A truly remarkable South African bush experiences
Volunteers will be based in the Limpopo Province, an area renowned for its abundance of wildlife and getting up close and personal with the ‘Big Five’ of South Africa (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo).Witness nature in its simplest form, from watching a lion take down its prey or newborn cheetah cubs playing, to a stand-off between two elephants. In the African bush you can never tell what you will find just around the corner. This project gives you a real and unfiltered look into Africa’s incredible iconic wildlife. But unlike a tourist safari, you play an active and meaningful role in the research and long term conservation of South Africa’s natural resources in this stunning region of the world.
This program focuses on
- General predator monitoring – Hyena and Leopard (Leopard also has tracking implant)
- Monitoring predator distribution, feeding ecology, competition, sustainability General predator monitoring
- Hyena, Leopard and Elephant monitoring
- Distribution, feeding focuses
- Rhino monitoring and general game counts
- Conduct sustainability, distribution and sex and age ratios
So what does Life on the Project actually involve? See below for an idea of what to expect on a day to day basis…
Before getting fully involved in the inner workings of our research, you will undergo training that will cover how to carry out extensive radio tracking and monitoring of all the collared predators on the reserve, all while learning a variety of new skills, including mammal and bird identification, ecology and bush first aid. This training will allow you to effectively contribute to the overall program, as you get to know animals on the reserve individually and following their progress and monitor behaviour.
A typical day involves spending time out in the reserve tracking the wildlife and conducting research from the game vehicles. This usually happens during the cooler weather at dawn and dusk when the wildlife is more active. Most of the research is on predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyena but we also monitor other wildlife, including elephants. There is a daily schedule and if not assisting on game drives then you may be working on data entry or helping with camp and cooking duties.
We can spend up to 12 hours a day collecting data, so you should expect some long days. All this will do is develop a baseline and holistic understanding of all aspects of the bush.
Another aspect is our community work, where you will be expected to participate in educational days with local communities, highlighting the importance of conservation.
You will have opportunities to enjoy the surrounding areas and activities, including visits to local reptile parks and animal sanctuaries, as well as mountain trails.
Camp is basic but comfortable, the old fashioned African way. Situated deep within the game reserves, you will be in dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, with shared bathrooms, a kitchen and outdoor social areas.