African Big 5 And Wildlife Conservation Volunteer In South Africa

Quick Facts

Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

Hoedspruit Airport

Every second Sunday

2 – 12 weeks

Impact: Wildlife Conservation

$2695 – $7695

Wildlife volunteer and Big 5 conservation

Volunteer in South Africa with the African Big 5 wildlife conservation project and join our expert field guides and wildlife conservation research team in the most beautiful game reserves in the Greater Kruger Area. Our most popular volunteer project in Africa and our most remote destination is situated in the untouched African bush. African Impact provide the ultimate African volunteering safari and some of the most memorable encounters with Africa’s iconic ‘Big 5’ species.

This volunteer program is ideal for wildlife lovers, nature enthusiasts, and aspiring conservationists or zoologists. No matter your skillset or expertise, this volunteer program immerses you into the African bush like never before. Volunteering in South Africa in the greater kruger region is perfect anytime of year with mild cool winters and warm sunny summers, what are you waiting for? Complete the volunteer application form now!

Project Highlights

Spend your time in the wild, researching Africa’s ‘Big 5’ – Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Buffalo

Collect information that will influence wildlife conservation by protecting wildlife from threats such as poaching and habitat loss

Track the movements and behaviours of herds of elephants and prides of lions through the wild African bush

Witness nocturnal animals such as leopards in their natural habitat on unforgettable moonlit night drives

On your free weekends, explore the spectacular Blyde River Canyon, go on a safari in the Kruger National Park, or experience the fascinating culture of the people in Eswatini

Live in the heart of the world-famous Greater Kruger Area in a private volunteer lodge surrounded by nature and open skies

Offer much needed assistance with removing invasive plant species and going on anti-poaching snare sweeps

Where is this project located and what is the accommodation like

The Greater Kruger Area encompasses over 20 private wildlife reserves on the west side of the world-renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa. These private reserves come together to create one big reserve. A significant contribution to wildlife conservation efforts, helping to protect and preserve one of the world’s last remaining wildlife strongholds.

The whole area comprises almost 5.5 million acres of unfenced land where animals roam freely across wild savannah. The Greater Kruger Area is a major hotspot for wildlife conservation and offers endless opportunities for wildlife encounters with iconic animals such as elephants, lions, rhinos, and wild dogs. Many of these animals are endangered or vulnerable. 

Situated on the banks of the Olifants River your home during your time with us will be at a private base camp which is open to the Kruger National Park. You’ll experience a safari-style camp with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a swimming pool, viewing deck, WiFi, hot showers, and an outdoor area for star gazing and socializing.

2 cooked meals a day and a help-yourself breakfast 

At the lodge there is free WiFi to enable you to make contact with home through WhatsApp, Zoom etc. It is also easy to purchase a sim and add data credit to allow you to use your own phone to stay in touch.

The project is situated in the Lowveld – a semi–arid region. We are blessed with good weather all year round. Summer season (October to March) can be wet and hot. The hottest months are usually December, January and February. Winter Season (April to September) is dry and sunny. The coolest months being June and July when it does get cold at night and early mornings.


Once you have completed the below steps and submitted your details, a Destination Specialist expertly trained in wildlife volunteer projects will be in-touch to discuss the project with you and answer any questions you may have. We are excited to welcome you to Africa and look forward to growing together.

Step 1
Select your Start Date
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Select your Duration
2 weeks $2695
3 weeks $3195
4 weeks $3695
5 weeks $4195
6 weeks $4695
7 weeks $5195
8 weeks $5695
9 weeks $6195
10 weeks $6695
11 weeks $7195
12 weeks $7695

Project Fee Includes

  • Shared accommodation throughout your stay
  • 2 cooked meals a day and a help-yourself breakfast
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • 24/7 support from experienced international and local staff
  • Full orientation to ensure you contribute responsibly
  • Project equipment and resources

Project Fee Excludes

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours not on the itinerary
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts, and souvenirs
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund

Project Impact Areas

Volunteers seated inside safari vehicle documenting on-site wildlife research

Wildlife Research Safari Drives

Venture into the African bush on daily volunteer safari drives in search of the Big 5 species and other iconic African wildlife. You will monitor wild animals and collect vital data. Your observations and volunteer work are essential for providing critical information that will influence wildlife conservation strategies that protect endangered and vulnerable wildlife in africa.

These safari drives will also give you a chance to experience the wonders of the African bush and go on private safaris in the most beautiful reserves in the Greater Kruger Park area in South Africa. 

wildlife conservation interns in Greater Kruger Area

Physical Conservation work

Physical conservation work is a vital part of volunteer wildlife conservation program (and a lot more fun than you would think it would be), so you will have plenty of opportunities to get your hands dirty on foot in the African bush amongst the wild animals natural habitat.

Whether you assist in getting rid of snares or removing invasive species, the volunteer work you do is key to the survival of wildlife and the success of wildlife conservation in the Greater Kruger area of South Africa. It transforms the land back into a healthy habitat where wildlife can flourish.

You don’t have to be particularly fit for this kind of volunteer work – we have a role for all volunteer project participants.  

Program team member documenting information on clipboard

Research and Analysis

You will work alongside our experienced team of wildlife conservation research experts and help to compile data of the wild animals encountered into reports, maps, and up to date profiles (ID kits). The techniques you will learn about doing this volunteer work include analyzing whisker patterns, scars, and ear notches to understand and distinguish individual animals.

These research sessions will teach you about data collection and compilation techniques that are used to influence wildlife conservation strategies both within the reserve and greater surrounding areas of Kruger National Park. Conservationists and field guides can use this data to monitor the movements and health of wildlife for years to come. 

Recent Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Joining our Big 5 Wildlife Conservation volunteer project in South Africa is the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll spend your days immersed in the stunning Greater Kruger Area, conducting valuable research on the iconic African Big 5 and other incredible wildlife. Venturing out on regular game drives, your analysis of these creatures’ health, behaviour, and populations will inform conservation strategies in the park, ensuring wildlife in South Africa are protected in the best possible way.

You’ll be volunteering in South Africa’s Greater Kruger Area, a sprawling expanse of over 20 private game reserves. Sharing a fenceless border with the Kruger National Park, The Greater Kruger Area hosts the same iconic beauty and African wildlife that the neighbouring national park is world-renowned for, but without the crowds. On this volunteer conservation project, you’ll be swept away in the exclusive and unforgettable wildlife encounters that only lucky travellers in the area get to experience.

The Big 5 makes up some of the most stunning and iconic wildlife of South Africa. They are the African elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros.

If you’re searching for a volunteer conservation project that allows you to get lost in the magic of South Africa, look no further. One of our most popular volunteer projects, joining us in the Greater Kruger Area, is an unmatched opportunity to experience the wild side of South Africa while making sustainable, measurable impacts for local wildlife and communities.

Here is a list of a few of the benefits of volunteering in South Africa with African Impact:
– You’ll walk away from your volunteer experience in South Africa as a transformed individual, with adventures and memories to last a lifetime.
– Joining a volunteer conservation project in Africa is a great CV booster, regardless of if you are going into an ecology-related field or something completely different.
– Lastly, you’ll be making real, tangible impacts on the protection of endangered and vulnerable African wildlife, which is, perhaps, the greatest benefit of all.

Other Activities which volunteers enjoy

With the world-famous Kruger National Park right on our doorstep, going on safari will be at the top of your list of things to do during your volunteer stay in South Africa. It is the largest game reserve in South Africa, and by far, the best.

Mountains, savannahs, rivers, and tropical forests make up the landscape of Kruger National Park. The Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo – are the most well-known residents. But hundreds of other animals call the Kruger National Park home, so keep your camera ready!

The Panorama Route is a must-do during your time in South Africa. A weekend road trip along the Panorama Route gives you a chance to explore its wonders, including the spectacular Blyde River Canyon. It is the third-largest canyon on Earth. Two of the best ways to experience the canyon is on a white river rafting trip or microlight flight. If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, Three Rondavels and God’s Window are the best viewpoints.

Waterfall chasing is another highlight of the Panorama Route. The most impressive waterfalls are Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls, and Lone Creek Falls.

After the day’s excitement, you can relax at our volunteer base beside the pool, have a drink at the bar, watch a movie, or enjoy a games night with the other interns and volunteers.

We often have presentations by guides and staff members, which is a great way to learn more about the African environment and its inhabitants. You can also get involved in fundraising events such as games and quiz nights.

Dinners on our viewing deck are a highlight at Olifant’s River Camp. As are the marshmallow roasting get togethers around the fire!