African Big 5 Volunteering Project in South Africa

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Get Involved In Wildlife Conservation Efforts That Matter

Join our African Big 5 Wildlife Conservation Project and immerse yourself in the captivating wilderness of South Africa. Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or an aspiring conservationist, this enriching volunteer experience will unveil the many wonders of the African bush. No matter your skill set or expertise, this wildlife conservation program in South Africa will immerse you in the African bush alongside a skilled and qualified team that includes a Field Guide and Research professionals.

Contribute to meaningful big 5 conservation efforts by participating in animal tracking, monitoring and data collection initiatives on daily game drives. Your contributions will directly support the protection of incredible South African wildlife and their habitats. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Project Highlights

  • Spend your time in the wild, observing and monitoring Africa’s ‘Big 5’ – Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards and Buffalo.
  • Contribute to research and data collection that will directly influence wildlife conservation efforts, helping to protect these magnificent animals from poaching and habitat loss.
  • Play an active role in preserving the delicate balance of the African ecosystem by actively removing invasive plant species and wire snares used for illegal poaching.
  • Live in the heart of the world-famous Greater Kruger Area in a private volunteer lodge surrounded by nature and open skies.
  • On your free weekends, explore the spectacular Blyde River Canyon or delve deeper into the Kruger National Park.

Quick Facts

Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

Hoedspruit Airport

Specific Start Dates

2 – 12 weeks

Impact: Wildlife Conservation

From $1375 per week

Destination

Immerse yourself in the untamed majesty of the Greater Kruger area, a sprawling tapestry of over 20 private reserves seamlessly woven together. Bordering the iconic Kruger National Park, this vast landscape pulsates with life, serving as a sanctuary for an extraordinary array of species – from the majestic African lion to the vulnerable Black and White rhinoceros, to the endangered African wild dog. The whole area comprises almost 5.5 million acres of unfenced land where animals roam freely across wild savannah. The Greater Kruger area offers endless opportunities for wildlife encounters; the elephants might join you for dinner and just wait until you hear the hippos at night!

Accommodation

You will be staying at Kambaku Camp in the heart of the African wilderness. It is a traditional bush lodge with all the facilities and furnishings you need for a comfortable and authentic stay in Africa. The accommodation includes seven large dorm rooms overlooking the Olifants River. All the rooms have air conditioning and bathrooms. Some of the facilities include a swimming pool and outdoor fire pit where we have braais (BBQs), all set in a great shared social space.

Meals are provided 7 days a week at Kambaku Camp and can cater for dietary requirements, with enough notice. Our local chefs prepare for you as part of our delicious menus including bobotie, a potjie, a Cape Malay-style curry or the experience and excitement of cooking on an open fire with a South African braai.

Cellular signals can be variable. If you are purchasing a local, South African SIM Card, we would recommend using MTN as the service provider. WiFi is available throughout the lodge.

May to September (winter in the southern hemisphere) are the cooler months and temperatures can be chilly in the evenings and early mornings. Daytime temperatures are mild, usually between 22°C (71°F) to 25°C (77°F), and days can be clear and sunny or overcast. Night-time temperatures can drop to 6°C (43°F).

October to April (summer in the southern hemisphere) most days will be hot and humid. In the middle of summer, temperatures can often reach 34°C+ (93°F+), and the sun is strong. 

Most days are clear and sunny, with heavy showers or thunderstorms in the early evenings. You will need a waterproof jacket.

Participant Requirements

AGE

The minimum age for our African Big 5 conservation project is 16 years of age. Please note that Parental Consent is required before arrival for those aged 16 and 17.

To travel to Africa, many people are required to obtain a visa either upon entry to the relevant country or beforehand. Please note different countries require different passport validity periods. But don’t panic, our Journey Team will help direct you and answer your questions during our Pre-departure process.

Project Impact Areas

WILDLIFE RESEARCH

Enjoy daily game drives and witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of South Africa’s wildlife in their natural habitat. From the majestic lion’s roar to the gentle graze of zebras, each encounter promises to be unforgettable; but your role as a volunteer in South Africa extends beyond observation. Through meticulous data collection and monitoring of animal populations and behaviors, you’ll contribute directly to vital African Big 5 conservation efforts, ensuring the future of these irreplaceable species for generations to come. Become an active participant in safeguarding the ecological balance of this extraordinary ecosystem, leaving a lasting impact on the land and its inhabitants.

PHYSICAL CONSERVATION

Engage in physical conservation work, where you’ll have the opportunity to get your hands dirty and make a tangible difference. Your conservation volunteer work will transform the landscape back into a healthy habitat where wildlife can flourish. As you remove snares, eradicate invasive plant species, and contribute to habitat restoration, you’ll witness the positive impact your efforts have on the environment and the creatures that call it home.

DATA COLLECTION

Your keen eyes and dedicated volunteer work will become instrumental in gathering crucial data. Alongside our seasoned wildlife research team, you’ll actively participate in documenting animal behavior, meticulously compiling observations into comprehensive reports, detailed maps, and up-to-date identification profiles. This invaluable information forms the bedrock of future wildlife conservation strategies, ensuring informed decision-making for the long-term protection of these extraordinary creatures.

Program team member documenting information on clipboard

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On-the-ground Project Support

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FLIGHTS & ARRIVAL

A friendly face from our Base Team will be ready to meet you at the airport and drive you to our Volunteer Accommodation. Just look out for the African Impact sign!

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SAFETY

On arrival you’ll have a comprehensive induction to prepare you for project work, the local culture, people and wildlife; and of course, how to stay safe!

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STAFF

24/7 support: Our base teams are on hand every day to make sure you have the most amazing and memorable time in Africa.

Program Experience

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Recommended WEEKEND Activities

RHINO REVOLUTION

This organization devotes its efforts to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing orphaned wild rhino calves. These orphaned calves typically come into the centre as a result of their mothers having been poached for the rhino horn trade. Not only does Rhino Revolution care for these motherless calves, they also support critical rhino dehorning operations in the surrounding area.

QUAD BIKING ADVENTURE

Set off on an adventure through the African bush, trading your seat in the game viewer for a seat on a quad bike. These guided quad bike tours can last between 1 – 3 hours, offering you a unique perspective from which to view wildlife. You’ll be sure to drive amongst wildebeest and giraffes.

HELICOPTER FLIGHTS

From our base in the Greater Kruger area, you will be able to embark on a 15 minute or 1 hour long helicopter charter. The 1 hour long flight will take you back to the Blyde River Canyon where you will be able to marvel at the terrains you hiked over – this time from above!

PROJECT APPLICATION

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

After completing the below application form, one of our Destination Specialists will get in touch to discuss your volunteer experience and any questions you may have. When you are ready to book, we will send you a booking form after which a deposit will be required to secure your position.

STEP 1

Personal Information

STEP 2

When do you want to Volunteer or Intern?

(Optional)

Give us an idea of your travel plans, you can also say ‘I’m not sure yet.’ 
We’ll take it from there.

STEP 3

How long do you want to Volunteer or Intern for?

(Optional)

Select your preferred duration(s). The African Impact team recommend at least 4 weeks for a truly memorable experience!

PRICE

From $1375 per week. Your weekly cost will reduce if you stay for longer than 2 weeks, book with a friend or are a return volunteer.

PROJECT FEE INCLUDES

  • African Impact bush style accommodation with swimming pool
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (Mon – Sun)
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All project transport, equipment and resources
  • Support from experienced local and international
  • African Impact staff Full orientation for responsible project contribution

PROJECT FEE EXCLUDES

  • Price excludes flights, visas, insurance, weekend tours and personal expenses

African Big 5 Volunteering FAQs

WHAT ANIMALS ARE PART OF THE AFRICAN BIG 5?

The African Big 5 include the following iconic animals:

  • Lion: The king of the jungle, renowned for its powerful roar and social structure.
  • Leopard: A solitary and elusive predator known for its stealth and agility.
  • Elephant: The largest land mammal on Earth, characterized by its impressive size, intelligence, and social bonds.
  • Rhinoceros: A powerful herbivore with thick skin and a distinctive horn, facing significant threats due to poaching.
  • Cape buffalo: A large, aggressive herd animal with impressive horns, often considered dangerous due to its unpredictable nature.

Witness the positive impact of your efforts, embrace the warmth of the South African people, and broaden your horizons through cultural immersion. Develop valuable life skills, forge lasting connections, and discover hidden passions. Return home transformed, with a deeper appreciation for the world and a renewed sense of purpose. Choose African Impact for a well-organized, impactful experience that goes beyond volunteering – it’s a journey of self-discovery and lasting positive change.

No prior experience is required! What truly matters is your enthusiasm for South African wildlife and a willingness to learn. So, if you’re eager to immerse yourself in the world of wildlife conservation, don’t let a lack of experience hold you back!

More about African Impact

How it works

Find a project

Choose & apply for one of our exciting projects!

connect with us

Connect and plan your trip with our Destination Specialists

secure a place

Pay your deposit to secure your booking

start preparing

Start finalising your trip with our Journey Team

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