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Travel to a private Big Five game reserve in South Africa and volunteer alongside an international team assisting in vital conservation work. Learn to track animals through the bushveld, study their behavior and get acquainted with charismatic game species such as lion, leopard, elephant and rhino.
Before getting fully involved in the inner workings of our research, you will undergo training that will cover how to carry out extensive radio tracking and monitoring of all the collared predators on the reserve, all while learning a variety of new skills, including mammal and bird identification, ecology and bush first aid. This training will allow you to effectively contribute to the overall program, as you get to know animals on the reserve individually and following their progress and monitor behavior. A typical day involves spending time out in the reserve tracking the wildlife and conducting research from the game vehicles. This usually happens during the cooler weather at dawn and dusk when the wildlife is more active. Most of the research is on predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyena but we also monitor other wildlife, including elephants. There is a daily schedule and if not assisting on game drives then you may be working on data entry or helping with camp and cooking duties. We can spend up to 12 hours a day collecting data, so you should expect some long days. All this will do is develop a baseline and holistic understanding of all aspects of the bush. Another aspect is our community work, where you will be expected to participate in educational days with local communities, highlighting the importance of conservation. You will have opportunities to enjoy the surrounding areas and activities, including visits to local reptile parks and animal sanctuaries, as well as mountain trails.
|Official Language(s)||11 - Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, English, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu|
|Capital:||No official capital. Three branches of government split between Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein|
|Climate(s)||Desert (Warm/Cold), Semi-arid (Warm/Cold), Mediterranean (Warm/Temperate), Humid Subtropical, Oceanic (Subtropical/Warm/Temperate)|
|Major Airport(s):||Cape Town (CPT), Johannesburg (JNB), Durban (DUR)|
|Economic Driver(s):||Mining, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Tourism|