from 1,697€

Outstanding 5rating (20)

Endangered Species Conservation & Research

location
2 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Outstanding 5  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Very high response rate

Highlights

  • Leave a long lasting impact – Each project has long term goals and objectives, you’ll be contributing to South Africa scientific and conservation work, protecting nature.
  • Discover South Africa – Living on a wildlife reserve is filled with incredible sights, sounds and experiences. Make incredible memories as a team of passionate wildlife fanatics.
  • Learn from the experts – You’ll work under the wing of people who eat, sleep and dream wildlife. Gain firsthand knowledge and practical experience from those who know it best.
  • Transferable skills – The skills you’ll gain as you complete your conservation projects are world class. Take these skills with you into your conservation career and studies.
  • Get up close and personal – Meet Africa’s iconic and enigmatic wildlife via safari viewer and on foot. A once in a life experience as you health check lions or meet bull elephants.

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

About the program

Join us in South Africa Work on ecological managment and wildlife research projects. Protect endangered species as you live and work on a 35,000-hectare reserve!

Focused on conservation, sustainable development and wildlife research.


You'll play a key role in a diverse assortment of wildlife and conservation focused projects including:

Wildlife research and monitoring
You'll track and monitor wildlife using radio collar antenna. Lions, Cheetah, Elephant and ...

About the program

Focused on conservation, sustainable development and wildlife research.


You'll play a key role in a diverse assortment of wildlife and conservation focused projects including:

Wildlife research and monitoring
You'll track and monitor wildlife using radio collar antenna. Lions, Cheetah, Elephant and Buffalo are all monitored as part of reintroduction projects, predator mortality, to understand animal behaviour as part of ongoing research or even for emergency veterinary interventions!

Emergency vet work and callouts
From rhinos fighting with each other needing emergency veterinary care to capturing reserve cheetah for relocation. You'll take part in all of it. We can't foresee the future exactly and which animals will need help but we can foresee you'll get up close with iconic African animals!

Camera trap surveys
Camera traps are valuable tool for any ecologist or animal behaviourist. You'll learn how to select sites for camera trap placement base on your understanding of the animals behaviour deploying and collecting the equipment routinely. These surveys are as part of long term research project on the reserve looking at animals like the endangered black rhino or leopard... that is if the reserve elephants don't remove the camera traps first!

Vegetation surveys
What the most important part of animal ecosystem? Plants! Without healthy and biodiverse plants for herbivores to eat, the ecosystem would collapse. Although these might not be the most exciting, you'll quickly learn and understand this secret side of ecological management and help ensure the ecosystems health.

Predator mortality monitoring

The reserve is home to predators including: Lions, Leopard, Hyena, Cheetah and more!

Monitor their behaviour, what their eating, when and where. Record this data as part of ongoing research and ecological management. You'll also get up close and personal with these animals for some incredible sightings.

Population surveys
Ensuring animals are healthy and populations in good numbers is key to maintaining ecosystem health. With regular ecological surveys, you'll record valuable data on behaviour, health and breeding status with the reserve's populations. Help and learn as you play a key role in real ecological work.

Rhino monitoring
The reserve is a stronghold for white and black rhino. You'll conducted regular surveys and monitoring. Using ID kits, you'll get to know the rhino intimately as you record and ensure their health.

Big game feeding

During periods of drought, you'll assist with feeding key and protect animals on the reserve such as older rhino who need a bit of extra support or the recently introduced buffalo.



Typical day

At the base of a valley on an open savannah you’ll find your bush camp. By day you’ll be visited by the reserves rhino, wildebeest and other plains animals and at night you’ll hear the call of hyena and jackal as they patrol just outside the fence.

From camp, you’ll take part in your daily ...

Typical day

At the base of a valley on an open savannah you’ll find your bush camp. By day you’ll be visited by the reserves rhino, wildebeest and other plains animals and at night you’ll hear the call of hyena and jackal as they patrol just outside the fence.

From camp, you’ll take part in your daily conservation work.

Work hours

Full time Monday to Saturday, with Sundays off for rest or for a chance to take part in optional activities in the area or days out.

You’ll start most days between 7 – 8am. Ensuring you beat the heat of and are up when the animals are most active, the morning. Due to the reserves size, you’ll bring lunch with you to eat in the bush.

Each day your biomonitoring-officers and ecologists will brief you with the details of each conservation project. You’ll understand the goals, methodologies and history of the projects and as a team, begin capturing data, observing and recording animal behaviour or assisting during animal interventions, feeding or vet work and how you will be contributing.

By the end of your placement you’ll have a deep familiarity of cutting edge wildlife research and ecological management in South Africa!


Free-time activities

You'll be getting hot, sweaty and dirty during the week with conservation projects.


During weekends or any off-time, as a group you'll be able to decide which of the nearby activities you'll like to take part in. From exploring national parks and the breathtaking landscapes that makeup South Africa ...

Free-time activities

You'll be getting hot, sweaty and dirty during the week with conservation projects.


During weekends or any off-time, as a group you'll be able to decide which of the nearby activities you'll like to take part in. From exploring national parks and the breathtaking landscapes that makeup South Africa to visiting near by animal or wildlife centers, rural communities or heading into town to do a bit of souvenir shopping.


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (intermediate level)

Education Requirements

environment, ecology, zoology, geography, science, biology, research, analytics, zoology at University level

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

Don't panic! Although a background in ecologic, conservation or animal behaviour is advantageous, you'll receive full training with each of our projects.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:30 - 15:30

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Hamba Africa

We have taken care of all the details so you can focus on the adventure of a lifetime!

The placement includes:

  • Airport transfers to and from the reserve
  • Accommodation during your stay
  • Transportation and guides for all confirmed excursions and group activities
  • Food and drink (excluding any personal extras)
  • Entry for any visits to external sites
  • All itinerary/activity equipment is provided
  • Wi-fi access
  • Conservation projects and activities
  • Meet and greet event in the UK
  • Fellow volunteer contact list, to be sent out prior to departure
  • 24-hour emergency onsite support
  • 100% financial security with your booking

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

Starting point
OR Tambo International Airport

We'll collect you from the airport. The drive to camp is approximately 3 - 4 hours, on the route you'll have a chance to pick up any last minute supplies or toiletries you need from the shop. Ahead of joinining us, we'll arrange multiple calls with all volunteers to ensure they are confident with their travel plans and if you need any support making arrangments such as visa's or travel insurance.

Ending point
You'll be taken back to OR Tambo International Airport. For anyone staying in South Africa, we're happy to help arrange custom transportation or an alternative drop of location.

Accommodation

You'll be staying in glamping-style tents.
  • Furnished with beds, storage space for clothing, fans during the summer and electrical sockets to charge phones, cameras, and laptops.
  • These tents make for an immersive experience, fall asleep with the sound of hyena and lions calling just meters away from outside the camp fence. These tents are same-sex and you'll share these with your team mates during busy periods or if you come in quieter times of the year, you'll have a tent all to yourself. For those traveling as a group or as a couple, you're able to request to bunk and stay with any travel companion.
The camp
You will stay in a remote bush camp, secluded at the heart of the reserve and the African bush. There, you'll live and work alongside your fellow volunteers, biomonitoring-officers and guides.

There is a communal area, where your guides will work with you each day to help plan which conservation activities you'll participate in, and when. Furnished with plenty of hangout spots and relaxation areas, you'll be able to relax and socialize together in your downtime. 

Food & Beverages

All food and drink is included. The communal kitchen is where you'll take turns cooking meals, when the guides aren't treating you to a traditional BBQ (or braai, as it is locally known). These are common social occurrence and take place outside.

We typically arange cooking duties in teams of twos or three. For those not confident in cooking, Your team leaders will be able to offer extra support.

During weekends or trips into town, you're able to pick up any extra's you can't do without. Major international brands are available in the nearest town so you can pick up things like snacks and drinks.

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

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. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

Our placements run regularly throughout the year.

Typically, you'll arrive and depart on the weekend but some flexibility around when works best for you to start.

Meeting point
We meet all volunteers at O.R Tambo International Airport, South Africa.
There, we'll pick you up and transfer you to the reserve, a 3 - 4 hour drive. On route you'll have time to stop of at the shops for any last minute supplies like snacks or drinks.

Departure point
You'll be taken back to O.R Tambo airport at the end of your placement. 

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 1,697€
3 weeks 2,042€
4 weeks 2,477€
5 weeks 2,940€
6 weeks 3,567€
12 weeks (max. stay) 6,605€
Average fees 699€/week

Program fees

699€ per week 2 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

2 - 12 weeks

Deposit

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

Your final payment will be agreed with Hamba Africa during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

Hamba Africa

Outstanding 5 rating (20 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2019

Verified by Volunteer World

  Very high response rate

Coordinated by

Harry

About the project

Hamba Africa provides conservation-focused programs and projects across South Africa. Each with unique goals allowing you to travel ethically while protecting nature!

Meet your organization

Hamba Africa is owned and run by safari guides and conservationists. We work with organisations across South Africa that share our commitment to real-world conservation, wildlife research and sustainable development.

We invest in you
We also work with universities based in the United Kingdom and the world to help structure and ensure our placements are an opportunity for those joining us to "gain while you give". Our work aligns with these educational institutions as well as internationally accredited professional bodies or best practices. We provide structured internships, courses, traineeship positions and accredited qualifications.

Meaning while you're giving back, getting hot and sweaty with our work, you're developing skills and tangible experience to act as a career-boosting opportunity.

Travel on the frontline of conservation
Our business owner has spent over a decade working in conservation internationally, from researching and living with elephants, cave diving in the Mediterranean, reintroduction projects in the UK or black mamba handling in Southern Africa... Rightly or wrongly, he thinks immersing yourself in wildlife as you protect it provides the most authentic and personable travel experience possible.

Who should join us?
Our only requirement is you are passionate about wildlife, conservation and community development!

We're happy to receive a lot of support from university students who join as part of a study abroad placement or as a way to support their academic studies and career employability, taking advantage of the skills and experience they gain from our projects.... Hamba Africa even works with some universities to allow their students to get their placements funded!

We also receive a lot of support from adventure travellers, those on a gap year or ethical individuals looking for a unique experience

We look forward to welcoming you!

20 reviews · rating5

The most impactful to me was being able to understand a wide diversity of species and improve camera work and other skills whilst volunteering. My highlight was taking selfies with animals! Also reading with the view of sunsets and elephants ...
Merel Floor van den Dool rating5

2023 at Endangered Species Conservation & Research

Waking up every day in the middle of a game reserve with wild animals all around the fences of the camp is just amazing! We went on a lot of game drives and witnessed epic animal behaviour like crocodile fights, lions cleaning each other and elephants taking a bath. In the afternoon we had time to ...
I spent 4 weeks in the Welgevonden Research Camp, and I loved it! I arrived at the end of Winter, so vegetation was low, and I had the opportunity to see and learn about more wildlife than I could have imagined. My guides were respectful, were happy to stop and answer my questions, and were thorough ...
I went for 5 weeks to do the long term volunteer wildlife program. When i arrived i had a tent for myself and the most beautiful view. Rhino’s passing by with their calfs, the zebras and the warthogs curiously looking at you. You get up early every day. Eat your breakfast and bring a lunchbox with ...
In August 2023, I had the opportunity to go out to South Africa, with Hamba Africa to spend time volunteering at the research camp in Welgevonden game reserve. During my 3 weeks with Hamba Africa, Harry, our knowledgeable guide, blended entertainment with education during each game drive, making ...
We had an absolutely wonderful week with Harry and Marge at the research camp. We've learned a lot about conservation in south africa and the specifities of keeping big 5 in a reserve. Passion and knowledge were seen every minute of our trip. We were able to participate in vet interventions ...

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