Volun­teering: Highlights 2016 in our conser­va­tion project in South Africa

Our wildlife conservation project in Zululand/South Africa can look back on lots of volunteer highlights in 2016. Our blogs provides you with detailed numbers and facts.


Our volunteer project in South Africa: In the course of 2016, all project staff and volunteers worked hard to intensively monitor endangered and priority species in all five South African national reserves we serve. At full capacity we reach 250 monitoring sessions per month! Here we give you an overview of the volunteer highlights of the year 2016:

  • In May, the volunteers helped to provide a total of five cheetah males with tracking collars; two of them were also relocated in another area.

  • After a white rhinoceros had been successfully resettled a few days earlier, the volunteers took part in the resettlement and dehorning of another white rhinoceros in June.

  • Elephant monitoring has now been included in the programme of activities. A new herd of elephants was also reintegrated in September and several buffalos in May. The release of a lion pack is planned for 2017.

  • In September, our volunteers took part in the Annual Vulture Count. Feeding stations for the animals were set up and vulture species and other species of birds of prey were carefully counted.

  • Our volunteers regularly go on control tours to locate poacher traps. A captured cheetah and a captured elephant calf were discovered; both could be freed and medically treated.

  • In June and July, four black rhinoceroses were successfully stunned and horned to protect them from death by poachers.

  • In August, three male lions were resettled in a new area, contributing to the strengthening of the gene pool. A careful planning was necessary in advance as well as the restoration and preparation of the predator bomas. Until their release the condition of the lions was checked regularly.

  • In September, our volunteers participated in the #RoarOff Challenge: they produced and submitted videos to raise awareness about canned hunting and targeted lion breeding for tourism purposes.

  • Area censuses began in July 2016; in some reserves up to twice a day.

  • Three wild dogs from different packs were successfully equipped with tracking collars at the beginning of the year. It is planned to put on more wild dogs tracking collars – some anaesthesia attempts have unfortunately failed. Not an easy task!

  • In 2016, the volunteers participated in the maintenance of over 100 new camera traps. These are routinely checked every second day and the images are searched and sorted for specific animals (priority species). Furthermore, the camera traps are currently used to identify cheetah and leopard populations.

Adventures to get you dreaming

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