Volunteering In South Africa
African Insight Academy offers a selection of 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 game reserve management, ecology based projects, conservation and wildlife management. 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. Ongoing projects 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 programme, 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 greater 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. It's objective is to handle the rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of all injured, orphaned or sick wildlife from a large area with diverse climate and vegetation zones. You will get involved with everything to do with looking after the current patients, incoming patients and outgoing patients, and the day to day running of an ethical and animal focused rehabilitation centre. No members of the public are allowed to view rehab patients, ensuring all animals have the best chance of going back into the wild as they're meant to be.
Somkhanda is the perfect habitat for black rhino, however the presence of the alien vegetation species chromoleana odorata along with the ideal climatic conditions, has created the perfect conditions for its proliferation. The result is an incredible amount of black rhino habitat loss, which requires a concerted effort to reclaim. Other areas, which have been reclaimed, require persistent monitoring and follow-up treatment to prevent recolonization. Get involved with not only the habitat restoration but the crucial monitoring and management of this magnificent yet highly threatened species.
The reserve hosts most of the wildlife that historically occurred in this area, and it is managed to optimise the variety and well-being of all species. It is home to large herds of game such as eland, wildebeest, and blesbuck and zebra, and also boasts with strong populations of grey rhebuck, bushbuck, common reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, duiker, steenbuck and the critically endangered Oribi. Other smaller animals include porcupine, aardvark, genets and civets. Predators are represented by heathy populations of black-backed jackal, caracal, serval and both cape clawless and spotted-necked otter. Leopard is also seen occasionally.
2 Week volunteer programme cost
- FreeMe Animal Rehabilitation Volunteer - POA
- Black Rhino Conservation Volunteer - ZAR 12,980
- Tillietudlem Game Reserve Management - ZAR 12,450
1 Month volunteer programme cost
- Wildlife Conservation Volunteer - ZAR 14,800
Summer Camp Counselor (Community Volunteering)
- Adventure, Wildlife & Community Volunteer - ZAR 14,800