Wildlife Conservation

Volunteering in Wildlife Conservation Projects in South Africa

Are you interested in volunteering in wildlife conservation projects? Would you like to make a contribution to the protection of Africa’s Big 5 ?

South Africa has a long tradition of Wildlife Conservation. Already at the end of the 19th century, South Africa’s most famous National Park, the Kruger National Park, was founded. Today there are over 20 National Parks and almost 400 private nature reserves that help protect South Africa’s unique flora and fauna. The biggest current environmental threats to South Africa’s wildlife are habitat destruction due to the ever increasing urban sprawl and farming as well as poaching.

Leave your footprint and volunteer for our wildlife conservation projects in South Africa. Learn all about wildlife management and conservation, assist with environmental education initiatives and contribute to the rehabilitation of endangered animal and plant species. While doing so you have the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience South Africa’s wildlife up close and personal. 

Please note that all our wildlife conservation projects have a strict hands-off policy. This means that in all our projects neither staff, nor volunteers or visitors are allowed to touch or cuddle with wild animals – except for medical reasons. We are working with wildlife in order to keep the animals wild and not to turn them into pets!

As part of our volunteer programme Wildlife Conservation in South Africa you can volunteer for the following projects:

Big 5 Conservation Programme

In this conservation programme you assist all conservation work in three Big 5 game reserves. You assist research tasks such as daily observation and monitoring of behaviour and movement of certain species, the preparation of food, alien plant clearing as well as general maintenance work in the reserves.

Lion Rescue Sanctuary

This sanctuary cares for 28 lions born in captivity and rescued from abuse in their previous homes around the world. The sanactuary is also home to 5 chimpansees and a few other wild animals that were rescued from the Cape Town Zoo when it was closed. As a volunteer you assist in all tasks to care for the animals (preparation of food, feeding, maintenance) and to inform visitors from around the world about the history of the lions and their threats such as the commercial hunting industry.

Wildlife Project

This private game reserve located in South Africas fascinating Eastern Cape and is home to South Africa's Big 5 as well as hippos, hyenas, zebras, giraffes lots of small indegenous species as well as birds. You support both research, rehabilitation and maintenance work as well as education programmes in a local farm school.

Penguin Rescue in Cape Town

You are fascinated by penguins and you would like to assist the reahabilitation of the endangered African Penguin species? In this hospital and rehabilitation centre for penguins and sea birds in Cape Town you assist the team in all tasks to treat and care for sick or injured penguins before they are released back into the wild.

Protection of Dolphins and Whales

You love the ocean and you would like to make a contribution to marine conservation, in particular to the protection of dolphins and whales? As a volunteer in this foundation for marine conservation you will assist both research work as well as hands on conservation work, the rescue of injured (sea) animals as well as environmental education progarmmes in a local school and kindergarten.

Shark and Whale Conservation

The Great White Shark is listed as an endangered species because its population has dropped mainly due to unregulated trade and excessive hunting. As part of this marine conservation programme founded by a responsible operator of whale watching and shark cage diving tours you contribute to both research on whale and shark behaviour as well as hands on conservation work with injured penguins and seabirds. You will also assist the crew on whale watching and shark cage diving tours.

Monkey Sanctuary - Garden Route

This unique free-roaming sanctuary has one many sustainable tourism awards. It is home to over 450 primates that have been born in captivity. As a wildlife volunteer you assist rangers with safaris through the forest to inform visitors arund the world about the various monkey species as well as their threats. You also support the team with various operational and maintenance tasks, such as preparing food, repairing fences, alien plant control etc..

Monkey Sanctuary - KwaZulu Natal

This sanctuary for monkeys born in captivity was opened in November 2018 and is home to both indegenous and exotic monkey species from around the worl. As a wildlife volunteer you assist rangers on safaris through the forest, environmental education programmes as well as various operational and maintenance tasks.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?  Check out other volunteer placements.

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