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Greater Kruger National Park Game Reserve

Volunteering and internship possible
As a volunteer or intern at the wildlife reserve, which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa, you will accompany the female rangers on their work against poaching, you will help the team to monitor animal and plant life and join all tasks needed to be done in the reserve. You will also support research projects. You will live in a bush camp with other volunteers in the middle of the wilderness.
Important note: Please read our information about volunteering with wildlife!

What is your placement organisation doing?

The private wildlife reserve is part of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa and is known for its abundance of wildlife, including the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo). Tourist safaris are organized within the wildlife reserve.
The Wildlife Reserve operates the world's first all-female anti-poaching unit, patrolling the reserve in search of snares and signs of poaching, as well as monitoring livestock and maintaining the reserve.
Research is an important aspect of the work of the Wildlife Reserve, for which there are cooperations with international animal conservation societies and universities. The focus is on the behavioral analysis, population dynamics and migration patterns of herds of elephants, rhinos, and predators as well as the research about the impact of railway tracks and power lines on the habitat use of wild animals.

How can you get involved?

During your stay at the wildlife reserve, you will accompany the team members of the reserve and the anti-poaching unit on their daily patrols on 5-6 days per week. You will monitor the wildlife, measure the water levels of the water points, examine the vegetation, remove invasive plant species and carry out maintenance work. You will spend most of your time outdoors and will have the opportunity to encounter and observe animals in their natural habitat. Your daily tasks vary depending on your time of your stay as well as the daily priorities of the team.
In addition, you support the research activities of international researchers and students, collecting animal data, such as the one recorded from hidden water-hole cameras and you will do data input and analysis. You will also determine plant species and record their density.

What are your main tasks?

  • Clearing roads, repairing signs, etc.
  • Removing invasive plant species
  • Removing traps from poachers
  • Monitoring of animal and plant populations
  • Joining research activities and collecting data
Info Box
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Location: Game Reserve at Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa; approx. 16 km from Hoidspruit Town
Start dates: Every Monday or Thursdays in Hoidspruit throughout the year (see arrival information below)
Minimum duration: 2 weeks
Maximum duration: 3 months
Minimum age: 18 years
Language skills required: English
Accommodation: Chalets at Bush Camp on full board
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Internship possible: Yes
Qualification of supervisor: Primatology, Environmental Science, Diploma in Nature Conservation, qualified nature guides
Minimum qualification intern: -
Further contribution to the project: -
Volunteering possible: Yes
Expected qualification volunteers: None, you will learn everything on-site
Further contribution to the projekt: No
We expect: Appropriate physical fitness, ok with "dirty" work in nature, professional work, the "right" attitude

Chalets at the Bush Camp

You will live in a simple rustic chalet in a bush camp in the middle of the game reserve. The property is not fenced and wildlife can roam freely in and around the accommodation. This information is not intended to scare you, but to make you aware of what it means to live in an open bush camp. You will definitely get a safety-related introduction on-site.
The chalets are built of stone and have a thatched roof. You will share a chalet with one further participant (double occupancy). There are solar lights, but no sockets. Electrical appliances can be charged using the solar charger in the communal area or in the office at the entrance of the reserve.
The sanitary facilities are outdoors, allowing a view over the scrubland, but they are equipped with privacy reed screens. The toilets and showers use the (cold) water from a well. Please respect that water is scarce and use it wisely.
You will get 3 meals a day as well as drinking water. Breakfast (cereals, bread, jam, peanut butter, fruits) and hot dinners are served at the camp, while lunch usually comes as a lunchbox (for example sandwiches, hamburgers, salads) that you take while working in the bush. Dinner is usually around the campfire, where you gather with your camp mates under the stars, listening to the sounds of cicadas and the distant call of hyenas. Vegetarian meals are possible if you inform us in advance, but vegan meals cannot be guaranteed. You have additionally the option of joining a ride to Hoedspruit Town every Monday where you can do grocery shopping of additional snacks, drinks, etc.
WiFi internet access is available but may be limited. There is network coverage for mobile phones. You will do your laundry by hand in your chalet. Alternatively, you can use a laundrette at Hoedspuit Town, but it will take you one week to get your clothes back.
Please note that the camp does not have any amenities like a bar, pool or air conditioning. Instead, you can enjoy a genuine bush experience. This also includes unforeseen and unexpected surprises that you need to be able to adapt to - such as elephants damaging the water supply. However, the staff is always ready to ensure your health and safety and will educate you about life and safety in the bush.
The first 2 weeks are 820 EUR. Any additional week from the 3rd week is is 220 EUR/week.
Extras: Single occupancy standard cabin instead of twin sharing: 65 EUR/week. Single occupancy cabin of higher standard instead of standard cabin twin sharing: 100 EUR/week.

This includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype; together with further participants
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Hoedspruit (please see information how to get there in the slider "Getting There") on arrival and departure
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • Accommodation at simple chalet on full board (twin sharing)
  • Local SIM Card with 100 ZAR air time
  • 2 project T Shirts
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
  • 15% Discount for Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Excursions and Watersports Activities offered by "Budget Safari Tanzania"

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Travel to/from Hoedspruit (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations

Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings.

Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Day Trips, Watersports

budgetsafaribannerAs "Budget Safari Tanzania" we are arranging cost-effective yet high-quality safaris, Kilimanjaro climbs, excursions, and watersports activities in Tanzania and Zanzibar. You will group with other World Unite! participants and further travellers.
As a World Unite! participant, you get a 15% discount on all offers of Budget Safari Tanzania. We will share a Discount Code with you that you can use with the online booking of your safari, Kilimanjaro climb, excursion or watersports activity.

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.
Travel Health Insurance
There are two ways of getting there:
The first option is to fly to Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport (HDS). There are two daily flights from Johannesburg and one daily flight from Cape Town by SA Airlink. You will then be picked up from Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport and brought to the project.
The second option is to take the Ashtons Shuttle from Johannesburg Airport. It is a minibus targeting tourists that goes directly from the airport to various stops around Kruger National Park. You must reserve the ticket in advance online. The shuttle leaves daily from Johannesburg Airport at 6:45am. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays there is also a shuttle at 11am. You get off at "Olifants West Gate", where we will pick you up and bring you to the project.

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