SOUTH AFRICA: Cheetah and Predator Conservation in a Game Reserve

Company : Travellers Worldwide
Activities: Animal Volunteer Projects / Conservation Volunteer Projects
Country: South Africa
Location : Limpopo, South Africa
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 months
Approx Costs: 1250 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Help conserve Cheetahs and other predators in their natural environment. If you want to make a difference, this is the placement for you!

You'll have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness the magnificent African drama from the inside. You'll be involved with tracking, monitoring and researching the amazing Cheetah (did you know they run at 70 mph? That's fast!) You'll also be involved in night safaris, Reserve management and conservation efforts of a number of other, different species.

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, 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!

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 have the opportunity to 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 of the project include tracking and monitoring predators, researching and collecting data, and assisting on the Roan and Sable breeding project, You'll 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.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many diverse cultures in South Africa
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping conserving animals in their natural environment and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


WORK CONTENT:

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

10.30am
Cheetah Tracking

12pm
Lunch

3pm
Buffalo tracking/habituation

5pm
Hyena tracking

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 a half-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.

Start Dates

Flexible start and finish dates you choose.You should arrive on any Friday. Our placements are flexible and can be tailored to match your preferences. For availability please contact the office.

Costs / Benefits

Costs vary depending on length of placement, but starts at £1,295 for two weeks. You can participate for up to twelve weeks or longer, 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 comprehensive information about every aspect of your placement and necessary preparations, ranging from what to pack, to visa information, 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 Travellers 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.

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