Volunteer role at the project:
The conservation work is very varied which makes for a fascinating and diverse experience, with the chance to get involved in many different aspects of life on a wildlife reserve, which may include:
- Wildlife locating and monitoring during drives and using telemetry equipment
- Recording information on animals using identification and data sheets
- Camera trap set up and collection
- Removal of alien invasive plant species and bush encroachment control through selective clearing
- Community support to townships in the area – helping at a soup kitchen and environmental education sessions
- Assisting with animal capture / relocation / introduction (if you are lucky enough for it to take place while you are there!)
- Road repair / cleaning
You will be introduced to the many animals and plants found on the reserve through orientation drives and a field booklet which includes animal, plant and bird checklists and identification kits. Each role you undertake is accompanied by a briefing so that you understand the activity and learn more about the reserve.
While carrying out the work you’ll get to experience the most incredible encounters with the Big 5 - lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard - as well as plenty of other South African wildlife!
How the project is making a difference:
The project is committed to conservation, social uplifting and sustainable use of resources. The local team are dedicated to protecting wildlife and collecting integral data in order to both manage the reserve effectively and better understand wildlife across South Africa.
The local team are also dedicated to local community initiatives. As part of their commitment to support the local community, the reserve is involved with two charities in the local township: one which provides hot meals to local children and the other which provides fun educational sessions on the environment.
Why volunteers are needed:
Volunteers are needed to assist the conservation team in providing consistent and accurate data on the flora and fauna around the reserve. In turn, this allows the team to use this data both with their internal ecologist and pass on to institutions such as Cape Town University. Current studies being undertaken include rhino movement patterns, elephant range and movement patterns, elephant vegetation preferences and impacts, lion social behaviour and bird surveys.
We are an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 2 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care, education, teaching, building and community volunteering projects in Asia, Africa and Central & South America.
In this time of uncertainty during the current Coronavirus outbreak, we are monitoring the global situation closely in conjunction with the UK FCO and our local teams on the ground. The health and safety of our volunteers is our primary concern and we will only restart placements when it’s safe to do so. It’s not yet clear when this will be but we aren’t accepting new bookings for placements before 1 October 2020.
We want to reassure volunteers that you can feel confident booking an overseas volunteering placement with us and we have introduced extra flexibility to help with this.
Flexible payment terms
We are giving added flexibility on payments. Normally we ask for final payment by 8 weeks before start date, but we are reducing this to 1 month before start date for placements with start dates in 2020. This takes some pressure off volunteers and allows us to see how the situation evolves over the coming months.
Flexible date changes
If any of our volunteers want or need to reschedule (regardless of whether it is related to Coronavirus or not!), we are happy to reschedule for up to 18 months. You just need to let us know 1 month or more before your placement date and it can be open ended if you aren’t sure when you want to reschedule to. We are keeping this free of charge for maximum flexibility!
Booking flights – wait for now
We normally recommend that volunteers book flights as soon as possible after their placement is confirmed to secure the best deals, but with the current uncertainty, it’s best to wait until travel restrictions are lifted and the airlines can confirm their schedules before booking flights and making other arrangements.
We’d love to help organise your next volunteer adventure, ready for when the world has returned to some kind of normality!
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