Volunteering In South Africa
Somkhanda academy offers one-month South African volunteer programme, 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.
volunteers will be trained and thereafter responsible for ongoing field data collection on a range of research and monitoring projects. If you do not have your own project you can get involved in the ongoing projects which currently include:
- Leopard Camera Trap Surveys,
- Black Rhino browse availability surveys,
- Analysis of rhino movement patterns,
- Analysis and management of game water-points,
- Game counts,
- Potential to participate in management activities such as game capture, game introductions and priority species monitoring.
In addition, interns will be trained to facilitate academic field trips and Science on Safari programmes.
The goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure that nature and wildlife will be around for future generations to enjoy and also to recognise the importance of wildlife and wilderness for humans and other species alike. On this wildlife conservation volunteer program, you will get involved at the base level where you will be involved in collecting data from various sources such as camera traps. This, in turn, will give the reserve a better understanding of animal movement patterns as well as what species of animal prefer which areas of the reserve. This is just one of the many projects you will be involved with as some of our volunteers have been involved with animal darting as well as the release of animals into the reserve. All of the data you collect by either research or monitoring will contribute to the ongoing management decision making.
On this community volunteering programme, you will bring much needed English skills to an impoverished remote rural community. This will give you a great understanding of the seemingly simple lives lived by the communities surrounding the reserve. It also shows you the importance of the commodities we take for granted like running water and electricity. You will also have the opportunity to live as the locals do and learn from them as they go about their lives.
The camp is based in the Zululand District of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. This region is the heart of the Zulu nation, which is the most significant tribal group in South Africa. Our base during this 3-week program is on a community (tribal) owned game reserve and our daily work takes place in rural schools surrounding the reserve.
FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation KZN is a centre which was established in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, just outside Howick, to handle the rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of all injured, orphaned or sick wildlife from an area which covers a large area with diverse climate and vegetation zones from sub-tropical forest and thorn Veld near the coast to the cool temperate misty grassland belts, ending with the harsh climate of the Drakensburg Mountain region, which is subject to snow, big storms and run away fires.
Somkhanda is the perfect habitat for black rhino however the presence of the alien vegetation species Chromoleana odorata and the ideal climatic conditions have created the perfect conditions for its proliferation. The result is an incredible amount of black rhino habitat loss. Hundreds of hectares of black rhino habitat are completely lost which requires a concerted effort to reclaim. Other areas, which have been reclaimed, require persistent monitoring and follow-up treatment to prevent recolonization.