Wildlife Protector

Experience Africa like never before and become part of our day to day work in the African bush with some of the worlds most iconic animals!

Modisa Wildlife Project has developed a unique volunteer program, allowing you and other volunteers from all over the world to get firsthand, real-life experience in the African bush. Whether you come to Modisa Wildlife Project for your studies or simply a holiday — it’s a unique way to make a real difference.

About the Project

Modisa’s vision is to develop a sustainable project which can stop conflict and unite local farmers with wildlife.  During the past few decades, wildlife in Botswana has experienced a significant decline – a drop of more than 60 percent – caused by people taking over wild land, the decline of prey species, and poaching. Lack of attention to the problem locally and internationally has also contributed to this severe decline.  Modisa aims to use education and awareness campaigns to implement sustainable changes in the area.

Modisa Wildlife Project is located on the 25,000 acre Grassland reserve, thirty kilometres west of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR ) in Botswana. Grassland provides a beautiful landscape for Kalahari’s diverse wildlife. The wide open space and untamed wilderness provide ideal conditions for a wide range of animals to thrive. The space also offers incredible wildlife viewing.

Modisa and the Grassland Safari Lodge are working together towards a common goal of protecting Botswana's big cats and surrounding wildlife.  Grassland is situated between many cattle farming areas, where the farmers are still allowed to shoot predators like big cats.  All the captive predators at the Modisa Wildlife Project were relocated out of farming areas around the reserve, after conflict with farmers protecting their livestock and property.  Rather than getting shot or poisoned, the predators were relocated to Modisa.  At Modisa, they are given the best possible life with as natural an environment as possible.  They have space to roam while they serve as "ambassadors" for educational and awareness purposes. Modisa’s long-term goal is to find suitable locations for these animals to be relocated and released. 

Modisa Wildlife Project runs exclusively on natural power, sustainable materials and products from local suppliers. 

Volunteer Experience

The Modisa program offers a truly authentic learning experience for people who want to make a difference in wildlife preservation and experience the habitat and culture firsthand. 

During your stay at Modisa you will participate in a mix between daily work on the game reserve and a variety of activities and lectures. Daily work includes everything from helping to build and maintain facilities to cleaning predator enclosures after the animals are fed. Activities include game drives, bush walks, and basic tracking in pristine African bush. These experiences will bring you up-close and personal with African wildlife. These trips and adventures will allow you to truly experience the Kalahari.

All experiences at Modisa – from farm work, bush walks and lectures to feeding full-grown lions, leopards, and African wild dogs –will challenge you both physically and mentally. You will have a more unique and adventurous time in the African bush than you can imagine.

Highlights

  • Lectures on Botswana's history, wildlife, and ecosystems 
  • Camp maintenance 
  • Walking in the wilderness with specialized guide. 
  • Camping in the African bush under the breathtaking Kalahari sky* 
  • Up-close encounters with big cats and other local predators 
  • Feeding lions, leopards, and African wild dogs 
  • Cleaning the enclosures and fence maintenance 
  • Basic tracking training on bush walks 
  • Animal viewing 
  • Game drives 
  • Enjoying the adventure with like-minded people from all over the world

*Once a month during the dry season (May - October) depending on weather. To be guaranteed this experience you need to books minimum 4 weeks.

Field Conditions

The Modisa campsite is 4 km from the Grassland Safari Lodge. We have safari tents for volunteers, which hold four beds each and are separated by gender. At the camp, you will live side-by-side with nature and its inhabitants, an experience that is hard to find in the increasingly busy world we live in. At night, lions can be heard roaring accompanied by the patter of herds of animals roaming outside your tent. The campsite has two bathrooms and showers, with hot water and a great view into the Bush. The facilities, coupled with the chance to live with nature in the truest sense, will give you the ultimate African experience.

In our roofed sitting area you will have three meals a day from our fully equipped kitchen and be sheltered from the burning sun or the occasional rain storms in the wet season. The space has wide-open sides so you can still enjoy the outdoors while keeping cool or dry. Animals might be grazing within a few meters, and honey badgers, along with other smaller mammals, occasionally pay a visit after sunset. 

At our camp fire you will enjoy braai (barbeque) evenings. During the cold winter nights, you will be able to watch the amazingly clear African sky while the soothing heat of the campfire provides enough warmth to keep you comfortable. 

Every evening, the group will meet to watch the sunset over the Kalahari and sit together to share their personal stories and experiences. 

Electricity is provided to our camp through solar panels and will therefore only be available during the day for charging cameras, computers, flashlights and other assorted goods. The tents do not have electricity so we recommend a good head torch for reading at night. 

The entire camp is set up to make you feel safe and comfortable without changing the nature around you. This allows you to experience the African Bush and animals every second of your stay without harming them or disturbing their natural habitat.

Travel Logistics

Volunteers should fly into the Maun International Airport (MUB) in Botswana on the Sunday before their scheduled Monday start date.  Most volunteers fly to Maun via the Johannesburg (JNB) or Windhoek (WDH) International Airports.

On arrival to Maun Airport, the Okavango River Lodge will arrange your airport pick-up and transfer to the Lodge for Sunday night stay (+/- $40 for food and accommodation). 

On Monday morning, a 4x4 minibus shuttle will pick you up at the Okavango River Lodge and transport you straight to the Modisa camp (departing Lodge at 8am, arriving Modisa mid-day). The shuttle costs +/- $50 each way, and payment can be made directly to the Modisa team on arrival. 

On the returning Monday, you will depart Modisa mid-day by shuttle, back to Maun by around 6-7pm for another night at Okavango River Lodge. We strongly recommend that you book your return flight on Tuesday (NOT Monday evening) as road delays are common.

Some volunteers choose to arrive earlier than Sunday to relax for a few days before the program starts.  Just let us know your arrival date so that we can arrange transfers accordingly.  Volunteers can exchange currency to Botswana Pula at the Maun airport.

Please note

The transfer to and from Modisa Wildlife Project departs from Okavango River Lodge in Maun every MONDAY morning. It is crucial that you book your flight with arrival in Maun airport on a SUNDAY (latest) and departure from Maun on a TUESDAY (earliest). However if you can’t make it to the beginning of a program and still want to join us, we would be happy to accommodate you.  Please be aware that an extra charge for transportation will apply.  You will receive a special orientation so you can join the rest of the group as soon as possible.

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Families
Groups

Typical day

During your stay at Modisa you will participate in a mix between daily work on the game reserve and a variety of activities and lectures. Daily work includes everything from helping to build and maintain facilities to cleaning predator enclosures after the animals are fed. 

Activities include game drives, bush walks, and basic tracking in pristine African bush. These experiences will bring you up-close and personal with African wildlife. These trips and adventures will allow you to truly experience the Kalahari. All experiences at Modisa – from farm work, bush walks and lectures to feeding full-grown lions, leopards, and African wild dogs – will challenge you both physically and mentally. You will have a more unique and adventurous time in the African bush than you can imagine.

Bush Walks
Instead of experiencing the Bush in a game drive car as many regular tourists would do, you will instead get to walk in the wild and get close to different species of antelopes, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes and many other mammals. During every walk, our guide will explain interesting facts about the vegetation, point out animal tracks and give you an idea of what kind of things you have to watch out for in the environment. Walking through the Kalahari, with animals roaming freely around you, will give you a much deeper sense of this unique environment and provide a better learning experience as well.
 
Game Counts & Grass Surveys
When we get ready to conduct game counts and surveys, the first thing you will learn is why we are doing game counts. We will answer questions such as: Why do we need to know how many animals there are on the farm? What do we do if there are too many or not enough? Why do we need to do grass surveys? 

Once you have a basic knowledge on the topic, we start by packing up the car to do a practical game count. On the drive, everyone keeps an eye out for animals in the area, equipped only with binoculars. You will count every individual in herds and individual species from giraffes to springbok. You will learn to differentiate between males and females, as well as judge their condition and estimate their age. On our grass surveys you will learn how to measure the grass cover on the farm, how to tell whether grass is palatable and how to use this information to determine the number of animals that can live in the area. 

Tracking
On our tracking activities, you will learn how to identify many different animals and how to interpret the tracks and signs that are everywhere around you. Furthermore, you will learn how to determine their age and get a clear picture of what has happened in their lives.

The tracking activity will mainly involve many walks among the breathtaking Bush, where your focus will be on finding tracks and identifying tracks. During track walks, there are always animals around you, allowing you to get close to wild animals and observe their behaviours. The part of the Bush we track may look on its surface to be relatively unremarkable, but once you learn how to read the signs you will be able to read the bush like an open book at any time. This knowledge alters the perception that many have of their surroundings in a lasting way.

Animal Feeding
Animals held in captivity on the farm have all been “problem animals” that ventured into cattle farming areas to kill livestock. Unfortunately, farmers in Botswana are allowed to shoot these predators. To save them from certain death, they were captured and relocated to Modisa where they are now used for education and research. As part of Modisa Wildlife Project, we are in the process of creating a program to secure the gene pool of all cats. Captive wildlife can contribute greatly to this mission, since many populations in the wild are isolated from others. We are now looking at a situation where the gene pool in these smaller groups is weakening. The genes of captive wildlife can easily be monitored, and if needed, new genes can be brought to problem areas in the wild through the reintroduction of the healthiest captive animals to these areas. 

Not all of our animals will get the chance to roam wild again, which is why we work to give them the best possible living conditions for their retirement. We are also fundraising to secure the outside fence of the 25,000 acres to keep lions in the reserve perimeter so the young and capable animals can be reintroduced into the wild in the Grassland reserve. 

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with Modisa Wildlife Project straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Botswana? Volunteer World directly connects you with Modisa Wildlife Project

Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector Wildlife Protector

Free-time activities

We do have a volleyball field you and your fellow volunteer's are welcome to use. Riding can sometimes also be possible, but not guaranteed due to weather and their health.

Sports
Riding

Services

What's included?
Accommodation , All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner), 24 hour support, Game Drives Bush Walks, Washing powder (for doing own laundry), Internet (available on Sundays, only). The only additional spending money required will be for personal purchases, social excursions away from Modisa, and pre/post project travel. We do not have discounted rates for partial weeks.
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

We do provide airport pick up, but it is not included in the program fee. Calculate 10USD for airport transfer to and from Okavango River Lodge.

Accommodation

You will enjoy your stay in our comfortable dome tents. All tents are secured with a natural barrier of thorny branches to prevent unexpected encounters with the animals around you. The tents can house up to four people, divided by gender.

Each tent is equipped with four beds, along with linens, pillows, duvets and comforters. The washing block is nearby with fresh, running water from the borehole. Toilets and showers are fully equipped and hot water is provided. Washing powder is provided for washing clothing by hand.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

We offer three meals a day. Our chef will cook traditional dishes but also more familiar food over the fire. Once a week we will have a braai where you will cook your own food at the campfire. In addition the kitchen is equipped with snacks free of charge and complimentary tea and coffee during your stay.

Other snacks and candy will be available for purchase as well as beer, soft drinks and cider. We will provide occasional trips to the nearby city of Ghanzi, where many goods are available for purchase including more snacks and traditional cloth.

If you have a particular diet we are happy to accommodate you. We can easily cook vegetarian food, but vegans will be charged extra due to the added cost of providing such meals.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1295
3 weeks
$1791
4 weeks
$2287
5 weeks
$2783
6 weeks
$3279
7 weeks
$3775
12 weeks (max. stay)
$6255

You can volunteer at the project site in Maun/Botswana between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Modisa Wildlife Project will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$584/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 Modisa Wildlife Project during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Botswana

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Botswana. Please check the visa regulations for Botswana.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Botswana.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Maun (MUB) in Maun. We assist you to find cheap flights to Botswana.
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 Botswana provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Botswana you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Botswana.
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 Botswana upfront.
P.bag 114, suite 3, Maun, Botswana