Somkhanda is home to populations of both black and white rhino and has just seen the reintroduction of Cape buffalo and elephants. It has a comprehensive range of all the large mammals that historically occurred in this region, including some top predators such as elusive leopards, hyena and wild dog. This unique situation affords the opportunity for Somkhanda Academy to offer 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 is responsible for the development and management of tourism on the reserve and has 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 programs 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 and need work experience or have research skills and are looking for an opportunity to make a contribution to this important community conservation initiative.
Somkhanda Academy Vision:
Through the establishment of Somkhanda Academy African Insight 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 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.
Somkhanda 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 Somkhanda Academy has scheduled monthly arrival and departure dates that coincide with scheduled trips up to Somkhanda.
These internships are aimed at students who are in the process of, or have completed, a basic degree or doing a post grad degree and need to do field work/ a 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.
Somkhanda Academy offers one-month South African 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 three 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, ecotourism or wildlife rehabilitation.
Applicants need to motivate why they want to be part of this programme.
Somkhanda Acadamy 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 two-week experience. It is not accredited.