Big 5 Project
Greater Kruger Area, South Africa
Wildlife Conservation Volunteering
Wildlife lovers, it’s your turn to make a difference in one of Africa’s most iconic wildlife hotspots! Witness the wild side of Africa, as you join field guides and researchers as part of a unique, one of a kind safari adventure. Making a difference starts here!
Wildlife Conservation Kruger
You will be conducting vital research & collecting important data, as you learn how to monitor some of Africa’s most iconic and precious species, including the world-renowned ‘Big 5.’ All the data that you collect is critical for helping to conserve these rapidly declining species.
You will play an important role to ensure the success of our conservation efforts, as well as collecting useful research. Take part in daily game drives through South African wildlife reserves, boarding Kruger National Park and discover the African bush from an angle like no other.
You will gain valuable knowledge & skills, as you learn from our team of experts about animal movements & behaviour of elephants herds & lion pride, as well as many other exquisite species. All the data collected on these wild, yet vulnerable animals contribute towards enabling local wildlife foundations to protect and conserve them.
The data also goes to our rangers & researchers, who work to identify the issues and threats, surrounding African animals.
Take the opportunity to see nocturnal animals in their natural environments, on exclusive night drives; unavailable to your average tourist. As an added bonus, you can take the opportunity to camp under the stars in a Big Five Private Game Reserve, while conducting night research. Your opportunities are endless- during the day & the night!
The ‘Big 5’ include the elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard & rhino. These animals were originally known as the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. Today, these animals are supreme & symbolic to the continent of Africa. This is your chance to see these iconic animals close up, as you make your mark on conservation. Help us in our mission to protect endangered species and preserve wildlife, to ensure these incredible animals will always have a place on this planet.
Get ready to see what it takes to maintain the famous ‘Big 5,’ for many more generations to come. You will assist in essential conservation efforts; that lay the foundations for ensuring the success of the long term objectives of internationally-recognised wildlife trusts & foundations.
What’s better? You will be based in an area, famous for its protection methods to save animals & to preserve natural environments & habitats.
A Day In Your Life
- Daily game drives: Take to the bush and pick up top tips & guidance on how to collect valuable data, which is used to identify animals, by using personalised ID kits. This data is absolutely essential to combat poaching, starvation & misinformed culling.
- Physical Conservation: Conservation is more than just collecting data. Be prepared to get down to the nitty-gritty of conservation, as you partake in physical work, vital to the survival of wildlife in the area. This includes removing invasive plants and litter collections in the area, to enable habitats to flourish as they should.
- You will also be involved in essential snare sweeps & discarding of these wire traps, which can be fatal for any animal.
- Analyzing data: You have collected a heap of the data, now it’s time to put it into practice. You will analyze data, used to create reports, maps and individual animal profiles. You will learn how to use whisker patterns, scars & ear notches to identify individual animals.
Monitor the ‘Big 5’
- Observe the behaviour, feeding patterns and movements of elephant herds.
- Collect data on lion prides, including vital data on social dynamics, hunting skills & territorial behaviours at different times of the day (& the night if you are on a night drive!)
- Study the rhino population & work with the anti-poaching team to provide more data to better understand the health of rhinos.
- Conduct vital research on the leopard population, under threat from persecution by humans, due to outdated population numbers.
→ Prices start from $2272 or £1362 for 2 weeks
Our start dates for 2019 are:
- 7, 14 and 28 January
- 11 and 25 February
- 11 and 25 March
- 8 and 22 April
- 6 and 20 May
- 3 and 17 June
- 1, 8,15, 22 and 29 July
- 5, 12,19 and 26 August
- 9 and 23 September
- 7 and 21 October
- 4 and 18 November
- 2 December (2 weeks placement only)