The Great Projects

Supporter for Big Five Conservation

Randfontein, South Africa show on map
Aid Africa's wildlife conservation by tracking extraordinary animals at some of the country's top game reserves, with a focus on the iconic ‘Big Five’! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

With a focus on the 'Big Five', this project offers you a unique opportunity to participate in the conservation of Africa's endangered species. Witness the unparalleled diversity of South African wildlife on some of the nation's top reserves!

About The Project 

As a volunteer, you will track and monitor an array of vulnerable wildlife species, working closely with wildlife monitors to track these animals and collect data on them. You may witness rhinos, wild dogs, elephants and more during your time spent as a volunteer, but one thing is for sure: your time here will certainly be memorable!

Zululand's biodiversity is renowned, and the lands are of the most productive in the world. Sadly, conservation efforts face tremendous challenges such as rapid fragmentation of organic habitat due to human intervention, inadequate funding for monitoring and research to aid conservation, and of course, the detriment of poaching activities in the area. 

For the duration of the project, you will work in close groups of no more than 5 per reserve where you will cultivate intimate bonds with expert monitors, witnessing professional wildlife conservation experience in action. This project is the only conservation organisation in South Africa to boast support from the WWF, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and other world-famous conservation authorities - so why not become a part of their efforts?

Prior To Arrival 

You will need to arrive into Richards Bay airport (via Johannesburg) the day before your project begins. We recommend booking a B&B near the airport as you will need to return there on your project start date by 12pm for your transfer. If it is not possible to fly in a day early, then you will need to ensure you arrive on a flight that arrives into Richards Bay by no later than 11am, as to allow time to collect your bags before being transferred at 12pm.

Typical day

First Day 

If you arrived one day prior to the project start date, you will need to return to Richards Bay Airport from your B&B as to meet the project coordinator and to begin your journey to the project site. After you arrive, you will be given time to settle in and meet your fellow volunteers! 

Project Days

On a regular day, you can expect to leave camp at sunrise in an open 4x4 vehicle to track collared wildlife on the reserves. You will observe and record data on these animals. After a relaxing lunch back at camp, you will head out to do it all again, keeping your eyes peeled for countless species along the way. 

You may take part in the following activities throughout the duration of your stay:

Wildlife Monitoring And Tracking 

Work alongside expert wildlife monitors assisting them in a number of activities, such as the daily tracking and location of priority species - from wild dog to cheetah, rhino to vulture, there's so much to learn about the wildlife here in South Africa!

Data Collection

As well as monitoring the animals on the reserve, you will be taught how to map their locations using GPS equipment and telemetry. You may also record information on their group composition and behaviours, such as feeding patterns, retaining information for research purposes.

Wildlife Photography

You will be asked to take photographs of the animals, and when necessary, create identikits for reintroduced or relocated animals. Camera traps are a key part of the research carried out by the project for collecting data and observing wildlife in specific areas, so you may help to set up such devices at watering holes and game trails. 

Data Analysis

You will spend at least one day per week putting all gathered information into the project's own computer database allowing them to analyse all findings: the more the project knows about its animals, the more they can do to protect them.

Other Activities

From time to time, you may be invited to help out with additional activities, such as animal releases, collaring, and notching (a form of identity marking on species such as rhino). These activities are entirely dependent on necessity, so are not a given, but should you have the opportunity to assist you will gain a unique insight into the nature and importance of conservation work.

PLEASE NOTE: Itineraries are subject to change and the information provided is simply a rough guideline. 

The Final Day

Sadly, your final day has arrived, so you will be transferred back to the airport to fly home or to commence your onward travel plans!

Details on Arrival

Available Dates

The project begins every two weeks, but this is subject to availability. 

Please get in touch to see if your desired start date is available! 

Visa Information

UK passport holders (as well as holders of Australian, American, Canadian, and most other EU passports) do not require a visa for South Africa. You will be issued a 3-month permit upon your arrival at no cost, but do ensure that the correct arrival date and length of time in the country is entered onto your visa at immigration. Please note that visas are of the volunteers own responsibility, and that requirements specific to your own country need to be checked. Please consult your South African embassy.

Free-time activities

During the evening your time will be spent at leisure. Spend time socialising with your fellow volunteers, building life-long bonds and sharing unforgettable memories, or simply relaxing after your delicious evening meal. 

Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports

Program 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 (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Health Declarations
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Moderate Level Of Fitness
Hardworking And Passionate Member Of A Team
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if The Great Projects cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Great Projects.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
The Great Projects (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by The Great Projects

Where Your Money Goes


  • Accommodation, food and volunteer activities
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • A conservation donation to the project to help support the animals
  • Project development to ensure the best project for all involved
  • Administration fees and additional company costs

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

Your transfers from the airport to the project site and back again will be arranged in coordination with the project site. 

Accommodation

The project accommodation is situated right within the project site, where you and one other person will share a room with beds, mattresses bed linens and pillows provided for each volunteer. A shared kitchen area is home to various cooking appliances with an outside seating, dining and BBQ area. The accommodation is fit with running hot water, flushing toilets and electricity. 

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Food and drink will be provided for 3 meals a day, and volunteers will alternate preparing meals in the shared kitchen area. 

Internet Access
Good 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 O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. 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.
Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,417
4 weeks
$ 2,324
6 weeks
$ 3,330
8 weeks
$ 4,007
10 weeks
$ 4,654
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 5,301
Average fees
$ 575 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Randfontein/South Africa between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
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.
  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Randfontein, Hluhluwe

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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