Game Reserve Volunteering - South Africa

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


Support a project that is as authentic as it can get - from locals and for its local wildlife: passionate, experienced and sustainable
Don't just talk - learn and see what Wildlife Conservation means, get active and broaden your horizon!
Vital field experiential education contribute to your future career goals
Be part of an international team, make friends and memories for lifetime
Enjoy weekend excursions to Port Elizabeth
Relocate to the incredible setting of the South African bush for the animal encounter of a lifetime, working closely with the entire spectrum of safari wildlife on a work This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The Project:

Participants on this volunteering program stay at a private Game Reserve about an hour NE of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The Reserve was set up on old agricultural land and covers around 6,000 hectares, with a perimeter stretching over 80 km. On this unique project, you live and work at the park, actively helping with the effort to protect endangered species in an area home to all of Africa’s Big 5 - Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Elephants and Cape Buffalo.

The Reserve engages in extensive and vital conservation programs, as without these conservation efforts, wildlife in the area would not be sustainable.      

Volunteer Role:

As a volunteer, the activities you can look forward to participating in include, but are not limited to:

  • Removal of alien vegetation
  • Lion tracking and monitoring
  • Tree planting and landscaping
  • Flora & Fauna workshops
  • Wilderness trail walks and patrols
  • Fence patrol
  • Game counts (in season)
  • Game captures & tracking (in season)

Typical day


During your time on the Reserve, you will also learn a number of key skills from the many guides and animal experts who work there, including:

  • Orientation in the bush
  • Introduction to wild animals
  • Animal tracking (footprints) 
  • Bush survival skills
  • Various tree species and their benefits/ harms
  • Anti-poaching and fence patrol

Life on the Reserve:

You will start your days volunteering at 0830 and finish at approximately 1630 Monday to Friday, with timely breaks for re-fuelling! Food is varied and plentiful, with western favourites as well as local specialities available.

Your home away from home will be comfy dormitories shared with other volunteers. Dorms are single sex, with 2-bed partitioned areas for privacy. Volunteers at the centre come from all over the world, creating a lively community of like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Weekend Excursions:

Weekends are free time. Either relax and un-wind at the Reserve, enjoying the park and its close-knit community, or head out on a weekend excursion to Port Elizabeth. Transport and shared hostel accommodation for weekend excursions are included in your fees.

Free-time activities

Weekends are free time. Either hang out at the Reserve, enjoying the park and its close-knit community, or head out on a weekend excursion to Port Elizabeth. Transport (subject to scheduled times) and shared hostel accommodation for weekend excursions are included in your fees. If you would like to upgrade to private accommodation, volunteers are welcome to do so but at your own cost. Volunteers are also free to organize their own excursions around the Eastern Cape Province at their own cost.
Water Sports


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)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Commitment and passion for nature, animals and Africa, fluency in English, teamwork
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Gapforce
Included in the price is accommodation, 3 meals a day from Monday to Friday and brunch and dinner on the weekends, project equipment and project training, return airport transfer and project donation. 
Airport Pickup at Port Elizabeth International Airport

A dedicated transfer service to and from Port Elizabeth runs at set times every weekend.

If multiple volunteers are arriving on the same day, you may have to wait for the last arrival to land. Transfer time may vary for this reason. If your outbound flight departs on Sunday morning, you will be transferred to Port Elizabeth (as per the above schedule) the day before and provided with accommodation so that you can be fresh for your journey. Should you be departing on the Monday or later, you will have the choice of going on the weekend excursion and staying over in Port Elizabeth on the Sunday night, or spending your last weekend on the Reserve and returning to Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon to spend the night there. 

Your home away from home will be comfy dormitories shared with other volunteers. Dorms sleep up to 20, with 2-bed partitioned areas for privacy. Sleeping areas are single sex, with shared lounge and dining areas for all. Wi-Fi is available throughout. In some cases where volunteers want to stay as a couple, this can be arranged at an extra cost and also depends on the availability of rooms, unless arrangements were made prior to arrival. A laundry service is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays subject to a nominal fee.
Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages
All your hard work will give you an appetite to match your favourite Big 5 animal. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered:

Breakfast: 0930 – 1000
Lunch: 1300 – 1400
Dinner: 1800 – 1900

Basic breakfast consists of cereals, bread, butter, jam, tea, coffee and cheese, with extras like eggs, sausages
or baked beans. Western menus feature heavily for lunch and dinner with as much variety as possible, ranging
from burgers, chicken and chips, vegetarian dishes, potato casserole etc. You definitely won’t go hungry!
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 Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ) in Port Elizabeth. 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.
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


Details on arrival

Arrival and Departure
Your entry and exit point when travelling to South Africa is Port Elizabeth International Airport. You must arrive on a Monday in time to catch your 16:00 transfer to the Reserve. The reserve is approximately 85km NE of Port Elizabeth. Homeward flights should also depart on a Monday, if possible. If you choose to stay in Port Elizabeth after your program has ended then you will need to organise your own accommodation and transport to the airport.

If you would like some help booking your flight then let us know and we can provide you with details of flight providers.

We are able to offer this program on a rolling basis, meaning you can start on any Monday starting from November 2021. If your ideal travel dates aren't shown below do contact us and we can arrange a date for you!
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 4 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$738 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Gapforce 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 Gapforce 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 Gapforce 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 Gapforce.

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Game Reserve Volunteering - South Africa

Relocate to the incredible setting of the South African bush for the animal encounter of a lifetime, working closely with the entire spectrum of safari wildlife on a work


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