After arriving at Polokwane Airport a staff member of the project will pick you up and take you to the volunteer accommodation in the northern part of the Limpopo region. During the evening hours of your arrival day you can make yourself comfortable in the accommodation, get to know the entire team and learn more about the project and your future tasks. The following day starts with a game drive, familiarizing you with the African bush as well as some essential bush skills. In the afternoon the actual project work starts. Once your volunteer time is over a staff member will drive you back to Polokwane Airport.
A typical day in the project starts at around 5 AM with a delicious breakfast. Afterwards you and the rest of the team will head to the reserve at 6 AM. Under the instruction of experienced conservationist, you will be involved in intense research work during the day. During a short siesta at noon your team has lunch and gets some rest. Before heading back to the camp in the early evening, the data that you have collected over the day is noted down in a data base.
If you’re interested, please note that this project does not involve any direct interaction with wild animals. We are strongly against breeding young lions for canned hunting, and have therefore signed the strict code of conduct of the organisation CACH ( Campaign Against Canned Hunting). We can provide additional information if required. We realise that some of the people on our projects in Southern Africa want to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. Please note that NATUCATE makes no guarantee that you will see a variety of animals, in particular the big five. To make such a guarantee would be unprofessional and against our corporate philosophy.
You and other volunteers live together in a volunteer house in the northern part of the Limpopo region in South Africa in the middle of a 7200 ha large private game reserve. There are dorm rooms with single beds and two shared bathrooms. You will be provided with food for your daily meals which you can prepare in the house’s fully equipped kitchen. Water, tea and coffee are always available. You also have access to wifi – when used by many volunteers it may slow down, though.
Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
Wednesdays as well as lunch and evening hours are off. During this time, you can read, play games or chat with the others.
South Africa is home to numerous animal and plant species – in many places you can even find true biodiversity hotspots. The private game reserve in which the project unfolds its work also offers an impressive variety of different species.
But the human-wildlife conflict, climate change, poaching and other factors are the reason why many species are listed as endangered. Our partner’s species conservation project wants to work against this development and aims at protecting the rich flora and fauna by applying ethical research methods.
With the help of international volunteers, the project receives the support which is needed to fulfill this goal. Furthermore, by imparting crucial conservation knowledge, it ensures an increased awareness of the world’s need to be sustainably protected and offers the opportunity to collect valuable experiences in the field.