Location
  • South Africa
    • Limpopo
Length
2 to 24 weeks

Program Details

Timeframe
Year Round

Pricing

What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa Wifi
Nov 02, 2023
Mar 04, 2024
31 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

If you are looking for practical work experience and professional development in a range of globally driven sustainable development projects, GVI has just what you need. Internship programs include wildlife conservation and field guide courses.

Aside from personal skill development and hands-on experience, you will be contributing to short-, mid- and long-term objectives for each project, aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Experience a highly diverse country that represents numerous cultures, subcultures, 11 official languages, and several more sublanguages. It’s a land with impressive natural landscapes, wildlife, flora and fauna, and rightfully holds eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant blend of urban life and wildlife reserves that define South Africa.
  • Develop a range of skills that will enhance your CV and contribute towards future job opportunities.
  • Develop cultural appreciation and meet like-minded people from around the world.
  • Contribute actively to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Develop your global citizenship with immersive experiences.

Popular Programs

Cheetah roaring

Live and work on a private nature reserve near Kruger National Park. Here you’ll work on conservation projects with leading local and international conservation organisations. Spend your days tracking animals in the reserve, recording and analysing data, and learning important conservation skills.

Cheetah resting close to safari jeep

Gain practical conservation working with big cats and contributing to the collection of valuable wildlife research on a private reserve. Here you’ll learn how to identify mammals and reptiles, while conducting biological surveys and tracking the local wildlife – specifically lions, cheetahs and leopards – using radio telemetry techniques.

Safari guide instructing group in the bush

Join our six-month wildlife conservation internship in South Africa. Learn techniques used by private wildlife reserves and international organisations to conduct wildlife research such as radio telemetry tracking. Then put your new skills into practice with a three-month work placement at a South African conservation organisation or an ecotourism lodge.

Program Reviews

4.80 Rating
based on 25 reviews
  • 5 rating 84%
  • 4 rating 12%
  • 3 rating 4%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.7
  • Support 4.65
  • Fun 4.8
  • Housing 4.35
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 25 reviews
Default avatar
Jenni
3/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a Lifetime

I thoroughly enjoyed my 6 weeks at Gvi Limpopo, getting to see the African wildlife so closely was amazing. The living conditions are basic but overall I had an amazing time and would recommend to a friend. One thing that you should be prepared for is the lack of lectures and education, the staff will always help you where they can but in terms of structured lessons, I wish there had been more to help get a career within the area.
I had an amazing time due to the people I was there with, I got really lucky

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Full emerse yourself in the experience
15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Cameron
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

6-month Wildlife Conservation Apprenticeship in South Africa

The program in Limpopo was without a doubt the best experience of my life! Being able to spend 6 months in the African bush is something I will never forget, and even better it felt like I was making a positive impact on the conservation whilst I was there. We also positively influenced the local community, getting to go into schools, teach the kids about conservation topics, and see the enjoyment on their faces, something I will always remember. I learnt so many new skills whilst I was out there, both in terms of scientific field research and personal life skills, meeting people from around the world and making lifelong friends! The staff on base made every day exciting and unique, and I would recommend anyone thinking about doing this to push yourself out of your comfort zone and go for it, you won't regret it!

Pros
  • African wildlife
  • Engaging with the local community
  • Making lifelong friends
Cons
  • Having to leave at the end
52 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Cameron

Thank you for your review. Your experience with us sounds amazing! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed your time with us and especially able to connect so well with the local community - this really enhances your experience! It's also lovely to hear that you made lifelong friendships and felt that you made a positive impact while you were there. Please join us again in the future!

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
Angel Love
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Wildlife conservation is worthwhile

It has always been my dream to work with animals and conservation. Joining the gvi team in Limpopo and being able to see wildlife as they should, learning about them, and actually contribute to conservation is a dream come true. Learning the know-hows, living simply, and meeting new people are just a few of the perks I've experienced during this time. The internship is hard work but everything is worth it at the end of the day. The staff are always helpful and fellow interns/volunteers are supportive.

153 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Angel!

Thank you so much for your review. I'm so glad that your experience has brought your dream to reality! I'm also pleased to hear that you've received such great support from both your peers and the staff. I hope that you join us again in the future!

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
Raj
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime!

Following graduation, I was looking for conservation experience in-the-field. GVI has always been on my radar as one of the best organisations for that kind of work, and after graduating it was a no-brainer for me to head out on one of their programmes. I volunteered with GVI as a Research Fellow for two months, at their GVI Limpopo base in South Africa. For eight weeks, I held a daily schedule of fieldwork research, stimulating workshops and beautiful animal encounters - it was incredible. The team at GVI Limpopo are the best mentors you could ask for to show you the ropes of the African bush. Experts in the field, they have a wealth of knowledge to pass on, and every minute was a learning experience.

I was really interested in the career prospects that GVI offers too. Aside from the considerable experience gained from the programme, the online modules and qualifications that GVI provides are impressive, and will help to improve anybody’s career skill-set. I’m looking forward to applying my GVI programme towards job applications in the coming future.

GVI Limpopo helped expand my perspective of conservation, from the lessons learned in-the-field, to the conversations and interactions I had with people from all over the world. The programme enhanced my understanding of conservation issues, as multi-faceted projects. I hope that the experience I gained will help me to make a better impact in a career in conservation.

The programme was one of the greatest experiences of my life. From the people, the place, the wildlife and the projects it was an unforgettable two months. I’d 100% recommend it, and I’m already looking at my next GVI programme.

Pros
  • Unforgettable wildlife encounters
  • Life-long friends
  • The African bush is your office
Cons
  • Only 6 months MAX
  • Load-shedding
189 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Raj!

Your experience sounds magical! Thank you for your in-depth review and for choosing GVI from the beginning. I'm so pleased that you felt supported throughout your time with us. It's truly amazing to hear how you've developed through your program. All the best for the upcoming applications!

Regards,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
Abbie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Magical Experience

As an intern on Karongwe, you get the wonderful experience of being in the middle of the bush. Nothing can beat it. The staff is amazing and always willing to answer questions and help out no matter what. As an intern, you learn how to service and look through camera traps, how to use telemetry equipment, how to be a leader for projects on base, and get to immerse yourself in a new culture. No day out in South Africa is the same. There are always wonders awaiting you. Every day brings magical experiences, one day you may see the Cheetah boys drinking at a dam, or they suddenly walk in front of the car while on a Bird Survey. Another day might have you experience and see the elephants walk in front of the car to munch on the newly green leaves rain has brought.

Pros
  • Helpful and supportive staff
  • Learning about conservation
  • Teach community kids about important environmental aspects
251 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Abbie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review. I'm thrilled to hear you found your experience with us in Karongwe magical, and the staff helpful! Thank you for the impact you made while on base with us. We'd love to welcome you back on another program in the future!

Default avatar
Molly
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Nature Enthusiast Dream

I am a thirty-something from Pennsylvania who ventured to GVI Limpopo South Africa. I decided to take a break from my current career and get involved with the wildlife conservation internship. I was there for a total of 5 weeks. I loved the experience so much I extended a week while on base. I would recommend this program to anyone who is a nature enthusiast and especially big 5 animal lover. You will get the most out of this experience if you stay 6-8weeks. Being self-directed is an important skill to be fully invested in the impact you are making. Get used to little sleep, cold showers, bad coffee, fluctuating temperatures and hand washed laundry, it is part of the experience. If you can go with the flow and don’t mind a minimal, communal living you will love this adventure. Every morning you watch the sunrise and every evening the sunset. I am a learner for life, so the internship program was a great way to stretch my “book brain” since it has been sometime since formal in-school education. You will learn everything from animal behavior, bird identification and calls, invertebrate and soil surveys, trees and invasive species, reserve work and more. The most amazing take away is all the friendships you will acquire for a lifetime. Go, Enjoy and don’t forget your camera!!!

Pros
  • knowledge on conservation and wildlife
  • lifelong friendships
  • Big 5
Cons
  • rats and cockroaches in kitchen
  • cold showers
  • instant coffee
252 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Molly,

Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

I'm so thrilled to read that you had such a fulfilling experience and that you feel the program was the career break you needed. It is lovely to hear that you made beautiful connections on base over and above having a life-changing experience. Your hard work has contributed to the positive impact we have been able to make in Wildlife Conservation! Thank you for stretching yourself and helping us make a change. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon! And yes every moment on base is a picture moment :)

Default avatar
Samantha
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime!

I've been interning with GVI in Limpopo, South Africa for a little over a month now and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have always wanted to do conservation work in Africa and GVI made that dream possible. Interns work 6 days a week with Sundays off. We go on two game drives, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. We all have different responsibilities on drives whether its entering data, using the telemetry or preparing snacks for mid drive. Every day you can see something different. My favorite sighting so far was when we witnessed a leopard chase down an impala. Or it might be when a herd of elephants walked right passed the cruiser. I don't really know there are just too many moments! If you intern with GVI in South Africa you will definitely experience moments like this as well. It is a lot of work here but it is rewarding. You meet new people who have the same interests and goals as you and they can turn into lifelong friends. I recommend doing an internship with GVI.

What was your funniest moment?
Watching a mother rhino trying to get her calf to get up. The calf had fallen asleep in front of our cruiser and the mother kept nudging him to get up. At one point the mother nudged him hard enough that he tipped over. It was good laugh for all of us.
265 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Samantha - thanks for your great review!

I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed this program! It certainly sounds like you made the most of it. We'd love to see you registered for some of our other courses in the future and are looking forward to seeing you on base!

Default avatar
Emma
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime!

My experience with GVI has been absolutely incredible. The staff team from the very beginning were extremely helpful from the planning of the trip, to continuous support throughout my time in South Africa. The programme itself was more than I could have hoped for. I was able to assist with everything from research drives taking data on the big 5 and focus species, to surveys for birds and invertebrates, community teaching, and reserve work. The internship itself is very well organised and working towards the Biological Survey Techniques qualification over 12 weeks provides continuous new opportunities and ensures you feel like you are always learning! Every day is exciting and you never know what’s going to be behind the next bush! Highly recommend to anyone with an interest in wildlife, science and conservation 😊

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Three cheetah boys take down an impala, only to be chased off the kill by a leopard!
292 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Emma, thank you for your review! I'm so happy to hear you had such a great experience with us. We welcome you back to base again sometime in the future. In the meantime, please do keep on spreading your GVI love!

Questions & Answers

Hi Bridgit, Thank you for your interest in GVI. You pay for a GVI Internship program. The costs fund the project you will be a part of, and include; accommodation, food, training, equipment and materials, airport pickups and 24-hour support. However, there are GVI scholarships available each month you could apply for. Have a look here: https://www.gviusa.com/why-gvi/scholarships/ Althernatively...