Endangered Wildlife Monitoring and Research

Volunteer Int. Adventures
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Coordinator | Sharon
Coordinator | Sharon
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Work with a team of volunteers assisting a wildlife monitor on some of Zululand's finest wildlife reserve teaming with the most incredible animals found in Africa
As you will be volunteering with free-roaming wild animals, it is very difficult to predict what you may be asked to assist with and every wildlife reserve has a specific need and priority species
Learn how to use equipment like telemetry tracking, camera traps and GPS equipment and how to identify different individual animals. Great practical experience for those studying related fields.
The opportunity to work on multiple reserves depending on the length of your stay. For 2 weeks, you will work on 1 reserve, but for every additional 2 weeks you stay, you will rotate reserves
Experience truly wild African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Rhino, Elephant, Leopard, Lion, Vultures and other magnificent wildlife in a true African bush experience... sunsets are unforgettable
Volunteer with endangered species with a team of dedicated conservationists, researchers and wildlife experts on protected reserves- a true African bush experience This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Numerous wildlife reserves within South Africa cannot afford to fund a dedicated monitoring team due to finances which affect staff numbers. Volunteer and be part of a small dedicated team providing a monitoring service in order to ensure the safety of these endangered species and filling this much needed gap

Please be aware that as these are all truly wild animals that are not human-habituated, no hands-on contact takes place unless under exceptional situations when the animals are sedated and strict supervision of the monitors, other conservation experts and veterinary supervision. The animals are free roaming over large tracts of land to live a natural life and breed as nature intended. You will need to be physically in good health for this conservation project as sometimes tracking is done on foot.

Your daily duties for which you will be practically trained by your wildlife monitors may include:

  • The daily tracking and locating of priority species wildlife in the wild, seated on an open 4×4 vehicle, using radio telemetry equipment. You will be taught how to telemetry track satellite collared wildlife for research 
  • Mapping the sightings using GPS equipment. You will be taught how to use the equipment.
  • Observing animal behaviour (e.g. wild dog pack dynamics) for research purposes.
  • Photographing and creating identity kits (for recently reintroduced relocated animals).
  • Periodically setting up camera traps at watering holes and game trails.
  • Assisting with ongoing game counts if needed.

Occasionally through out the year other activities take place in which volunteers can take part in but this is not guaranteed:

  • Radio collaring of animals.
  • Notching (identity marking) of animals such as Rhino.
  • Night tracking excursions – for example Hyaenas.
  • Animal Call-Ups (for example Lion)
  • Relocation or re-introduction of endangered species.
  • Vulture counts and nest surveys.
  • Bird ringing & alien plant control

Working with wildlife is unpredictable and volunteers need to realise this and try and be flexible. This also means that sometimes there are very early starts and late endings to the duties of the day, but you will have plenty time at midday when the sun is at its hottest, to have a break to relax.

Each Reserve has a different focus in terms of the work being done. While the project does plan and follow basic schedules, the nature of the work being done dictates that the animals and their environment are our number-one priority, and therefore our schedules may at times have to be altered due to unforeseen circumstances or incidents within this wild and dynamic environment.

The primary function of the volunteer teams with their wildlife monitor, is to provide the vital monitoring service for these reserves, and that does take up most of the time as tracking wildlife can be a time-consuming task!

Typical day

Every day in the African bush working with free-roaming wildlife is different so our schedule is a rough idea of how your day could be...


Wake up before sunrise to freshen up and prepare yourself a quick bite to eat and a coffee before the days volunteer duties start.
Depending on the season, volunteers leave by vehicle before sunrise to locate the animals that needed to be monitored that day. Once sighted, you will monitor and capture data of the sighting, location and behaviour before moving on to the next species. If there is a situation like an injured or missing animal, you could find yourself out for a lot longer depending on the need.
Late morning, head back to the camp to prepare yourself something to eat and relax from the midday heat. If you are up for it, there are camp and garden maintenance tasks that need to be attended too. Or you might just want to have a quick shower to cool down.
Around 14:00 to 15:00 (depending on the season) you will go out again on the vehicle to try and track the animals that were not sighted in the morning session. 
After sunset return to the camp to prepare supper, enjoy a bush campfire and discuss the day before getting a good nights rest for the early start to the day.

Data capturing is crucial and this takes place between and during the morning and afternoon sessions or one afternoon a week to catch up.

Free-time activities

As you are in the heart of the African bush, there are no shops, restaurants, bars or nightlife in the area. That means you will need to enjoy the isolation and the sights and sounds of living in the bush. Bring a good book, take time to edit photos you might have taken, play a game of cards with the other volunteers or chat around the camp fire taking in the whole magical atmosphere of being under the African skies with their multitude of stars. As you are at a bush camp in a wildlife reserve with the Big 5, hiking is not permitted unless with your monitor and you may not stroll off from the camp

Safari/
Zoo
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

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 (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with Volunteer Int. Adventures straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures
3 meals a day, shared volunteer accommodation at bush camps, meeting you at Durban's King Shaka Airport, airport collection and drop-off, pre-departure support, in-country staff, 24- emergency help and more.
Airport Pickup at King Shaka International Airport
Airport pick up and drop off from King Shaka International Airport in Durban is included. The arrival flight must be on the Monday the project starts before 12:00 and the departure flight on the Monday the project ends, must be after 12:30. For a more diverse experience, a few days before or after your project at one of the beautiful beach holiday accommodations, are a great way to experience a little more of the area. Please let us know if you would need assistance. 


Accommodation
The volunteer accommodation is shared onsite camps within each reserve. It is basic but comfortable with essential amenities. Bedding is provided but please bring your own towels. Bathrooms are also shared as is the kitchen and dining area and most of the camps have a barbecue area. Couples, families (if family members are over 18 years old) and friends can be accommodated
Bungalow Camping
Food & Beverages
Food is provided for 3 meals a day and volunteers take turns to cook in the communal kitchen. Vegetarians can be accommodated for. Please let us know if you have any other dietary requirements when booking.
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.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban. 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.
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.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Starting and finishing days are set Mondays. 


2022
  • 05 or 19 September
  • 03, 17, or 31 October
  • 14 or 28 November
  • 12 or 26 December

2023

  • 09 or 23 January
  • 06 or 20 February
  • 06 or 20 March
  • 03 or 17 April
  • 01, 15, or 29 May
  • 12 or 26 June
  • 10 or 24 July
  • 07 or 21 August
  • 04 or 18 September
  • 02, 16, or 30 October
  • 13 or 27 November
  • 11 or 25 December 

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

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,624
4 weeks
$2,668
6 weeks
$3,712
8 weeks
$4,756
10 weeks
$5,800
12 weeks (max. stay)
$6,844
Average fees
$691 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Volunteer Int. Adventures 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 Volunteer Int. Adventures 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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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Volunteer Int. Adventures cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Volunteer Int. Adventures.

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Endangered Wildlife Monitoring and Research

Volunteer with endangered species with a team of dedicated conservationists, researchers and wildlife experts on protected reserves- a true African bush experience

$596/week

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