Wildlife Act Volunteer Projects in South Africa

By Wildlife Act   Reviews (24)   96% Rating

Wildlife Act offers wildlife conservation volunteer projects in South Africa! This is your opportunity to get real experience in endangered wildlife conservation in Zululand, and have the ultimate South African wildlife experience while volunteering abroad. Volunteers work at game reserves alongside wildlife monitors tracking animals as part of larger conservation projects. Volunteer teams are small with, there are no more than 4 volunteers per reserve, so you have one-on-one time with the monitors, gaining true conservation experience.

Program Info

Location: 
  • South Africa
Volunteer Types: 
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
2-4 weeks
Cost: 
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Languages: 
English
Housing: 
Volunteer House
Application: 
Online Application

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Program Reviews (24)

96%
Positive
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  • Impact
    93%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    90%
  • Value
    94%
  • Safety
    92%
  • Sheran
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Ipswich, England, UK
    Other
    AMAZING TIME!
    07/18/2012

    I had the most amazing timevolunteering with Wildlife ACT. I spent 8 weeks working in 3 different Game Reserves, each very different in habitat. I found the accommodation comfortable and plenty of hot water for showers! The monitors were so enthusiastic and friendly and keen to share their knowledge to make my stay invaluable and to feel that I could definately make a difference whilst I was there. Maximum of 5 volunteers on each project meant that you could be involved with what was happening and sharing stories and tales over dinner in the evening was very enjoyable. Being out in the bush everyday monitoring the wildlife is fantastic, following the Wild dogs, cheetahs, lions and elephants was magical. If I had to the chance to return I would go back without hesitation and have already been recommending Wildlife ACT to everyone I meet! Can't rate the project, people and the passion they have highly enough! If you're reading this pack your bags you'll have an experience of a lifetime working with incredible wildlife, saving a species, making a difference and of course lots of fun!

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  • Sonja
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Johannesburg
    Other
    Most amazing time!!
    07/16/2012

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the program, but I was pleasantly surprised with how organised and professional the team and the program was.

    We arrived at the meeting point, went to go get our food and supplies before we headed off to the reserve. Once there we had a briefing on the rules and procedures to follow when in the park (for ours and the animal safety).

    Once we arrived at the camp we had a fair amount of time to settle in to the accommodation and then there was another briefing to explain the requirements of the work we'd be doing and how this work would impact on wildlife conservation.

    It was fantastic as we all knew what was expected and what we were going to be doing at all times. On our trips out monitoring for the african painted dogs we made numerous stops to view and observe other animals that crossed our paths. The monitors were always fountains of knowledge and shared all of their amazing adventures in the bush. I am a south african and have had many trips to the bush, but the knowledge I gained in priceless and I will never forget my time at this volunteering program.

    I loved every second I was there and was very sad to have to leave, but love being able to follow what is happening with "our" pack of african wild dogs in the park on facebook.

    I would recommend this to anyone and everyone!

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  • Haley
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    North Carolina
    Elon University
    Gain Experience in the Field and Make A Difference!
    07/10/2012

    I had been to South Africa the previous year during a biology study abroad program and I enjoyed my time there so much that I had to come back! I found Wildlife ACT after much research and finally settled on coming to volunteer with them a year later to gain additional experience in the field, help make a difference, and be able to enjoy the beautiful bush and all the wildlife. It ended up being a great idea and choice for me, even though our days started very early! Depending on which park I was in, I got up between 3:45 and 4:30am. At the beginning it was hard to make myself get up, but after the first few days knowing that we would experience some amazing sights and animals that many people only get to dream about, the "getting up" part got much easier. It was great, because we got to spend the majority of our time out in the field trying to locate animals like the wild dogs in the park and monitor them. Some days it was frustrating if you did not get the chance to see what you were hoping for, but that too was all part of the experience. The parks were not like zoos; the animals govern themselves and are free to roam from one end of the park to the other and in between, as the pack of wild dogs did in my case at Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. Changing cheetah camera traps, tracking lions, participating in elephant monitoring, and doing administrative duties were additional components to the program, which all made for rich experiences. Ultimately, I really enjoyed my month spent in 2 of the parks and I do feel that I really contributed to the overall goal of wildlife conservation.

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  • David-Malta
    Age: 25-30
    Male
    Malta
    Other
    Wildlife Act offers a real unforgettable experience!
    07/10/2012

    Me and my girlfriend have served as volunteers for 2 weeks in Tembe reserve with wildlife act.
    The experience was fantasic and most of all the real thing!
    The staff are amazing and they do a great job from their heart.
    You should list this experience in your to-do list before you die.
    Thank you wildlife act for this opportunity!

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  • Kayla
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    North Providence, Rhode Island
    Western State University College of Law
    Amazing Opportunity
    07/10/2012

    I volunteered for two weeks in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and had an amazing time but wish I could have stayed longer. I never wanted to leave! If you want to help make a difference, love nature and animals and want to feel like you are contributing to a good cause I would highly recommend Wildlife Act. The staff is great- very knowledgable, fun, passionate and hard working. I researched awhile before volunteering because I wanted to make sure I picked the right volunteer program. I truly feel like all my money went towards a great conservation practice and was very please with the decision I made volunteering through Wildlife Act. It was absolutely beautiful there and you really see some amazing wildlife on an every day basis. Overall, I feel like I learned a lot from the whole experience and would like to come back one day, hopefully soon!

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  • anna_j
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Incredible Experience!
    04/17/2012

    I cannot describe the Global Leadership Adventures: Dominican Republic program in any way other than the best experience of my life. Being really into community service and helping others, I loved our work at the Haitian refugee camp. The people welcomed us with wide smiles and open arms, and I learned so much from their modest yet joyous way of living. In terms of the adventures, 27 Charcos (hiking and jumping off waterfalls) was one of the scariest and most awesome things I have ever done! The home base was like a resort, with a great pool and hot tub, and it was right on the beach. After a long day working, it was great to swim in the waves and lay out by the pool. Dave and Jane were fantastic staff, and we always managed to have a great time. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who wants to give back while having a great time. The people you meet and the experiences you have will be priceless.

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  • Marleen
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Netherlands, Limmen
    Other
    Magical experiences with Wildlife Act
    01/13/2012

    Ok, I find it quite hard to write a review about something so special when you're not there anymore, but I will do it because I want to do this...

    Our time at wildlife act was really special, the people who were there, the things we saw, all the experiences we had, it is all so much and so difficult to explain... You have to go there yourself!

    As a photographer I thought it would be somehow hard for me to join the project, because I figured we would not always be able to make pictures all the time... And when something happens you have to be ready!
    But ok, I told myself that my main focus would be the voluntary work and not my photography...

    You can imagine that when you are out in nature every day, you'll see lots of photogenic things! And trust me even when you are not really a photographer, you want to make pictures! The Wildlife Act program is so nice because you have lots of time to enjoy those special moments and to take pictures or write about it even...

    It is really nice to go out every day with nice people who know a lot about the animals and nature in particular and to be able to really help them with the conservation work they are doing. As a tourist you would never see the things we saw or experience the things we did. It is also great that you are with a small group of people, so that it really feels exclusive...

    When I was joining the project it was winter in Holland and summer in South Africa and I am not really a winter person, so this was perfect. Everything just became really nice and green when we arrived in Thembe, also still a lot of young animals. The only thing that was a little bit hard was getting up at 3:30, but after a few days you get used to that and you also WANT to get up, because you know you will miss everything if you don't.... And you really don't want to miss a thing while you are there!

    The reason why you get up so early is because the African Wild dogs are waking up at sunrise, so you have to make sure you will find them before they wake up. They move so fast that it is hard to catch up when they are already gone. The purpose of finding the dogs and follow them is to know what they are up to; Are they all ok, is every single one of them still there, did they eat? Hunt? etc. Wildlife Act uses all that information for conservation purposes. And at the time you are there, you are part of it all... Also; if a dog, or lion or cheetah (etc.) needs to be darted you are there to help them...

    While you are out looking for wild dogs, cheetah's, lions, elephants, rhino's (depends on where your monitor is focusing on) you obviously see a lot of different other wildlife, like us, we also saw a leopard, Python, cobra, giraffes, hyena's and lots of different birds of prey... And I was really happy not to see any mosquito's, or black mamba's :>)

    I could go one about my experiences, but it is just so much... First of all for me it was a really inspirational experience and second, I was happy to meet some really special people.

    But the most important thing... There in the South African bush, with all those beautiful animals and breathtaking nature I found something really important:

    Myself...

    Thanks Wildlife Act for all the special memories!

    And for people who are thinking about joining one of the projects; don't think... Go, GO, GO!

    Want to see my photography?

    www.marleen-bos.com (south africa, wildlife act)

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  • Maya
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Switzerland
    Other
    4 perfect weeks!
    12/22/2011

    Every day some surprises - nature and wildlife amazing, Tembe Elephant Park and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi are great and we spent adventures days with the expereinced staffmembers and learnt a lot. The challenges of wild dog protection and conservtion was obvious, the dogs are here and there, have troubles with lions and hyaenas - to collar them seems easier, than it really is. It was a great experience recommendable to everybody!

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  • John
    Age: 51 or older
    Male
    Sussex, UK
    A month to remember with Wildlife ACT
    12/01/2011

    I have just returned from my third visit to Wildlife ACT as a volunteer and still totally hooked on it.
    My first two weeks were spent at Thanda a private reserve of 15000 hectares set in beautiful undulating bush. Within the first week whilst we were monitoring the pack of Wild Dogs we had seen almost all the main species i.e.cheetah,Lion,Leopard,Giraffe,Cape Buffalow,White Rhino in fact a total of 14 mammal species,except the elusive Elephant Herd. During the second week we were asked to assist with locating and the capture of two male lions one morning.They were being relocated to another reserve to avoid inbreeding within the pride.We found the two Lions with a Lioness. The Vet darted them and we helped load them into a truck whilst the lioness watched us from a distance of about 40 meters.All in a days work with Wildlife ACT !!
    My second fortnight was spent at Tenby Reserve which is known for its Elephants.There are over 240 of them. Tenby (30000 hectares)is a different Habitat from Thanda it has rare Sand forest, reed beds,and a swamp in addition to Savanna and bush so the species are varied. I was lucky ,in addition to monitoring the Wild Dogs and Elephants on a daily basis we were asked to assist with Lion ,Wild Dog and Elephant capture for the purpose of fitting radio collars. The latter had not been done at that reserve for five years and involved the vet darting them from a helicopter and we were the ground team fitting the actual collars.Very exciting.However with Wild life you cannot guarantee seeing everthing its not a Zoo.
    The team at Wildlife Act are very proffessional and fun to be with and will doubtless keep you busy.

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  • Becky
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Essex, England
    Other
    Out of this world!
    11/27/2011

    I have visited this project twice now and both experiences were inspiring and educational.
    I was amazed at how close you can get to some of the worlds most amazing animals and you really do feel like you are contributing to the brilliant work that Wildlife Act does to protect these amazing creatures.
    I have had the pleasure of working with nearly all of Wildlife Acts project leaders and found their knowledge and enthusiasm for their work truley inspiring.
    Wildlife Act made it very easy to contact them before my trip and I was given enough information to know what was needed for this kind of work.
    My accommodation was clean and cozy and the view from my room was even better!
    I enjoyed every moment of my 2 month adventure with Wildlife Act and would suggest this project to anyone who wants to get back to nature and see these animals how they should be seen....in the wild!!

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  • AmandaC
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Perth, Australia.
    Other
    A Fantastic Experience
    11/24/2011

    Wildlife Act is a great comapany to go through. Helping the "painted dog" was really exciting. Just spending time out in Zuland was fantastic. I definitely recommend this program!

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  • DavidT
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Menlo Park, CA
    Other
    An Amazing Experience
    11/16/2011

    I spent a month volunteering this year with the Wildlife ACT team. They work on 4 different parks in South Africa, and I spent a week at each park. It is an amazing experience, and you get much, much closer to the animals than on any safari. We were out at dawn every morning tracking African Wild Dogs, Cheetahs, and Lions. Because you are working on an official conservation project, you get to go where no tourists are allowed. You work in a small team of 4 people, led by a professional wildlife monitor. The monitors have great knowledge and enthusiasm, and they really enhance the experience. I very much recommend this program to anyone with a love of wildlife.

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  • Sue
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    UK
    Other
    A life time experience
    11/14/2011

    We stayed at Mkhuze Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal which was just beautiful. The accommodation was good, and better than expected with a shower and hot running water. Seeing the sun rise and set over the reserve, was just something else. We went in August and the cold mornings and evenings, sat in the back of the truck was a surprise, and we were wearing layers and fleeces - do take a wooly hats and gloves!

    I can not recommend more highly the wonderful support you get from the staff. Bronwen is just so helpful, and even made a cake for my stepson's birthday! Cilla, our monitor was so knowledgeable and made a real difference to our understanding of conservation and Africa.

    WildlifeAct are special. We've made lifelong friends and developed a love of the African Bush. It really isn't a safari, it's far deeper than that, it get's under your skin.

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  • Linda
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Leeds, UK
    Other
    Unforgettable!
    11/13/2011

    I have taken part in programmes with Wildlife ACT on two reserves - Thanda and Mkhuze - and hope to return to one of the other reserves at some point. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in South African wildlife to get involved in useful research and conservation and to see an amazing variety of creatures up close. We were tracking mainly wild dog and cheetah and I will never forget looking into the eyes of those beautiful cats from just a few metres away, as well as spending almost two hours watching two cheetah brothers devour an impala. How often do you get the chance to do that? It also gives you the opportunity to meet other people with similar interests. I have such wonderful memories of the sights and sounds of the bush and can't wait to get back there as soon as I can.

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  • Hannah
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Other
    Incredible Experience!
    11/11/2011

    I had a really great time with Wildlife Act. I was Mkhuze for two weeks, and wish I could have stayed longer! The staff is very friendly, and the wildlife monitor I had was fantastic. He was really fun and taught me so much!
    The best part of Wildlife Act is how hands-on it is. You're with the animals everyday and I really felt like we were helping them! The highlight of my two weeks was darting a young cheetah, who we fitted with her first collar so we could monitor her.
    I recommended Wildlife Act to anybody who wants an exciting, hands-on experience with African animals.
    I can't wait to come back!

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About the provider

Wildlife ACT actively advances wildlife conservation by conducting ongoing projects on reserves in South Africa. Wildlife ACT performs conservation services free and completely relies on volunteer support. Interested volunteers are encouraged to visit the Wildlife ACT site to learn more.