Wildlife Conservation Internship

Agency
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founded in 1998
Bella
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Coordinator | Bella
Coordinator | Bella
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Start your career in conservation off right with three months of training and another three-month work placement.
Listen to the quiet hush of the wild open spaces, waking each morning to a chorus of savannah birds and drifting off to the nighttime hum of endemic frogs and crickets.
Learn to identify predators, like lions, cheetahs, and leopards, as well as megaherbivores like elephants and rhinos.
Live and work alongside Field Guide Association of South Africa, FGASA, qualified guides, growing personally and professionally by learning from their experiences.
Earn an ILM Endorsed Leadership Certificate as well as an EFR qualification, and complete a Biological Survey Techniques program.
Travel to SA to work alongside FGASA trained field guides on critical wildlife conservation initiatives while gaining experience needed for a career in conservation. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
50+

Join top local as well as international organisations such as Elephants Alive and World Wildlife Trust as they work on critical conservation which contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #15, Life on Land. 

Situated on a game reserve you will be surrounded by some of the most incredible fauna and flora. As an intern you could expect to be involved in key conservation efforts on the reserve, the main one being the tracking and documentation of the number of species within the reserve. Other conservation activities you could be involved in include prohibitng destruction of plants by Elephants; control Cheetah feeding habits and the success of their integration into the reserve; anti rhino poaching initiatives as well as environmental education classes in the local community. 

You will be motivated to generate new solutions and propose new elements to improve contribution to conservation in the reserve in South Africa. 

Interns are required to complete weekly assignments and host leadership days. While on program, interns are supported by a dedicated mentor.

This internship includes three online courses which must be completed in order to obtain a certificate offered in partnership with the University of Richmond in the United States:

  • Wildlife Conservation 
  • Leadership Training
  • Career Development 
On completion of 3 months on this program, you will advance to a 3 month placement within a work environment. You may stay on with us as field staff taking on new responsibilities, or be based at a partner conservation organisation, at a private nature reserve, or an ecotourism lodge catering to tourists.

After successful completion of this internship, you will be offered two career coaching sessions as well as gain access to a job portal. 

Are you looking to pursue a career in conservation? Why not upgrade to a career internship.

The career upgrade offers you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience by working with partner orginisations in multiple locations. This combination of having a virtual experience  on top of on the ground experience are qualities that are highly sought after by employers.  

Do you have an independent research topic to complete? Why not upgrade to an research internship.

Gain valuable experience and collect data for a dissertation or thesis. This program offers virtual check ins with a research supervisor who has extensive experience and credentials in this sector. As a research intern, your main focus will be collecting or analyzing data and writing a paper. 

JOB GUARANTEE: for both the Career & Research internship, we offer a job guarantee for those who join for a minimum of 6 months with a 50% cash back guarantee (terms and conditions apply).

Get in touch for more information!


Typical day

Participants are expected to remain flexible as project work changes based on weather as well as needs of our project partners. 

Estimated Schedule:
  • 5 or 6am: Wake up call
  • 6 - 10 am: First Drive
  • 12pm: Lunch
  • 1pm - 4pm: Second Drive
  • 6pm: Dinner 
  • 9pm: Bed Time
As an intern, you will be heading out on 1 drive a day. You will also have weekly sessions with your mentor. 
On placement, you will be working as a full time intern. Days can be long but are rewarding! 

Free-time activities

By participating in this program, you are not only offered an opportunity to work toward conserving ecosystems but also the opportunity to see local sites! Our dedicated field staff are the best resource when researching local trips, they have compiled this list of activities. 

These side trips are not included in the program fee but are highly recommended: 
  • Skiing in the Drakensberg Mountain Range
  • Bungee Jumping & Ziplining
  • Hoedspruit Reptile Center
  • Kruger National Park
  • Kalahari Dessert (a bit further away but worth a visit)
  • Cape Town (a 2 hour flight away) 
  • Blyde River Canyon
The possibilities are endless! 

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/
Music
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Sports
Riding
Winter Sports
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.
Other Skills
No specific skills required, all training is provided online 8 weeks prior to program start through self paced training materials.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

What's Included

Services by GVI

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Certification and summary of training and experience received
  • Confidential professional reference
  • Final evaluation
  • First Aid & CPR training and certification
  • Leading biological surveys course
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Research training
  • Reserve fees and permits
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Teamwork and leadership experience
  • Telemetry training as relevant
  • Weekly evaulation with your mentor
  • Welcome meeting
  • Wildlife identification techniques
  • Work placement - if successful during the first 12 weeks of the internship

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Airport and reserve transfers
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship
  • Internal transport to placements
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Airport Pickup at Hoedspruit Airport

Airport pick up available from Hoedspruit Airport within specified time period. 

Accommodation

Based in Karongwe game reserve, just a short drive away from the Kruger National Park. Live in a renovated farmhouse surrounded by wildlife. 

Accommodation facilities are shared dormitories and can be considered basic.


On placement accommodation is included and may close to your work placement. 


Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Meals are prepared by participants although all ingredients are provided, mostly vegetarian diet and most dietary requirements can be catered for. 

Meals while on placement may not be included so be sure to budget a bit extra to cover these costs. 

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 Hoedspruit Airport (HDS) in Hoedspruit. 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

2021


  • 03 Apr 2021
  • 01 May 2021
  • 29 May 2021
  • 26 Jun 2021
  • 24 Jul 2021
  • 21 Aug 2021
  • 18 Sep 2021
2022
  • 08 Jan 2022
  • 05 Feb 2022
  • 05 Mar 2022
  • 02 Apr 2022
  • 30 Apr 2022
  • 28 May 2022
  • 25 Jun 2022
  • 23 Jul 2022
  • 20 Aug 2022
  • 17 Sep 2022
  • 15 Oct 2022
  • 12 Nov 2022

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
24 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
24 weeks (min. stay)
$14,789
24 weeks (max. stay)
$14,789
Average fees
$616 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. GVI 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 GVI during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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 GVI 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 GVI.

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Wildlife Conservation Internship

Travel to SA to work alongside FGASA trained field guides on critical wildlife conservation initiatives while gaining experience needed for a career in conservation.

$485/week

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