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Rhino & Elephant Conservation Project, South Africa
Volunteer with endangered elephants and rhinos in South Africa and help to track the Big 5. This project is a life changing experience which involves feeding and caring for rescued lions and leopards in South Africa.
The Rhino and Elephant Conservation Volunteer project is run on a typical South African game reserve located north of Limpopo close to the town of Musina. The reserve is home to abundant wildlife including the “Big 5” (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo).
You will also get the chance to volunteer with leopards, helping monitor and track these mysterious animals. Your work with the leopards will help maintain a vital census project on which conservation strategy is based.
- Pre-departure information and advice
- In-country assistance and support
- 24-hour emergency contacts
- In-country induction or training for 4 days
- 3-night stay at guest house during orientation
- Airport pick up and drop off
- Two site seeing tours
- Sim card for South African mobile
- Programme T shirt
- Transfer to and from project
- Accommodation: Volunteer on site residence
- Food: all meals included during work days and provided by staff
What's not included:
- Food is not included on Tuesday the day you arrive
The Rhino & Elephant Conservation Volunteer is run on a vast and rugged reserve in the north of Limpopo in South Africa, close to the town of Musina.
You will need to fly in to Johannesburg’s International Airport: O.R. Tambo (code:JNB)
Project life and Photos
The main duty you will be involved in is locating and monitoring the different rhino and elephant populations on the reserve.
You will assist on the night drives, searching for leopards and also checking remote cameras for tracking. The game reserve has a group of rescued lions that live in a semi wild area and you will be involved with feeding and caring for these lions.
There is also a leopard that can’t be released into the wild, so you will care for her on an on-going basis.
Specific task and activities:
- Tracking/monitoring of rhinos and elephants
- Leopard census and monitoring
- Caring for rescued lions and leopards
- Game capture and relocation (seasonal)
- Reserve management and maintenance, such as fence monitoring and poaching prevention
- Buffalo monitoring and habituation
Flights, transportation and visas
- International flights are not included
- You will need to fly into Johannesburg’s International Airport: O.R. Tambo (code: JNB) for a Tuesday pick up
- You will be picked up by one of the project team and taken to the guest house where you will be staying during your orientation
- On departure, your project coordinator will transport you to the airport and/ or assist with any further travel arrangements
- A tourist visa is required for Commonwealth, US and European citizens. In this case, you are able to get a tourist visa upon entry
CIBT Visa advice...
For expert visa advice we advise our volunteer, work placement, and internship participants to get in touch with CIBT - a company that we work in partnership with. Our UK, Canadian, and US travellers can use CIBT for visa advice and to get their visa applications processed - with visas returned within a week.
Dates and duration
The project starts on the first Tuesday of every month, from Tuesday to Friday you will spend your time at the orientation before being taken to the project.
- You can spend 3 weeks or 5 weeks at the project (including the orientation)
- Transfer back to the airport will be on a Friday
- This is only a small project and can take a maximum of 10 volunteers at a time.
Safety and insurance
- All of Twin Work & Volunteer's placements are in partnership with recognised and established local organisations, run by or employing local people. These organisations, depending on the nature of what they do, might be small-scale NGOs, family projects, schools or orphanages, or local initiatives with environmental or social goals.
- We often use local businesses to provide logistical and support services to volunteers such as transfers, pick-ups, accommodation and so on. In this way, we support the local economy through helping independent local businesses to thrive. We take our partnerships very seriously and work extremely closely with all our partners.
- We provide 24-hour emergency support from the UK and our partners provides support locally.
- We have an agreement with the crisis management service Tranquillico, should the very worst situations arise.
- If any wider safety concerns arise in the destination, such as civil disturbances or natural disasters, we seek advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and implement their recommendations where appropriate.
Comprehensive insurance is available for all programmes. You have no obligation to take up insurance with any of these companies, but insurance of a suitable sort is mandatory on all our programmes.
- Minimum 18 years of age
- You will need to be enthusiastic and dedicated to help protect and save these animals
- The project is physical and volunteers must be ready to roll up their sleeves and participate
- As you will be spending a lot of time out in the wild, you will need a love for nature and the outdoors
Accommodation and Food
You will be staying in a thatched chalet that can hold up to five volunteers. There are two such chalets at the reserve. You will have access to a dining area, lounge and a swimming pool. There is electricity at the camp and also in both chalets. Each chalet also has a bathroom with a flushing toilet, shower (hot water) and a sink.
Volunteers need to bring their own sleeping back, towels and toiletries.
All meals are provided. Usually the volunteers share the kitchen duties and preparing the meals.
Sample daily menu:
- Breakfast usually consists of cereals and toast with jams
- For lunch you will usually have healthy sandwiches with fruit
- Dinner will be a cooked meal either prepared by the staff or yourself
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