Volunteer Abroad

Wildlife Expedition in South Africa with Internship Option

Explore and discover an amazing wildlife!

Witness nature in its simplest form, from watching a lion take down its prey or newborn cheetah cubs playing, to a stand-off between two elephants. In the African bush you can never tell what you will find just around the corner…

Have fun Volunteering!

Travel to a private Big Five game reserve in South Africa and volunteer alongside an international team assisting in vital conservation work. Learn to track animals through the bushveld, study their behavior and get acquainted with charismatic game species such as lion, leopard, elephant and rhino.

Start an incredible Internship!

Kick-start your conservation career when you join a wildlife conservation internship in South Africa’s iconic bushveld. Gain invaluable experience when you learn conservation techniques, animal tracking and how to use telemetry equipment. Use your knowledge when you join a project focusing on predator monitoring, habitat restoration or community outreach while getting up close and personal with the famous Big Five.

Here are a few of the program highlights:

  • Program duration varies from 4 weeks to 12 weeks for Volunteers; program duration is 24 weeks for Interns.
  • Many departure date options
  • Accommodations are included
  • Weekends off
  • International experience
  • Orientation when you arrive

Your typical Day

Most of your time is spent in game viewing vehicles out in the reserve, especially at dawn and dusk when the weather is cooler and the wildlife is most active. The main research focus varies depending on your location and could involve big cats (lions, leopards, and cheetahs), hyena, and elephants.

There is a daily schedule and if not assisting on game drives then you may be working on data entry or helping with camp and cooking duties.

Why Volunteering?

From a personal perspective, you will increase your knowledge of the South African environment, its importance and the threats to it, and help to increase both local and global knowledge and awareness, while contributing to our overall goals and objectives.

Before getting fully involved in the inner workings of our research, you will undergo training that will cover how to carry out extensive radio tracking and monitoring of all the collared predators on the reserve, all while learning a variety of new skills, including mammal and bird identification, ecology and bush first aid. This training will allow you to effectively contribute to the overall program, as you get to know animals on the reserve individually and following their progress and monitor behavior.

Another aspect is our community work, where you will be expected to participate in educational days with local communities, highlighting the importance of conservation.

Why an Internship?

The first 12 weeks of the internship are based on our wildlife research expedition. Here you will assist our team with predator research on big cats, learn about conservation techniques, as well as other wildlife and their habitats. Gain internationally recognised qualifications, track animals using bush skills and telemetry equipment and watch the sunset over the African bush.

On successfully completing the expedition you will have the necessary skills to undertake your 12 week work placement. During this phase, depending on your skills and our partners requirements, you will be based at a conservation organization or a safari lodge catering to tourists.

Your work placement will offer you the opportunity to put into action the skills you learned on the expedition, practice leadership scenarios and gain one of a kind experience in a professional work environment.

Here are some examples of the initiatives that you will work on:

  • Detailed monitoring of predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena
  • Monitoring and tracking of significant food sources for main predators
  • Habitat observation and restoration

After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for one of our partner organisations in South Africa, or in other countries around the world where our partners operate. 

To be eligible for the program:

  • You must be 18+ years old
  • You must be fluent in English
  • You must be a Canadian citizen and resident with a Canadian Passport (valid for at least the entire duration of your stay)
  • Must have a clean criminal background history
  • Canadian citizens who wish to go to South Africa to volunteer for 90 days or less are exempted from visa requirements.
  • For programs longer than 90 days, you have to obtain a Visitor Visa. Our team will help you to arrange this but you will be responsible for all fees and costs related to your visa’s submission.
  • It is recommended that you purchase medical insurance for the entire duration that you are in South Africa (if you would like to purchase through us - we offer a great insurance policy at a low premium)
  • Must have full time availability throughout the volunteer contract

After you are accepted into the program, we will send you a Welcome Letter which will outline everything you need before you go.

What's Included

Volunteer Program

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Telemetry training as relevant
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Wildlife identification techniques
  • Research training
  • Reserve fees and permits

Internship Program

Same as the Volunteer Program, plus:

  • Confidential professional reference
  • Final evaluation
  • Certification and summary of training and experience received
  • Weekly evaluation with your mentor
  • First Aid & CPR certification
  • Teamwork and leadership experience
  • Leading biological surveys course
  • Work placement (if successful during the first 12 weeks of the internship)

What’s Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal equipment
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Airport and reserve transfers
  • Internal transport to placements
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship

South Africa has some of the most amazing scenery and lots of history. Here are some places to consider visiting while you are there.

Cape Town

Cape Town is the quintessential melting pot: it is a city alive with creativity, colour, sounds and tastes.

While walking through the city’s streets and meeting its people, you will fall in love with its natural beauty, creative freedom and incredible spirit. Cape Town is a city where the unexpected is always just around the corner and the beautiful province of the Western Cape lies ready to be explored across the city border.

Wildlife Safari

National parks offer visitors an unparalleled diversity of adventure tourism opportunities including game viewing, bush walks, canoeing and exposure to cultural and historical experiences. There exist an incredible amount of parks such as Groenkloof, Kruger, Table Mountain, Marakele, Golden Gate, Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra, Addo Elephant, Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, & Wilderness), Bontebok, Agulhas, West Coast, and many more. 

Many more opportunities

Other possibilities include the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, the beauty of the Kalahari Desert, historic Zululand, the fantastic Southern Coast, and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and many more amazing option in this stunning country.



Prices and Dates:

Volunteer Program

2016/2017 Prices
2 weeks   CAD 2270
4 weeks   CAD 3240
6 weeks  CAD 4209 
8 weeks  CAD 5178 
12 weeks  CAD 7116
24 weeks Internship  CAD 10070 

Dates available for 2016:

  • 09 January
  • 06 February
  • 05 March
  • 02 & 30 April
  • 28 May
  • 25 June
  • 23 July
  • 20 August
  • 17 September
  • 15 October (except 24 weeks)
  • 12 November (except 24 weeks)
Dates available for 2017:
  • 7 January
  • 4 February (except 24 weeks)
  • 4 March (except 24 weeks)
  • 1 April
  • 29 April (except 24 weeks)
  • 27 May (except 24 weeks)
  • 24 June
  • 22 July (except 24 weeks)
  • 19 August (except 24 weeks)
  • 16 September
  • 14 October (except 24 weeks)
  • 11 November (except 24 weeks)

Important Note: