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Nkonzo Bush Academy

Wildlife Conservation Experience

Mossel Bay, South Africa

Make an active difference in the future of free-roaming megafauna in Africa. Spend your days working in the bush and live at the beach; all while making a difference.

About the Program

Nkonzo Bush Academy is a popular and highly regarded destination for research, conservation and ecotourism. Founded on the dream of being different, the name Nkonzo comes from the language of Lingala in central Africa meaning possibility or new beginnings. At Nkonzo we believe in the bigger picture; creating experiences that not only focus on the ethical wellbeing of all animals, both human and not, and the future of the environment by making a positive impact on the conservation industry and the lives of African wildlife. We're working for a better future by showing the world what wildlife is supposed to look like and how we can coexist together.

The Wildlife Conservation Program is focused on giving students the experience necessary to be able to work on a wildlife reserve. Students are exposed to the daily running of reserve projects and will assist in conservation initiatives set out by the game reserve.  The day after arrival is allocated for orientation with team and project introductions as well as more information pertaining to daily tasks and schedules, day three in South Africa signifies the first day in the field. Each weekday students travel to the reserve to complete training and reserve field work. Fridays are set out for lectures and workshops which will take place in town. Weekends are set aside for leisure time that will be spent in the coastal town of Mossel Bay, where students are free to explore and take advantage of the local culture and tourism activities.  Program duration varies based on your needs and ranges from two weeks to six months.

Schedule and Tasks

The first portion of the program will be focused on High Profile Animal Training, reserve safety, bush survival, and wildlife ethics. The goal of this training is exposure to various conservation, approach, and behavioral reading methods to ensure no disturbance on the part of humans towards wildlife. Focusing on ethics and the safety of both humans and the animals being approached, participants learn how to effectively work, approach wildlife, and survive in the bush with methods on foot and in 4x4 vehicles.  The skills gained will allow for safe participation for the remainder of the program as well as in any future endeavors in the wildlife conservation industry.

Training includes but is not limited to:
  • Dangerous Game Approach Methods
  • Animal Track and Sign
  • Animal Behavior
  • Bush Survival
  • Geology
  • Botany
  • Ecology
  • Astronomy
  • Wildlife Ethics
  • Venomous Snakes
  • ​Biomes Southern Africa

Conservation Initiatives

During this part of the program students will be involved in various conservation initiatives and projects within the game reserve. Projects and initiatives are based on previously founded ecological and cognitive knowledge to better improve the welfare of current and future wildlife in Southern Africa.  Students assist in all aspects of current reserve needs regarding projects and daily operations. Primary student work will be dedicated to assistance within wildlife management regarding various long term projects. Participation with this program allows for better understanding of careers in wildlife conservation to ascertain whether the industry is the correct choice as a career for students. 

Typical day

Volunteers wake up next to the beach as the sun rises over the mountains where they enjoy breakfast that has been prepared for them before departing to the reserve for daily activities. Fulls days are spent on the reserve where volunteers first receive dangerous game and bush survival training so that they may safely conduct and work on a reserve with free-roaming wildlife. In the later parts of the month each day is dedicated to assisting in conservation initiatives that directly promote the longevity and welfare of wildlife. This includes working on white rhino gestation and post natal behavior, elephant carrying capacity, and alien plant species removal. The program includes a mixture of hands-on field training and experience as well as talks and lectures to tie together academic information and field experience. Weekends are reserved for leisure where volunteers can choose a variety of extra activities such as white shark cage diving, sand-boarding, bungee jumping, sky diving, and much more!

Free-time activities

Volunteers have the opportunity to choose from more than 50 activities, day trips, and over night trips to keep busy on the weekends. All of these can be booked upon arrival and will give volunteers an amazing opportunity to experience the true South Africa. Volunteers can make use of over night tours on the weekends to explore a greater area in South Africa, such as wine country, back country hiking, visit penguin colonies, or climb through historic caves.

There are also a multitude of day trips or half day activities available. Want to learn to surf? You can. Want to learn to sand-board? You can. Ever dreamed of riding a horse on the beach? You can do that too!

Of the many options available, the most popular are White Shark Cage Diving, watching the sun set on the beach after the day, surfing, viewing the local heritage sites, hiking, going to the local markets, bungee jumping, and horseback safaris.

Water 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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
CV, medical insurance and registration form
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:30

Suitable for


Any questions? Just ask. We at Nkonzo Bush Academy are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation

Included Services

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Nkonzo Bush Academy cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Nkonzo Bush Academy.
Services by Nkonzo Bush Academy

Included in the program is transfers to and from the George Airport, dormitory style accommodation, conservation fees, work related transportation, breakfast 7 days per week, lunch five days per week.

Airport Pickup at George Airport

Volunteers can be picked up from the George Airport (GRJ) or the Mossel Bay Bus Stop. One of our team members will meet you there and take you to your accommodation for the month.


Volunteers stay in a shared dorm room (separated by gender) in backpacker style accommodation. Bathrooms are either ensuite to the room or down the hall. A fully stocked kitchen is available for cooking dinner and extra snacks.

The accommodation facility is extremely safe with gated and 24/7 security, outdoor swimming pool, fully equipped in house park, daily cleaning service, self catering kitchen, adventure center, and is only a five minute walk from the local beach!

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Breakfast is included seven days per week, basic lunches are included five days per week on the reserve. Dinners are self catering as is weekend lunches. Volunteers are responsible for their own cool drinks and snacks.

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 George Airport (GRJ) in George. 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Mossel Bay/South Africa between 2 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Nkonzo Bush Academy 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 Nkonzo Bush Academy during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Africa Southern Africa South Africa Mossel Bay, 39 Louis Fourie
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