Volunteer at a Game Reserve that hosts the BIG 5.
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
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.
Usual working days go from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM and include the following 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.
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.
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.
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.