South African Students Travel Service (SASTS)

Game Reserve Assistant

Port Elizabeth, South Africa show on map

Volunteer at a Game Reserve that hosts the BIG 5 and support the local staff in monitoring the animals and conserving the environment.

About the Program

The Wildlife Project is situated approximately 45 minutes from Port Elizabeth. The reserve is on 6000 hectares of land which is filled with a variety of game, bird life and wild animals, including the BIG 5! In addition to the mixture of grasslands, sub-tropical vegetation, fynbos and bushveld, it also has naturally formed pockets of water, amazing rock formations and splendid flora.

As the wildlife programme is based in Port Elizabeth and participants need to book their flights direct from their home country to Port Elizabeth. The programme begins on a Monday and ends on a Sunday. Participants must arrange their flights to arrive at Port Elizabeth airport before 4pm on the Monday to be in time for their shuttle which collects them at the airport and transfers them to the wildlife project. The programme is designed for volunteers that are interested in having a truly African experience while making a difference to the local wildlife and environment.

Structure and Facilities 

  • Volunteers are placed in staff housing (fully furnished) 
  • Separate housing for male and female volunteers 
  • Recreational activities are limited on the game reserve 
  • Weekend getaways to the city can be arranged every alternative weekend.

The reserve’s farm area has expanded into a “plains sanctuary” which is a sanctuary for orphaned and injured non dangerous animals such as zebra, springbuck, etc.  It also boasts a lion rehabilitation camp which has been established and running quite successfully. This area (approximately 300 hectares) is where the lions from the predator educational and rehabilitation center go to before being released into the wild. This eases them into the process. Their white lions have also had their first baby! Unfortunately the first time mother has been having trouble looking after the cub and they have had to intervene and hand rear the cub. The cub is now doing well and will be moving into its own enclosure in the near future.  

Typical day

Usual working days go from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM and include the following activities.

  • Game capture
  • Visitor management 
  • Accompanying guides on game drives
  • Clearing paths
  • Tracking animals
  • Mending fences
  • Animal counting
  • Animal feeding
  • Removal of alien vegetation in and around the reserve
  • Wildlife structures
  • Tree planting and landscaping
  • Fauna and flora work in the nursery
  • Wilderness trail walks and patrols, etc.

Details on Arrival

The Wildlife South Africa Programmes has set arrival dates and the programme begins on a Monday and ends on a Sunday.  

- 04, 11, 18 & 25 June

- 02, 09, 16, 23 & 30 July

-06, 13, 20 & 27 August

-03, 10, 17 & 24 September

-01, 08, 15, 22 & 29 October

-05, 12, 19 & 26 November


Free-time activities

On weekends you will be send out for excursions between Saturday and Sunday. The excursions will either be to Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, or any other nearby destination. On these excursions please note that the reserve will only provide you with accommodation and transport to and from your destination. Accommodation will be in dorms and if you would like to upgrade yourself, you are welcome to do so but at your own cost. For those participating in their Garden Route tours, they recommend that you stay behind on the weekend to fully enjoy the wildlife component and go into PE on Monday. You are free to participate in the weekend excursions, but the meals for the Monday will then be for your own account. They also offer Addo excursions through a travel agent and the reserve can assist you with these arrangements. Since these excursions are done by an agent, volunteers need to pay for their accommodation, activities and meals which will form part of their excursion package. You are also free to organize your own excursion, but this will be at your own cost.
You are also free to stay behind during the weekends to relax and unwind at the reserve.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Winter Sports
Yoga/Meditation

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)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
A love and passion for animals and the outdoors, willingness to get one’s hands dirty, ability to work in sometimes unpleasant weather conditions.

Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

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 South African Students Travel Service (SASTS) 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 South African Students Travel Service (SASTS).

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
South African Students Travel Service (SASTS) (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 South African Students Travel Service (SASTS)

• Schedules return transfers from airport in Port Elizabeth - Guided wildlife tour - 1 Reserve T-shirt & Cap - Orientation on arrival - Meals whilst on Reserve - Shared Accommodation - Optional Weekend transport between Saturday and Sunday to either Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, or any nearby destination which includes transport and accommodation only.

Airport Pickup at Port Elizabeth International Airport

The reserve runs scheduled transfers to and from the airport since they are about 45 minutes from Port Elizabeth.
Sunday: Reserve to Port Elizabeth (departs 6:00 PM)
Monday: Port Elizabeth to Reserve (departs 4:00 PM)
Saturday: Reserve to Port Elizabeth (departs 9:00 AM)

If you are not comfortable with leaving on the scheduled transfer, a transfer can be organized for you at an extra cost and depending on availability.

Accommodation

You will be housed in dorms. The dorms are single sex dorms, no boys are allowed in the girl’s dorms and no girls in boy’s dorms. In 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.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Meals: Breakfast: 09:30 Am - 10:00 AM // Lunch: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM // Supper: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Your basic breakfast consists of cereals, bread, butter, jam, tea, coffee and cheese, but sometimes eggs, sausages or baked beans, and sometimes a combination of the above. As for lunch and dinner you will have a wide variety ranging from burgers, chicken and chips, vegetarian dishes, potato casserole and so on. Please note meals will be served either at the restaurant or at the volunteer’s quarters.

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.
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)
$1,200.00
3 weeks
$1,700.00
4 weeks
$2,100.00
5 weeks
$2,600.00
6 weeks
$3,000.00
7 weeks
$3,500.00
8 weeks
$3,950.00
10 weeks
$4,950.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$5,900.00
Average fees
$546.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Port Elizabeth/South Africa between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. South African Students Travel Service (SASTS) 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 South African Students Travel Service (SASTS) during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Port Elizabeth, Kwantu Private Game Reserve

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