Location
  • South Africa
Length
6 weeks

Program Details

Timeframe
Year Round
Age Min.
20
Age Max
35

Pricing

Starting Price
880
Price Details
The intern programme costs $880 per month, with a minimum of a two month stay. Exceptions can be looked at for stays of 6 weeks. This includes accommodation, work space, internet, work related transport and activities.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Transportation Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

Experience in research and education programmes
Mentorship
Work related travel
Field equipment
Technical equipment
Access to online courses
Day outings to assist some of our partnering organisations; eg. swimming with seals, whale watching, raptor rehabilitation, etc.

What's Not Included
Some Accommodation Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Meals SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Jul 15, 2022
Aug 07, 2022
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About Program

Interning with NVT gives a practical hands on experience to participants of what a career in conservation is like. This is not a relaxed holiday experience. Become part of our dynamic team and work across our main programmes - Research (social and ecological), Behavioural change (community engagement & conservation education) - to get to grips with what conservation is all about.

We limit ourselves to four or five interns at a time, ensuring a personalized hands-on experience for every participant. Our programme suits undergraduate or recently graduated biologists who wish to gain meaningful career related work experience abroad.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • NVT is located in a near-pristine natural environment
  • Surrounded by indigenous forest, Fynbos (only found in South Africa), rivers and estuary habitats, coastal dunes habitats, rocky shores, etc.
  • Nature's Valley is situated on the whale migration route and certain dolphin species in the waters year-round
  • Next to the oldest and largest Marine Protected Area in South Africa
  • Classified as an international hope spot and an important bird and biodiversity area (IBA - Birdlife International)

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.7
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Default avatar
Leandro
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime!

I had the time of my life during my 3 month internship with NVT. I signed up to participate in
NVT’s Environmental Education program, where I got to teach elementary school kids the importance of environmental conversation and how they can make it part of their everyday lives. This was a lot of fun as psychology undergrad at the time. I almost chose to go to a different teaching position in Central America at the time. But I am I so glad I listened to my heart, because I love spending time getting real close to animals and nature.

This was a dream come true. Getting to travel to a continent I’ve never been before, spend 3 months in a new culture, teach kids, learn about animal and environmental conservation, live and work with new international friends and being in the middle of nature 24/7. When I was giving environmental education lessons to kids from different schools, we would often be outside on beaches, along rivers or in forests. There was a lot of hands on experience for the kids to experiment right after the lessons. I really enjoyed this teaching experience.

For me, it wasn’t just about the position I signed up for, it was everything else altogether. I got to live in a house close to a beach with several other peoples from all over the world! Some were volunteers, some were interns and others were post grads. The day to day living in that house and just being in the middle of Nature’s Valley was the best. There were so many different beautiful animals I got to see every day walking to and from the office. The NVT staff are awesome! They are extremely knowledgeable in their expertise, kind and a joy to be around. Humour was an integral part of everyday communication. It really felt like a family. The atmosphere was always light and inviting, it became a home away from home.

There were so many things I got to do being a NVT member. We spent time walking along beautiful beaches to collect and record marine debris for the Marine Debris program. Other days, we woke up early to set up nets to catch and release birds during bird-ringing. Sometimes, we would be paddling up and down the neighbouring estuary to monitor birds and fish levels. I also got to assist in data collection for one of the international interns who was finishing her thesis on Sunbirds at the time. On top of all of that, there were many outings we did altogether, be it related to NVT or for leisure ;). Not to mention you are in South Africa! NVT are very understanding and accommodating when it comes to asking for time off for your own tourism pursuits. Ask ahead of time and fulfill your responsibilities beforehand.

I have so many vivid memories from that time. I think it’s because I was so happy just to be there. Best decision ever. So many new experiences and friendships. If you are considering NVT, please you owe it to yourself. This wasn’t even in my field of study, yet I got so much from it. Just do it! Experience of a lifetime.

4 people found this review helpful.
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Louise
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Journey of a life-time

I spent 5 months in Nature’s Valley to complete my MSc degree in animal behaviour and ecology. Why there? Well, I had always dreamt of living in Africa and I was allowed to go abroad for my last internship. So I took this opportunity, sent a few emails, did some Skype meetings and decided to settle to NVT.

When I arrived from France, I was a stressed to run my own project (getting out of my comfort zone wasn’t so easy) but the staff was very understanding and my research work went smoothly. We even published the study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal! After this experience, I graduated with honours and completed a PhD (call me doctor :P). I will soon start a new adventure as a post-doctoral fellow in the behavioural ecology field in UK/Panama.

Along my own MSc project, I had the opportunity to join the other NVT volunteers on various missions such as bird ringing, bird monitoring, CWAC, education, etc, which I enjoyed very much (bird ringing remained my favourite so far). Taken together, I saw how a NGO runs.

I was living in a big house with the other volunteers. I met incredible people, made new friends. I am still in touch with some of them. The energy I felt was amazing and new. You’re away from your friends/family and it can be difficult sometimes, but when you’re in such beautiful, safe place like Nature’s Valley, you want to enjoy your experience the best you can, so does everyone. When I was there five years ago, the volunteer group clicked and we had a blast! I have so many wonderful memories from my journey, I did not regret my choice a single moment.

I was crying when I left France and even more when I had to say goodbye to Nature’s Valley and friends. But guess what? I’ll be visiting again soon for holidays! Ready for some tears (of joy)!

5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Christina
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Dream come true

Natures Valley Trust is a fantastic organisation with passionate staff members that are just as eager to teach as you are to learn, and it is in one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the privilege to visit in South Africa.
This internship was the start of a very fruitful and interesting career in conservation and has led me to my dream job on the paradise island of Cousine doing what I love the best in wildlife conservation.
What I admire the most about Natures Valley Trust is that they encourage you to participate in all their ongoing projects from education and working with the community to the various research projects (marine and land based). This opened up all sorts of new and exciting avenues for me such as bird ringing. I’ve never looked at a bird the same way again and even got my bird ringing license.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Natures Valley Trust and the experience and skill set I gained from this internship was invaluable. I would highly recommend it to any budding conservationist that is interested in acquiring new skills and just having and all-round wonderful experience.

3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Bruno
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great place, great people!

Nature’s Valley Trust is an excellent organisation providing hands-on experience in nature conservation. Located in a beautiful spot of south-Africa you’ll work on a variety of education and research projects. You will get to know and work with the staff that has expert knowledge of fynbos and the associated fauna. They will listen to your interests and focus on what you want to gain from the experience.

I highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking to work with nature and local communities. The experience I gained from this intern program has led me to pursue a career in conservation.

5 people found this review helpful.
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Lauren
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable year long experience

This was the very first step of one incredible journey! First arriving in Nature’s Valley, driving down that gorgeous Groot River Pass, smelling the forest, and all the peaceful sounds of nature is truly amazing. I have made that trip many times since and it gets even more beautiful every time! The staff at NVT were incredible mentors during my time there, providing support from beginning to end, and really opened my eyes to new things and pushed me into new directions. The internship itself was more than I could have hoped for providing continuous new opportunities and ensuring you feel like you are always learning. I was incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to get involved with bird ringing project and hope to continue that in some way in the future. The internship was very well organised, especially being able to get involved in not only the research projects (fynbos walks, bird ringing, estuary monitoring and fish surveys, shorebird fieldwork, marine tracking, and much more) but also the Environmental Education Programme. Assisting on the Adopt-A-Beach programme was really rewarding, getting to teach learners from three different schools about South Africa’s wonderful and important coastal and marine environment. The education side also involves the other birding master’s programme, clean-ups, environmental calendar days, outings, eco-school groups, camps and more. There is never a dull moment in our schedule and always something to get involved in which is great.

The internship and all those involved throughout the year helped mould me into a new person with an even greater passion for environmental education and helping to inspire the younger generation. The practical experience gained was also fantastic, something that has put me in good standing since. I have never felt more at home than in the Valley, surrounded by nature in its purest form and all the incredible individuals that went along with that! I hope to take all I have learnt from this experience and put it to good use out there in the world, to try make a little difference.

Highly recommend to anyone with an interest in wildlife, science, and conservation. An incredible experience that you will cherish for life. South Africa is a stunning country, and Nature’s Valley is its hidden gem!

5 people found this review helpful.
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Kristine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Natures Valley Trust

Natures Valley Trust is very passionate group of people working towards conserving the environment around them! The volunteer program that they offer includes a range of different jobs that are very interesting and allow you to gain vast amounts of knowledge. The program works with both the community and the environment. The town the Trust is based in is very small but very beautiful and has lots of things to do in and around it when you are not working which can keep you busy in your spare time. I would highly recommend volunteering with NVT!

Pros
  • Located in a beautiful area of South Africa
  • Variety of tasks
  • Increases knowledge
Cons
  • A bit disorganized
6 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers