Volunteer Abroad South Africa: Zululand Wildlife Conservation
This species protection project involves conservation of the wilderness and protection of endangered wild animals such as cheetahs, rhinoceros, African wild dogs, elephants, lions and leopards.
The project works across several different Game Reserves in Zululand, each with a different conservation focus, and with differing animal species present on each reserve. Your entire training will take place while on the job in the African bush. You will learn how to locate the wild animals at risk, using various instruments, how to read their tracks and how to document their behaviour and feeding patterns.
The project works in collaboration with the WWF, which also partially sponsors the project.
- Join a real wildlife conservation project in South Africa’s Zululand
- Dedicate yourself to protecting nature and wild animals
- Work together with an international volunteer team
- Observe wild dogs, elephants, lions and other wildlife in their natural habitat
- Experience the fascinating biodiversity of South Africa from up close
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
- Risk coverage certificate
Terry, your travel agent for Southern 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.
Volunteering in South Africa
As a volunteer in South Africa’s wild nature you dedicate yourself to wildlife censuses, bird watching, camera trap management and reserve maintenance – this way you receive unique hands-on training in conservation work.
Arrival and orientation in Zululand
You will book a flight to Johannesburg airport and an onward flight to Richards Bay airport, where your adventure will begin. Our partner's transfer service will pick you up from the airport and take you to your camp in the reserve.
Volunteer activities during your stay abroad in Africa
A typical day starts in the early hours of the morning (approx. 4 am). Accompanied by the other volunteers and an experienced supervisor, you will set off before sunrise seated on the back of an open off-road vehicle to watch the animals. In order to locate them various gadgets, such as tracking collars, are used. You will learn how to monitor these gadgets and so be able to work more independently. Once the animals have been located, the sighting and the behaviour and food patterns of the animals will be recorded and documented for research purposes.
Moreover, you will learn about the traditional methods of animal identification and tracking and develop an understanding of nature conservation issues and objectives with regard to the endangered species in Africa.
One day searching for animals turns out to be a success, another day you might not spot any animals at all.
You will return to camp late in the morning and have time to relax as you wish. In the late afternoon it is time for the second trip into the bush.
Accommodation as a volunteer in Zululand
The project works in five different reserves, each with its own type of vegetation and animal species. It depends on the duration of your stay how many camps you will see.
You will share accommodation with the other volunteers, at a research camp within the reserve. There is electricity, warm water and toilets. You will be supplied with everything except towels and mosquito nets. You can use the internet in the office once a week. Depending on the area mobile phone reception can be limited. The communal kitchen is well equipped with an oven, microwave, a hob and a solar cooker and contains everything you might need for cooking. You can prepare your meals here, together with the other international volunteers.
Leisure time during the wildlife conservation project
Each day you will have some time off during the midday period when it is hot and most animals are inactive. During these few hours over the midday period you are welcome to read, sleep, eat, play cards or board games, or simply enjoy the animal activity around your accommodation.
Arriving in South Africa
Wildlife conservation in South Africa: A typical volunteer day
Last day as a volunteer and departure
FAQ – Learn more about this trip
“Among all these animals you get to see, the landscapes and sunrises in the park are simply stunning.”
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.
“All in all I had two amazing weeks, during which I learned a lot about South Africa’s beautiful nature and an ecosystem which was totally unknown to me before.”
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:
“It was an incredibly beautiful time with countless animal sightings. To experience the wildlife and landscape of Africa in this intensity as a volunteer is a unique experience.”
KwaZulu-Natal is a province in the northeast of South Africa. From the megacity of Durban, situated on the Indian Ocean, to the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains – KwaZulu-Natal is home to many of South Africa's most fascinating sights. Last but not least, there are countless national parks and protected areas in KwaZulu-Natal, all of which are characterized by a diverse flora, a species-rich fauna and varied landscapes.
During your stay in KwaZulu-Natal, you will get a fascinating insight to the wilderness and wildlife of beautiful South Africa.
Purpose of the conservation project in Zululand
South Africa is renowned for the variety of species which live there. Together, the Zululand region, the famous Kruger National Park and the southwestern province of The Western Cape are home to more than 300 mammal species, 500 bird species, 100 reptile species and numerous species of insect. They are also home to the rarely seen African wild dog and the big five (rhinoceros, elephant, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard).
National and international efforts have established a number of nature and species conservation projects which carry out research using tracking technology in a number of areas, such as populations and movement patterns of endangered wild dogs. Mapping (monitoring) of animal and plant species helps to monitor wildlife populations and planning future conservation measures.
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