What is the Family Volunteering: Wildlife Research in a Game Reserve in South Africa project all about?
Volunteer as a family in South Africa and work on an incredible research and conservation project in the famous Kruger National Park, home to the Big 5 including the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard, as well as over 400 species of birds. This project aims to use research data and to share it with large-scale projects, conservation agencies and the authorities to protect habitats and species. It also aims to reduce the impact of human activity on habitats through education. More specifically, the projects focus on:
• the protection and monitoring of rhinos
• the tracking of elephant behaviours and movements in an effort to secure their futures
• the introduction of prey and education of local communities about big cats
• the tagging and recording of data on buffalos, a species that continues to be vulnerable
This is a great opportunity for you and your family to learn about conservation work taking place to protect the habitats and species of South Africa. The project also works with a reptile park ensuring the species are protected. The whole family can get involved with a range of activities from game drives to species identification. Night time game monitoring will add an exciting element to the project. You are sure to have the adventure of a lifetime as a family while contributing to global efforts to preserve wildlife.
Why choose this Wildlife Research in a Game Reserve Family Volunteering project?
The reserve contributes towards the effort of preventing the black rhino’s extinction. Over the last 40 years, the population has dropped dramatically due to hunting and poaching. It is estimated that approximately 3500 are left in the wild today.
It is believed that the activities carried out will lead to a slow increase of this number, due to the introduction of the black rhino to the park in 2009. Volunteers help by monitoring them in the reserve and by feeding the data about their behaviours to the anti-poaching team.
Not only rhinos but also elephants and other animals in the park are targeted by this protection work. Conflict with humans poses a threat to elephants in the area and the work you will do is partly understanding how to mitigate this conflict and reduce its detrimental effects. The data you collect will be used by the Reserve’s Foundation to help secure a positive and long-lasting future for the elephants. Your support will not only allow more research to be done but help to sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the area in general.
Role of the Conservation Volunteer
Your days will be packed with family-friendly activities with typically two activities per day, which adults and children will do together.
You may have one or more of the following responsibilities:
– Monitoring the behaviour, feeding patterns and movement of elephant herds, lion prices and rhino population at different times of the day and night
– Capturing data for the research team to back up their ongoing endangered species work
– Carrying out regular game counts
– Assisting with physical work to help regenerate natural bush, such as the prevention of further soil erosion and removing old fences
– Contributing to the long-term strategy of removal of alien plants from the park
What skills do I need to be a Wildlife Research Volunteer in South Africa?
No specific skills are required to participate in this project, however, a love of animals and an adventurous spirit is a must! You will be asked to help with habitat maintenance and you will be kept busy so be prepared to get your hands dirty!
In order to adhere to health and safety rules, children must follow the instructions given by their parents and project staff.
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!
RECRUITING FOR EARLY 2021
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To give children the chance to see some of Africa’s most iconic animals up close
To take part in activities and adventure sports in the local area
To be actively involved in meaningful work as a family
Where will I work in South Africa?
Your family will be based in a beautiful Private Game Reserve in Kruger National Park in beautiful South Africa, home to the famous Big 5. Your days will be spent on the reserve learning about and monitoring the activities of the animals and their habitats. It will give you plenty of opportunities to see the animals in their natural environment. At night time, you may sit around a fire and exchange stories about your daytime adventures while listening to the sounds of the wild. You may also relax by the pool during your free time.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2+ weeks
- Cost: – 16 and Above: £1433 / $2237
– Children 13-15: £1149 / $1794
– Additional weeks available on request
- Requirements: Minimum age 13 years old
- Location: Kruger region, South Africa
- Working hours: Monday - Friday, times vary
- Project availability: All year round
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared rooms within the game reserve with outdoor area and swimming pool
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Airport pickup and drop off from Nelspruit Airport
- Daily transport to and from your project
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator
- 24/7 emergency number for volunteers and families
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check US and UK citizens processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check – Required for over 16 years of age
Easy 4-step application process
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.