from 1,812€

Excellent 4.8rating (59)

Endangered Wildlife Monitoring and Research

location
2 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Excellent 4.8  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Excellent response rate

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

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

About the program

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

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 ...

About the program

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, ...

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 ...

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


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 (basic level)

Nationality Restrictions

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

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures

3 meals a day, shared volunteer accommodation at bush camps, meeting you at the Richards Bay airport on arrival, airport collection and drop-off from Richards Bay Airport.

Airport, pre-departure support, in-country staff, 24- emergency help and more.

Airport Pickup at Richards Bay Airport

Airport pick up and drop off from Richards Bay Airport is included. 

The arrival flight must be on the Monday the project starts before 12:30 as the volunteer shuttle leaves at 14:45.

The departure flight on the Monday the project ends, must be after 12:30 as ity is some distance from the reserves to Richards Bay Airport. 

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 (braai) area. Couples, families (if family members are over 18 years old) and friends can be accommodated

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?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Richards Bay Airport (RCB) in Richards Bay. 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

Starting and finishing days are set Mondays. 

2024
  • 27 May
  • 10 or 24 June
  • 08 or 22 July
  • 05 or 19 August
  • 02, 16 or 30 September
  • 14 or 28 October
  • 11 or 25 November
  • 09 or 23 December

2025 

  • 06 or 20 January
  • 03 or 17 February
  • 3, 17 or 31 March
  • 14 or 28 April
  • 12 or 26 May
  • 09 to 23 June
  • 07 or 21 July
  • 04 to 18 August
  • 01, 15 or 29 September
  • 13 or 27 October
  • 10 or 24 November
  • 08 to 22 December

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

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 1,812€
4 weeks 2,938€
6 weeks 4,062€
8 weeks 5,188€
10 weeks 6,312€
12 weeks (max. stay) 7,438€
Average fees 762€/week

Program fees

762€ 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 Volunteer Int. Adventures during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

Volunteer Int. Adventures

Excellent 4.8 rating (59 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2020

Verified by Volunteer World

  Excellent response rate

Coordinated by

Sharon

Spoken languages: Afrikaans, English

About the project

We are a small, personal, hands-on volunteer organisation with 15 years experience of working with volunteers in conservation and humanitarian projects on the ground.

Meet your organization

Volunteer International Adventures is dedicated to youth and animal projects, which are areas of great passion for us. We recognize the need for assistance from international volunteers in developing countries and have witnessed the transformative impact of their hands-on involvement on communities and conservation efforts.


Our core priorities are as follows:


1. Culture and Cultural Sensitivity:

We encourage our volunteers to fully immerse themselves in the culture of the country they are volunteering in, understanding that volunteering differs significantly from being a tourist. By working closely with local communities and project partners, our volunteers gain profound insights into the challenges faced by the country. We actively support and facilitate opportunities for volunteers to engage in various activities, interact with locals, and educate themselves about the nation's history, no matter how difficult it may be. Cultural sensitivity is paramount, and we ensure that our approach is collaborative rather than imposing our own ideas. We welcome suggestions and creative ideas from our volunteers, as they often prove to be feasible and enrich the communities we serve.


2. Fulfilling Volunteer Experiences:

We strive to ensure that all our volunteers leave with a sense of accomplishment. Whether it is helping a child grasp mathematics, teaching cricket to school children, providing sewing classes to uplift youth, participating in wildlife conservation efforts such as satellite collaring African wild dogs or rhino relocation, collecting data on great white shark populations, treating sick indigenous wildlife, assisting with animal sterilization in disadvantaged communities, instilling a love for reading in children, or teaching marimba classes—the list is diverse and extensive. We want our volunteers to develop a deep connection with the country they are assisting and forge lifelong friendships that can serve as future ambassadors for their respective nations.


3. Ethical Projects:

We strictly oppose trophy hunting and the breeding of lions for commercial gain. Our wildlife and animal projects take place in free-roaming reserves, registered rehabilitation centers, or sanctuaries where the animals are non-releasable due to injuries, human habituation, or being non-indigenous to the area. We support local and ethical animal sanctuaries and reserves, which our volunteers can visit during their free time. When working with children in teaching, care, or youth development projects, we require a recent paper copy of a background check (CRB check) from volunteers' countries of origin. This precaution ensures the safety and well-being of the children we serve, who often come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and have been let down by adults in the past. We prioritize the protection of innocent animals and children who cannot advocate for themselves.


4. Responsible and Sustainable Approach:

We take pride in implementing responsible and sustainable projects that involve local community members, ensuring the continuity of operations even when volunteer numbers are low. While some projects rely heavily on volunteer support due to limited funds, we strive to strike a balance by involving sufficient local participation.


5. Cost Effectiveness:

Having collaborated with volunteers on projects for nearly 15 years, we recognize that volunteering can come at a significant cost. Therefore, we are committed to making volunteering more accessible, reasonable, and inclusive. Our projects encompass various extras, and we maintain affordability by keeping costs low and encouraging increased hands-on assistance. We offer negotiable family, friends, and group discounts, as volunteering together enables us to further reduce expenses. Loyalty is rewarded, and returning volunteers receive special recognition in our projects. Additionally, our costs include donations to our projects, contributing to their sustainability and impact.


6. Safety:

The safety of our volunteers is of paramount importance. We thoroughly vet and assess all our projects, ensuring adequate safety measures are in place. While certain areas may be off-limits due to potential risks, it is important to note that complete safety guarantees are impossible in any location. We have established channels for reporting incidents and maintain close relationships with in-country support on the ground. Furthermore, we possess liability insurance and require all participants to have personal travel insurance. To provide comprehensive support, we arrange airport collections and drop-offs, ensuring our volunteers are assisted throughout their entire journey. We pride ourselves on delivering a personal touch and remain available 24/7 to address any emergencies.


Please remember to arrange your comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking your trip, as it is an essential aspect of ensuring your well-being and peace of mind.


We sincerely appreciate your interest in Volunteer International Adventures and our commitment to making a positive impact through responsible volunteering. Should you have any further questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

59 reviews · rating4.8

I have absolutely loved my experience in South Africa volunteering with Endangered Wildlife Monitoring and Research, and I am sad that I have to leave in a few days. By the time I leave I will have spent six weeks in South Africa, so I've been lucky enough to volunteer at all three of the reserves ...
I had the most amazing time with a wonderful group of fellow volunteers and wildlife monitors. The monitors were full of knowledge and happy to share. With their help I added 70 new birds to my life list. I saw so many species of Wildlife I had never thought I would see in the wild. Gareth and ...
I had a wonderful time in this ethical sanctuary. Lauren and Keegan are amazing people who know what they are doing. I learned a lot about cats among experts and I fell in love again with those beautiful animals. The location is just perfect, you will sleep in a good accomodation on top of an hill ...
Karine Bottiglieri rating5

2024 at Whales, Sharks and Penguins Conservation

truly exceptional, Where to start, the warm and sincere welcome. I am French, my English is average, but they made themselves available to me, they took the time to explain to me so that I understood, always with a smile and patience. the whole team goes out of their way to show you the wonders of ...
Anja Jutta Scharer rating4.4

2024 at Vervet Monkey Rescue & Rehabilitation

If you would like to get involved in an animal project and have a love for monkeys, Carol and Steve are the right people for you. They are incredibly experienced, dedicated and care about every single animal life. It is important to know that they can only pursue their passion with many helping ...
Esther Burden rating5

2024 at Big Cat Sanctuary on a Wildlife Reserve

I would 100% recommend this excellent volunteer programme to anyone interested in big cats. I know now that i didn’t do enough research about the lion industry and ethical vs non-ethical sanctuarys before my three-month stay at this sanctuary, but i was very lucky to end up somewhere where the ...

Location


You might also be interested in

Contact Sharon
  Excellent response rate
Afrikaans, English

Most volunteers ask about


Do you have any more questions? Send a message to Sharon
Please do not share personal contact details for your privacy