African Insight Academy
Somkhanda Game Reserve is home to populations of both black and white rhino, cape buffalo, elephants, leopard and wild dog along with comprehensive range of all the large mammals that historically occurred in this region. Lions are due to arrive on the reserve in May 2017.
African Insight Academy at Somkhanda Game Reserve offers internships and volunteer opportunities in South Africa where you can get involved in the reserve’s wildlife and environmental management, ecological research and monitoring programs.
African Insight Academy is responsible for the development and management of tourism on the reserve. We have developed a Science on Safari model with the objective of developing a range of wildlife experiences that adds to financial sustainability of the reserve, as well as providing vital scientific data of the fauna and flora essential for the ongoing biological management of the reserve.
These intern and volunteer programmes are not for those who are looking for a holiday experience where they will be entertained, but it is for those who are considering a career in conservation. If you're in need of work experience or have research skills you wish to hone, or are keen to make a contribution to this important community conservation initiative, please do get in touch with us!
African Insight Academy Vision:
African Insight Academy has the vision to develop a sustainable, responsible tourism business that offers the following:
- Young postgraduates the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will increase their skills and employability.
- School leavers the opportunity to experience a range of wildlife industry related career options.
- Through these experiences to provide the game reserve with sufficient valuable research.
- Provide the reserve with practical conservation and eco-tourism support.
- Using the game reserve as an asset to facilitate valuable skills development to the community surrounding the game reserve by offering recognised courses and internships in environmental issues and tourism.
African Insight Academy offers 3 month internships, which are based on the duration of a standard tourist visa. We have a separate camp for interns that consists of 8 cottage tents set up for one person each. The camp has its own communal ablution block and kitchen. Interns are on a self-catering basis. Currently, we offer three internship programmes:
- Conservation Management Internship
- Ecological Research Internship
- Hospitality and Eco-tourism Internship
To save on transport costs AI Academy has scheduled monthly arrival and departure dates that coincide with scheduled trips up to Somkhanda Game Reserve.
These internships are aimed at students who are in the process of, or have completed, a basic degree or doing a postgraduate degree and need to do field work/project. It is an ideal opportunity to get some work experience on their resume. On completion of your South African internship we will provide you with a letter of recommendation should you wish to receive one
Applicants need to either submit a research project that will have a direct benefit to the ongoing management of the reserve or, if they do not have a particular research project, they will be involved in ongoing monitoring programmes on the reserve.
African Insight Academy offers a variety of volunteer programmes, based on the same scheduled arrival and departure dates as the intern programmes. The aim of the volunteer projects is to give applicants a better understanding of the subject matter for those that are considering a career in either of the fields in which they have volunteered. It is possible to combine these volunteer programs together giving you a rounded experience in all fields. We currently offer the following four volunteer programs
- Adventure, wildlife and community volunteer
- FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer
- Wildlife and conservation volunteer
- Black Rhino Conservation volunteer
- Game Reserve Management Volunteer
These volunteer programs are aimed at students currently enrolled in an appropriate academic programme, professionals looking for an experiential volunteer opportunity and post-school students who may be considering a career in wildlife conservation, eco-tourism or wildlife rehabilitation.
Applicants need to motivate why they want to be part of this programme.
African Insight Academy will be offering the following courses in 2017
This programme is offered in the college and university holidays and is aimed at students who have been on an academic field trip and would like to come back a do a more in-depth 2 week experience. It is not accredited and is delivered as a "ranger-lite" course, where you will learn the basics of bush skills and guide background knowledge. A great course to work out if the bush life is something you want to pursue!
Intern programs (3 month programs)
- Ecological Research Internship - R24,300
- Wildlife Conservation Internship - R24,300
- Eco-tourism and Hospitality - R24,300
Volunteer Programs (1 month programs)
- Wildlife Conservation Volunteer - R14,800
Volunteer Programs (2 weeks)
- FreeMe Animal Rehabilitation Volunteer - POA
- Tillietudlem Game Reserve Management - R12,450
- Black Rhino Conservation Volunteer - R12,980
- Game ranger course - R13,650