What is the Gap Year: Wildlife Volunteering in Africa all about?
Take a gap year and spend it volunteering in Africa while helping to preserve some of the world’s most magnificent but endangered species by participating in wildlife volunteering projects through Kaya. Join our projects in South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania and gain an insight into the many animals that live in this stunning continent.
Begin your adventure by volunteering alongside conservation and wildlife experts on a game reserve in South Africa. Here you will be able to see Africa’s big 5, the lion, African elephant, Cape Buffalo, rhino and if you are really lucky a leopard. In addition, you will have the opportunity to see birds, reptiles and plants that also live alongside these impressive animals. The reserve aims to enable wildlife to live in it’s natural habitat.
Continue your wildlife adventure in Zambia by volunteering on a local project that aims to protect and rehabilitate one of Africa’s best known and loved species – African lions. As a volunteer you will contribute to the rehabilitation process and greatly increase the chances of these animals being released back into the wild as well as collect data which is used in important research. The project also has a community education focus which volunteers may also get involved with, which educates local people about the local wildlife and how humans and animals can live in harmony, the aim being to create a sustainable future for Zambian wildlife.
Your final destination, in on the beautiful white shores of Zanzibar in Tanzania. Here you’ll volunteer on a marine and dolphin conservation project in one of Africa’s best diving spots. This project differs from most marine conservation projects as it aims to manage dolphin tourism but in a sustainable way, in which dolphin welfare comes first. In order to do this the project needs volunteers to undertake general conservation duties ,collect data, and work to educate the public on conservation issues regarding Zanzibar’s fragile marine life and the role tourism plays in it. Volunteering on this project will ultimately contribute in determining the path of dolphin tourism and marine conservation in the future.
From elephants, to lions to dolphins, this gap year volunteering project in Africa is an incredible opportunity for you to meet some of the world’s most popular species and contribute to their long-term preservation.
Gap Year Travel Packages
For this gap year package you will spend 4 weeks volunteering on each of the following projects:
Volunteer and have an amazing time working on this game reserve in Port Elizabeth. Work with South Africa's big 5: lion, African elephant, cape buffalo, rhino and leopard.
Volunteer on a Dolphin and Marine Conservation project on the island of Zanzibar and help preserve the habitats by monitoring tourist and wildlife interaction.
Role of the Conservation Volunteer
As a volunteer your role will vary from project to project. Depending on the needs of the project at the time of your placement, in South Africa you may assist the team of guides, handlers and scouts, care for the animals, conduct field research, or help on community programs such as conservation or health education. In Tanzania volunteers may monitor dolphin behaviour, dolphin tourist interaction, research and monitor whales research on coastal activities like seaweed farming, teach English to local tour guides and develop and maintain the local resource centre. In Zambia, volunteers may give general support in the care of the animals and prepare food for the lions, assist the lion handlers in other duties and take part in the conservation work of the project.
What skills do I need to be a Conservation Volunteer in Africa?
No specific skills are needed on any of these projects projects although a decent level of fitness is required. In addition an interest in wildlife and conservation is essential as well as a willingness to undertake the tasks required by the project. Cultural sensitivity is also essential as is respecting cultural and religious norms. Volunteers will be required to adhere to health and safety rules, and follow guidelines regarding animal interaction at each placement.
Where will I work in Africa?
Africa boasts some of the most incredible wildlife in the world and the destinations in this gap year volunteering placement really highlight the diversity and beauty of Africa’s natural world. In South Africa volunteers may wish to explore the coast on the weekends in Graham’s Town or Port Elizabeth, taking in some of the local music and arts scene too. There are opportunities to explore the famous Garden Route too, if you want to build int time between your volunteering placements. Head north to Zambia where you’ll also find a huge range of activities to fill your free time and ideas for independent travel including trips to Nchanga open cast mine, abseiling on the Zambezi River, walking safaris in the renowned South Luangwa National Park as well as bungee jumping and to witness the largest fruit bat migration in the world. After taking in all Africa has to offer on dry land it’s time to head to the stunning island of Zanzibar where volunteers can relax on the beach go scuba diving, or swim with whale sharks. Alternatively, visit the city of Zanzibar and explore the markets and sprawling passageways, or travel to Stone Town and learn about Zanzibar’s tragic slave trade history. Further afield there are opportunities to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, go on safari in the Serengeti or see the Kolo-Kondoa Rock Art sites. There is so much to see you may even want more than your gap year to explore it all!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 12 weeks
- Cost: £5783 / $9028
- Requirements: age: 18+
- Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Livingstone, Zambia, Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Project activities may include: habitat conservation activities, meal preparation for wildlife, lion enrichment activities, lion monitoring, beach conservation, monitoring marine species
- Working hours: Hours vary depending on the project
- Project availability: All projects begin on 1st and 3rd Monday of the month with some closures over the christmas period
- Arrival day: Monday in all locations
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared room in a luxury dorm in South Africa, a volunteer lodge in in Zambia, beach bungalow in Tanzania. Communal areas in all 3 locations (pool in South Africa!)
- Food: All projects include three meals per day except Wednesdays in Tanzania
- Airport pickup and drop off: From Port Elizabeth Airport in South Africa, Livingstone International Airport (time restrictions) – Zambia, Zanzibar International Airport in Tanzania
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator in each location
- Cap and t-shirt in Port Elizabeth
- 24/7 emergency number for volunteers and families
What is not included
- Transfers to Zanzibar island
- Daily transfers to and from your project. in Tanzania
- Police background check: US and UK citizens processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
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.