Wildlife Photography & Conservation Volunteer Project in South Africa

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Gain Skills in Conservation That Go Beyond Just Photography

Guided and tutored by a professional photographer, gain practical experience in wildlife photography while contributing to the conservation of South Africa’s wildlife. Using your new skills, you will support NGO’s and help raise awareness of environmental and conservation issues in the Greater Kruger Area. 

The photography program is a 4 – 12 week placement (with optional extension) which begins with an intensive induction from our on-site professional photographer. Under guidance and in the impressive setting of the Greater Kruger Region in South Africa, photographers have the opportunity to enhance their photographic skills, encounter some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife and most importantly, contribute to on-going research, community and environmental initiatives. 

Read more about the impact you can make as a Wildlife Photography volunteer. 

Project Highlights

  • Develop your existing skills for the next step in your career with one on one guidance and mentorship from a professional wildlife photographer .
  • Improve and refine your camera skills and knowledge of photography with a focus on wildlife landscape, and night photography
  • Learn how to interact with nature responsibly and gain a deeper understanding of ethical wildlife photography and its role in conservation
  • Contribute to research by capturing photos that can be used for I.D. kits and monitoring the health of the animals and reserve
  • Embark on adventures through game reserves adjacent to the Kruger National Park as a part of your photographic experience
  • Learn how your new skills and photos can be used to make a difference through conservation support, marketing, and fundraising
  • Gain a competitive edge by getting practical experience in the field and encountering wild animals in their natural habitat
  • Immerse yourself in the African bush and famous experiences such as night drives and overnighting in an African Big 5 reserve
volunteer watching the sunset in South africa

Quick Facts

Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

Hoedspruit Airport

Specific Start Dates

4 - 12 weeks

Impact: Wildlife Conservation

Travel is better with friends special (15% off each)

$5,030 – $9,030


wildlife photography volunteer taking pictures of elephants

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.

You will be staying at Olifants River Camp in the heart of the African wilderness. It is a traditional bush lodge set in a big 5 reserve with all the facilities and furnishings you need for a comfortable and authentic stay in Africa.The team are passionate about environmental conservation and it is reflected in how the lodge is run. Recycling, sustainable use of resources, environmental education, and the use of locally grown produce and ethically sourced ingredients are all important aspects of life at Olifants River Camp.

The accommodation includes 7 large dorm rooms overlooking the Olifants River. All the rooms have air-con and bathrooms. Some of the facilities include a swimming pool, outdoor fire pit where we have braais (BBQs), all set in a great shared social space. 

We believe that the best way to learn about a people and a culture is through their food and food customs. Some examples of traditional South African meals our local chefs prepare for you as part of our delicious and nutritious menus include bobotie, a potjie, a Cape Malay-style curry or the experience and excitement of cooking on an open fire with a South African braai.

Braais (an African style BBQ) are one of our beloved traditions. However, although meat is the preferred braai food, just about anything can be thrown on a braai, so even vegetarians and vegans can experience this proudly South African tradition. Meals are provided 7 days a week at Olifants River Camp and we proudly cater for most dietary preferences.

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.

Although South Africa has the usual 4 seasons, there are 2 distinct seasons in the Greater Kruger area. The climate in Kruger is generally considered to be subtropical with hot weather throughout the year. The dry winter season is generally considered he best time for wildlife viewing. Animals tend to congregate around the limited water sources and the vegetation isn’t so dense, meaning animals are easier to find and view! However, the landscape is more lush and beautiful during the rainy summer season and baby animals are aplenty!

Project Impact Areas

Photographic Workshop

In the first week of this program, you will take part in an extensive workshop alongside our professional photographer. You will learn the basics, secrets, and highlights of photography, learn how to use your camera settings and what you need to focus on when taking pictures. You will get assignments to capture frames, colors, movement, portraits, and much more, all of which should teach you new techniques and make you a better photographer. Lastly, you will be taught how to edit your photographs in Adobe Lightroom – helping them stand out from the crowd. 


Practical Volunteering

Your remaining time on this project will be spent contributing to our wider aims and objectives here in the Greater Kruger, continuing to develop and grow your photographic skills the entire time. We aim to give you a realistic idea of what it is to be a professional photographer which includes editing and learning how best to use your photographs. Through the different activities identified in the next couple of tabs, we’ll take pride in teaching you how to create National Geographic-level photographs, how to present them in context, and how to seek out opportunities for exposure. You will have assignments to complete and at the end of the four weeks, will be astonished by the end result. 

Photographers In Action

Working in conjunction with our research department, photographers will assist the research team in collecting animal identification information. By taking clear and concise photographs of the wildlife we encounter on game drives, the research team is able to identify the individuals and report back on their health, movements, and behavior. These photographs are key for reserve management as they feed into identification databases that are consulted when making conservation-led decisions

Use your camera to transport people into the world beneath their feet with Macro Photography. As a photography volunteer, you’ll develop your understanding and appreciation of the smaller aspects of the wildlife environment and learn how to best portray their immense beauty. You will soon be in awe of the amazing creatures we so often overlook, such as the dung beetle, the dragonflies, and many more.

It is very important as a wildlife photographer to work in an ethical manner when photographing animals in their natural environment. Therefore, we will teach you about animal behavior and help you become more conservation-minded in your approach to photography. Understanding how to be a photographer in this context ensures the best possible impact on wildlife conservation, as well as provides you with stunning imagery.


Other Activities

Recent Volunteer Reviews


15%off EACH*

Dates & Rates

When would you like to volunteer?

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

How long would you like to volunteer?

This is the place to select your preferred duration(s). The African Impact team recommend at least 4 weeks for a truly memorable experience!

4 weeks $5030
5 weeks $5530
6 weeks $6030
7 weeks $6530
8 weeks $7030
9 weeks $7530
10 weeks $8030
11 weeks $8530
12 weeks $9030

Personal Information

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SMS & WhatsApp Opt-In
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Project Fee Includes:

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Accommodation throughout your stay
  • 3 delicious meals a day
  • Transport to and from project
  • 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

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Frequently Asked Questions

Embarking on a wildlife photography volunteer program is an incredible way to refine your wildlife photography skills while positively impacting local conservation efforts. We’ll take you into the heart of the African bush, in the best light, at the perfect times of the day to ensure you capture the most incredible photographs possible. Working with our research team, you will then add a selection of your pictures to conservation databases that can help inform wildlife conservation decisions and fundraise for local wildlife non-profit organisations.

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.

Yes! Keep reading this page to learn more about our Wildlife Photography and Conservation Volunteer Project in the Greater Kruger Area. If you’re looking to take your professional skills to the next level, consider our Wildlife Photography Internship in South Africa!