• South Africa
    • Cape Town
    • Limpopo

Program Details

Apr 27, 2021
Feb 14, 2022
22 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 for your career starter. Internship programs include; wildlife conservation, field guide courses, various business development projects, women’s empowerment, and community development in focuses such as, but not limited to, sports and teaching.

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 an impressive reserve of natural resources, wildlife, flora and fauna, and rightfully holds eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Experience life in the city or wildlife reserves of the extremely diverse Southern Africa.
  • Develop a range of skills that will enhance your CV and contribute towards future job opportunities.
  • Gain intercultural understandings, and meet people from around the world who share the same passion.
  • Contribute actively to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Develop your global citizenship with immersive experiences.

Popular Programs

Cheetahs roaming close to safari jeep

Become an all-rounded and experienced wildlife field researcher. You can develop skills in 4x4 driving, field surveying, scientific data collection on animal behaviour, tracking, and fauna and flora identification. This is a career starter in Limpopo, where you’ll live on a private wildlife reserve.

Cheetah resting close to safari jeep

Learn a diverse range of topics, and gain training in the theory and practicalities of wildlife tracking, shooting, 4x4 driving, survey techniques, wildlife photography, reserve management, and an understanding of animal behaviour, ecology, and conservation. Improve your CV with this immersive course working in the field alongside trained professionals. Become Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) accredited while experiencing the natural surroundings of African bush.

Safari guide instructing group in the bush

Become a FGASA accredited Field Guide in South Africa and gain practical experience on your internship placement at some of the most prestigious safari lodges in Africa. Throughout our years of operation, our graduates have achieved the highest marks of all the FGASA long term providers, and are considered some of the best trained professional guides in the industry.

Cheetah roaring

Develop your career opportunities in wildlife conservation with this course, partnered alongside various international organisations. You will spend time earning certifications in leadership, and complete a program in Biological Survey Techniques. Learn radio telemetry techniques and how to track and record animals, all while contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life On Land.

Current Internship Placements

View the latest intern placement postings by GVI.

Program Reviews

9.53 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 89.47%
  • 7-8 rating 10.53%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 19 reviews
Default avatar
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.
8 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
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!
15 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!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

It's a bushlife for me!

I started this adventure to make a career switch because I'm passionate about wildlife and especially the big mammals. I wanted to switch careers between working with humans to working with animals. Beside some volunteerwork, I didn't have a lot of experience with the bush or the safari life. Spending my time at the Limpopo base has been absolutely wonderful for me. The programs focus isn't only on mammals, they got me interested in bird watching, trees, invertebraes and reptiles. At every occasion I now grab my binoculars to watch some amazing birds here! I feel like I learned so much and I'm very excited to share this knowledge to my friends and family back at home. Life at base feels like one big family. In just a short amount of time you get so close to everyone. Especially because everyone here is very passionate and like-minded. I would highly recommand this program for people searching a career in conservation, it is a first step in the right direction.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Searching for the Rhinos lead us to seeing two hyena's, then we heard a leopard making a kill. When we were searching for the leopard we saw the two hyena's again. They led us to the kill and then we saw the leopard eating her prey. This was such an amazing and one in a lifetime experience.
31 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Isabelle, thanks for your review! I'm so thrilled to read that you had such a great time and that it been of benefit to both your education and career path! Your hard work has definitely contributed to the positive impact we have been able to make in Limpopo!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Short Internship Karongwe Limpopo

In 2017 I completed a 2 week Volunteer trip with GVI at the Karongwe Big 5 Game Reserve. The experience I had then blew my mind and I simple had to get myself back out to South Africa and immerse myself fully into the experience. In 2019 I found myself re-entering the gates of the reserve about to partake on a 6 week long wildlife conservation internship. It was simply amazing being back, with base feeling instantly like home to me. When you share your living and study space with others of the same mentality, drive and ambition the interactions and conversations never fail to disappoint. From testing each other on our bird knowledge, having drum lessons under the light of a full moon to sharing stories of the days drives around the heat of the brie pit...unbeatable!!
The reserve has a metapopulation of Cheetah as do most across Southern Africa, the focus was KCF the newly transferred young female. We would spend our drives tracking her movements and interactions with the male coalition KZN (Kwa, Zulu & Netal) as well as the other predators on the reserve. It was fascinating plotting GIS maps which pinpointed her home ranges as well as close encounters with the Lion pride, Sub Zero at their helm.
We would inevitably encounter all the big 5 during our general reserve drives and log additional data for Birds of Prey, Kills, Rhino IDs, hyena dens etc. Being so close to such monumental animals was within itself mind blowing although when submerged by so much beauty from the land beneath us to the ever changing sky above us I found myself being taken aback by such small seemingly overlooked things. From the first break of morning sun across the mountain tops to the scurrying sounds of dung beetles battling over the mounds of dirt covering the path in front of us. Reserve work drives were always an entertaining experience too; heading out to the bush working on tree management, invasive species control, bush clearance, tree planting and land rejuvenation. When the sun began to set behind the mountains we'd make tracks back to base with sweat soaked shirts, grubby skin and achy limbs but we'd all feel an over powering sense of accomplishment and pride that we'd actively made a positive impact to the running of the reserve and the protection of all the wonderful curiosities held within.
There is something utterly simplistic that touches my heart in a place like this, being cut off from the outside world to bask in the greatness of mother nature. Watching how everything is so expertly entwined together and being a part of protecting something so special and significant to our own existence it's something I urge all of us to do and feel at some point in life.
Life on base is enough to rave about in itself but we're surrounded by an untold amount of places to adventure and experience. I made the most of my Sunday's and mini weekends to explore places like the epic Kruger National Park, took a drive through the Panoramic Route, visited Jessica the Hippo and spent an afternoon at HESC were I saw the King Cheetah for the first time...out of this world!!
Becoming part of the GVI family has expanded my mind and heart in so many ways, I was filled with so much new knowledge during both my stays at Karongwe and I am left thirsty for this journey to continue. I have signed up to complete my full 6 month internship back on the same base...it just goes to show how much of a lasting impression the place, people and wildlife had on my soul.
GVI has given me the confidence to push myself in ways I didn't think I ever could, I have found the courage to leave my job of 8 years in Central London to chase my dreams of working in wildlife conservation full time. My glass is already filled with so much priceless hands on experience and with my continued path into this field with GVI I believe my opportunities will be endless whether abroad or home in England. I am excited to see where this next year takes me and will forever be thankful to the GVI team in the UK and South Africa for being a part of it and turning my dreams into reality!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Encountered a male and female Leopard mating in the open, as such elusive animals this was a once in a lifetime moment and one that brought me to tears!
35 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Rebecca, thanks for your great review! I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time with us as much as you did. Your hard work and efforts have certainly impacted this project in a meaningful way. Please do keep on spreading your love for GVI. And obviously, we would love to see you back on base soon!

Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An insightful and unforgettable 6 week experience!

After finishing uni and graduating with a zoology degree, I decided to apply for the wildlife conservation internship in Limpopo. Living and working in the bushveld for 6 weeks was one of the most inspiring and unforgettable experiences of my life! It has always been a lifelong goal of mine to work alongside African wildlife and visit the beautiful country that is South Africa so this project was a dream come true!

From the moment I stepped off the plane at Hoedspruit airport, the staff were super helpful, friendly and accommodating. I knew living conditions would be basic and day to day life different from what I was used to, but all worries were immediately put to rest. Life in the bush was fun, educational and eye opening. Every staff member and volunteer that I met were lovely and although we all had come from different backgrounds we all shared a similar passion for wildlife and conservation. I would definitely recommend staying for longer than 2 weeks if you can!

What is particularly great about GVI is that it is so accommodating to volunteers no matter their experience. Useful training is provided during the first week to ensure everyone makes the most of each research drive. No matter your background every person leaves having gained or learnt something new. A typical day will include two research drives, tracking the lion and cheetah and recording data for other species along the way. You will never be short of incredible sightings; from elephants walking right up beside the vehicle to the more elusive leopards in the trees. I was lucky enough to even see a brown hyena!

I highly recommend booking a project with GVI. I learnt a huge amount during my time there and now have an even greater appreciation for wildlife conservation. It has opened up new ideas and opportunities for me and given me confidence in my future career path. I have made the most amazing friends who I still keep in contact with and hold the most special memories. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My first piece of advice would be to book a trip that is longer than 2 weeks. The first week you will spend receiving training and finding your feet. By the end of the second week you will be comfortable with all the tasks and duties of your project and will have made the most amazing friends so if you can, stay for at least 4!
My second piece of advice is to arrive with an open mind, and engage in the activities you are doing. Life in the bush is very different from what you will be used to, so get stuck in and embrace the more basic lifestyle! A highlight of my trip was definitely switching off from the outside world and fully immersing myself in what I was doing within that moment. Its a real breath of fresh air!

Each research drive is what you make of it. Every one goes to South Africa to witness the 'Big 5' but during your time here you will gain an appreciation for all other aspects of the bush. I learnt so much about bird species, astrology and even enjoyed learning about trees! Always keep your mind open to learning.
33 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Shauna, thanks for your review! I'm so thrilled to read that you had such a great time and that it been of benefit to your career path! Your hard work has definitely contributed to the positive impact we have been able to make in Limpopo!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Cape Town 2018

This was an incredibly beneficial internship, which have me the opportunity to develop myself professionally whilst also working alongside likeminded people and meeting inspiring figures from within the local community. The role involved tackling various challenges that arose when starting up new enterprises in a developing country and has given me a great grounding in a variety of aspects of business, from marketing to supply chain and pricing.

At the same time, it gave me a chance to explore a beautiful part of the world and immerse myself in a new culture.

It’s also helped massively in terms of helping my career propects, giving my CV a massive boost and also playing a big part in enabling my to secure a graduate role.

The internship is at times daunting and is not without its challenges but is without doubt one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I would 100% recommend it to people of any age or experience.

34 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Simon, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Wildlife Internship

I took part in the Wildlife Conservation Short Term Internship in Limpopo during the summer of 2018 after searching online for a volunteering abroad. I spent 2 months with GVI and the days consist of two game drives which are always full of surprise as you never know what your going to see. As well as game drives you get involved in reserve management which is great fun as you get involved in many different projects. They teach you a lot in the first week, so that everyone has the same knowledge no matter of previous experience and makes sure you get the most out of the experience. The staff are really knowledgeable and great fun, always there to answer any questions. Life on base is basic but a welcome change to normal life and the food is incredible. After coming back from GVI it has helped me realise where my strengths lie and given me many options for career development where I was lost before. You truly see once in a lifetime sightings and make friends for life. I had the most incredible time and never wanted to leave which is a feeling I have never had when volunteering abroad before.

37 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Heather, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Yes, I recommend this program

My First African Experience

An internship GVI in South Africa is simply the perfect balance between learning a lot, having a lot of fun and amazing sightings every day ! I could not have hope better for my first experience in Africa. The staff members and the volunteers were super nice and very welcoming. I was nervous in the flight on my way to South Africa, but after a day being at the base, I already felt part of the big GVI family.

The difference between GVI Limpopo and a safari experience from a lodge is that with GVI,we contribute to the welfare of the wildlife by collecting important data and more, or through reserve work management. Volunteers can leave here feeling like they have made a difference, and truly contributed to the wildlife conservation. Having awesome daily sightings is the result of the hard work that we all put in and this is a marvellous feeling.
Being this close of the three male cheetah everyday was something that I could never forget. After finding the cheetah, we were either going to look for other animals of the reserve, always learning as much as possible with a very passionate and enthusiastic staff member. It is so much more pleasant to learn about elephant or eagle when they are standing right in front of you.
In the vehicle, we get the chance to observe the animals very closely, without intruding on their space and natural behaviour. I have had so many amazing sightings and every day has felt better than the previous day.

Sharing the same house with more or less 20 people in the middle of a reserve is an incredible feeling. Here, I've reconnected myself with nature, with the world and with humanity. You can not have a bad day during your time here, as everyone's happiness and optimism will always cheer you up, even during your difficult moments.

With GVI, you'll meet different type of volunteers. Some are like me, they want to come here to gain experience on the CV as a Wildlife conservationist or Field Guide. I also met volunteers studying or having jobs not related at all to animals conservation, such as math, fashion or chemistry. However, everyone here shared a common passion which is the wildlife, and everyone was always keen to teach or learn about it.

One of the main believe of GVI is to make difference on the field, which means that we were not only learning and working on the reserve but also outside the reserve, being involve in the community around Karongwe. During my time, I visited the local schools where I've spent time with the kids, playing football and teaching them about the environment. The kids were lovely, they wanted to learn as much as we wanted to teach them, and they gave me motivation and conviction in the path I've chosen.
I believe so much in the Global Vision Internation project, which is to impact volunteers careers by helping local people in places where they need us the most.

GVI has given me the chance to project myself on the long term, and I feel like this internship has answered so many questions to my professional life. GVI has given me conviction in the fact that, when united, we can truly make a difference in the world, with a lot of work but also by having a lot of fun.

I will never be grateful enough for this incredible experience that I've had the pleasure to share with the volunteers and the staff members, and I will definitely return next year for another internship.

35 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Angelo, thanks for your great review! I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time with us as much as you did. Your hard work and efforts have certainly impacted this project in a meaningful way. Please do keep on spreading your love for GVI. And obviously, we would love to see you back on base soon!

Read my full story

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...