African Conservation Experience
94% Rating
(22 Reviews)

African Conservation Experience

African Conservation Experience has been organizing experiential volunteer opportunities in Africa for fifteen years. With projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe ACE is one of the most experienced wildlife volunteer organizations in Africa. Volunteer placements provide sustainable and ethical opportunities for gap year, university students and mature volunteers. By volunteering with ACE you will experience the real world of wildlife conservation while making a critical contribution to essential conservation work while gaining unmatched hands-on experience.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Kyle
Male
25 years old
United States
Towson University

Predator and Elephant Study in Botswana

10/10

Traveling with ACE to the Okavango Delta in Botswana was an amazing experience. I traveled to Concession 43 in June 2017 to work on a elephant and predator study, which included several days stay on an island in the Okavango.

While there we worked with local researchers to measure abundance of a variety of game on the concession. This included lion, leopard, gemsbok, roan, wild dog, and many other species. During my stay we saw several hundred elephant, something that is now impossible throughout most of Africa.

The typical days were variable, and usually included several hours of game drives to conduct line transects to collect data for use in a multi-year survey of the area. This trips can be rough at times, as the trails are unkept and the temperature changes dramatically throughout the day.

The team I worked with was excellent, and ACE's expedition staff is second-to-none. The staff is highly experienced in conservation work and knowledgeable of the region. Planning the trip and arriving on location was easy, as their office staff was helpful every step of the process.

I highly recommend traveling with ACE to the region. The trip was unlike any other, and a valuable experience for conservationists and adventurers alike.

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Pamela
Female
61 years old
Berkeley

A Great Experience

9/10

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Chipangali and actually felt much safer in the country than I anticipated before my trip. One of the little stories I would like to share (and there are many) is that whilst myself and another volunteer were busy cleaning the lion cages on a really hot day which was a great experience in itself working so close to these majestic animals but in a very safe environment because of the lock down system within the cages - we returned for a lunch break to find 5 of our fellow volunteers all in the pool outside the main house. They had 6 hand reared ducklings with them in the swimming pool giving them their first swimming lesson and they were lining them up and having them race to the other side of the pool to declare the winner of the duck race. There was something so funny and yet caring about it in a sanctuary that has so many charismatic animals - these lovely baby ducklings were bringing so much joy and were equally cared for.

How can this program be improved?

I did find the days fairly chaotic but that's the nature of working with wildlife your day depends on what is happening at the time and can change very rapidly - however we did seem to get mixed messages from different staff at times at to what was happening - its no big deal and nice to be spontaneous but for the volunteer who likes a routine it could be a bit of a shock

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Rachelle
Female
24 years old
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
University of British Columbia

Simply life changing...

10/10

This was my first solo trip ever and it could not have been more ideal. South Africa may have a bit of a reputation but had always felt completely safe since I had arrived. I did have some problems with my luggage going missing but Martin straightened it all out.
I participated in the Shimongwe vet program with Dr.Kreil and the Phinda wildlife management.
To get to the vet placement we drove approx four hours out of Johannesburg. Our host Family was Alfie and Jackie and they could not have been more fantastic, and so much fun. With Dr.Kriel we experienced clinic life and getting to go out on calls. He got us to be very hands on which really made the experience powerful. I would this recommend for anyone interested in veterinary medicine.
To get to Phinda you fly to Richards bay from jo-burg. Then a 3 hour drive out to the reserve. I personally loved Phinda, it was so amazing and educational to see these animals interacting. The amazing thing about this one is you get to see so much behind the scene that normal safari goers don't get usually see. Everyone at the researcher house was so much fun and so kind.
I honestly could not recommend ACE enough. It has left me with such a lasting impression and I miss SA practically everyday. I know I will return to the country, because of such an amazing time!

How can this program be improved?

I honestly don't have any suggestions.

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Tiana
Female
24 years old
Guelph, Ontario
University of Guelph

I want to go back

10/10

I went to the Moholoholo Rehab centre in South Africa and my biggest regret was that I didn't stay longer. I have always dreamed of working with lions, servals, cheetahs, rinos, giraffes, and hyenas but I had no idea I would be able to work with all of them in one place. We helped relocate young leopards, bottle-fed baby rinks, giraffes and sables, and in my down time took pictures and played with the servals, baby honey badger and all the other amazing animals on site. Trips to waterfalls and canyon tours as well as horse back and buggy tours of Kruger were also offered (for a very reasonable price). As spectacular as the animals were, the staff and other volunteers made the experience that much better. I am making it my mission to go back and bring my friends with me some time soon!

How can this program be improved?

The food could have been better but it was good enough!

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Rachel
Female
19 years old
United Kingdom
University of Liverpool

Amazing Veterinary Experience

10/10

Animals I encountered:
Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Giraffe, Buffalo, Kudu, Sable, Roan, Eland, Gemsbuck, Nyala, Wildebeest, Zebra, Ostrich, Baboon, Elephant, Hippo.

I was able to give injections (muscular and venous) to these animals and treat them at the age of 17 - what more can I say? If you have the means, this project is totally mind blowing and will give you some of the best experiences of your life. I went on the Shimongwe Limpopo project for 4 weeks and had the best time - I want to go back already!
Alfie and Jackie will take care of you like you're their own children, and you will feel very welcome and eat good food. Niel the vet will teach you about anything you're interested in, and show you how to carry out everything you'll be getting involved with. You should be outgoing and enthusiastic to get the most out of this project. You will also gain a fair amount of small animal clinical work, as Niel has his own clinic where consultations and surgeries take place.

Good luck and enjoy!

Rachel

Program Listings

South Africa

African Conservation Experience
Volunteering at Care for Wild Africa, you will be at the heart of a new facility focussed on the care and conservation of wil...

South Africa

African Conservation Experience
African Conservation Experience supports vital wildlife conservation projects in southern Africa. ACE works with sustainable...

Zimbabwe

African Conservation Experience
A family run center, Chipangali is located near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The facility is a haven for a wide variety of wildlife wh...