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Black Rhino, Elephant and Big Cat Research and Conservation in South Africa

  • The Project

    Volunteer in Africa and work on an incredible research and conservation project in the heart of the Kwazulu-Natal district, on South Africa’s East Coast. Working in conjunction with the University of Natal and the Wildlands Conservation Trust as well as a number of other conservation and wildlife agencies, this project centres around research initiatives on, amongst others, some of Africa’s most endangered species. The project works to monitor the elephant, cheetah, lion, leopard and black rhino populations within a Private Game Reserve and is committed to gathering data to support the long-term objectives of the Reserve’s Foundation. The main focus of this project is to monitor the elephant and endangered Rhino populations of the reserve.

    View more of Kaya's wildlife and animal volunteer abroad projects around the world.

  • Why choose this project?

    It is a sad fact that the black rhino population in Africa has dramatically decreased over the last 40 years due to detrimental hunting and poaching practices taking the population of Black Rhinos from 100,000 in 1960, down to less than 3,500 today. Due to recent conservation efforts however, this number is very slowly on the increase and the Game Reserve introduced Black Rhino into the park in 2009 to increase this effort. Their movements locally are tracked by the anti-poaching team and your time as a volunteer may be spent with a guide helping them to capture information on the movements of the rhino, their habits and also to help in monitoring their basic health.

    Monitoring and protecting elephants in the park, which is helping to support the natural migration of these wonderful animals is important. Conflict with humans is a pertinent issue and a threat to elephants in the region. Understanding how to mitigate this conflict stems primarily from getting to know the ecology of the species within the park. Your collection of data concerning the park’s elephant population will be used by the Reserve’s Foundation to help secure a positive and long lasting future for elephants and to help sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of their home lands. Volunteers are needed to spend time in the field, gathering and analysing data which will then be shared with the relevant researchers, institutions and authorities.

  • Project Facts

    • Duration: 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks
    • Cost: £1288 / $2254 for 2 weeks, £285 /
    $499 for each extra week
    • Requirements: Age 18+
    • Location: Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
    • Project activities: Research, data capture, monitoring wildlife, conservation work
    • Working Hours: Monday - Friday; 8:00 - 17:00
    • Project Availability: Project runs every second weekend. Contact a Kaya Advisor to confirm exact dates.
    • Arrival day: Sunday

  • What is included

    • Accommodation: Shared twin cabins within the game reserve
    • Food: 3 meals per day
    • Airport pick up and drop off on Sundays only at King Shaka International Airport in Durban
    • Weekly laundry service, for a fee
    • Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
    • Daily transfers to and from your project.
    • Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator.
    • Activities: Staff help organise weekend activities. (Activity price may be extra)

  • What is not included

    • Flights
    • Insurance
    • Visas
    • Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.

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