Wildlife Conservation & Monitoring

Get up close and personal with South Africa’s amazing wildlife by helping with game captures, monitoring, and fence patrols.

Wildlife volunteering focuses on helping in wildlife conservation. The majority of the volunteering will take place on a Big 4 game reserve where we have many rhino, leopard, buffalo and elephants. You will assist in the tracking and monitoring of these animals as it is vital for the reserve to understand their movements and behaviours. You will have the opportunity to get close to these amazing animals on a daily basis, and in turn will have the opportunity to learn a great deal about their behaviour.

The current projects that you would assist in include:

Tracking and Monitoring of Animals
You will be assisting in the tracking and monitoring of elephants, rhino and buffalo, as it is vital for the reserve to understand their behavior and movements. You will have the opportunity to get close to these amazing animals on a daily basis, and in turn learn a great deal about them.

Leopard Tracking Project
You will be involved in a leopard and hyena tracking project which currently monitors the movements of the leopards and hyenas on the reserve by the means of camera traps. Volunteers are needed to check these cameras frequently and record the sightings of these elusive animals.

Snake and Crocodile Park
Volunteers are needed to help with the everyday running of the park by completing such tasks as helping clean enclosures and surrounding areas, general maintenance of the park and the monitoring of eggs and hatchlings. This gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these interesting creatures. You will also take part in a 2 hour lecture with an experienced guide, gaining in-depth knowledge about snakes and crocodiles.

Animal anti-cruelty awareness project
This takes place in the local community. Educating the local community about animal anti-cruelty is an extremely important project. The underprivileged rural communities in the area do not treat animals with much respect and some of their family members might even take part in poaching, therefore an anti-cruelty presentation is a great eye opener for most of the children.

Game locating and monitoring
Animals need to be monitored and counted in order to manage their numbers and ensure healthy population numbers as well as to ensure a healthy environment for all wildlife. This is a very important part of conservation.

Alien Invasive Plant removal Project
This is an ongoing project to ensure all alien plants are removed as they prohibit indigenous plant growth. If they are not removed it will create a food shortage for animals.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (4 week programme only)
The rehab centre provides an exciting volunteering experience where you can not only learn about local wildlife rehabilitation and conservation with all its challenges, but also work alongside the team on a daily basis assisting with wildlife rescues and releases and taking care of the 300-400 patients that are housed at the centre at any given time.

Necessities for your trip
  • Torch
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Light cotton clothing in summer (no bright colours)
  • Something warm for night game drives
  • Hat/cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimming costume
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera
  • A pair of long trousers for walking in the bushveld
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Small Rucksack
  • Water bottle
  • Hiking shoes

About the area
We are based on a big 4 game reserve in the greater iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its natural beauty.
KwaZulu Natal is on the eastern side of South Africa and is bordered by the warm Indian Ocean on the east and the Drakensberg escarpment on the west. It is described as an all-year-round tourist-friendly climate as it has a warm sub-tropical climate most of the year round. Summers are hot and humid averaging 28 degrees Celsius while winters are clear and mild, with an average temperature of 23 degrees. The area is known for its beauty with many different types of ecosystems coming together. This makes it perfect for viewing a wide variety of wildlife from the Big 5 to bird watching to whale viewing or seeing the turtles laying their eggs on the beach.
We are 10 minutes from Hluhluwe town which has a clinic, pharmacy and a grocery store for all your extra requirements. We are 1½ hours from Richards Bay which is a coastal city and which hosts Richards Bay Airport (which is the airport you will be using).

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

Your days will vary a lot but to give you an idea, please see the descriptions below:

Wildlife conservation on the reserve 

A typical day could consist of partaking in exciting tasks such as game capture (catching and relocating wild animals for their own welfare), game monitoring and counts (we monitor and study the wildlife to find out if they are healthy and have the correct numbers of their species for the area), fence patrols (This is important to check for poaching and breaks in the fence), monitoring the elusive leopards and hyena’s on the property as well as tasks that are hard work but essential to the parks such as bush clearing(this is when we take out alien plant species that would destroy the natural habitat if not removed) and cleaning of enclosures. You could expect to encounter animals such as Buffalo, antelope, elephants and rhino amongst others. 

Animal anti-cruelty preparation + Cat rehab Centre 

You will spend the morning preparing an animal anti-cruelty presentation that you will present to Primary school children at a school in a rural community. The underprivileged rural communities in the area do not treat animals with much respect and some of their family might even take part in poaching, therefore an anti- cruelty presentation will be a great eye opener for most of the children. In the afternoon we will make our way to a cat rehabilitation centre where you will get to see many of the wild cats we have in South Africa, you will even have the opportunity to stroke a cheetah! 

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
16 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Required Documents
Travel insurance
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in South Africa? Volunteer World directly connects you with Live4now

Wildlife Conservation & Monitoring Teaching children about animal anti-cruelty African sunset on the way home from St Lucia Crocodile Cheetah at big cat rehab centre Cleaning croc enclosure Snake and croc course Cheetah breeding programme Hippo on River cruise in St Lucia The girls on the beach at Sodwana Bay Bush camp accommodation Looking out on safari in Hluhluwe Park A view from the hike in False Bay Park Hippo and croc river cruise Teaching children about poaching Tracking and monitoring elephants Hluhluwe game reserve safari Elephant interaction Tracking Elephants Boat patrol on the Hluhluwe river Giraffe

Free-time activities

An array of activities are included in each of the programmes. The activities that are included in your programme will depend on how long you come for.
Hippo and Crocodile River Tour
-Spot hippos and crocs as you sail up the St Lucia estuary on a 2 hour boat cruise.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Big 5 Game Drive
- Enjoy a 3 hour game drive amongst the Big 5.
Night Game Drive
- Enjoy a night drive to see what animals come out at night.
Snake and Crocodile Course
- Learn all about the different snakes and crocodiles we get here.
Elephant interaction
- Get the chance to interact with elephants.
Big Cat rehabilitation Centre
-Enjoy the afternoon viewing and getting up close to wild Cheetahs, Serval Cats, African Wildcats and Caracal (Lynx)
Traditional African Curio and Craft Market
- Buy your loved ones at home some gifts.
Stargazing Under an Extraordinary African Sky
- See the stars like never before, in a pitch black African sky
Hiking trail in False Bay nature reserve
- Embark on a 2 hour hike where you can many different bird and mammal species.
Beach day at Sodwana Bay
- Spend a day on the wild unspoiled beaches in St Lucia.

Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking

Services

What's included?
•3 meals a day
•Accommodation: 2 person chalet
•Activities
•All transportation
•Donation for charity
•Access to washing machine
•Transfers to and from Richards Bay Airport (on set arrival and departure days)
•Orientation on arrival
•Tea, coffee and bottled water
•Support and assistance throughout your stay, 24/7
•Gift at the end of your stay
•Free Wi-Fi available at the main lodge, but not at the bush camp
Not included:
•Visa costs
•Flight tickets
•Medical and Travel Insurance
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup
Accommodation

We are situated on a big 4 game reserve.You will be lodging in a bush camp. Each of our chalets sleeps 2 people. A bathroom is shared by 2 chalets and consists of a shower, wash basin and toilet.
The bush camp has a recreation area for you to relax in and socialise with your co-volunteers. The recreation area has sofas, a kitchen for you to make tea and coffee, dining area. There is a swimming pool situated close to the bush camp for you to use on those hot days.

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

•Breakfast: Continental Breakfast during week days. Sundays we will offer an English breakfast for those who fancy something more savoury.
•Lunch: consists of a sandwich, crisps, fruit and a fruit juice or something similar.
•Dinner: consists of dishes such as stews, pastas and a taste of some traditional South African meals as well. We will also occasionally have a BBQ under the stars for you to enjoy.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1180
3 weeks
$1850
4 weeks (max. stay)
$2520

You can volunteer at the project site in Hluhluwe/South Africa between 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Live4now will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$610/week
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 Live4now during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in South Africa

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for South Africa. Please check the visa regulations for South Africa.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in South Africa and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in South Africa.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Richards Bay (RCB) in Richards Bay. 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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in South Africa upfront.
Bonamanzi Game Reserve, Bushlands Road, 3960 Hluhluwe, South Africa