whom you will be working.

Typical day

First Day

After arriving into Port Elizabeth Airport you will take a transfer to the project site and be given time to settle in and become familiar with your new home! This is also the time when you will first meet your fellow volunteers so it presents a perfect chance for you to bond and meet your newest friends!

Regular Days

A typical working day on this project will be from around 8am through to 5pm and you will have the evenings off. You could be doing a wide number of tasks which will be shown below, but please note that as this is an active game reserve activities will change from day to day. 

Elephant Impact Monitoring 

Using identification sheets you will help the in-country team monitor the elephants that live on the reserve. You will take notes on the animals range patterns and vegetation impact as well as identifying the different elephants at the projects by their unique ear markings. 

Motion Sensor Camera Analysis

Leopards have been prosecuted in this area of South Africa for over 300 years, and you will assist data collection from camera traps in an attempt to shed some more light on these elusive animals and their range patterns. 

Rhino Monitoring

This project is home to a number of rhinos and as a volunteer you will help to monitor these prehistoric beasts to play a part in protecting them from the dangers of poaching. 

Alien Vegetation Control

Invasive plant species are a big problem as they can have a drastic effect on the local food chain. By removing these plants from the area it gives the local plant life a chance to grow and helps provide food for the local prey species. 

Animal Capture

On occasion volunteers will be given the chance to assist with animal capture and release. You will be involved in the whole process from darting the animal in need of help through to sending them on their way to their potential new home! 

Community Development Programmes 

Alongside the animal life you work with on the project you will also head to the local community centre to spend time with the children who come here after school. Playing football and dancing with the kids creates some memories and pictures you will never forget!

Star Talks

This is a simple activity as you will just be sitting back in a safari vehicle and admiring the stars in the clear African sky. What really brings it to life is the incredible knowledge of your volunteer coordinator who knows almost everything there is to know about the stars, and if you listen up you will too! 

Game Drives

As you are in Africa you will of course take part in some game drives to head out and spot all of the continents famous wildlife. This is a fantastic chance to tick off all of the animals you want to see during your time in Africa! 

You may take part in other activities during your time on the project so be prepared to get stuck in no matter what the task!

Last Day

After saying your farewells to your new found friends you will head back to the airport to begin your onward travels.

Free-time activities

Please contact your project coordinator to take a closer look at some of the amazing activities you can do in your spare time on the project. A trip into the local town of Kenton-on-Sea is popular amongst the volunteers as it gives them the chance to relax and enjoy a delicious prepared meal. Some more adventurous volunteers like to take part in activities like surfing or horseback riding and the most adventurous of all like to go on a skydive! There is a lot to do in your free time here, so please ask your coordinator for more details when you arrive. 



In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by The Great Projects


  • Accommodation
  • All food and juice, tea and coffee.
  • Volunteer activities
  • Full time English speaking ground staff
  • A laundry service
  • Wifi at the project site


  • Weekend excursions
  • Alcoholic beverages and snacks etc.

The accommodation on this project is very nice. You will be staying in a recently renovated house on the reserve, and you will have full access to all of the facilities available here throughout your stay. The volunteer house is home to five twin share, single-sex bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen with a washing machine, a very comfortable living room and a communal dining area to enjoy meals in as well! 

Outside the house is a plunge pool which is perfect to take a dip in after a hot and hard day’s work, and an area dedicated to braai, which is a traditional South African BBQ. This area is also the perfect place to admire the galaxy of stars that appear above your head every night!
Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages
Food is provided on this project but volunteers will take turns to cook on a rotational basis. Everybody takes their turn to cook with their team, and who knows, this could be another skill you pick up whilst on the project! All of the food you will need for all meals will be found in the house so you will never go hungry! There is also the chance to enjoy a BBQ outside dependent on the weather, which is a very communal meal and a great chance to test your Braai skills! 

Please note that if you are gluten intolerant or have a dairy allergy you will need to purchase gluten-free bread or soya milk on your trips into town.
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

This project takes place on every Monday throughout the year. Please contact us to find out whether your preferred start date is available.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$633 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. The Great Projects will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Big Five Conservation Supporter

On this amazing volunteering project you will have the chance to work towards the conservation of Africa's 'Big 5' in their natural home.


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