Volunteering in Africa: A male lion in South Africa's savannah

Your trip at a glance


  • Contribute to wildlife conser­va­tion in South Africa
  • Work together with an inter­na­tional volunteer team
  • Dedicate yourself to protecting nature and wild animals
  • Join special training units and acquire essential bush skills
  • Become involved in research activ­i­ties, instructed by experi­enced conser­va­tion­ists
  • Experi­ence the pristine nature of South Africa’s Western Cape region


Western Cape

Plan your trip

  • Included in the programme fee
    • Placement in the programme
    • Assistance with travel arrangements
    • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
    • Assistance with booking flights
    • Pre-departure information pack

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Daniel, your travel agent for South Africa

You would like to learn more about this trip? Don't hesitate to contact me! Our service doesn't end with your departure: I answer all of your questions and support you before, during and after your stay abroad.

Wildlife protection in Africa: A male lion and his cub in The South African savannah
Volunteering in South Africa: Two hippos in the South African savannah
Conservation work in South Africa: A giraffe is drinking from a waterhole
Volunteering in South Africa: Four elephants roam the african savannah
Species conservation in Africa: A rhino grazing in the African savannah
The silhouettes of two elephants in South Africa at sunset

Volunteering in the Western Cape

By participating in this volunteer project in South Africa you get the chance to make an active contribution to preserving the country’s unique flora and fauna and to acquire essential skills and knowledge in the fields of species conservation and wildlife management.

Volunteers on a game walk in South Africa experience a giraffe encounter

Arrival and orien­ta­tion in Mossel Bay

After your arrival at George Airport in South Africa, a staff member of our partner will pick you up and transfer you to your accommodation near Mossel Bay. Once at the facility you will meet your team and be given a tour of the accommodation as well as appropriate introductions and instructions for the remainder of the day. The next day you will partake in an Orientation and Safety Introduction meeting. The third day after your arrival field operations will begin. After you’ve finished the project a staff member will drop you off at George Airport.

Conservation volunteers in South Africa learnabout the African flora and fauna

Volunteer activ­i­ties in Southern Africa

As volunteers you will be involved in various conservation activities and initiatives. These are based on previously founded ecological and cognitive knowledge to better improve the welfare of current and future wildlife in Southern Africa.
The African bush is a dynamic and constantly changing environment, so that work on the projects depends entirely on the movements and activities of the animals under observation and the prevailing weather conditions. Current projects you will be actively involved in may be wildlife monitoring, data collection on endangered white rhinos, reserve maintenance, amphibian research, fence monitoring to control the human wildlife conflict as well as monitoring several sectors of public roads to help prevent these deadly wildlife accidents. Survival and bush skills training is also part of your schedule.

Volunteering in South Africa: A rhino is grazing in the African savannah

A typical day in the project starts roughly at 7:00 am. After breakfast at the accommodation you and your team will depart for field work in the reserve (usually at around 08:15/08:30 am). Long-term experienced conservationists will teach you valuable research skills or conduct certain training units with you. Around 12:30 pm work will be paused for a short lunch break and siesta. After you have finished data collection, training and data entry in the afternoon, you will return to your apartment and can relax for the rest of the evening.

Looking into volunteer accommodation's living room of our conservation project in South Africa

Accom­mo­da­tion during the volunteer project

During your time as a volunteer you and other volunteers will be accommodated in a shared apartment complex at the Hartenbos Seafront near Mossel Bay, located at South Africa’s Southern coast. You will sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms. In the apartment complex you’ll receive breakfast; while being out in the field you’ll be provided with lunch. You’ll be in charge of the weekend lunch as well as the daily dinner – you can either use your apartment's self-catering kitchen for meal preparation or enjoy a meal in one of the several beach restaurants. The facility, which is highly secure and safe with restricted access, is located a short walk from the beach, shops, restaurants, hiking trails, museums and cultural activities. It further provides access to free WiFi, a swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar.

Wildlife in South Africa: Two lion cubs are sitting in the african savannah

Leisure time as a volunteer in South Africa

In the evening and on the weekend there won’t be any project work and you can use this time for own activities. Since your accommodation is located in Hartenbros, not far away from Mossel Bay, you have the chance to take part in lots of leisure activities such as cultural excursions, tourism activities, local experiences and travel. There are more than 80 different activities that can be booked for weekends and downtime (which are subject to availability and seasonality and include: surf lessons, whale watching, sandboarding, horseback safaris and visiting South African national parks).

Learn what others say about their Natucate adventure.

Eine freiwillige Helferin fuehrt Messungen durch
Gap Year Suedafrika: Eine Gruppe Zebras direkt neben der Schotterstrasse
Review Volunteering South Africa Zululand – Greta

“Among all these animals you get to see, the landscapes and sunrises in the park are simply stunning.”

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Review Photos Field Guide Level 1 South Africa – Matthias

Wilderness student Matthias completed the 55-day Field Guide Level 1 course in South Africa where he took some amazing wildlife pictures – and of course we'd like to share them with you:

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Review Photos Volunteering South Africa Zululand – Celina

Celina joined our conservation project in South Africa and helped protect endangered wildlife species. Here we would like to share some of her wonderful impressions with you.

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Review Photos Sabbatical South Africa Zululand – Silvia

During her sabbatical Silvia also joined our endangered species project in South Africa. Here you can enjoy her amazing images and become part of her journey:

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  • reiseorte-suedafrika-westkap-mossel-bay-meer-natucate
    1. Western Cape

    Western Cape is a province of South Africa, located in the southwest of the Republic. It borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Their capital is Cape Town. In particular, a visit to the countless national parks and nature reserves reveals the scenic diversity and biodiversity of the Western Cape.

    The project work will take place in an approximately 11,000 hectare reserve in the middle of Western Cape, habitat of numerous representatives of the African animal world. In addition to the rich fauna, the diverse flora of the region can also be admired, as the reserve is located in the middle of the world-famous Fynbos biome, an ecological zone divided into different types of vegetation.

Purpose of the Western Cape conser­va­tion project

Südafrika weist einen unvergleichlichen Artenreichtum auf. Neben Regionen wie dem berühmten Krüger Nationalpark zeichnet sich auch die südwestliche Provinz Westkap durch eine hohe Biodiversität an Tier- und Pflanzenarten aus.
Das Artenschutzprojekt unseres Partners hat es sich zum Ziel gesetzt, die vielfältige Flora und Fauna zu erhalten und setzt dabei auf den Einsatz ethischer Forschung und die Zusammenarbeit mit der lokalen Bevölkerung. So soll durch Aufklärung und Information ein Beitrag zur Eindämmung des Human-Wildlife-Konflikts und damit zur friedlichen Koexistenz zwischen Mensch und Tier geschaffen werden.

Die Projektarbeit findet statt in einem 11.000 Hektar großen Reservat in der eindrucksvollen Provinz Westkap. Neben der artenreichen Tierwelt kann auch die vielfältige Flora der Region bestaunt werden, denn das Reservat befindet sich inmitten des berühmten Fynbos-Bioms, einer Ökozone, die sich in verschiedene Vegetationstypen gliedert.
Durch die Einbindung von Freiwilligenhelfern aus aller Welt findet das Projekt zum einen die Unterstützung, die es benötigt und verdient. Zum anderen sorgt es durch die Vermittlung von Wissen über landesspezifische Artenschutzthemen für ein gesteigertes Bewusstsein über die Notwendigkeit des Erhalts unserer Biodiversität, in der Hoffnung, damit die Weichen für eine nachhaltige und artenfreundliche Zukunft zu stellen.


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