South Africa, Cheetah and Predator conservation

Company : Budget Volunteering
Activities: Animal Volunteer Projects / Tours / Conservation Volunteer Projects
Country: South Africa
Location : Limpopo, South Africa
Duration: 2 weeks to 4 months
Approx Costs: 750 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Help conserve Cheetahs and other predators and big cats in their natural environment. You'll live on a Game Reserve, in a delightful bush camp where you get up close and personal with the animals.
You may also research and monitor Buffalo habituation.

WORK DESCRIPTION:
This project is based on a Game Reserve in the Limpopo province, in Northern South Africa.  The reserve has 18,000 acres, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to see some or all of the great variety of species living on the Reserve: Giraffe, Lion, Cheetah, Eland, Buffalo, Leopard, Roan, Kudu, Hyena, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Gemsbok, Sable, Impala, Duiker, Steenbok, Wild Dog, Aardwolf, Serval, Caracal, Black-backed Jackal, and Bat-eared Fox!

Cheetah: This project was started to specifically find a solution to Cheetah/Farmer conflict, to demonstrate that Cheetahs could be sustainable through tourism rather than by hunting and killing them. This idea has now expanded to include a very successful Predator Conservation project which conserves and sustains all the large predators on the Reserve.

You'll learn a great deal. You'll be given training in how to practically assist and will work closely with the field staff to really make a difference. The main aspects include tracking and monitoring predators, researching and collecting data, and assisting on the Roan and Sable breeding project,

You may also research and monitor Buffalo habituation. You'll experience night safaris (an unbelievable experience!) and will work in the bush almost every day of the project.

Typical Weekly Schedule: 
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:
Cheetah tracking and monitoring, rhino tracking and monitoring, buffalo habituation, sable and roan breeding project management, reserve management.  

Wednesday: Spend the day at the local township school assisting with conservation lessons on awareness of wildlife to the children. 

Saturday:
Saturdays are dedicated maintenance days which could include vehicle maintenance, checking game fences, tidying of the camp and project work areas.

Sunday: 
Day off spent at cheetah conservation reserve and camp.

This is a superb project. You'll not only witness some extraordinary sights, but learn a great deal about African Wildlife and make a difference in the process! Volunteers help on the working Reserve, so you'll get the chance to experience 'real' Africa through important wildlife conservation. This project is leading the way in finding new approaches to solving the farmer / predator conflict. You can expect to help in some or all of the following areas:

  • Cheetah and Predator tracking and monitoring (the majority of the cheetah and hyena tracking is done on foot)
  • Reserve Management
  • Fence Checks
  • Anti-poaching initiatives
  • Game capture (seasonal)
  • Relocation projects
  • Assisting  on the Roan and Sable breeding project
  • Wildlife habituation

As a working reserve, plans and schedules can change when the unexpected happens, but generally a typical day would be something like this:

6am

Breakfast

6.30am

Reserve management

12pm

Lunch

3pm

Wildlife tracking/monitoring (cheetah, rhino, serval, buffalo, hyena)

6pm

Head back to camp

7pm

Dinner

 

You'll also have the opportunity to be involved in up to 3 spectacular night drives per week. You'll work Monday - Saturday, with Saturday being an off-day. The work you do and the data you collect will contribute to best practice of running a sustainable Game Reserve and will also be used to inform others of sustainable conservation practices for the various different species. You'll be guided and the work you do will be challenging, but determined by your abilities.

ACCOMMODATION: 

You'll live on the Reserve, in the beautiful tented camp. It was designed specifically to ensure that volunteers are as close to Africa as possible, without compromising safety or comfort. Each tent has a wooden deck with an en-suite, open-air bathroom. There is no electricity at the camp, but it is lit by firelight and paraffin lamps in the evening, which amplifies the night atmosphere of being in the African bush.

Evening entertainment is based around board games, playing cards and socialising around the camp fire. The camp has a rustic charm which encourages an atmosphere of laid back relaxation....the way Africa was meant to be experienced!

Food: 
All food is prepared for you and is a mix of African and international dishes. Sometimes breakfast is prepared at different locations in the bush  after an afternoon tracking the cheetah!

LOCATION: 
This project is based in a rural location, 25km from Alldays, the nearest town. The project staff make at least one trip a week into town, which you're welcome to join. If you wish to arrange extra trips, your Co-ordinator will be happy to help.WORK DESCRIPTION:

This project is based on a Game Reserve in the Limpopo province, in Northern South Africa.  The reserve has 18,000 acres, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to see some or all of the great variety of species living on the Reserve: Giraffe, Lion, Cheetah, Eland, Buffalo, Leopard, Roan, Kudu, Hyena, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Gemsbok, Sable, Impala, Duiker, Steenbok, Wild Dog, Aardwolf, Serval, Caracal, Black-backed Jackal, and Bat-eared Fox!

Cheetah: This project was started to specifically find a solution to Cheetah/Farmer conflict, to demonstrate that Cheetahs could be sustainable through tourism rather than by hunting and killing them. This idea has now expanded to include a very successful Predator Conservation project which conserves and sustains all the large predators on the Reserve.

You'll learn a great deal. You'll be given training in how to practically assist and will work closely with the field staff to really make a difference. The main aspects include tracking and monitoring predators, researching and collecting data, and assisting on the Roan and Sable breeding project,

You may also research and monitor Buffalo habituation. You'll experience night safaris (an unbelievable experience!) and will work in the bush almost every day of the project.

Typical Weekly Schedule: 
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:
Cheetah tracking and monitoring, rhino tracking and monitoring, buffalo habituation, sable and roan breeding project management, reserve management.  

Wednesday: Spend the day at the local township school assisting with conservation lessons on awareness of wildlife to the children. 

Saturday:
Saturdays are dedicated maintenance days which could include vehicle maintenance, checking game fences, tidying of the camp and project work areas.

Sunday: 
Day off spent at cheetah conservation reserve and camp.

This is a superb project. You'll not only witness some extraordinary sights, but learn a great deal about African Wildlife and make a difference in the process! Volunteers help on the working Reserve, so you'll get the chance to experience 'real' Africa through important wildlife conservation. This project is leading the way in finding new approaches to solving the farmer / predator conflict. You can expect to help in some or all of the following areas:

  • Cheetah and Predator tracking and monitoring (the majority of the cheetah and hyena tracking is done on foot)
  • Reserve Management
  • Fence Checks
  • Anti-poaching initiatives
  • Game capture (seasonal)
  • Relocation projects
  • Assisting  on the Roan and Sable breeding project
  • Wildlife habituation

As a working reserve, plans and schedules can change when the unexpected happens, but generally a typical day would be something like this:

6am

Breakfast

6.30am

Reserve management

12pm

Lunch

3pm

Wildlife tracking/monitoring (cheetah, rhino, serval, buffalo, hyena)

6pm

Head back to camp

7pm

Dinner

 

You'll also have the opportunity to be involved in up to 3 spectacular night drives per week. You'll work Monday - Saturday, with Saturday being an off-day. The work you do and the data you collect will contribute to best practice of running a sustainable Game Reserve and will also be used to inform others of sustainable conservation practices for the various different species. You'll be guided and the work you do will be challenging, but determined by your abilities.

ACCOMMODATION: 

You'll live on the Reserve, in the beautiful tented camp. It was designed specifically to ensure that volunteers are as close to Africa as possible, without compromising safety or comfort. Each tent has a wooden deck with an en-suite, open-air bathroom. There is no electricity at the camp, but it is lit by firelight and paraffin lamps in the evening, which amplifies the night atmosphere of being in the African bush.

Evening entertainment is based around board games, playing cards and socialising around the camp fire. The camp has a rustic charm which encourages an atmosphere of laid back relaxation....the way Africa was meant to be experienced!

Food: 
All food is prepared for you and is a mix of African and international dishes. Sometimes breakfast is prepared at different locations in the bush  after an afternoon tracking the cheetah!

LOCATION: 
This project is based in a rural location, 25km from Alldays, the nearest town. The project staff make at least one trip a week into town, which you're welcome to join. If you wish to arrange extra trips, your Co-ordinator will be happy to help.

Start Dates

All year round - Flexible start dates

Costs / Benefits

Costs vary depending on length of placement, but starts at £795 for two weeks. You may be able to participate for up to one year, subject to visa requirements.
Included is full support from the moment of booking and throughout your placement to your return home. There are support staff 24/7 in all our destinations worldwide and a 24 hour emergency international telephone line direct to the Head Office. All meals are provided, unless otherwise stated. Accommodation is provided (whether a rented house, a hotel/hostel, homestay, apartment or flat).
You’ll be met at the nearest airport on your arrival by our in-country manager who will take you to your accommodation and give you a full induction into the area. He/she will also be on call 24/7 and you’ll see them frequently.
Pre-departure you’ll receive an information pack about your placement and necessary preparations, ranging from what to pack, to what to do on your weekend travel in the country. Your safety, well being and happiness throughout your placement are our primary concerns and we will keep in touch with you throughout. International flights not included.

Requirements

No qualifications or previous experience are necessary, just a good dose of enthusiasm! Everyone is welcome on a BVOL programme, whether gap year, undergraduate, on a career break - or even retired! From 17 years old upwards, and all nationalities. This placement would suit anyone who wants to make a real difference, wants first-hand experience of a different culture and has initiative.

Booking / Enquiry

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