What is Conservation & Ecology Internship in Swaziland all about?
If you are fascinated by wildlife and habitats, why not join us on this conservation and ecology volunteering in the Eswatini savannah. The research station focuses on monitoring, researching and analysing data on a range of species such as raptors, bats, reptiles, and ungulates, as well as recording variables about the habitats and vegetation. There is a research centre manager, ecologist and biologist at the project, and Swazi and international interns often help provide extra pairs of hands to collect data and analyse results. This is a long-term research project with the aim of conserving the magnificent Savannah Ecosystem which you can be a part of while observing the glorious sunsets and the behaviour of some of Africa’s wildlife.
Why choose this Conservation Volunteering in Swaziland?
You will have an amazing opportunity to work alongside local and international students and researchers on important wildlife and ecology work. You will be able to use your skills and knowledge, while developing your own portfolio in relation to research, data collection and the challenges facing research projects. A real winner for your CV/Resume which will surely help you to stand out from the crowd with any job application.
Role of the Conservation Volunteer
During your volunteering, you will work with 3 or 4 resident researchers and up to 20 others. The research takes place on bikes or on foot. Initially you will help researchers with their work, and as you become more confident and familiar with the techniques you may be given your own project to research. If someone is undertaking a research project during your stay and you do not have your own subject area you may be asked to lend a hand. Activities can include:
- Conducting research and monitoring activities for species of wildlife and vegetation
- Record habitat and environmental variables associated with the wildlife being researched
- Engage in activities relating to existing studies on species such as raptors, bats, and reptiles
- Recording and analysing data collected
- Helping with day-to-day management of the research centre and equipment
Potential study related learning outcomes from this volunteering experience include being able to:
- Handle wildlife and use tracking equipment and setting traps
- Identify the wildlife and fauna found in the Savannah ecosystem
- Establish research projects for long-term data collection/monitoring and research publication
- Design studies that facilitate student learning and experience of field techniques
During your placement, you will attend weekly meetings to review your progress, and you are asked to present your experience back to the project team at the end of your placement. It is a fantastic opportunity to develop your passion for ecology, learn about local biodiversity and develop skills. Game counts are one-way wildlife and habitats are monitored, Read our blog to learn more.
Read what one of our participants had to say about his experience in Swaziland.
What skills do I need to be a Conservation & Ecology Volunteer in Swaziland?
This placement is suitable for those looking to further their studies in subjects such as ecology, biology, conservation or a related topic. If you are an undergraduate looking for a thesis topic, a master or PhD student this could be perfect for you. It is also a great placement for faculty-led groups. You will be supported during your placement by a dedicated mentor but will be expected to use your own initiative throughout. Bring a positive attitude, lots of ideas, and a willingness to work as part of a team to make the most out of this placement. It is a hands-on placement where you will be expected to walk or cycle to undertake data gathering so a reasonable level of fitness is advised. A love of the outdoors is essential as you will be living in a camp setting.
It is recommended that you bring their own laptop to work on your research project and end of placement presentation and also to record your learning reflections. You are asked to submit a full CV/resume and a letter of motivation with your application plus any supporting evidence. All applicants will attend a telephone interview to discuss your expectations and suitability.
Travel during COVID times
The health and safety of our travelers and our local communities remain central to our plans for reopening countries and projects. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been adapting our programs and protocols to protect all those involved, and ask for everyone’s patience and collaboration as new rules are implemented in-country. For all projects, new standards of sanitation, procedures and social behaviors are in place, including new health and hygiene protocols and social distancing practices. You can read more here. Each location may be slightly different in the way they operate. We encourage you to inquire to your placement advisor to learn more about your specific project as you plan for your responsible return to travel!
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To gain experience working in an wildlife research centre
Participate in conservation research studies
To improve your employability
Where will I work in Swaziland?
Interns are based on a reserve approximately 1.5 hours away from Lidwala Camp in Swaziland. In the evenings interns relax around a fire pit and listen to the sounds of the savannah while sharing stories about their discoveries that day. On the weekends you can head to the local country club to catch up on emails or to enjoy a drink and a meal. For those of you that want to see the big 5, the weekends are a perfect opportunity to join a game drive at a adjoining reserve. If you can drive why not hire a car and head out to see more of Swaziland.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2+ weeks
- Cost: £1643 / $2565 for 2 weeks
Additional weekly prices can be found in the drop-down menu
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Ezulwini Valley, Eswatini
- Working hours: Monday - Friday, 7:00 - 17:00
- Project availability: All year round, except November and December when the project is closed.
- Arrival day: 1st Monday of the month, additional date mid July
What is included
- Accommodation: Camp accommodation in 2 man dome tent (one per person)
- Food: 3 meals per day cooked by local staff, except on their days off
- Scheduled airport pick up and drop off from OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg for Swaziland placements
- Daily transport to and from project: could be by bike, foot or vehicle depending on project location
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation, cultural tour and project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support from on-site coordinator
- Assistance with planning your weekend excursions from local staff
- Learning Reflection Document
- Certificate on completion of Internship
- Supervision from qualified professional
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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