Big 5 Wildlife Reserve & Community Volunteering South Africa

Stay in volunteer on big five game reserve in the heart of South Africa near Port Elizabeth. Learn all about the wildlife as you volunteer, helping out with lots of different activities. Care for big cats like lions and leopards. Look after elephants and unusually we even have tigers at the sanctuary.

This is hands on conservation work, living in the heart of the reserve in five-star accommodation. No days the same, as you make friends and have an incredible Africa gap year.

Stay in volunteer on big five game reserve in the heart of South Africa near Port Elizabeth. Learn all about the wildlife as you volunteer, helping out with lots of different activities. Care for big cats like lions and leopards. Look after elephants and unusually we even have tigers at the sanctuary.

This is hands on conservation work, living in the heart of the reserve in five-star accommodation. No days the same, as you make friends and have an incredible Africa gap year.

Wildlife Reserve & Community Volunteering

  • Get a behind the scenes look at life on a South African Game Reserve
  • Learn all about amazing African Wildlife while volunteering on an amazing game reserve
  • Large groups! This is the most popular wildlife conservation project we run. So its super social with large gap year groups you are sure to make friends.
  • Get up close to huge Elephants on game drives
  • Be a conservation volunteer and help the land revert back to its natural state
  • Everything is included so you don’t need loads of money on the project

 

PHOTOS

You will be volunteering on a working game reserve. The nature of dealing with wild animals is that no two days are the same! So it’s a bit difficult to be specific about when things are going to happen. We have tried to give you a summary below but the best advice it to be flexible. You never know what exciting animal interactions you will get!

There are a large number of activities that you will be able to get involved in, the longer your stay at the programme the more you will be able to be involved in. Some of the main activities that you may be involved in during your time at the programme include:

We have a highly skilled and professional team looking after you, so don’t worry we have you covered. From our advanced game rangers, who will take you out in groups of 10 onto the reserve to fulfill your activities. Two camp managers, who can cater for your every need when you are not out on the reserves.

When you arrive you will be given a full introduction session, we will run you through dos and don’ts, the house rules and set the scene for what will happen over the next two weeks.

What you will be doing is quite varied, because it depends on the demands of the reserve at the time. But there is always plenty of activities waiting for you to get stuck into.

The Wildlife Conservation Project

For the next two weeks, you will be involved in the management of the game reserve. What that means is you will be working with full-time staff, under the supervision of qualified game rangers. What you will be doing depends on the short-term goals of the reserve at the time. It could be capturing game, checking fences or removing alien plant species. But no matter what you do, you can be sure this will have a beneficial effect and is laying the foundation for the wildlife to thrive on the reserve for future generations.

Expect to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, some of the work can be quite hard, but ultimately very rewarding.

Work is generally divided into two categories:

Helping manage the land, and looking after the animals. Expect to do both during your time there. You could be feeding elephants, assisting with feeding big cats and doing wildlife surveys from converted land cruisers.

All accommodation and food is included so you do not need to worry about cooking or feeding yourself. During your downtime is plenty to do, and no doubt you will have a fair few stories to share over the campfire with your fellow volunteers.

What’s it like to volunteer on an African wildlife project?

Volunteers are essential for helping the ongoing running and maintenance of a wildlife reserve. It’s a great opportunity to learn loads about the animals, and Africa and do something constructive and fun with your year out. But you are probably wondering what it’s like to actually volunteer on one of these projects. To understand your role better, it’s necessary for us to go back and explain why Africa has wildlife reserves.

When Africa was colonised, the landscape was very different. Animals were free to roam where they pleased. The habitat consisted of the entire continent. The ecosystem was very different back then. As more and more settlers arrived to South Africa more and more of the natural land got converted to huge farms. The native animals habitat shrunk, and worse much of the wildlife was hunted for food, or because they were predators to the farmers livestock.

Slowly but surely fences went up, and the wilderness was transformed into farmland. About 30 years ago, some of the larger landowners who had massive farms decided to put things back to how things were. They wanted the land to become natural again, and haven for animals. This wildlife reserve fits that category. It’s 5000 hectors which obviously requires a lot of maintenance. Invasive plant species like prickly pears that were brought in by the farmers hundreds of years ago as a cheap and easy way to feed their livestock now represent a pest. In order for the land to remain true to its origins lots of effort is required. This is important because the animals need natural habitat to thrive. So on the wildlife conservation project, you will be out helping preserve the wildlife reserve keeping it in its natural state. Then of course there’s the animal side. With huge game numbers, lots of things can happen. Your role is to assist the game rangers in looking after the animals, and helping them when necessary. This does not mean we interfere with the natural order of things. The animals at the top of the food chain will eat their prey and we will not stop them from doing that. But it’s important to look out for all of the animals welfare. During your time you will be taken out with game rangers, who will explain all about the ecosystem as you carry out your daily duties with the rest of your group.

Evenings and weekends off

Evenings and weekends are at your own leisure. There is plenty of entertainment in and around the camp. We have large volunteer groups, so there’s always something going on. When you want to chill there are facilities like games rooms and we have massive flatscreens for movie nights. Not that you will want to watch much television, at night make sure you pop outside and look up you will see 1 million African stars. Sometimes the best stories are shared around the campfire!

ACCOMMODATION

You will be staying in a dedicated 5 star volunteer camp. We have single sex  dorm rooms, and shared common areas. The camp dispensed which is important because it’s located right inside the game reserve. It’s not unusual to hear the call of Africa’s wild as you sit around the campfire. Looking up and 1 million stars the location is really special.

Meals are taken at the camp, hearty traditional South African food is freshly prepared every day. Vegetarians are well catered for as well.

 You will not need much for this trip. All food and accommodation is included on the reserve.
 Please do book well ahead as space is limited on the programme. Simply submit a booking form and you can hold your place with a deposit of £200. Full payment is not due until 12 weeks prior to departure.
We have capacity for up to 80 people. We do get full in peak season so it is a great programme if you are looking to meet lots of other gappers too!
You need to arrive in Port Elizabeth Airport before 3pm on the Monday. Then the transfer leaves the reserve at 9am on Saturday morning and it takes roughly two hrs to reach the airport. Please make sure you give yourself enough time to check-in for your flight.  
Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 799Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 1279Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1459Book Now
6 (Week)GBP 2299Book Now

INCLUDED

  • Scheduled  transfer from Port Elizabeth (Departs PE at Monday at 5pm
  • Drop off on Saturday´s
  • Orientation on arrival
  • A branded Cap
  • A branded T-shirt
  • Luxury Dorm accommodation
  • All meals while at the reserve
  • Beverages with meals while on the reserve
  • Daily activities
  • Optional weekend excursions (transport and accommodation only)
  • Use of the various facilities such as swimming pool, sporting facilities and entertainment room

EXCLUDED

  • Day trips off reserve
  • flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional extras on the road trip
  • Lunch and dinner on the road trip

Dates

More dates

Xtreme South Africa Experience

The Xtreme South Africa experience, taking the best parts of a South African gap year experience and boiling it down into 5 weeks of non-stop group travel, action and adventure. All different weeks at different locations, focusing on different incredible activities. Adrenaline adventures in Cape Town, hands-on conservation and community projects covering the first two weeks. Then an unforgettable adrenaline tour up the coast featuring safaris, bungees and epic scenery before finally finishing on a two-week big 5 conservation project. Fly into Cape Town and out of Port Elizabeth.

The Xtreme South Africa experience, taking the best parts of a South African experience and boiling it down into five weeks of non-stop group travel, action and adventure. Different weeks, focusing on four different incredible activities. Adrenaline Adventures in Cape Town, hands-on conservation and community projects covering the first two weeks. Then an unforgettable adrenaline tour up the coast featuring safaris, bungees and epic scenery before finally finishing on a two-week conservation project. Fly into Cape Town and out of Port Elizabeth.

Xtreme South Africa Experience

What you experience now will change your life in the future. This trip with its massive highs, adrenaline shocks, and humbling insights into real issues will grow you as an individual. This trip combines it all; it will be the best five weeks of your life join our groups and kick off an amazing South African adventure.

Week One

Adrenaline Week

  • Arrival into Cape Town transfer to backpackers
  • Five-day Cape Town Adrenaline Week
  • Paragliding
  • Surfing
  • Cape Tour
  • World’s Highest Abseil
  • Free Weekend With Beach Time

Week Two:

Xtreme Hero Week

  • Choose either  Xtreme marine conservation hero great white shark project option or
  • Xtreme Kite Surf Qualification or
  • Or the Xtreme community superhero option in a township

Week Three:

Adrenaline Tour Garden Route Road Trip

  • Cape Town / Gaans Bai to Cape Aguilas
  • Cape Aguilas to Oudtshoorn
  • Face Adrenaline
  • Monkey / Elephant Park Night in Sedgefield
  • Jeffreys Bay via Tsitsikamma
  • Addo Game Drive – Jeffreys Bay
  • Hang out in Jeffreys Bay With Surf Lesson
  • Weekend in Port Elizabeth with city tour, Jazz club and Donkin Trail

Week Four & Five:

Big 5 Wildlife Conservation

  • Wildlife conservation Game Park
  • Transfer to Port Elizabeth
  • Trip ends

Highlights

  • Make friends from all over the world, as you discover, learn party and chill in some incredible locations all throughout southern Africa.
  • Experiencing the site sounds and colonial vibe of Africa’s most beautiful city: Cape Town
  • Revelling in the epic landscape of where to oceans meet at the Horn of Africa: the Cape of Good Hope
  • Pitting yourself against the world’s highest abseil of Table Mountain
  • Insane views of Cape Town on the Table Mountain cable car
  • Chilling on white sandy beaches with incredible views of Table Mountain with optional kite surf lessons
  • Picking between two adventurous and worthwhile projects. Helping to report scientific research aiding in the conservation of the great white shark, or immersing yourself in a community project to give something back to the poorest and most vulnerable in South Africa
  • Experiencing one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world en route to the shark conservation project
  • An incredible garden route adrenaline tour, covering 1000 km of action and adventure!
  • Testing your bravery. Facing the world’s highest bridge bungee: Bloukrans at 216 m (optional).
  • Mount up and ride an ostrich Cango Ostrich Farm!
  • Discover the true beauty of the garden route as you drive through the Hops Valley experiencing its mind blowing scenery
  • Discover the gateway to the Otter Trail in South Africa’s third most popular National Park Tsitsikamma. A feast for your eyes as steep wilderness gives way to a beautiful stretch of coastline.
  • Go on safari in Addo National Park and search for the big five.
  • Chill on the golden sands and get proper beach time in Jeffreys Bay. Ultra cool beach-side surf hostel, with epic nightlife and chilled out vibes.
  • Get hands-on on a wildlife conservation project for an entire week. Loads of interaction with nature, in a beautiful environment.


PHOTOS

Full Details

Cape Town Adrenaline Week One

On Arrival

You stay here.
You stay here.

Arrange your flights to land in to Cape Town International airport. We will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to our base in Cape Town. A stress free way of arriving into Africa. When you book with Xtreme gap year you get access to a Facebook group buddy list prior to arrival, so you can already start chatting to fellow Xtreme Gappers is who will be joining you on your trip.

Check in, kick back and relax. On Monday morning you will be given a full comprehensive introduction and then start your week-long adventures in and around Cape Town.

Your accommodation for the week is located in Table View its near the beach, and its a nice chilled out place to relax when dipping in and out of Cape Town. The views of table Mountain are spectacular as well.

Cape Town

DJI00013For the first week Cape Town will be your playground. It’s an amazing destination with a distinctively European feel yet African flair. You have loads of activities arranged for you for the week, but also plenty of free time to explore and check out some of the site sounds and highlights of the mother city.

As some of the activities are weather dependent the days you complete the activities might change, but we will aim to complete the following:

Table Mountain National Park & Abseil Africa

Take a trip to the top of table Mountain and check out the stunning scenery surrounding you. Awarded natural wonder of the world status, it’s easy to see why from the top. On a clear day you have impressive views of not only Cape Town but the Cape of Good Hope and the stunning scenery surrounding the mother city.

Table Mountain Drone (1)When you’re at the top, we are going to take full advantage of the altitude, because you are going to abseil of the world’s highest abseil from the top. Over 100 m in distance, and the thousand metres above sea level you will learn the true benefits of adrenaline travel with Xtreme. If you do not have a head for heights or want to back out you will not be forced to participate in this activity, but you will miss out on one of the best experiences of your life.

Please note the cable car ticket is not included in the trip price and you must purchase this locally (or this can be done online the night before) allow approximately £25 per person for the return journey.

Xtreme Cape Peninsula Tour

We will take you off to check out the Horn of Africa, on a mission to see the Cape of Good Hope. Along the way we will show you a thing or two about the history of Cape Town and show you things that most tourists miss. Check out the penguins at boulders Beach, have lunch with the locals in Kalk Bay and of course taste some of the local wine which is spectacular. We will take you through Clifton, camps Bay and then the stunning coastal road to Hout baai. It’s a scenic drive and then some with the final destination being the Cape of Good Hope. Prior to reaching the Cape there is a 40 minute hike, surrounded by baboons, seabirds and all forms of exotic wildlife. This is an entire day out, and will take around eight hours.

Surfing

During the first week we will hit the beach and do a three-hour surf session!

Paragliding

When we look at table Mountain, we just want to jump off it . So as part of the Cape Town adrenaline week we will take you tandem paragliding. The views are insane from up there!

Please note this activity is wind and weather dependent so there is some flexibility as to when this happens. If we are unfortunate with the local conditions we will substitute this activity with something more appropriate.

Food Included

For the first two weeks breakfasts and dinners are included in the price of the programme (unless you are on the shark conservation option, in which case breakfasts and dinners will be included for the first week in Cape Town).

Week 2: Hero Week Pick An Option

  • Xtreme marine conservation hero great white shark project option or
  • Xtreme Kite Surf Qualification or
  • Or the Xtreme community superhero option in a township

On your second week you have two different projects you can choose. Please note both projects are located in different locations. If you choose the community hero option, you will be located in table view in Cape Town. The shark conservation project takes place in Gansbaai approximately two hours from Cape Town. The group will be split depending on which activities you have picked and be reunited on the road trip one week later.

Great White Shark Option

And Xtreme Gap your exclusive we have partnered with one of the leading great white shark conservation projects in the world.

Every day (weather permitting) boats go out to monitor great white shark numbers in one of the world’s top great white shark hotspots.

Your role as an Xtreme reporter will be to get in the water with the sharks (in a cage) and observe the sharks in their natural environment. There are various research projects and data collection needs that you will get involved with, and you will be briefed on arrival as to what research tasks need to be completed.

Important scientific data collection work… That just happens to be bloody exciting.

DJI00125For one week you will be going out on the boats, examining and interacting with great whites, collecting and collating data on their movements and markings.

You will also fulfill the role of an Xtreme reporter, by contributing to the Xtreme marine shark conservation blog with the aim of raising awareness of issues surrounding threats to the great white shark. The database and bloggers running conjunction with white shark projects, one of the world’s leading white shark conservation projects, and the work you do will be accessible to marine biologists throughout the world.

Now this is important work, because you will be located in the worlds number one hotspots the great white sharks. Very little is known about them, so the data that you collect is very important. Scientists from all over the world can use the data collected in Gansbaai to further their understanding of great white sharks, and help assist in the conservation of these magnificent animals. Sharks are under threat, this is common knowledge now is your opportunity to help do something about it.

Xtreme South Africa Experience (9)We will aim to get you in the water as much as possible, but please note the activity is weather dependent, so there may be some non-sea days. During these days your focus will be on writing up the article that you are working on, or nonacademic activities like visiting some of the incredible hotspots in the area.

During the week you will be accommodated in a volunteer house, located in Klein Baai, a stones throw from the launch site of the shark conservation projects boats. After one week you will have gained an incredible insight into the issues surrounding great white sharks, and we hope got to know them a little bit better! Not only that you will come face-to-face on multiple occasions with a top apex predator and probably crapped your pants in the process!

Breakfasts Included

Please note breakfast is included during this week and lunches and dinners you have to pay for locally however there are cooking facilities at the volunteer house, and volunteers usually take turns to cook together.

Kite Surf Option

The third very exciting option in your second week is our learn to  Kite Surf option. You will be located a short stroll from one of the best kite surf beaches in the world. Cape Town is well known for its perfect kite surf conditions, warm temperate waters reliable steady wind and some of the top kite surfers in the world choosing this is the number one destination.

If you pick this option we will enroll you on an IKO beginner kite surfing course. As this option is wind and weather dependent, you have a week to complete your course, which should provide ample time to complete the necessary hours and modules.

What you will learn:

The kite surfing course will take you through the theory of kite surf, everything from wind conditions to the equipment and safety checks. You will learn how to fly the kite on land prior to getting in the water to start body dragging. (Controlling the kite in the water without the board). Finally you will get onto water start where you are up on the board under power from the kite. How far you progress is really up to how quickly you pick it up.

During the week you will be accommodated in the same backpackers hostel as in week 1.

All meals are included during this week and you get a total of 12 hours of instruction split throughout the week.

Breakfast and dinner included with this option

 Township Community Work. The community superhero project option.

Skandal Camp Xtreme Gap Foundation (8) (Copy)For those not doing the white shark conservation project, you have an amazing opportunity to help some of Africa’s most vulnerable communities. Partnering with the save foundation, you are able to get involved in a series of different project to help benefit local impoverished communities. You will be visiting some of the most unfortunate and impoverished people in South Africa. There are significant social problems which need addressing with the help of overseas volunteers. Helping volunteer your time in community creches, playing with the children and being involved in construction projects like building classrooms can make a real difference to the local community.

Some of the work is heartbreaking, and some of it incredibly rewarding. You will be under the stewardship of very capable coordinators, who have been successfully running community projects in South Africa for many years. Nikki the project leader, comes from an NGO background whose drive and enthusiasm is infectious. Under her guidance hopefully you can give something back and contribute to the well-being of some of Africa’s most needy.

During the week he will stay in a shared volunteer house, located a couple of minutes from the beach in dormitory accommodation. The house is in one of the most picturesque parts of Cape Town, table view and each day you will be transported to the projects and set tasks.

Breakfast and dinner included with this option

 

Week Three Adrenaline Tour Garden Route Road Trip.

tAFELBERG 2 EN oUDTSHOORN 249 (Copy)The third week involves an epic 1 ½ thousand kilometre road trip along one of the most beautiful drives in the world: the Garden Route. This is a fully guided adventure stopping off in some of the best places in South Africa.

This will be a non-stop quest for adventure with some seriously awesome activities in the itinerary:

What you can expect

  • Opportunity to go shark cage diving (if you are on the community township option)
  • Safari and game drive in the legendary Addo Elephant Park
  • Two night stay in Jeffreys Bay with surf lessons
  • Optional bungee jump at the legendary Bloukrans (Or cheer on your mates from the clifftop bar!)
  • Tsitiskamma National Park the gateway to the otter Trail
  • Ostrich riding and cango caves
  • Cango Wildlife Park to see rare breeds and leaping crocodiles
  • Option to do some crocodile cage diving
  • Epic scenery of mountains, coastal roads and two amazing oceans
  • Chilling out on the golden sands of Jeffreys Bay
  • A breathtaking view from the top of Knysna Heads

Adrenaline Tour Garden Route Road Trip

Day 1 ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai:

One of the most scenic coastal drives in the world optional shark cage dive,  ending at the bottom of continental  Africa.

It’s an early start from Cape Town at 8.30. It’s going to be a hell of the road trip. Today we head East, as we leave behind table Mountain and the glorious Cape Town, we had along the N2 to the coast. We will be joining the famous Whale route which is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. Mountains descend into the Indian Ocean, which is loaded with whales and sharks.

If you did not pick the great white shark option in the second week you have the opportunity to go shark cage diving today. This will mean you leave even earlier than the main group to get out on the boat to see the sharks. You will then meet up with the main group directly after your shot cage dive.

Make sure your camera is fully charged because you’re going to be snapping away like a lunatic, we can have a stop in a craft beer brewery to quench your thirst before heading to Cape Agulhas National Park.

Despite most people believe the Cape of Good Hope holds this title, it is actually Cape Agulhas that is the most southern geographical point of Africa.

After a visit to the lookout point we make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November).

After our cruise we take a walk back to our accommodation along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere. This day is designed to be a relaxing one for you to get to know your fellow travellers, to get used to travelling in our vehicle and to settle into the comfortable routine of life on tour.

  • Meals: Dinner
  • Accommodation:  Backpacker dorm -Cape Agulhas Backpackers
  • Facilities Shared ablutions, bar, internet, swimming pool
  • Route: Cape Town to Struisbaai ±260 km
  • Travel time: ±4 hrs
  • Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus / Shopping
    Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
  • Optional Activities: Shark cage diving

Day 2 ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike

Goodbye whale route hello garden route. Day two brings beach time, kayaking and waterfalls.

Not such an early start this morning, enjoy your breakfast After a relaxing breakfast we start driving inland again, this time towards the famed Garden Route!

After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers in the area, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall.
We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Cape to Addo Backpacker dorm: Sedgefield
  • Facilities: Shared ablutions, internet, pool, entertainment areas
  • Route: Struisbaai to Sedgefield ± 340 km
  • Travel time: ±4 hrs
  • Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall

Day 3 ǀ Oudtshoorn:

Driving through the desert Little Karoo. Exploring underground caves. Riding ostriches and swimming with crocodiles!

We begin the day with a drive over the picturesque Outeniqua mountain range into the semi desert region of the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn. Today you’re going to see more ostriches than you will probably ever see for the rest of your life. Originally not native to Oudtshoorn, settlers discovered that the ostrich thrives here. So you’re going learn a lot about them. If you’re up for it you can ride one one as well (don’t worry it doesn’t hurt the ostrich and it is really very silly).


Prior to that we are going to explore the amazing Cango Caves. Think massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world.

If you enjoy spelunking (yes that’s a real word we didn’t make that up) and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!

Finally you can go see endangered wildlife act can go wildlife Ranch. This is the only place in the world we can go crocodile cage diving! They also have a big cat Sanctuary, where you can interact with cheetah as well.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Accommodation: Cape to Addo Backpacker dorm in Sedgefield
  • Facilities: Shared ablutions, internet, pool, free shuttle service to PiliPili Beach bar
  • Route: Sedgefield to Oudtshoorn day trip ±190 km
  • Travel time: ±3 hrs
  • Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves

Optional Activities:

  • Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction apply to riders)
  • Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch

Day 4 ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay:

Learn all about monkeys and Elephants. Throw yourselves down canyons and take on the mighty bloukrans Bungee. Hike through a national Park. Finish in one of the worlds top surf spots. Not a bad afternoon.

This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from. This is an action packed itinerary today so you will not get to pick every single option, so pick the one that you would most like to do.

  1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
  2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
  3. Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.

Bloukrans bungee

Bloukrans Face Adrenaline bungee jumpOur next stop is the World’s highest commercial bridge Bungee Jump at 216 meters.  It is really bloody scary. If you cannot face the jump, you can face a pint, from the clifftop bar where you can watch the jumpers on a live video feed.


For those that have successfully completed the jump they are going to need a serious wind down. There is no better place to do this than the Tsitsikamma National Park. It’s like something out of the lost world, with an ancient rainforest descending down beautiful cliffs into the sea.  We will go for a hike over the suspension bridges to check out the scenery and stop for lunch in an amazing beach-side lodge. Make sure you try the stake it is to die for.

If we have time we will head to Storms river swing bridges before we reach the world-famous surfing Mecca Jeffreys Bay. We will be staying right by the beach in an awesome Surf Lodge. The Surf Lodge will be your home for the next couple of days, although we will be doing road trips up to the Addo national elephant Park.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Accommodation Backpacker dorm; Island Vibe Backpackers, Jbay
  • Facilities: Shared ablutions, bar, restaurant, internet
  • Route: Sedgefield to Storms River/Jbay
  • Travel time: ±2-3 hrs
  • Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest
  • Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour

Day 5 ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s bay)

Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

Addo Game Drive

The Addo elephant Park is immense. It’s also one of the top elephant game reserves in South Africa. Miles and miles of endless African bush, will have surprises around every corner. We will go for a 3 to 5 hour game drive in the elephant Park so have your camera charged in your memory card is empty!

Jeffreys Bay With Optional Surf Lesson

In the afternoon we had back to Jeffreys Bay, where you will set up for the next couple of days, learning to surf and getting some much-needed beach and chill time.

This is your opportunity to relax, take in the white sandy beaches and hang out with other backpackers. The week after we are heading into the African bush, so it’s nice to spend some time by the ocean.

No meals are included in Jeffreys bay so please budget and additional £30 to cover these expenses for the next couple of days

Weekend in Port Elizabeth

P.E for the weekend. You will be based in a hostel near the center and have serveral activities planned. An interesting city tour (Donkin trail ) combined with township tour finally dinner at a Jazz Club in the township (New Brighton Township).

When we depart from the Jazz club after dinner we stop at the beer shack for beer tasting (beers own cost).

This section is guided from Jbay all the way through PE until the wold life section of the trip. You will have free time at the weekend. You can shop, explore or if you thirst for some more adventure: Rent a bike from the hostel and do a few kilometres cycle to a SAMREC penguin rehabilitation centre and or you can do  a 9 km hiking trail of the Cape Nature Recife/light house.

Week Four & Five Wildlife Conservation & Safari

Week four and Five are all about the animals of Africa. Staying in the big five wildlife reserve near Port Elizabeth. Guided by expert game rangers you will have access every day to Africa’s wildlife. Early in the mornings and in the afternoons you will head out in modified land cruisers, looking for wildlife and getting involved in conservation activities.


It is spectacular as it is adventurous, but more than that you will gain a deeper understanding of the issues African wildlife is facing. For example the exploitation of the rhino, or combating poaching from elephant ivory poachers. There are so many different projects and tasks that need your assistance you can really contribute something back. But it’s not all hard work out on the reserves, its incredible experiences as well. Face-to-face with raw African wildlife, you will track lions, buffaloes leopards and more.

During these weeks you will stay on the reserves, in a shared volunteer house, all food is provided for you, although there is the opportunity to purchase extra snacks and soft drinks. With days full of wildlife interaction, your nights around the campfire will be filled with incredible story swapping as you relive the moments of the day.

Car Chasing (2) - CopyYou also have the option to contribute to our wildlife conservation database, and write reports on your findings, a great way to show future employers or university tutors what you got up to with your time off.

At the end of the weeks you will be dropped off in Port Elizabeth (Monday 11 am) where you can catch your flight home. If you wish to travel further on through South Africa, we can also help organise Baz bus tickets, a hop on hop off bus network so let us know all about your travel plans.

Which reserve will you stay at?

We use several different reserves depending on the groups sizes and availability at the game reserves. All reserves are highly rated (5 star game reserves). Sometimes it is necessary to split the group, but we endeavour to keep the group together. The game reserve selected will be confirmed to you at the time of booking and we do reserve the right to change game reserves at any time depending on what is best suited to group size. All game reserves are located in the Port Elizabeth Malaria free zone.

ACCOMMODATION

On this trip you stay multiple locations. Accommodation is mainly in dorms or twin to triple share single sex rooms.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

What are the group sizes

Group sizes do vary but expect up to 12 people per group. We keep it nice and intimate because this ensures the road trip section is truly unforgettable. You will make good friends with other Xtreme Gappers and have some incredible experiences along the way.

What spending money should I take

South Africa is very cheap, the exchange rate is very favourable so if you are on a tight budget you should only need around £80 per week. Most of your food is included in the second and fourth weeks, and there are cooking facilities available as well.

What are the average ages?

The majority of people on this trip are between 18 and 30, but it is popular with people of all ages.

As a first-time traveller as the suitable for me?

Yes absolutely. The majority of people on this trip book on their own, and you are well looked after throughout. It’s a great introduction to travelling, and you will be with other people in a similar position. You also get access to our online Facebook buddy lists prior to travel so you can make friends with other people on the same trip prior to leaving.

Is South Africa safe?

Yes it is. Throughout the trip you have assistance from our guides and coordinators, you will be well looked after.

Advise about vaccination

No need to really worry about a rabies vac – highly unlikely that you will need it. Most hospitals have this in stock and they could definitely get this within 24 hours (they don’t keep stock but can get in very quickly).  Our pharmacist in Kenton also said that they can order the rabies vac should someone wants to get vaccinated once here.  Most good pharmacies should be able to do this. We always suggest to our volunteers to get a tetanus jab before coming out – if possible but also not to stress if they haven’t (in case you stand in a rusty nail, hurt yourself with a machete whilst chopping out alien plants on the last 2 weeks.

Great White Shark option

Our great white shark project is closed for volunteers from the 15 Dec- 15th Jan but our kite surfing and community volunteering will still be running then.

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Duration Option Price  
5 (Week)Xtreme CommunityGBP 2159Book Now
5 (Week)Kitesurf 5 Week OptionGBP 2389Book Now

INCLUDED

Cape Town Section, Week 1:

  • Pickup from Cape Town International airport
  • All accommodation at an awesome hostel close to the beach
  • Fully guided in country support and predeparture support
  • Walking tour of Cape Town or Hop on hop off bus tour of Cape Town (with optional Signal Hill sunset)
  • 3 hour surf lesson
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • Table Mountain abseil
  • Cape Peninsula tour or Wine tasting
  • Paragliding in Capetown or Lions Head Trek  (weather dependent)

The Xtreme Hero Week 2 :

  • Meals (dinner is excluded in shark option)
  • Breakfast and Dinner (on the Kite Surf and Hero Options)
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers to the projects
  • Xtreme Gap Year coordinators
  • Guidance on the various activities

Road Trip Section, Week 3:

  • All transport
  • All accommodation
  • Xtreme Gap Year guide
  • Entrance to Addo Elephant Park and game drive
  • Entrance to Tsitikamma National Park
  • Cango Caves
  • Cango Wildlife Ranch & Ostrich Ranch
  • Jeffreys Bay Surf lesson

 Wildlife Reserve Section Week 4&5:

  • Transfers to and from the reserve
  • Accommodation in a secure gated compound
  • All meals
  • Game Ranger supervisors
  • Game drive vehicle for 2 weeks
  • Drop off to Port Elizabeth

EXCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Some meals unless stated and all meals during the road trip Jbay section
  • Snacks & Drinks
  • Cape town cable car
  • Activities listed as optional on the road trip

Dates

2019 Start dates

13th January

3rd of February

3rd of March

7th of April

5th of May

2nd of June

7th of July

4th of August

01st of September

06th of October

03rd of November

 

Xtreme Wildlife Experience

Live amongst the African big five on the exclusive private game reserve with Xtreme gap. It’s like a five-star luxury lodge safari experience at a fraction of the price. Joining the Xtreme conservation team, you will go on daily game drives, monitoring and playing an active role in conservation of wild animals in South Africa. The location really sets this project apart, as well as the wide diversity of animals. A truly epic stunning game reserves, with magnificent views to the sea will make this an incredible African wildlife experience.

Live amongst the African big five on the exclusive private game reserve with Xtreme gap. It’s like a five-star luxury lodge safari experience at a fraction of the price. Joining the Xtreme conservation team, you will go on daily game drives, monitoring and playing an active role in conservation of wild animals in South Africa. The location really sets this project apart, as well as the wide diversity of animals. A truly epic stunning game reserves, with magnificent views to the sea will make this an incredible African wildlife experience.

 Xtreme Wildlife Experience

Highlights:

By far the most beautiful private game reserve in South Africa (in our opinion).

  • Living right on the reserve, with lions and big five on your doorstep.
  • Daily game drives, to spot and monitor a wide variety of animals.
  • Location! The reserve is set in one of the most stunning locations in Africa.
  • Beach access. Unlike other reserves, you are only 15 minutes from a gorgeous beach which is great on your weekends off.
  • Good times! Joining people from all over the world, you will do fun social activities as well as the nitty-gritty hard work of wildlife conservation. Game walks, waterfall treks social events.
  • Reporting on your findings Xtreme gap exclusive.

 

Photos

 

Wildlife Volunteering in South Africa

 Xtreme gap wildlife conservation experience: the difference.

South-Africa-Wildlife-Conservation-Experience-(16)Plenty of gap year companies offer wildlife conservation programmes. On the face of it they seem the same, but how do you tell them apart? Without visiting the reserves, and checking out the projects it’s hard to know what you’re getting.

Well we have, and we have selected an exclusive partner in South Africa to run a wildlife conservation programme.

This Experience You Are Not Just Getting a Conservation Programme, You Are Getting a Completely Immersive Experience.

The Volunteer House is located smack bang in the middle of a big five game reserve. As you enjoy a cold beer, by the swimming pool as the smells of the barbecue carries off into the bush, it’s not uncommon for lions to come right up to the fence in your garden.

From the moment you leave the sanctuary of your accommodation you are in it and it is on!

While other companies will station you off the reserve, you will be located in a stunning region. We purposefully run small groups (there is a maximum of 10 participants at one time) whereas other companies can run 60 to 80 volunteers. This means you will get an intimate and personalised experience. You will learn all about the animals and gain a deeper understanding of African nature.

The work you do will genuinely make a difference, with rhino conservation at the forefront of your activities.

So what will you do?

DSC_5624aThere is no set schedule as such but your itinerary will be filled with some incredible moments. From game drives, game walks and hikes to waterfalls, you can expect plenty of interaction with African wildlife.

You will be working alongside leading African conservationists, and have your own mentor Throughout. On arrival you will be given a full introduction, and your programme will be laid out in full. You will be given some essential do’s and don’ts, and it is obviously important that you stick to these as you will be living with potentially dangerous animals all around you.

Game drives

As the name suggests game drives is where you go out looking for the animals. Our wildlife volunteers have at their disposal one specially modified land cruiser that can take up to 10 people. These landcruisers are virtually indestructible, and you will not believe the terrain we can cover with them. Steep rock paths get devoured by the 4×4 which means you will be taken to some quite inaccessible places on a quest to discover the wildlife.

South Africa Wildlife Conservation Experience (17) - CopyThe activities you partake in each week, will have a genuine benefit. From collecting scientific data on animal populations, kills and any other areas of interest that affects the wildlife population.

There are other activities that you can partake in as well. It’s a fairly close-knit social experience, with other volunteers from all over the world. You are sure to make friends very quickly. We take you on excursions, the local town canton on Sea is only 15 minutes away and has some of the best beaches in South Africa.

The reserve has a sea view, not only does this make it an already impressive location even better, it serves to bring in the cool winds from the sea, meaning you are not so roasting when you are out in the field.

Safety and guidance

Bear in mind you will be staying surrounded by the wildlife, it’s good to note that there is a fully trained conservation guide stationed with you. Should you have any questions, needs or issues during your stay help is at hand. Not only that our team is young, dynamic and impassioned about wildlife conservation. This will no doubt rub off on you as you work closely with our highly experienced team.

Accommodation

You are located in a shared volunteer house right in the heart of the reserve. The compound is secured with an electric fence, which is completely necessary as there are lions, elephants and other dangerous game roaming freely around the perimeter. Incredible views giving way to the sea and the stunning South African bushveld. It is a haven that constantly reminds you you are in the heart of Africa. There is a gorgeous plunge pool, barbecue area, and garden few to enjoy after a hard days work. There are multiple bedrooms and you share with members of the same sex. Wi-Fi Internet is available although a little slow, but all of the creature comforts you could need are there. We even have a treehouse overlooking a watering hole to enjoy a nice sundowner in the company of wildebeest and warthogs!

Find out more about the accommodation on our blog here.

Meals

You cook meals in the house. There is a cooking rota so once per week you will be expected to cook for the rest of the volunteers with a partner. Food is purchased once per week, and rationed accordingly. Males are basic but hearty, and dinner time is a very social experience.

Pickup

Airport pickup is included from Port Elizabeth on a pay on arrival basis. There are set arrival dates so please see the date section for availability.

Some of the projects you might become involved in include:

  • Elephant impact monitoring identifying elephants and monitoring their movement, so that they can be managed effectively in the future.
  • Lion prey selection monitoring this is not for the faint-hearted! You must record as many lion kills as possible, so it´s possible to form a picture of what they are eating. As lions are fitted with collars, you´ll get regular glimpses of this majestic beast.
  • Population status of leopards as one of the most elusive animals in South Africa, recording the population of leopards is tough. You´ll help to monitor them, and will be part of a privileged group to have seen this amazing cat.
  • Rhino monitoring  rhinos are becoming rarer and rarer, so it is vital that the remaining animals are monitored effectively. With 633 rhinos poached in South Africa in 2013 alone, protecting them is one of the biggest conservation priorities for the whole continent.
  • Birds in Reserve Project (BIRP) mething that lets you see the beauty of this part of the world first hand!
  • Conservation projects  these include projects such as game counts, sex and age surveys for certain species, controlling invasive plants and controlling soil erosion.

Xtreme Gap Year Wildlife Volunteering South Africa (3)You won´t just get to do one of these projects though you´ll be able to have a go at many of them! That way, you´ll get a real feel for how this important game reserve works. Occasionally, exciting projects such as animal releases and captures will also spring up, but these are not regular and therefore can´t be guaranteed. You´ll also get a number of educational lessons before each activity  don´t worry, they are informal and not like the formal classes found at schools and universities!

What Else Is There?

Don´t worry: it isn´t all work, no play on this trip! You´ll get plenty of days off and will have the choice of many different activities to complete or you can simply sit back and relax for the day, while you take in the sun and the beautiful scenery in the game reserve. Some of the additional activities you can complete are:
Horse riding on the beach

  • Deep sea fishing
  • Quad biking
  • Two day canoe trip on the Kowie River
  • Trips to the Addo Elephant National Park
  • Shark cage diving
  • Tandem sky-diving

Additionally, the closest town, Kenton, is only 15 minutes away and has an absolutely amazing beach, with a bar overlooking the sea the perfect place to grab a beer and reflect on what you´ve done during the day. The town also has shopping facilities, where you can stock up on essentials. Port Alfred and Grahamstown are also close by, should you fancy a change of scenery.  

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

There are no set arrival/departure dates for this project, but please note all arrivals are scheduled on Mondays. Departure days can be Fridays, Saturdays or Mondays (please note: no Sundays). Volunteers are required to sign an indemnity form acknowledging and accepting the consequences of working in close contact with wild animals. Applicants must be 17 years of age or older. The minimum time period for a booking is a two week placement and the maximum period is 12 weeks.

Please note that our activities are based on a minimum stay of four weeks. Although many of the activities listed below may take place in two to three week placements, not all are guaranteed. So the longer your stay, the more in depth your experience.

This trip runs from 2-12 weeks, depending on your personal preference. The longer you stay though, the more you´ll be able to immerse yourself in the workings of this important and beautiful game reserve! This is a great option if you want to spend a decent amount of time South Africa, because all of your food and accommodation are included, you only have to budget a very small amount for spending money.
There is Wi-Fi at the house, where you will be able to check emails and browse the internet. There is no phone though, so you will need to use the pay phone in  reception or pay phones in the local towns. To make calls, we´d recommend bringing a good supply of “World-Call” phone cards.
Ingredients are provided, however volunteers will be required to cook their own meals each night. Unfortunately ingredients can´t be supplied for those with specific dietary requirements these will need to be bought by the volunteer. If you want a really authentic South African meal, feel free to use the barbeque at the house!
The weather will generally be hot, so make sure you bring plenty of t-shirts and pairs of shorts! Heavy rain does happen though, so it is also vital you bring a decent rain jacket. It is also important to bring clothes suitable for manual work, such as boots and long trousers. You should also bring a sleeping bag for your camping outings, as well as towels, toiletries and insect repellent.
Many volunteers also bring items from home that they can donate to the local school. Popular gifts include stationery, sports equipment and vegetable seeds for the school´s garden. You´ll be amazed at how grateful the children and staff will be when they receive these gifts from you.

No need to really worry about a rabies vac – highly unlikely that you will need it. Most hospitals have this in stock and they could definitely get this within 24 hours (they don’t keep stock but can get in very quickly).  Our pharmacist in Kenton also said that they can order the rabies vac should someone wants to get vaccinated once here.  Most good pharmacies should be able to do this. We always suggest to our volunteers to get a tetanus jab before coming out – if possible but also not to stress if they haven’t (in case they stand in a rusty nail, hurt themselves with a machete whilst chopping out alien plants etc.)

In order to reach the Game Reserve, you will need to fly into Port Elizabeth Airport, where you will be met by a taxi organised by the game reserve. As the airport is predominantly for domestic flights, you will probably need to fly to Cape Town or Johannesburg, before then getting an internal flight. Arrivals to the park must only be on Mondays, although you are able to finish your trip on Fridays, Saturdays or Mondays. Please note whilst we will arrange the taxi for you you will need to make a local payment to pay for it.

Absolutely! There are many other trips within Africa that can be combined with this one, plus it is also easy to go on this trip in combination with a trip to Australia or New Zealand. However you want to combine this trip, we will be able to make it happen!
Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 999Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 1489Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1949Book Now
6 (Week)GBP 2859Book Now
8 (Week)GBP 3739Book Now

Included

  • Representative to pick you up from the airport: local payment charge applies (1 pax 1250 zar (approx £60)
  • All accommodation in a shared volunteer Lodge
  • All meals included
  • All Wildlife conservation activities
  • Wildlife field guides and mentors throughout the duration of the course

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Spending money (budget five pounds per day)
  • Costs of transfers (paid locally)

Dates

More dates

 

South Africa Adventure

A once-in-a-lifetime experience, giving you the opportunity to walk alongside of some of Africa’s most majestic creatures. With a one or two-week wildlife conservation programme set in in a big five game reserve. Then hit the road and explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, mixed with adrenaline on a one-week garden route, finishing in Cape Town. Awesome group travel with like-minded adventurers it’s time to hit South Africa!

South African group travel at its finest.  A once-in-a-lifetime experience, giving you the opportunity to walk along side of some of Africa’s most majestic creatures.  A trip of two parts with an impressive wildlife conservation experience set in a big five game reserve plus and incredible tour of the garden route. Group travel with like-minded adventurers, it’s time to hit South Africa!

South Africa Adventure

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spend quality time on a big 5 game reserve working with the rangers and experiencing the animals close up.
  • Make new friends as you are split up into groups of 10 exploring the reserves and interacting with the animals.
  • Go surfing in the epic Jeffreys Bay
  • Explore the stunning garden route with loads of adventures along the way finishing in Cape Town.
  • Strap on your adventure boots as you hit national parks!
  • Brave the humongous bungee jump at Bloukrans! (Optional Extra)
  • Explore Cape Town and bolt on with an optional volunteering project from only £225 per week

Here is why we love this trip:

It’s mega adventurous.

South Africa is one of our favourite destinations. It screams adventure, so appropriately the South Africa Adventure lives up to the hype. Combining a stay on a big 5 – 5-star game reserve, with a one-week action-packed road trip of the garden route.

Great way to make new friends on new adventures

If you are nervous about travelling for the first time or worried about going solo do not worry. We have you covered. On average we have around 30 on this trip, so if you are travelling alone you won’t be alone for long.

Everything taken care of for you.

From three meals a day and all your activities to having your laundry done everything is taken care of for you on this program. So if you are a first-time traveller, but desperate to explore Africa this is the perfect gap year programme. After two weeks on the game reserve, we take you on a massive road trip that is fully guided as well

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PHOTOS

 

Wildlife Conservation Experience

We have a highly skilled and professional team looking after you, so don’t worry we have you covered. From our advanced game rangers, who will take you out in groups of 10 onto the reserve to fulfil your activities. Two camp managers, who can cater for your every need when you are not out on the reserves.

When you arrive you will be given a full introduction session, we will run you through dos and don’ts, the house rules and set the scene for what will happen over the next two weeks.

What you will be doing is quite varied, because it depends on the demands of the reserve at the time. But there is always plenty of activities waiting for you to get stuck into.

The Wildlife Conservation Project

For the next two weeks, you will be involved in the management of the game reserve. What that means is you will be working with full-time staff, under the supervision of qualified game rangers. What you will be doing depends on the short-term goals of the reserve at the time. It could be capturing game, checking fences or removing alien plant species. But no matter what you do, you can be sure this will have a beneficial effect and is laying the foundation for the wildlife to thrive on the reserve for future generations.

Expect to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, some of the work can be quite hard, but ultimately very rewarding.

Work is generally divided into two categories:

Helping manage the land, and looking after the animals. Expect to do both during your time there. You could be feeding elephants, assisting with feeding big cats and doing wildlife surveys from converted land cruisers.

All accommodation and food is included so you do not need to worry about cooking or feeding yourself. During your downtime is plenty to do, and no doubt you will have a fair few stories to share over the campfire with your fellow volunteers.

ACCOMMODATION

You will be staying in a dedicated volunteer camp. We have single sex rooms, and shared common areas. The camp dispensed which is important because it’s located right inside the game reserve. It’s not unusual to hear the call of Africa’s wild as you sit around the campfire. Looking up and 1 million stars the location is really special.

Meals are taken at the camp, hearty traditional South African food is freshly prepared every day. Vegetarians are well catered for as well.

 Garden Route Road Trip

Day 1: Jeffreys Bay – Surfers Paradise
Jeffreys Bay is an awesome place. It’s one of the worlds top surf spots, but also just stunningly beautiful. An awesome place to kick back and chill out on the golden sands.

Day 2: Tsitsikamma area – Trekking and adventure with an impressive backdrop of lush jungles dramatically plunging into the Indian Ocean this will not disappoint. On the agenda we will go trekking and have various adventures.

Day 3: Knysna – Chill out on the Quays
Dramatic scenery, coupled with a cool beachside town. We will take you out to the head land and you can check out Knysna heads. It’s pretty cool.

Day 4: Oudtshoorn – Lots to explore
From Knysna, we travel inland to Oudtshoorn, the Ostrich capital of the world. Yes there is an ostrich capital of the world and it’s here. It has some pretty impressive cave formations here or you can go to the wildlife ranch and get to know more than you would ever need to know about an ostrich. Ever. You can even ride one that that’s just being ridiculous.

Day 5: Cape Town – welcome to the mother city.

We are on the home stretch . But not before you see some incredible scenery. This is genuinely one of the best road trips in the world and you are going to experience it all. Finally you will end up in Cape Town, which is one of the nicest, most exciting and special places in the world. We will take you to the cable car seat and go up table Mountain, sometimes if the weather clo in we will offer you an alternative.

Finally we will go out for dinner in the evening. South African cuisine is amazing. Great wine, great meat and great friends to share the last moments with.

Day 6: Cape Town – The final day
Today is your last day check out and had back to the airport (transfer not included but cheap at around £10 and a taxi) or considering you are in Cape Town why not add on our Cape Town community superhero project. You can stay and volunteer for only £449 for two weeks. It’s the perfect complement to this trip.

 

 

the weather in South Africa can vary greatly. Typically in July we received the lowest rainfall and the highest amount in March. The average daily midday temperatures range between 20° in July and 28° in February.  The coldest time to come is in July when temperatures drop to 7° during the night. As South Africa is in the southern hemisphere the seasons are reversed from the UK.
 you will not need much for this trip. All food and accommodation is included on the first two weeks. On the road trip all of your transport and accommodation plus breakfasts are included. So we recommend you bring about £80 per week spending money. South Africa is a very cheap destination as well. 
 Please do book well ahead as space is limited on the programme. Simply submit a booking form and you can hold your place with a deposit of £200. Full payment is not due until 12 weeks prior to departure.
Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)One week wildlife & Road Trip PE-CTGBP 899Book Now
3 (Week)Two week wildlife & Road Trip PE-CTGBP 1189Book Now

INCLUDED

  • Scheduled  transfer from Port Elizabeth (Departs PE at Monday at 5pm and Drop off on Saturday/ Sunday)
  • Orientation on arrival
  • A branded Cap
  • A branded T-shirt
  • Luxury Dorm accommodation
  • All Meals while at the reserve
  • Beverages with meals while on the reserve
  • Daily activities
  • Optional weekend excursions (transport and accommodation only)
  • Use of the various facilities such as swimming pool, sporting facilities and entertainment room
  • A week-long road trip with breakfasts and activities
  • Farewell dinner in Cape Town

EXCLUDED

  • Day trips off reserve
  • flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional extras on the road trip
  • Lunch and dinner on the road trip

Dates

2019

14 January 2019
25 February 2019
01 April 2019
06 May 2019
03 June 2019
08 July 2019
19 August 2019
16 September 2019
07 October 2019
04 November 2019

Dates listed above are for the two-week experience. If you would like to add extra dates and extend the wildlife conservation section please arrive one-week earlier. Or as many weeks earlier as you wish to extend by.

 

Field Guide Course South Africa 4 Weeks or 1 Year

Xtreme Gap offers courses designed to supply the South Africa safari Industry with high caliber professional Field Guides. But these courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. So whether you have chosen a professional career linked to wildlife or nature or just finished school and are on a gap year, or if you have possibly taken a career break or are a regular traveller to the bush, this course is for you. Including work experience as a real guide!

Xtreme Gap offers courses designed to supply the South Africa safari industry with high caliber professional Field Guides. But these courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. Including work experience as a real guide!

 The South Africa Field Guide Course

“Nothing gets the blood pumping more than approaching a full grown African Lion on foot.”

Xtreme South Africa Experience (7)If you want to experience the real Africa, discovering Africa’s wild places, living out among the wild animals of South Africa’s largest game reserve area then this field guide course is for you. If you are short on time you can opt for 28 day course. However if you want the ultimate sabbatical experience you can even unroll on a one-year course. This includes six months training on game reserves with a six month work placement (unpaid).

One year spent training to be a professional field guide, gets you right in the heart of the African bush and nothing gets you closer to all the wild animals of Africa. As well as the possibility of gaining a professional accreditation (looks amazing on your CV) you will genuinely have the time of your life training in a completely unique environment surrounded by the wild animals in the African bush.

The cost of the course is not cheap, however it is a one-year course all-inclusive (excluding flights) and is a genuinely life changing voyage of self-discovery in an African environment. If one year course is too long or the cost is too high you can also enroll in our 28 day safari guide programme.

Field Guide Course South Africa  Highlights Include:

You will live and walk midst the spectacular wildlife of the African bush for one year – for the first half of the year you will live and learn at our camps and for the remainder of the year you will work at a Safari Lodge as a trainee.

  • Training at all 4 of our camps presents a constantly stimulating environment to learn in you will be exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains; landscapes; wildlife species; climates and more.
  • Our instructors, having many years of guide training experience and time in the bush, each possess different ways of training and guiding and this will enhance your overall training experience.
  • For parts of the course you will train in our Kruger Camp in the Makuleke concession which is a highlight for all our students. The Makuleke concession is not accessible to ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

YOU COULD GRADUATE WITH

  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate –  Rifle Proficiency
  • FGASA Advanced Rifle Handling
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back-up
  • Basic and Advanced Birding
  • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2)
  • Navigation and Orientation
  • Guiding experience logged towards FGASA Level 2 practical assessment

Who typically does this course?

The course is open to all, people taking the course do not all wish to work in the industry, some of our customers undertake the course to get a good understanding of the bush and to experience more than your typical Safari holiday, others are gap year travellers wanting to get the most out of their South Africa gap year.

  • Gap Year Takers
  • Career breakers
  • Wild life conservation holiday enthusiasts
  • People with a career in Wildlife and nature

Photos

 

Itinerary

Important! Our camps are based within the reserves and we run 2 activities per day,  7 days a week. Many others Field guide course providers at other gap year companies, will offer accommodation outside of the big game reserves and then allow for activities only 3 days a week with an off day, test day, lecture day etc. Our camps are un-fenced  so dangerous game will wonder through from time to time and this makes for a far more authentic and Xtreme experience.

Our partners are the  only training provider that offer Field Guide training from within the Kruger National Park. This is something that most guides dream of training inside the Kruger. We have worked hard at securing the most unique locations for our camps  exposure we can confidently tell you, no one else can offer.

The one year course a typical day

Field Guide Course South Africa (20)A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee while you listen to the bush waking up and then leaving the camp for an outing into the wilderness.
The outings are extremely flexible and determined by the unpredictability of what is found during the outing in combination with the subjects that have to be covered. The outing could be a game drive following up on the  roar of a lion heard during the night or a walk, learning about the plant species occurring in the area. It could be a walk following fresh elephant tracks, learning how to track the animal and finding it or it could be a game drive to a waterhole where animals come to drink.

Learners return to camp in the late morning for a hearty brunch which is followed by a lecture on the subject of the day. Study and rest time is then followed by afternoon tea and another outing into the wilderness until sunset, if walking, or until well after dark if doing a game drive. Afternoon outings could include night drives looking for nocturnal animals such as owls, bush babies and leopards or it could be a walk looking for and learning how to identify interesting birds. It could be time spent studying the night skies or it could be a time for learners to test their 4×4 driving skills.

It is then back to the camp for dinner, stories around the campfire, discussing the day´s experiences and wondering about tomorrow´s adventures.

The emphasis is on practical day-to-day experiences in the bush. The daily outings are flexible and may focus on specific subjects such as animal tracks and tracking, birds, plant identification or animal behaviour, or may involve game viewing and learning about the ecosystem in general.

Professional Field Guide Course  (FGASA Level, Trails Guide, specialised modules and the Lodge Placement Programme)

Field Guide Course South Africa (13)This comprehensive and unique one year course has been designed to supply the safari industry with high calibre FGASA and THETA qualified professional Field Guides. This course is not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African bush.

Comprising this one year course is approximately 6 months of theoretical and practical training with our highly qualified instructors in which you will complete various separate certificate courses which should get you well prepared for the lodge placement period of actual lodge work and nature guiding at lodges with guests which makes up the second half of your course. We will place you at these lodges so that you can work with experienced guides to learn from them and to learn on the job so that at the end of the year´s course, you are not only qualified but also experienced. By this time you will be a prime candidate and should be snapped up immediately by a lodge for a guiding job.

This lodge attachment component will give you the practical experience and enable you to apply the theory you learned in the training at our camps. It also enables you to build up your ‘guiding days’ towards the one year of experience that is required by FGASA to be assessed for your FGASA Level 2 field guiding exams.

Field Guide Course South Africa (2)What qualifications could you graduate with?

  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam
  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Practical Assessment
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate  Rifle
  • Advanced Rifle Handling
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back-Up
  • Birding with Lawson´s Birding Academy
  • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2) – First Aid

A few of the subjects covered on this course:

  • The Introduction to Guiding in the Natural Environment
  • Creating a Guided Nature Experience.
  • Basic Bush and Survival Skills.
  • Geology
  • Basic Ecology
  • Basic Taxonomy
  • Mammals
  • Entomology
  • Reptiles
  • Fish
  • Birds
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Trans frontier Parks and Biosphere Reserves
  • Historical Human Habitation

In addition to these subjects, you will also be taught the following:

  • Introduction to Eco Tourism
  • Planning of Game Drives and Walks
  • Dealing with Guests
  • Tracks and Tracking.
  • Approaching Dangerous Game Animals
  • The Game Drive Vehicle
  • Off-Road and 4×4 Driving
  • Night Drives

Lodge Experience:

Field Guide Course South Africa (6)As part of your year training, we will place you at a lodge in Southern Africa for a period of approximately 6 months. During your lodge placement you will be expected to carry out a wide variety of duties which may or may not include the following:

  • General Guiding Duties (can logged towards FGASA level 2 practical assessment)
  • Assisting in the bar, serving drinks, undertaking stock takes
  • Assist with meeting guest/s at meeting point/airport, carrying their luggage
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Reception duties
  • Food & Beverage duties

Certification and Accreditation

Field Guide Course South Africa (21)Our partners are a FGASA endorsed training provider who is accredited by THETA. This means our courses adhere to THETA standards. THETA is the Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority of the South African government. These are the two bodies responsible for regulating standards within the guide training industry in southern Africa.   For this course only, we will assist you by registering you for FGASA, THETA and eventually DEAT. Additional info on website

SASSETA  (Sector Education and Training Authority) – Due to the legal and professional requirements of being a Field Guide, there are certain steps that any student wishing to do firearms training is required to do. Additional info on website

PDP Public Drivers Permit  most lodges require that students have a PDP as this allows them to transport groups of people in a company vehicle. For this, students need to be 21 years or older. Additional info on website

DEAT  Department of Education and Tourism. We will assist with registering you for FGASA and once you have your Level 1, FGASA will automatically register you with THETA.   We will assist with your DEAT registration if you are 21 years or older.

Day to Day itinerary

Please find below a day to day itinerary, this is for the course starting in January, but it will be approximately the same for the other start dates.

Transfer from Emerald Backpackers to Nelspruit – time in Nelspruit, 3 days

  • FGASA Registration – Level 1
  • FGASA Registration – Trails Guide
  • SASSETA Firearm Competency Registration & Training
  • Course Questionnaire
  • DEAT registration
  • Accommodation in Nelspruit 2 Nights at Old Vic Travellers Inn

Transfer to Selati  – time in Selati, 30 days.

  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1 training, telemetry and 4WD no exams

Transfer to Karongwe – time in Karongwe, 57 days

  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1 additional training, 25 days
  • Basic Birding course – 7 days

OFF TIME 6 days   (make own travel arrangements)
(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

  • Animal Tracks and Tracking Course – 7 days
  • Navigation and Orientation – 7 days
  • Wilderness Medicine level One and Two  – 4 days
  • Karongwe, FGASA Level 1 Exam and Assessments – 7 days

OFF TIME 6 days   (make own travel arrangements)
(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

Transfer to Mashatu – time in Mashutu, 7 Days

  • Rifle Handling and Safety training

Transfer to Makuleke  – time in Mayu Makuleke, 49 days

  • Trails Guide course (FGASA exam and assessment) and Advanced Rifle Handling – 28 days

OFF TIME 6 days    (make own travel arrangements)
(Please note off time travel & accommodation needs to be budgeted for and arranged by yourself. Please consider this in your financial planning.)

  • Advanced Birding – 7 days
  • Consolidation – 5 days
  • Graduation – 3 days

(Each Student is allowed 2 guests for the Ceremony at an additional cost for the guests which will take place on the last two days of the course )

Final Day – Bush Bus Transfer from Makuleke to Emerald Backpackers

Frequently Asked Questions

These courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. So whether you have chosen a professional career linked to wildlife or nature or just finished school and are on a gap year, or if you have possibly taken a career break or are a regular traveller to the bush, this course is for you.
With our Field Guide Courses being endorsed by FGASA who have THETA accreditation, this means we meet THETA standards. THETA is the Tourism and Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority of the South African government. These are the two bodies responsible for regulating standards within the guide training industry in southern Africa.
International or Non-South African Learners: If the learners is not taking up Field Guiding for a career which is mostly the case for our international learners, then he or she does not have to complete the FGASA component on the course. The learner however still has the opportunity to write the tests and practical evaluations and obtain a certificate..
There are four different camps. There is more information in the “Accommodation” section.

  • Kruger Park Makuleke
  • Karongwe Game Reserve
  • Selati Game Reserve
  • Mashatu Game Reserve

.

  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Theory Exam
  • Field Guide FGASA Level 1 Practical Assessment
  • SASSETA Competency Certificate  Rifle
  • Advanced Rifle Handling
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back-Up
  • Birding with Lawson´s Birding Academy
  • Tracking (Level 1, 2 or 3)
  • Wilderness Medicine (Level 1 and 2) – First Aid

 

Normally you have about 5 to 6 Months lodge placement in your 1 year Field Guide course. The lodge placement starts after the trails guide qualification (after about 5 months of training). You come back to the camps after the lodge placement section to do an advance Birding and revision. You essentially use the lodge placement to work on your level 2 theory knowledge and to sharpen Birding knowledge prior to the advanced course.
The revision section enables you to rewrite sections that you may have failed during the year or to enable you to get assessed for sections you didn’t make previously.
It´s very difficult to estimate your expenditure during off time as it relates to your activities and travel. You might want to relax as the first free time you have is after 2 months!

The guys normally go to each others homes or travel together (I noticed this from experience trying to arrange activities for them). They take it easy during these times as our courses are full time, no other time off even during weekends the course runs 24/7 until off times.

So we don´t think you spend much over these periods, if you travel you tend to travel together (SA students normally use their own vehicles and club together) Or some stay at backpackers at low cost.   Don´t think you need more than R500 per day (about 40 gbp) (meals included, mostly they stay with SA families)!

Accommodation

Throughout the field guide course you will stay in tents, one camp has more luxury accommodation than another, but always clean running water and comfy beds! However don’t expect all the mod cons, electricity is only run with a generator occasionally so bring a good supply of batteries. the camp is open so animals can wander into the camp especially at night. There is a laundry service too.

The Training Camps

Located between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern sector of Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24,000 hectares (59305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in all of Kruger National Park. This area is off limits to your normal Kruger park tourist. The area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 after a very long struggle.

This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

Accommodation:  Students are accommodated in comfortable thatched, tented rooms placed on wooden decks in the shade of large nyala trees. Each room has an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower and washbasin with hot running water and a flush toilet and also has a veranda overlooking the surrounding bush.   The camp itself is not fenced which means that animals do move through the camp from time to time.

The central communal area: This area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.

Electricity:   There is no electricity at the camp  paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge batteries. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.
Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park.
Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population
found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino.

There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Accommodation:  The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent).   There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the Selati River.The central communal area: This area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp  paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use.

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage.

Beside elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, general game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland and a variety of antelope, and nocturnal species like springhares, bat eared fox, civet cat, genet cat, honey badger and mongoose, are prevalent throughout the reserve. The bird life is prolific with Mashatu Game Reserve recording over 366 different species. The 4-wheel drive safari vehicles enable the student to leave the road and provide guests with up close game viewing and fantastic photographic opportunities. Night drives, with the aid of powerful spotlights bring the bush to life.

Accommodation:  The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the dry river bed.here is no electricity at the camp  paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge batteries. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment.Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.

Duration Option Price  
28 (Days)GBP 2999Book Now
12 (Month)One Year OptionGBP 15150Book Now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
28 (Days)GBP 2999 GBP 2849 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
12 (Month)One Year OptionGBP 15150 GBP 14847 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 05 - Apr - 2019 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Travel Advice prior to departure
  • Training by experienced field guides and instructors
  • Accommodation for one year
  • Transfers between the camps
  • All Meals
  • Game Drive
  • Walks and other activities like sleep outs etc.
  • Laundry
  • Certificates and registrations
  • SASSETA Competency Certification
  • 3 sets of uniforms
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Entry to Kruger park

75% is the success rate on succeeding the course

Excluded

  • All Flights
  • Extra Drinks (like beers, ciders and bottled water)
  • Costs for visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Accommodation before or after the course

Dates

2017

06 May – 02 June (Karongwe)
01 September – 28 September (Mashatu)

2018

05 June – 02 July
02 September – 29 September

“It was just immense!”
Henry Thomas
“On patrol one morning we were walking through dense bull reeds in a dry river bed, it was so exciting we just did not know what could be in front of us. We emerged into a clearing to see a full grow Bull Elephant in musk! He let out this huge sound and took off in the other direction. My heart was beating so loud it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!”
Olivia Wilkinson

Horse Riding and Conservation Mozambique

Horse Riding and Conservation Mozambique
Imagine untouched white sandy beaches, cliff top views overlooking the ever changing turquoise sea and a genuinely unique and exciting African experience. Experience an ever present spirit of adventure on horse back as you look after a herd of Horses and enjoy some of the best beach riding in the world. So if you are looking to develop your riding skills, discover the culture of Mozambique and make a difference in Africa helping our horses, please join! This is indeed a unique experience for horse riding enthusiasts.

Imagine untouched white sandy beaches, cliff top views overlooking the ever changing turquoise sea and a genuinely unique and exciting African experience. Experience an ever present spirit of adventure on horse back as you look after a herd of horses and enjoy some of the best beach riding in the world. So if you are looking to develop your riding skills, discover the culture of Mozambique and make a difference in Africa helping our horses, please join! This is indeed a unique experience for horse riding enthusiasts.

 Horse Riding and Conservation Mozambique

This programme offers you a unique experience to develop your riding skills, learn about the culture of Mozambique and make a difference helping our horses in Vilanculos & the Bazaruto Archipelago.

What you will learn

The Volunteer Programme is based on the coast in Vilankulo and offers students the chance to acquire a wealth of information about equine management, riding skills and life in Africa. Students are required to help organize out rides, manage clients, groom horses, participate in feeding and assist with any veterinary activities that may occur during their stay. In addition to working with the horses in Vilankulo, trips will be arranged to the Bazaruto Archipelago to work with our horse on the island.

You will explore than just one place in Mozambique!

You will become part of the family and form a deep bond with the horse under your care. Expect long riding sessions up some of the finest stretches of coast line in the world, and rich happy memories of your gap year in Africa.

The Horses

Mozambique Horse Conservation (19)These are not just any horses either, smuggled out of Zimbabwe escaping the chaos caused by Mugabe ´s regime by their owners they would have quite a story to tell, if they could talk.

We now have 60 horses in Vilankulos. 10 on Benguerra island and 50 on the mainland. Sadly depleted we only have 70 left from the original 104 that left Zimbabwe.

Gain hands on experience in Equine Management

We aim to equip students with the hands-on experience, knowledge, and skills to actively participate in running an African horse safari. We provide a wealth of information on equine management, riding skills, client hospitality, animal husbandry and community involvement.

 

Do I need riding experience?

Volunteering with us is basically riding out with our day clients on our fantastic horses. Our volunteers take care of the horses, clean them, feed them, ride them. It might be better for to be a rider to get the full benefit of volunteering with us. But if you really want to come, and learn how to ride and care for horses, of course we would love to have you!

 

Other Activities

Mozambique Horse Conservation (15)Off-days will be organized at different times during the week, as weekends are usually busy. Adventure activities are available in the area. Should volunteers decide to participate in these activities (such as scuba diving, snorkelling, dhow sailing & fishing) they can be arranged at participants´ own expense.

The waters around the Bazaruto Archipelago are one of the largest marine conservation areas in the Indian Ocean and optional activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, safaris and, fishing

 

Why Horse riding in Mozambique?

Our volunteers usually have a love of horses. The beach riding is some of the best in the world. We are also the Gateway to the Bazarutto Archipelago. We are close to Gorongoza and Tofu. We have some of the best dive sites in the world. We interact with schools and other projects to give our volunteers a good view of life in Mozambique. No day is the same!

Photos

Itinerary

Week 1: Introduction

This amazing experience starts with a one week induction to help you adapt quickly to the project. This will include lessons in local culture, basic history, language and equine care. You will also be familiarized with the current situation of the project and given instruction on health and safety. Your riding ability and overall equine knowledge will be assessed and you will meet the horses and be shown around the project.

Week 2:

At the beginning of the second week each you will Mozambique Horse Conservation (8)be assessed and given tasks and responsibilities to suit your experience. Riding and teaching lessons will be assigned to those who have previous experience while those with less experience will receive lessons to help them reach a better standard of horsemanship. All volunteers are free to put forward ideas that they feel will benefit the project and that their previous experience will allow them to carry out.

And then: From this point on each trip will vary
You will be involved in the daily care of the horses and you can also choose to deal mainly with the day to day running of the riding school.

Most important!

You will get a great deal of riding experience and will get to spend a great deal of time with some beautiful horses in a wonderful location.

At the end of your trip you, will receive a certificate Mozambique Horse Conservation (56)listing all the skills that we feel you have either learnt or utilized. This can be used as a reference when applying for jobs or for university and we will always confirm its veracity when approached by prospective employers or educational bodies.

Please note

All days here are different, as we have to rise to meet each new challenge as they come, but this is an itinerary of the kind of day you can expect to enjoy with us at Mozambique Horse Safari. Please be aware that, because we are a real project dealing with the day to day running of a herd of nearly seventy horses, we have to maintain flexibility. This can depend on the number of volunteers at the time, the needs of the horses, number of outriders or lessons booked. You have two days off a week to pursue a social life and have fun.

Accommodation

Mozambique Horse Conservation (32)You will be based in South Beach, Vilankulo at Blue Waters Beach Resort or Casa Gucci and on Benguerra Island we have a small volunteer house. Accommodation is a room with bed, mosquito net, ablution shower blocks and the resort has a swimming pool, restaurant & bar. The accommodation is within easy walking distance of the stables and a short ride from the town centre. Vilankulo itself offers easy access to internet cafe’s, ATM’s, supermarket, restaurants, bars, markets and much more. All volunteers are fully catered for and receive three excellent meals per day and a laundry service.   We have internet on the project the cost being 120 mets an hour. (Less than 5US an hour)

  • 5.00 am: Wake up get dressed and enjoy a early morning coffee. Prepare whatever you need for feeding and health checks.
  • 5.30 am: Jonathan our driver, will arrive and load up with feed, halters and medicines. You arrive at the paddocks in the cool of the early morning. Catch the horses and tether them to their feeding poles. Prepare feeds, and feed each horse its ration with nose buckets. While they eat, a visual check is conducted on every horse to check for cuts, grazes, ticks and general condition. Any problems are then addressed with the help of our grooms and senior volunteers. All horses hooves are then picked and inspected, again any issues are then dealt with. Each animal is then sprayed for ticks and released. This is then repeated in the second paddock. One or two volunteers may go, during this time, to the dam with Albert to collect water to fill all the troughs.
  • 8.00 am: Return to the house and eat breakfast. This is likely to be tea, coffee, toast, jam, scrambled or fried eggs, cheese, bacon and juice.
  • 9.00 am: Volunteers will then carry out their allotted tasks. This may include teaching in the riding school, lesson preparation, tack repairs and maintenance, treatment for any problems discovered that morning.
  • 12.30 am: Lunch is served. This may be spaghetti bolognese, stir fry, chicken casserole etc. All served with bread and butter, juice and salad.
  • 1.00 pm: After lunch you will get free time for relaxation. You can go to town, have a sleep or generally relax from the midday sun.
  • 3.00 pm: Participants will now prepare and start teaching riding lessons or taking beach rides. Those with limited riding experience may be requested to join the riding lessons. Other volunteers may work with horses who needing extra exercise or training.
  • 6.00 pm: Return to the house, unload and put away all tack and equipment.
  • 6.30 pm: Dinner is served, again a main meal with all the trimmings.
  • 7.00 pm: Free time. Relax on the veranda, listen to the crickets and tree frogs, chat about the days events, enjoy a cold beer and, for the most enthusiastic, prepare for the following day.

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Our volunteer project runs throughout the year and we except volunteers at any time.
The minimum time period we accept volunteers for is two weeks. The reason for this is that it can take a little while to adjust to life here and if you left any earlier neither you nor the project would benefit very much from the experience.

Minimum age

Please note this program has a minimum age requirement of 19 years old.

A positive attitude and love of animals. You also need to be a minimum of 19 years old
Mozambique Horse Safari is located in Vilankulo, Mozambique, Africa.
We will pick all volunteers up from the airport in Vilankulo, Mozambique..
The accommodation is a lovely rondavel which is a traditional African style room with a thatched roof and white washed concrete walls with view of the ocean.

Swimming pool, bar, restaurant.
20 minute walk on the beach or 5 minute drive
By vehicle or a pleasant walk along the beach
There is a large well maintained ablution block with hot showers.
Yes. Three meals.  Breakfast: Cereal, toast and tea or coffee
Lunch: Sandwich and fruit
Dinner: Hot Meal
Yes (please let us know upon booking)
VOLUNTEER PROJECT Tourist Visa available upon arrival.
Internet access is available and a local SIM card can be bought upon arrival for your mobile
phone.
Yes but usually only at high level resorts and activity centres. It is more common to use cash
Yes in Vilankulo but it can sometimes be unreliable.
Scuba Diving, Dhow trips & beach walks. June, July and August is whale watching time.
Everyone with horse riding experience, but you also need to be prepared to be compassionate, you have to have a generous nature and you must have a sense of humour.

 

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 1849Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 2379Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 3199Book Now

Included

  • Accommodation
  • Horse riding,
  • Three meals per day (home cooked and at restaurants),
  • Airport transfers,
  • Laundry service,
  • All use of the horses and equipment, trail rides and beach rides.

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Personal travel insurance,
  • Visas
  • Any personal spending money
  • Alcohol
  • Internet costs
  • Any extra excursions or activities.

Dates

We have multiple departures per month. Please contact us for specific dates & availability.

 

Great White Shark Conservation Project

Great White Shark Conservation Project
This programme offers the unique opportunity for volunteers to engage in the important research and conservation of great white sharks in Cape Town, South Africa. If you are adventurous and love the outdoor lifestyle then this is the perfect programme for you to have the most incredible once in a lifetime experience, as you get up close and personal with these infamous creatures!

No other conservation project provides a shot of adrenaline like this one. Great White shark conservation is as important as it is exciting! Get hands on with a Great White shark conservation project in Gansbaai South Africa! The world top location to see great white sharks.

 Great White Shark & Xtreme Marine Conservation

The Great White shark conservation project takes place in Gansbaai, the worlds number one Shark Diving destination.

https://vimeo.com/121889859

The work you do can help the world’s top apex predator.

Great White SharkConservation (27)As a volunteer you will be part of the shark team and assist in documenting shark activity by using aerial surveys of the island. You will be given a unique opportunity to view this magnificent animal in its natural environment by going out 5 days a week, either by boat or even more excitingly in  an underwater cage. You will be part of a team of Great White shark experts and other volunteers. The experts will provide you with all the knowledge you need, at the end of the programme you know all about the Great White through informative lectures and research.

Your lectures while on the programme consist of:

  •       Basic Shark biology
  •       Research and conservation
  •       Shark behaviour
  •       Conservation
  •       Changing attitudes
  •       Shark Attacks
  •       Basic seamanship (including anchoring positions, wind directions, currents)
  •       Cage diving procedures (procedures in the cage with and without regulator)
  •       Underwater filming
  •       Still photography
  •       Shark tourism

You will then have the chance to put this into good use, assisting in the conservation and research of the Great White. If the weather permits you will undertake frequent trips out to sea. Whilst at sea, the team will get you as involved as possible with all aspects of sea work, focusing on working with the sharks from below and above the water.

Photos

Itinerary

Great white shark projectThis programme does not have a set itinerary. Please request trip notes for more information on the day to day aspects of the project. Preferred start dates are the 1st and 15th of the Month with arrival and pick up in Cape Town. Every day is better than the previous one! You get to learn a lot about sharks by having some lectures and by being free to ask any questions to the crew. The days are never tiring or boring as you get to work in shifts on the boat. On days off there are plenty of activities to do. You can go for example to Cape Aghulus, where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet. Can you imagine being on the most southern tip of Africa? Of a whole continent?! The view is quite spectacular! What do you do on the boat? On the boat you   help tourists   to get ready to go in the cage: like giving wet suits, giving them a mask and weights, making sure everything is ok. You get the chance to go in the cage as well! You will be chumming (chopping up fish to feed the Great Whites so they come closer): You get to have a shower at the end of the day so it is not important how much you smell or are dirty! Everyone enjoys chumming because it´s the place where you can see the sharks well, since they are attracted by the smell. The accommodation is really nice! They are very cozy with a lounge area and a big kitchen! The fact that there is a kitchen is nice because we can decide whether to cook or go out for dinner.

Hands on conservation for the Great White Shark

Shark conservation South AfricaThis is your chance to become actively involved in the conservation of the Great White shark on your gap year. The Great White shark is arguably one of the worlds greatest predators, and at the same time under threat from ill educated and unethical activities conducted by mankind. Sport fisheries, which seek their jaws as trophies, and being accidentally caught in commercial fisheries are only two of the sharks enemies, but the deliberate killing of sharks by Asian fishermen which prize their fins for a bland tasting soup sees over 200 million sharks killed per year (across all shark species).

Help stop the decline of the oceans top predator

The Great White shark conservation is more important now than ever, with severe declines being documented in Northwest Atlantic, Australia, and Northeast South Africa. This fantastic opportunity gives you the chance to actually physically contribute to Great White shark conservation in South Africa, one of the worlds leading hot spots for Great White shark activity.

During the programme

Great white sharkOn this conservation programme you will join a world leading organization dedicated on protecting the Great White shark, operating in Great White shark conservation since 1989. You’ll receive training in Great White shark biology, behaviour, conservation, research, changing attitudes, shark attacks, basic seamanship (includes anchoring positions, wind directions), underwater filming, still photography and shark tourism. Weather permitting you will go to sea frequently. At sea, you’ll get involved as much as possible with all aspects of sea work. This will be focused on working with the sharks from above and below the water. Much emphasis will be placed on observing behaviour and the interactions of sharks around the boat. You will be taught how to get in and out of the cage and how to remain secure and safe in the cage.

Get in the Cage

In the cages you will record observations of the Great White sharks. This will include sex, size, markings and behavior. This training is designed to educate you to a level of competence of a field assistant. During the training, you will be evaluated on how you handle teamwork, take your own initiatives, take interest in the work and activities, show interest in learning.

Locating the Sharks

Finding the Great White shark is a skill, involving years of practice – the water temperature, depth, visibility, swell height, current and wind direction are all major factors.

Holy Shit! See them breaching

Great White sharks are surface feeders, you will be amazed when seeing the Great White lifting its head right out of the water to take the bait, and sometimes breach completely. In Shark Alley, close to Gansbaai, you will likely also see seals, penguins and the occasional dolphins frolicking near the islands, as well as magnificent Southern Right whales coming up from Antarctica to breed from May to November. These expeditions are more than just thrill-seeking adventures, they are educational experiences.

Find out more about this project on our blog

Accommodation

Accommodation at the volunteer house in Gansbaai. Gansbaai is a seaside village, which depends on fishing and tourism for its survival. It is situated approximately two hours south east of Cape Town. The shark team document a lot of shark activity using aerial surveys of the island. On one of the main research sites, Dyer Island, many other wildlife species can be viewed from the boat. It is the breeding ground for Jackass Penguins, Cape Cormorants and Gannets, whilst Geyser Rock opposite, is a breeding Mecca for Cape Fur Seals and currently home to approximately 20,000 seals. In season Whales and an occasional Dolphin can be spotted. This is a perfect habitat for the Great White.

Free Time

On the days when you´re not at sea, you can go on excursions in the local area and take part in activities such as wine tasting, penguin spotting, a visit to the most southern point of Africa and so on. Gansbaai is a lovely village and has several nice pubs and restaurants that you can visit, but there is no nightlife. The project volunteer coordinator will help you arrange some trips (at your personal expense), like these ones below:

Go Whale Watching! 

See whales that are bigger than the boat you are watching them from! Huge and mysterious, whales are a fantastic sight  the best time for spotting is between April and November.

Exploring the valley on horseback!  

Follow the rambling trails of the Walker Bay Whale Conservancy. These rides take you into the private nature reserve that runs along the Klein River and into the Kleinriviersberg Mountains. Available for all abilities.

Quad biking! 

Bike the trails around the Robert Stanford Wine Estate, through the vines and bush in a rather intrepid manner. For excitement just about equal to a shark encounter!

Explore.

Cape Town is ideally placed for the Orange River and Fish River Canyon \” fantastic places to explore. Being in South Africa also places you well for tours throughout Africa. Go up to Namibia, visit Victoria Falls or go on an epic trip through eight nations finishing up in Nairobi  you´ll experience lots of wonders enroute. We have a number of different tours to choose from, just drop us a line to find out more about them to experience Africa in an adventurous but safe way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but in a cage, only Mike Rutzen would be nuts enough to actually swim with these things.
A little, at first, but you will be surprised at how quickly you get to admire these huge predators. Much like falling in love with a goldfish. With big teeth.
Yes you will be there with other volunteers and you will be working side by side with our experienced crew, so you are part of the team.
The best time to volunteer will be in Winter (June to August) as the sharks are more active.
 

 

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 729Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 1349Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1619Book Now

Included

  • Pre departure information
  • Orientation programme on arrival.
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast at the volunteer house and lunch on the boat
  • Cap
  • White Shark Field Book

Excluded

  • All flights
  • Activities on days off
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Dinners
  • Lunch on days off

Dates

This trip starts on the 1st and 15th of the month with pick up from Cape Town.

You should arrange your flights into Cape Town the day before so the last day of the month or the 14th of the month. Many people book an extra few days in Cape Town. We can help you arrange this.

Safari Guide Training 28 Days South Africa

If you want to get under the skin of the African jungle, and really find out what it’s like to live in the South African bush surrounded by all the wild animals nature, whilst living in an unfenced camp in the Kruger National Park then this is for you. 100% pure adventure and one unforgettable month.

If you wish to experience an African Bush holiday while learning about the wildlife and environment, this might be perfect for you. During the 28 day Safari Guide training course you get under the skin of the African jungle, and really find out what it’s like to live in the South African bush surrounded by all the wild animals nature. You will be living in an unfenced camp in a huge National Park. 100% pure adventure and one unforgettable month.

Ready For The Ultimate African Wildlife Experience?

This is pure Africa in its rawest form, and a well-known  28 day  Safari Guide training course  aimed at those wishing to experience a bush holiday in South Africa, whilst also learning about the environment they are in it is for those that are passionate about nature, who would like a more in-depth experience and understanding of it. The knowledge you gain on this course, will take your safaris and bush holidays to the next level and give them a whole new meaning.

This is not people aiming to become a professional field guide, (something that can be done on our one-year course) but it is perfect if you have a month and you want to devote it to doing something completely different, and learning all about the skills needed to survive in the African bush, learning about the ecosystems, wildlife and unique and exciting African environment.

28 days of living and learning in nature at our wilderness camps provides you with the practical and theoretical knowledge of the natural environment. Upon completion of the course, you will be capable of conducting game drives and interpreting the natural environment around you. Our Field Guide training course consists of walks; one or two-daily lectures in our bush classrooms; game drives, as well as sleep-outs in the bush. Every minute of the day and night on this course is a learning experience, being constantly exposed to the bush. Our highly experienced instructors provide unique access to their vast knowledge and insight, making every lecture an inspiring experience.

Highlights of this course Include:

  • Gaining a deep understanding of the African Eco system
  • Living in a the great Kruger Game Reserve
  • Countless animal encounters
  • Experience the wild nature of Africa

Photos

 

Daily itinerary

A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee while you listen to the bush waking up and then leaving the camp for an outing into the wilderness. The outings are extremely flexible and determined by the unpredictability of what is found during the outing in combination with the subjects that have to be covered. The outing could be a game drive following up on the roar of a lion heard during the night or a walk, learning about the plant species occurring in the area. It could be a walk following fresh elephant tracks, learning how to track the animal and finding it or it could be a game drive to a waterhole where animals come to drink. Learners return to camp in the late morning for a hearty brunch which is followed by a lecture on the subject of the day.

Study and rest time is then followed by afternoon tea and another outing into the wilderness until  sunset, if walking, or until well after dark if doing a game drive. Afternoon outings could include night drives looking for nocturnal animals such as owls, bush babies and leopards or it could be a walk looking for and learning how to identify interesting birds. It could be time spent studying the night skies or it could be a time for learners to test their 4×4 driving skills. It is then back to the camp for dinner, stories around the campfire, discussing the day´s experiences and  wondering about tomorrow´s adventures. The emphasis is on practical day-to-day experiences in the bush. The daily outings are flexible and may focus on specific subjects such as animal tracks and tracking, birds, plant identification or animal behaviour, or may involve game viewing and learning about the ecosystem in general.

Welcome and Introduction
The game drive vehicle
Ecotourism and Guiding
Spotlighting
Field guiding as a profession
Basic 4×4 driving
Attributes, skills and duties of a field guide
Planning of game drives and walks
Bush navigation and orientation
Radio procedures
Ecology
Reptiles
Geology
Amphibians
Soils
Sensitivity
Weather
Anticipating animal behaviour
Plant communities
Career opportunities
Plant identification and uses
Identification and ecology of invertebrates
Grasses
Bush habitat management principles
Presentation skills
Creating photographic opportunities for guests
Animal tracks and tracking
Communication and facilitation skills
Bird identification and behaviour
Dealing with guests
Animal behaviour
Sustainable development and the wise use of natural resources
Approaching dangerous game
Ecotourism and local communities
Setting up a bush camp
Taxonomy
Sleep out in the bush
Working in the industry
Bush skills and survival
Testing and evaluations
Dangerous game / Basic rifle handling
Using binoculars

At the end of this course, you will be awarded a participation certificate.

Camp Locations

The course is run in 3 different locations you can choose which location  you prefer based on availability and start dates. Check dates tab on this programne page or email us your preferred start date.

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

Karongwe has the following habitats: undulating hills and valleys and broad-leafed woodland. We are allowed traversing over most of the reserve, except for one small section in the northern part of the reserve. This is not a restriction at all as it´s quite a small section of the reserve.

Temperatures at the camp: Our summers are warm to hot, with temperatures ranging from mid 20 °C (68 °F) on the cooler cloud-covered rainy days, to the high 30 °C (86 °F) on average days. Occasional hot day´s temperatures exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Winters are usually dry, with the average morning temperature of 6 °C (43 °F), with occasional cooler morning temperatures, and warmer mornings when there is cloud cover. Afternoon temperatures average in the mid 20s °C (68 °F), with ranges of 18 °C (65 °F) to 32 °C (89 °F) expected. Occasional winter showers prevail, but are unusual. Rain in the summer takes the form of heavy thunder-showers, or frontal rainfall over a longer period of time.

Animals found in the Karongwe Game Reserve: Karongwe is a good place for viewing leopard, lion and cheetah as well as elephant and white rhino. As the camp itself is unfenced, we often have four-legged guests in the camp. Hyena makes nightly patrols of the camp and elephant, cheetah and lion have also made appearances in camp on occasion. There is abundant wildlife with over 60 different mammal species including lion, leopard, elephant, white rhino and cheetah.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 walk-in style Meru tents, with twin beds (students share tents) where we provide the bedding, shared ablution facilities and a central communal area. We can accommodate a maximum of 20 students. We do have mosquito nets in camp. There are viewing decks in the central area of the camp, and many students choose to make the viewing decks their “bedroom” for part of or for the full duration of the course. The camp itself is unfenced.

The central communal area: This area is made up of 4 tall thatch-roofed open-sided decks which forms a square that encloses an open campfire area. One of the deck structures serves as the open air dining area, lecture room and study area. Two decks remain open to welcome the adventurous who want to spend their nights as close to nature as possible, while the last deck is home to Rob, your head instructor.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The kitchen is equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items, thus unfortunately there´s no space for personal items (drinks, water or other) of students.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders) are sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee is provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicles are open Land Rover TDI´s

The Concession

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the collective name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.

Temperatures at the camp: Mashatu camp can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius in summer time, while going down to temperatures of 8 degrees during wintertime. Temperatures remain quite high during day time in Botswana, never really going below 22 degrees, while reaching 39 degrees regularly in summertime.

The climate over most of Southern Africa is temperate. Hot, dry conditions are usually encountered in the Tuli region. Heavy summer thunderstorms of short duration in the late afternoon and evening may be experienced. Rainfall occurs mostly during the summer months (October – March).

Animals found in the Mashatu Reserve:

Beside elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, general game such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland and a variety of antelope, and nocturnal species like springhares, bat eared fox, civet cat, genet cat, honey badger and mongoose, are prevalent throughout the reserve. The bird life is prolific with Mashatu Game Reserve recording over 366 different species. The 4-wheel drive safari vehicles enable the student to leave the road and provide guests with up close game viewing and fantastic photographic opportunities. Night drives, with the aid of powerful spotlights bring the bush to life.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the dry river bed. Learners bring their own bedding. There are no mosquito nets at Mashatu.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge batteries. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders): These are sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee are provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicle is an open Land Cruiser

The Location

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park.

Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Temperatures at the camp

Summer temperatures average from about 35-37 °C (97 °F) during the day, dropping to mid 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Winter temperatures drops to about 4 °C at night (our lowest was 1.5 °C (34.7 °F) here and averages between 18 -25 °C (64 – 77 °F) during the day. Occasional winter showers prevail, but are unusual. Rain in the summer takes the form of heavy thunder-showers, or frontal rainfall over a longer period of time.

Animals found in the Selati Game Reserve

A wide range of animals lives here, including lions, elephants, rhinoceros and leopard. Plains game such as eland, sable antelope, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, kudu, impala, baboons and monkeys can also be seen. Selati is a good place for viewing lion, white rhino and elephant. General game is plentiful and you might even get to see the large herd of eland, as well as the rare sable antelope.

The Camp

Accommodation: The camp consists of 10 simple dome tents, each with 2 mattresses with pillows (2 learners per tent). There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the Selati River. Learners bring their own bedding. There are no mosquito nets at Selati

The central communal area: This area consists of a thatch-roofed open sided deck where all meals, lectures and studying takes place. A clearing for evening camp fires creates an idyllic setting for social and leisure time.

Electricity: There is no electricity at the camp paraffin lamps are used for all lighting and a generator is used to charge camera batteries and cell phones for emergency use. Studying at night with paraffin lanterns can at times be challenging so a headlamp for this purpose is recommended as well as an extra battery operated lamp if you wish to study in your tent at night. The kitchen is equipped with gas fridges for storage of all perishable food items, thus unfortunately there´s no space for personal items (drinks, water or other) of students.

The generator is for camp use so will thus not be switched on for the sole purpose of charging learner cameras or other equipment. Learners are allowed to utilise it when it is running for camp purposes and need to understand that it is used at own risk.

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (beers & ciders): This is sold from the camp and can only be paid for with cash. There are no credit/debit card or cheque facilities. Cordial fruit juices, tea and coffee are provided.
  • Water: Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps.
  • Laundry: A laundry service is provided by the camp cleaning person and costs R25 per week for 2011.
  • Game viewing vehicles: The game viewing vehicles are open Land Rover TDI´s

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

 

Appropriate walking shoes (hiking boots). Thorns go straight through sport shoes!

Photocopies of your ID / Passport (might be needed for car rentals/other uses)

Sandals for around the camp

Khaki (or neutral coloured) clothing for the bush

Warm Jacket and jersey (gloves and scarf as it can get very chilly in the mornings and evenings in winter)

Hat for protecting both the head and neck

Sunscreen

Bath soap and towel

Torch very important (a headlamp is very handy as well as a standing lamp for in the tent)

Extra batteries

Pen / pencil and small notebooks

A4 Notebooks / Notepads

Small field note books

We supply some bedding but please bring sleeping bag and small pillow for sleep outs. (an extra blanket is recommended in winter) (no sleeping bag and pillow needed for short courses)

Raincoat / Poncho

Insect / tic repellent

Water bottles, at least 2 litres. We recommend a camelback, MTB or walking water pouch.

Any small snacks / cigarettes etc you would like as there are no shops in the area!

Any reference / field guide books you may have

Binoculars and a birding book are essential for your birding courses!

Camera

Rucksack / day pack

Any personal medication

CASH (in ZAR Rands only) – sufficient cash for 4 weeks if you intend to purchase from the camp shop. The camps do not have easy access to the closest towns which have ATMs but the ATMs may not always work

Battery operated alarm clock (cellphone/mobile batteries run out and students need alarm clocks to wake up at the allocated times)

The Makuleke Concession

Situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern sector of Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24,000 hectares (59305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in all of Kruger National Park.

The Makuleke concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 after a very long struggle. This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

Selati Game Reserve

Our Selati Camp is situated on the banks of the Selati River in the 33 000 hectare (81545 acres) Selati Game Reserve to the west of the Kruger National Park. Selati Game Reserve is a large undeveloped reserve with diverse topography and biodiversity. We are very fortunate to traverse over this vast area of wilderness during our courses. In the east there are large granite koppies (hills), where Black eagles and Klipspringers can be found. The dominant vegetation types are Combretum and Mopane woodland. This habitat is well suited to the large elephant and giraffe population found there. The reserve is dissected by the Selati River which dries up in winter into large rocky pools of water. These pools are good places to view concentrations of birds and animals such as Nyala and Rhino. There is a lot of space to conduct walks and get a true sense of wilderness. Special species occurring here include Sable Antelope and Eland. We are also able to visit the Sable breeding programme run by the management of the reserve.

Karongwe Game Reserve

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

Karongwe has the following habitats: undulating hills and valleys and broad-leafed woodland. We are allowed traversing over most of the reserve, except for one small section in the northern part of the reserve. This is not a restriction at all as it´s quite a small section of the reserve.

Mashatu Game Reserve

Our Mashatu Camp is located in the land of Giants in the Tuli reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. Tuli forms a key part of the proposed Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty with majestic rocks, diverse vegetation, abundant wildlife, a profusion of birds and a rich archaeological heritage and spans over 25 000 hectares.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the collective name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.

We have longstanding relationships with a few universities in both the United Kingdom and the United States. These universities have recognised the training we offer and will issue their learners with credits for attending specific courses with us.

If this is relevant to your enquiry, the specifics of our course will need to be forwarded to the relevant university. They will be able to advise on whether or not they will recognise any of training courses for credits and if these credits can be transferred between institutions.

Duration Option Price  
28 (Days)GBP 2999Book Now
12 (Month)One Year OptionGBP 15150Book Now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
28 (Days)GBP 2999 GBP 2849 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
12 (Month)One Year OptionGBP 15150 GBP 14847 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 05 - Apr - 2019 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Qualified & Experienced Instructors
  • Lectures
  • Game drives, open vehicle drives and specialist trainers
  • Walks
  • Accommodation (shared)
  • Meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Tea, coffee and cordials
  • Further details on request or registration

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Transfers to and from the camp
  • Accommodation before and after the camp
  • Kruger National Park entrance fee (only applicable if the course is at the Kruger Makuleke camp)

Dates

2017

06 May – 02 June (Karongwe)
01 September – 28 September (Mashatu)

2018

05 June – 02 July
02 September – 29 September

 

“This was an amazing experience, so thank you for all your help getting me to Africa. Living in the reserve was something I will never forget and I am really blown away by the whole thing.”
James Mclean
“I heard about this mystical bush place: and every time anyone spoke about it, they got a misty eyed, far-away look in their eyes now I know why:

Around a ´get to know each other fire´ we were greeted by two male lions booming their hello, a 100 metres from camp:  Imagine a place where you walk under baobabs and into fever tree forests, through mopani and onto floodplains. Nyala, impala, kudu, eland, zebra, buffalo and elephant around, not to mention racket-tailed rollers, grey-headed parrots and lemon-breasted canaries to make every birder´s heart jump

To top it all, you can draw on the experience of the best instructors in the industry: To all of them, we owe a ´termite mound´ of gratitude.  

Kevin Holroyd
““The beauty of the course is the extended time one spends out there, nothing is rushed and every day one learns something new, building a quite awesome knowledge base. The experience is total and is built of a complicated set of components, animals, birds, trees, plants, insects, soil, water, weather, stars. Sights, sounds, smells, magic… The bush does funny things to your head. It has got inside mine:”
Nick Baker

Namibia Wildlife Conservation Experience

Join a group like minded of volunteers on the biggest wildlife conservation project in the world. This spectacular Namibian wildlife project can use your help. Based in raw African natural setting you will take care of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and (baby) baboons. You will make a difference and help to save the wild animals of Africa!

Join a group volunteers on the biggest wildlife conservation project in the world. This spectacular Namibian wildlife project can use your help. Based in raw African natural setting you will take care of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and (baby) baboons. You will make a difference and help to save the wild animals of Africa!

The best Africa wildlife Conservation volunteering Project

Set in an awesome private game reserve you will get the opportunity to join other volunteers experiencing hands on conservation with animals in the heart of the African bush.  The animal  sanctuary  mission is to take in all kinds of injured or abandoned or orphaned animals, and they need the support of people like you to help care for them. Become a surrogate mum to baboon babies, feed the lions and go for bush walks with big cats. All in a days work at the Namibian wildlife conservation experience programme.

Namibia Wildlife Conservation Experience Highlights

  • Get up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife.
  • Set on a huge private game reserve in the African Bush.
  • Learn everything about, cheetahs, lions and small orphaned monkeys.
  • Join a group of other conservation volunteers.
  • Bush walks and enclosure patrols.
  • Feeding wild animals and babysitting baboons.
  • Sleep outs under the stars (weather permitting).
  • Help to save the wild animals of Africa.

Your role as a wildlife conservation volunteer

Some of your responsibilities will include preparing food for the animals, patrolling carnivore enclosures, walking with the caracals, playtime with the baboons, game drives, camera trap setting and collecting, learn about carnivores during staff-led carnivore feeds, and manual farm work such as de-bushing and pulling grass in the field, working in the vegetable garden, building fences etc.

Photos

 

Your role as a volunteer is key to the success of this project, which is renowned for the variety of animals and activities that you can experience. Participation in the program ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals, which are housed in natural environments around the site.

What you will get out of this project:

namibia wildlife conservation gap year (24)This is a genuine once in a lifetime experience of living and working in the real Africa, meeting a variety of people from different backgrounds as well as gaining a unique opportunity to take a hands on role in conservation.

  • Have a greater understanding for African conservation.
  • Have had hands on experience with African wildlife.
  • Have many happy memories of your experiences in Africa!

About the Project

The project takes place in a stunning Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on our 3,200 hectare reserve near Windhoek. This is a haven for orphaned and injured African wildlife. We strongly believe the wild belongs in the wild and direct all our efforts towards long term rehabilitation. Unfortunately not all of the animals who come to the wildlife sanctuary are able to be released back into the wild. Only those that can´t, mostly for reasons of human impact, remain on the sanctuary.
Many of the animals have been orphaned, hand raised from a very young age or have become too used to captivity and cannot safely be released. None of these animals would have survived without the food, care and nurturing from our sanctuary and this is where you come in, to continue to care for these amazing creatures.

namibia wildlife conservation gap year (31)We provide a safe home for lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and baboons. Our Sanctuary also provides a home to a bat eared fox called Ore, a duiker called Sylvie, a zebra called Frankie, a vervet monkey called Scarlett as well as several meerkats, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and rabbits.
The Sanctuary is based at our beautiful reserve which hosts an abundant amount of wildlife and roaming game including giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeest, springbok, eland, jackal as well as wild cheetahs and leopards. These animals are all protected within this conservation area and our guests and volunteers can enjoy seeing the wildlife on a daily basis driving around the reserve.
Why you can play an important role .
The Wildlife Sanctuary and sister programme the Carnivore Conservation Research project could not function without the hard work, dedication, support and time of people like yourself. In 2011, over 400 volunteers gave thousands of days of their time to support the project. They came from all over Europe, Australia, South America and Canada to name just a few.
With no experience or qualifications necessary, our projects offer people the opportunity to make a lasting and tangible difference to the lives of the vulnerable San community and Namibia´s wildlife.
If you feel this project is right for you stay can stay any length of time from 2 weeks to 8 week.  All funds from the wildlife conservation project are ploughed back into our projects, enabling the Foundation to grow and become even more successful in achieving our vision of an Africa where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together, and conserving the land, cultures, and wildlife of Namibia.

Your daily activities

namibia wildlife conservation gap year (56)Daily activities will include food preparation, like throwing meat to the Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, African Wild Dogs and hand feed the Meerkats. You will also prepare vegetables, fruit and millipap to feed to the Baboons and farm animals. You will also be responsible for cleaning the animal enclosures. You can walk with the tame Caracals and experience how they hunt in the wild and spend time with the tame and semi tame Cheetahs in their enclosures.
The orphaned baboons play a large part in our project. You will also rotate responsibility for bottle feeding, walking and sleeping overnight with the five baby baboons (when needed), which are currently too small to live in the camp with the young baboons.
Volunteers will help to care for and feed the animals on a daily basis as well as helping with maintenance work at the Sanctuary. Maintenance work may include de-bushing to help remove invasive species, digging trenches to help water supplies to camps, and other manual activities. Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the sanctuary work including the rescue, care for, cleaning and feeding, and rehabilitation and release of the animals at the Sanctuary. These animals include cheetahs, leopards, lions, African wild dogs, caracals, baboons, chickens, geese, zebra, and donkey. In addition, we care for sheep and goats in an effort to relate to local farmers and land owners on predation management.

Lots of different animals

There are a variety of animals located at the sanctuary who need to be cared for by our wildlife volunteers including: semi-tame meerkats, pigs, sheep, guinea fowl, chickens, turkeys, leopard tortoises, rabbits and lots of dogs. Baboons form a large part of the project; volunteers become surrogate mums for the little ones, bottle feeding and sleeping overnight with them. They also go for walks with any babies currently at the sanctuary and our tame bigger baboons. We cannot predict when young baboons will arrive at the sanctuary so the numbers and ages may vary.

Animals in the wild and game drives

VillageLifeSafari1-300x225You may be lucky enough to spot some of the other wildlife freely roaming in their natural environment on the farm including; leopards, cheetahs, game (kudu, oryx, hartebeest, duiker), wart hogs, porcupine, aardvark, ostriches, caracals, jackals, wild baboons, African wild cats, hares, mongoose, meerkats, vultures, eagles, and various other bird species.
Bush walks with the animals
The leopards love their daily walk with our volunteers, climbing trees in their natural environment and are already practising their stalking skills. The two are firm favourites amongst our volunteers who currently get to experience feeding and meeting them up close

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

You can stay for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of 8 weeks
We welcome volunteers from all across the world aged 18+ to join our projects. No experience or qualifications necessary
During this trip you will be part of a group of other Gappers and you can expect groups sizes of between 15 to 20 people per month. The age is between 18 and 30 and the average is 24. Our peak months are July-September.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has advised us that visas are necessary for volunteer placements in Namibia and need to be arranged in advance.

18 is age limit

Please be aware that the wildlife volunteer project only admits volunteers over 18 years of age. In special circumstances we will consider 17 year olds, but ONLY if accompanied by a parent.

Volunteers need to complete a visa form and return it to their nearest Namibian Embassy- You should send this together with a copy of your passport and copy of a certificate showing your highest academic qualification currently held, for example GCSE, A Level Degree. This application will take three to four weeks to process, so early attention to this matter is advised. When completing the form you need to fill out an address. This will be in the pre-departure pack that you receive after payment to Xtreme Gap.

The cost of this visa can be paid directly to the Embassy. For those people who live in countries with no Namibian Consulate, you can use an agency in Namibia to obtain your visa. The Agency that we recommend is: GK Consultancy. In addition to the visa cost, there is a fee associated with using an Agency ” normally £30 – £40 per application.

Windhoek has a semi-desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures tend to drop at night. On average, Namibia receives about 300 days sunshine a year. Summer is from October to April. Temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celcius and plummet at night to cool levels. Average daily temperatures range from 20 to 34 degrees Celsius. Rainfall usually occurs between November and March, when heavy thunderstorms can be expected. Winter is from May to September with wonderful warm days which are contrasted by very cold nights, when temperatures often drop to below freezing so please bring warm clothing and a sleeping bag. Average temperatures range from 6 to 21 degrees Celsius.

The most popular time to travel to Windhoek is between March and October, when rainfall is lowest and temperatures are mild.
Flights should be booked to arrive at Windhoek International Airport, Namibia. Please note that passengers through Johannesburg have been experiencing an ongoing problem with luggage. If your flight comes via Johannesburg your luggage may take a couple of days to arrive. Please put all valuables in your hand luggage along with a change of clothes.Mark your cases clearly with the address
You will be met by a representative at Windhoek International Airport. The transfer time to the farm is approximately 45 minutes. On arrival you will be introduced to the Volunteer Coordinators and shown around the accommodation and facilities. An induction meeting will be held with you in your first couple of days. Activities are continuous on the farm and animals need tending to, so you will be hands-on on from your first day.  Arrival transfers on Mondays and Thursdays are included, otherwise you will have to pay an additional N$500
Vaccinations are required to enter Namibia. Please contact your doctor to arrange this. Do not forget to carry the vaccination certificate with your passport.
We will send you the kit list in pre-departure pack after booking. This will contain all the items you are likely to need on your trip. The volunteer work includes being very hands on with animals, building enclosures and walking with baboons so you are likely to get very dirty! Old and dispensable clothes are advisable for daily activities. The type of clothing you should bring depends on the time of year you visit. May to September is the winter period and can be very cold at night and early morning and daytime temperatures can vary. A sleeping bag is recommended! October to April is the summer period and rainy season and whilst generally hot during in the day it can become chilly in the evenings.
The currency is Namibian Dollars, but the South African Rand is widely accepted. We are able to take MasterCard and Visa payments at the project. ATM machines are present in Windhoek and withdrawals may have a small surplus charge. We do not advise bringing travellers cheques as we cannot cash them; you will only be able to get them cashed in town (NOT at the airport). If you do bring travellers cheques please ensure you have enough money to last until you are able to get them cashed.

You will need about £40 a week, as most of your expenses are covered within the programme.

All the money raised through our volunteering program goes directly back into the project which provides employment, education and accommodation to the local Bushman community and ensuring the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which are housed in natural environments around the site.Volunteer Role at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Lots! Why not book a tour after you have done this project. Namibia is a beautiful country with a stunningly diverse array of landscapes. Make the most of your time in this amazing country by combining your project with a tour. Depending on your time and budget, you can choose from a whole variety of trips from 3 days to two weeks or longer. Ask us for the options.

Off course you can, please check our  Facebook page gallery, and also sign up for trip notes.

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 929Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1829Book Now
6 (Week)GBP 2629Book Now
8 (Week)GBP 2899Book Now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
4 (Week)GBP 1829 GBP 1792 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
6 (Week)GBP 2629 GBP 2576 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
8 (Week)GBP 2899 GBP 2841 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 05 - Apr - 2019 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Pre departure information.
  • Transfers to and from the airport (Monday and Thursday)
  • Accommodation.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Tea and coffee.
  • Arrival orientation.
  • Full support and assistance from your program coordinator throughout the programme

If you start on a Monday or Thursday the transfer is free of charge. If you starts on any other day of the week it will be N$500 for the off-day transfer.

More information regarding the meals provided

Breakfast is self service and includes toast & cereals. Lunch is typically cold and varies between sandwiches, soup or filled pancakes and fruit when available. Dinner is a hot meal or on occasion a braai (barbeque) and includes meat, vegetables, bread, pasta and rice.

Excluded

  • All flights.
  • Personal travel insurance (which should include cover for repatriation).
  • Internet and telephone calls.
  • All items of a personal nature, such as gifts, clothing (work and other).
  • Drinks and snacks, which can be bought from the shop at the farm.
  • Extra excursions.
  • Optional transfer into Windhoek on a Sunday.
  • Optional Lodge nights.

Dates

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South Africa Monkey Rehab

Want to mess about with monkeys all day? Well either work in our office or join this exciting project! The Xtreme Monkey Rehab programme is a really fun african wildlife conservation project. Get hands on and become a surrogate monkey minder from 2 to 12 weeks. All food accommodation provided.

Want to mess about with monkeys all day? Well either work in our office or join this exciting project! The Xtreme Monkey Rehab programme is a really fun African wildlife conservation project. Get hands on and become a surrogate monkey minder from 2 to 12 weeks. All food and accommodation provided.

 Xtreme Monkey Rehab South Africa

Get ready for some Xtreme monkey business!xtreme gap monkey conservation 2

You will be tasked with helping out and keeping the centre running smoothly. Now if you feel that sounds like a walk in the park, just consider the fact that most of your colleagues will be juvenile baboons!

You will have to keep them in check look after them and become best mates with the troop (That’s a bunch of baboons by the way).

The daily tasks of caring for them include preparing food and milk, cleaning their play enclosures, playing, supervising, and observing them throughout the day, cleaning their sleeping cages, and preparing blankets and soft toys for their sleeping cages in the evenings. This is not a  glamorous job! You will get dirty, and peed and pooped on.

The animals´ needs come first, and they need the same care on weekends as well as weekdays. Other tasks include help preparing food crates for the older troops and monitoring troops daily. There are no rigid working hours, we finish when everything is completed, although a typical volunteer day usually is 7:00am until 5:00pm. Time off is dependent on the number of volunteers at the centre.

Highlights:

  • Playing and looking after adorable juvenile Baboons and Getting involved in a lot of monkey business.
  • If you are wild about animals, and want to learn more about primates there is no better opportunity.
  • Join a team of professionals and other volunteers to learn something new, rewarding and ultimately unforgettable.
  • Bottle feeding orphaned baby baboons, giving you a real sense of excitement and achievement.
  • Staying in an incredible environment, right in the heart of the African Bush this will be a completely mind blowing experience.
  • Loads of satisfaction in knowing that what you are doing is genuinely helping out.
  • Optional Kruger Park Safari way can check out the big five during your time off.

Photos

 

Full Details

What will this project give you?

baboon project 2This will make you really proud that is for sure. Travelling can give you so much confidence but working on a project like this is extremely self rewarding as well.
As you will be working in a team it will show that you possess initiative and have the skills to work well with other people.
Besides that it’s extremely worthwhile. It’s not everyday you make a genuine difference and do some good.
South Africa is a mixture of many different cultures, it will give you plenty of exposure to different cultures and help you grow and develop as an individual.
Job satisfaction guaranteed! This will be one of the best work experiences you could ever have, your colleagues will literally be monkeys.
It presents you with an opportunity not only to develop your CV by demonstrating skills, but will actively put you in a completely different environment that will test you. If you plan to get into animal science or medicine afterwards even better, but that aside it would be an incredible experience to tell your friends about.
This is a great way to spend serious time in South Africa, with three meals a day included all of your accommodation and lots of fun is perfect to add into any South Africa backpacking trip.

 

Your typical day looks like this, no time to get bored 🙂

  • 7:00 – It up early to have breakfast with the Monkeys, expect a lot of banana action and pretty shocking table manners!
  • 9:00 –  After the monkeys are full of bananas, it’s time to stuff your face as well breakfast is served.
  • 10:00 ” 13:00 ” Morning activities involves looking after the monkeys, and fulfilling various projects as set out by the staff.
  • 13:00 ” 14:00 – It in our break for a gorgeous lunch and to discuss the crazy goings on at the monkey Sanctuary
  • 14:00 ” 17:00 – Activities in the afternoon vary depending Upon what is happening at the monkey Sanctuary, You might be planting vegetables (We try and be a self-sustaining as possible when it comes to food for the monkeys) or but helping to build new cages, planting vegetables. You will be paired up with other members of the group and no matter what you get up to ensure to be a good laugh.
  • 18:00 – Dinner
  • 19:30 ” After dinner, you´ll be feeding nocturnal animals, and will have the rest of the evening as free time to relax.
  • Of course it goes without saying the above is just a guide. Things will change depending on the needs of the project at the time.

You will be a member of the team and your activities include

  • 10523309_741145572610836_3946811895925531839_oLiving in a Big 5 South African Nature Reserve ” so enjoying regular drives through the reserve to spot animals
  • Hand-rearing orphan baby baboons (and so making bottles, preparing food/toys, cleaning the nursery, supervising the babies in the nursery and taking them on river walks)
  • Taking care of sanctuary baboons (those that cannot be released); making their food/enrichment’s, social grooming/interactions, cleaning their enclosures
  • Helping with the rehabilitation of other small mammals in the reserve when needed
  • Observations of releasable baboons
  • Living amongst wild baboons and vervet monkeys (wild troops roam the centre)
  • Walking the rescue dogs in the reserve
  • Enclosure renovations
  • Giving education
  • Learning about primates, wildlife conservation, husbandry and rehabilitation
  • Helping with the rehabilitation of other rescued wildlife (usually small mammals/birds)
  • Excursions to the Kruger Park and surrounding attractions as a supplementary cost

Free time

Every day you will have a few hours of free time. Most volunteers nap, check email, read a book, visit the river, walk around taking photos, do laundry, give out extra enrichment/branches, or spend extra time in the baby hok.South Africa Monkey Rehab Xt (5)
You can ask for a day off and trips (at an additional cost) are offered to nearby attractions such as the Kruger Park.

Accommodation

Volunteers are accommodated in a rustic, two story brick and timber house nicknamed ´The Mountain Lodge´. The ground floor is comprised of 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, kitchen, and open-air veranda/eating area.

The upper level has 4 bedrooms, a lounge with a DVD player and couches, and a balcony.

Bathrooms have hot water showers and flushing toilets. There are a maximum number of 4 people per bedroom. The veranda is protected from the animals by a diamond mesh wire enclosure, but rats, bugs, and other creepy crawly wildlife have free access. Electricity is 220v.

Meals

Food is purchased in town once a week. Menus are planned and cooked by the volunteers on a rotating schedule of cooking and cleaning. Basic, wholesome foodstuffs are provided.

The centre provides a mainly vegetarian diet. We can accommodate vegetarians, vegans, or anyone with food allergies. Additional personal food, such as alcohol, chocolates, sodas, etc, can be additionally purchased on your own accord. A ´tuck shop´ is available onsite that sells some sweets and sodas. We often have a braai (a traditional South African BBQ) with delicious grilled meats and veggies.

There is a washing machine in The Mountain Lodge. Each volunteer is assigned one day per week to do his/her laundry. Clean clothes are hung in the backyard on clotheslines to dry. There is always the option for additional hand-washing. Detergent/washing powder is provided.

Volunteers will have a single bed with a mosquito tent/net. Sheets, a duvet, and pillows are provided. You can bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket if you want to, but is usually not necessary. There are storage lockers to lock away any expensive or personal items.

There is basic wifi internet connection at the Mountain Lodge. If you bring a laptop or tablet you can purchase the connection for a R150/month fee. Almost all volunteers use this wifi. You can purchase a mobile phone or SIM card in town. MTN and Vodacom are the local carries and the centre gets decent cell reception.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

The minimum length of time you can stay at Primate Sanctuary is two weeks. Although you can stay up to 12 weeks to really get involved in the project. 12 weeks is the maximum on a tourist VISA (you will be given 90 days on arrival.
You will need to fly into Phalaborwa airport, this involves internal flight from Johannesburg or Cape Town and our flight partners can help you with this. You will be met by an Xtreme Gap Year representative at the airport and transferred to the project. If you arrive early in to Jo Burg, you do not need a night here. 3 times a day there are flights to  Phalaborwa
We can take up to 20 volunteers at one time, during the months of June and July and August we tend to be very busy so get your booking is an early. On average you will be with around 15 other people.
We’ve never dealt with a rabid animal, and I don’t have the vaccine and have been there for 3 years – but we always just inform people that when working with wild animals it is a recommended vaccination so they can decide for themselves.
Short answer is lots! This is prime African Bush, home to some of the greatest safari parks and private game reserves in Africa. There is plenty to do in the area, and whilst there are loads of activities included during the project you may want to budget a little bit extra to get involved in some extracurricular activities.

Kruger National Park, the largest national park in South Africa Is a short drive away. There are optional trips into the park, to see Jessica the Hippo, the Panorama Route, and other various animal parks including a reptile park, a cheetah sanctuary, and an elephant sanctuary, among others.

With regards to payment for the extra activities. They van be paid in cash when at the centre to the staff member organising the trips during that time. If trips are not available due to lack of vehicle/staff member some volunteers chose to hire a car for 2 days to do site seeing (elephants, chimp eden for example). We do not take money in advance for trips due to the possibilities of vehicle problems or lack of available staff – the baboons always come first, but we do try our best to accommodate trips/sightseeing to other projects and the Kruger Park.

Volunteers here don´t need any prior experience ” Our dedicated Team of full-time professionals will give you all the training you need. You do need however lots of love and enthusiasm for working with primates. It can be hard work sometimes, but it is ultimately very rewarding.  

What will this project give you?
This will make you really proud that is for sure. Travelling can give you so much confidence but working on a project like this is extremely self rewarding as well.
As you will be working in a team it will show that you possess initiative and have the skills to work well with other people.
Besides that it’s extremely worthwhile. It’s not everyday you make a genuine difference and do some good.
South Africa is a mixture of many different cultures, it will give you plenty of exposure to different cultures and help you grow and develop as an individual.
Job satisfaction guaranteed! This will be one of the best work experiences you could ever have, your colleagues will literally be monkeys.
It presents you with an opportunity not only to develop your CV by demonstrating skills, but will actively put you in a completely different environment that will test you. If you plan to get into animal science or medicine afterwards even better, but that aside it would be an incredible experience to tell your friends about.
This is a great way to spend serious time in South Africa, with three meals a day included all of your accommodation and lots of fun is perfect to add into any South Africa backpacking trip.

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 589Book Now
3 (Week)GBP 925Book Now
4 (Week)GBP 1209Book Now
6 (Week)GBP 1759Book Now
10 (Week)GBP 2869Book Now
12 (Week)GBP 3379Book Now

Included

  • Three meals a day
  • Airport pickup
  • All activities and assistance at the monkey Sanctuary
  • Detailed predeparture pack
  • Optional trip to the Kruger National Park (small local payment)

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas (you are given a free 90 day tourist VISA on arrival)
  • Travel insurance
  • Spending Money

Dates

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