Game Reserve Volunteering - South Africa
A volunteering experience with bite! Relocate to the incredible setting of the South African bush for the animal encounter of a lifetime, working closely with the entire spectrum of safari wildlife on a working game reserve. This special program calls for animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to join the effort to protect Africa’s iconic big game species through park patrols; predator tracking; species surveys and more.
- Ultimate Big 5 experience
- Hands-on conservation management contribution
- Vital field experiential education to contribute to future career goals
- Weekend excursions to Port Elizabeth
Participants on this volunteering program stay at a private Game Reserve about an hour NE of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The Reserve was set up on old agricultural land and covers around 6,000 hectares, with a perimeter stretching over 80 km. On this unique project, you live and work at the park, actively helping with the effort to protect endangered species in an area home to all of Africa’s Big 5 - Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Elephants and Cape Buffalo.
The Reserve engages in extensive and vital conservation programs, as without these conservation efforts, wildlife in the area would not be sustainable.
As a volunteer, the activities you can look forward to participating in include, but are not limited to:
- Removal of alien vegetation
- Lion tracking and monitoring
- Tree planting and landscaping
- Flora & Fauna workshops
- Wilderness trail walks and patrols
- Fence patrol
- Game counts (in season)
- Game captures & tracking (in season)
During your time on the Reserve, you will also learn a number of key skills from the many guides and animal experts who work there, including:
- Orientation in the bush
- Introduction to wild animals
- Animal tracking (footprints)
- Bush survival skills
- Various tree species and their benefits/ harms
- Anti-poaching and fence patrol
Life on the Reserve
You will start your days volunteering at 0830 and finish at approximately 1630 Monday to Friday, with timely breaks for re-fuelling! Food is varied and plentiful, with western favourites as well as local specialities available.
Your home away from home will be comfy dormitories shared with other volunteers. Dorms are single sex, with 2-bed partitioned areas for privacy. Volunteers at the centre come from all over the world, creating a lively community of like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Weekends are free time. Either relax and un-wind at the Reserve, enjoying the park and its close-knit community, or head out on a weekend excursion to Port Elizabeth. Transport and shared hostel accommodation for weekend excursions are included in your fees.
We are currently anticipating that we will be able to welcome customers back onto this program from January 2022. You can keep track of the current travel situation for all Gapforce programs on our Coronavirus Travel update page which we will be updating each week.
What is included?
- Comprehensive pre-departure support;
- Local coordinators supervising throughout the program;
- Airport transfers;
- Welcome and safety briefing;
- 3 meals a day;
- Weekend excursions including transport;
- 24/7 UK emergency backup
What is not included?
- Flights to and from Port Elizabeth
- Travel Insurance
- Visa and Vaccinations
- Spending money
- Additional excursions/activities
- Spending money
How much spending money do I need?
We recommend a budget of 50 USD / 45 Euro / 40GBP (per week) to cover food and activities for a weekend excursion into Port Elizabeth. While on Reserve, you won’t need spending money as your food etc. is included.
Where will I be staying?
Your home during your stay will be at a Game Reserve about an hour out of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The reserve was set up on old agricultural land and covers around 6,000 hectares, with a perimeter stretching over 80 km. You will be staying in comfy dormitories shared with other volunteers. Dorms sleep a number ofparticipants together, with 2-bed partitioned areas for privacy. Sleeping areas are single sex, with shared lounge and dining areas for all.
What is the food like?
You are provided with 3 full meals a day whilst on this volunteering program. Western menus feature heavily for lunch and dinner with as much variety as possible, ranging from burgers, chicken and chips, vegetarian dishes, potato casserole etc. You definitely won't go hungry!
Who takes part in this program?
The program is designed for those with a passion for wildlife, travel and remote places, who wish to help protect some of Africa’s most iconic species. A minimum age of 18 is the only requirement, along with passion, enthusiasm and a willingness to get stuck-in!
Who will be supervising me?
Throughout the volunteering program you will be supervised by the friendly and knowledgeable members of the game reserve team. You will be assigned a local outdoor volunteer co-ordinator who will work as your leader and mentor, providing you with all of the training and support you need to make the most of your time away.
After submitting this form, we will try and get back to you within 24 hours
- Duration: 2 to 4 weeks
- Departures: Every month