The southernmost country of the African continent fascinates the world as it is home to magnificent natural landscapes and a unique wildlife diversity – and as part of this dedicated conservation project you get the chance to explore the stunning nature from up close. The project unfolds its work in a free roaming reserve of 11,000 ha, located in South Africa’s impressive province Western Cape in the country’s southwest. Here you cannot only witness an incredibly rich fauna but also the region’s amazing flora as the reserve is situated in the midst of the unique Fynbos Biome, an ecoregion comprising different vegetation types. Learn how real conservation work is conducted and immerse yourself into the pristine wilderness of South Africa’s wonderful Southwest.
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 in 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.
A typical day in the project starts roughly at 7:00 am. After breakfast at the hostel at around 07:30 am 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 hostel in Mossel Bay and can relax for the rest of the evening.
In addition to the activities listed above you will also receive hands-on training in essential bush skills, such as survival training, animal tracking and methods for safely approaching wild animals. At any stage a group consists of a total of 4 students to ensure efficiency of the project work.
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.
During your time as a volunteer you and other volunteers will be accommodated in a hostel in Mossel Bay, located at South Africa’s Southern coast. You will sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms. In the hostel 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 the self-catering kitchen for meal preparation or enjoy a meal in one of the several beach restaurants. The meals that will be offered to you allow for a vegetarian diet. The facility, which is highly secure and safe with restricted access, is located a short walk from the beach, shops, take-aways, supermarkets, restaurants, hiking trails, museums and cultural activities. It further provides access to free WiFi, a communal TV lounge, a swimming pool, a snack stall and an Adventure Centre for extra activities.
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.
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 hostel is located in the centre of 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, wine tours, hiking trails and visiting South African national parks
South Africa is renowned for the variety of species which live there. Apart from regions as the famous Kruger National Park, the southwestern province Western Cape is a true biodiversity hotspot. Our partner’s conservation project aims at preserving the manifold flora and fauna of the country and focuses exclusively on ethical wildlife conservation and research as well as collaborating with local people. Education and information are supposed to contribute to containing the human wildlife conflict and to promote a peaceful co-existence between human beings and animals. By involving volunteers from all over the world the projects gets the support it needs and earns – furthermore, by imparting crucial conservation knowledge, it ensures an increased awareness of the world’s need to be sustainably protected and therefore helps to promote a sustainable and wildlife friendly future.