LEO Africa

Why choose LEO Africa?

LEO Africa is a lion, white and black rhino, wildlife monitoring and conservation work volunteer programme based in the beautiful Marataba Section of the Marakele National Park. The focus of our monitoring are lions, black and white rhinos, elephants but also leopard, hyena, buffalos and numerous mammals and birds of interest. A typical day consist of 2 game drives per day to monitor especially the lions and the other Big5; there is also the opportunity to stay out in the bush all day when longer reserve management activities are required. Volunteers are the protagonist of our research, helping us to track the animals collecting and inserting data (with which we prepare reports for the park on animal behaviour, health, spatial movements etc.), some house duties and they'll have the possibility to take part to bush walk, animal darting and relocating (when necessary) and more! LEO is a truly African Experience!



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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!

Volunteering at Leo Africa has been an amazing experience I will never forget. I was there for two weeks in the summer of 2018. The staff and guides were great. The knowledge of the guides is incredible. I've learned so much about the behaviour of the animals who live at Marakele National Park and others. I also learned a lot about conservation and every day we were involved in the conservation of the park, for example wrapping trees with chicken wire to protect them against elephants. Doing a sleep out in the park and bush walks are a few of my favourite things I have done. I've met some great people during my stay and am still in touch with a few of them. I would really recommend going to Leo Africa in South Africa, and I would love to come back at some point.

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Yes, I recommend this program

The experience of a lifetime

I have spent seven weeks at LEO Africa and i really don't know where to start.
I am in love with Africa and I was looking for an experience in there. I was looking for adventure, a bigger knowledge about animals and wildlife, nature, freedom...but what i lived at LEO Africa was even more than all this.
Thanks to all the amazing guides that work there, you will become part of a wonderful project that has the goal to monitor the Big 5, hyenas and cheetas, and to conserve the environment. I didn't expect to learn so many different facts about animals and plants. And i have to thank billion of times all the staff for that!!!
They talked to us also about stars, plastic problem and how to help solve it and so many more things!! Everyday was exciting and different from the one before!!!!
The house is very comfortable, with big rooms and bathrooms. I miss waking up there, in the middle of the bush with beautiful sunrises!! Everyone has been very kind and made me feel like part of a family!
What I lived at LEO Africa is very hard to explain, it's beyond words!!!! I suggest it to EVERYONE, you will come back home happier and with unforgettable memories...about landscapes, animals, a lot of laughters and beautiful moments with the staff and the other volunteers!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable trip!!

2 months ago, I was in South Africa, with LEO Africa, a Volonteer research programme. This month at LEO was the best thing I've ever done in my life. It was an amazing experience. No one can understand how it feels before doing it.
Every single person I met in South Africa (the staff, the volonteers, and every member of the Marataba Reserve) were awesome. I really miss that kind of people (in France people you don't know aren't so nice with you). And obviously I miss our 3 mascots, Bessie (the boss!) Ranger and Trigger !
I recommend it to every animal/nature lover, for people who wants to learn more about it, and who wants to speak english better (I went there with 3 friends and one of us didn't speak english AT ALL, and now she can have a good conversation with someone).
You will learn a lot with the passionated member of the staff.
If you go to LEO, enjoy everyday. Dreams come slow and go so fast.

I hope I'll be back at LEO soon, because everytime I look at their pictures on their site or Facebook page I feel as excited as they can be.
At LEO Base, every day is a beautiful adventure and I think this is a great motivation to live a life full of happiness

Yes, I recommend this program

Research and Science at LEO Africa

After volunteering with Leo for three months in 2015 I couldn't help but come and visit the LEO team when I was in South Africa in May of this year! My stay with Leo was again a surreal and unforgettable experience. With Koos and Sabrina as my guides I learnt bush and field skills (which I still use now as a researcher). With LEO I have learnt the importance of monitoring animals for reserve management and that the bushvield ecosystem is a finely tuned machine that require constant maintenance and respect. I learnt that most of the work in conservation starts from the ground up; literally! Helping removing invasive plants and clearing up after elephants is a daily job. The experience of being able to walk with Koos in the bush watching rhinos are memories I will never forget and hearing the roar of lions in the night makes your heart feel wild! I made so many wonderful friends at Leo and learnt so many new practical and scientific skills including tracks, data entry, ID kits for animals, bird identification, monitoring techniques, ecology, botany and more! I cannot wait to return for another life changing adventure in 2017 in the new marataba reserve where the landscape is breathtaking and the animals are even more beautiful than they seem on television.

Your adventure is calling! answer the call to LEO Africa.

What would you improve about this program?
I don't think this programme could be improved, but that people interested in having an adventure at LEO must be ready to have an adventure! I have seen many a volunteer believe this is a "holiday". It is not. At LEO you experience the same hours in the bush as a guide or a researcher would, it can sometimes be tiring but this also means you get to experience much more of the African safari experience while also contributing to research and work that needs completed by the reserve and that must be considered.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever!!!

This has been one of the most amazing experience of my life! I have learnt so much!!!
LEO Africa is the best volunteer programme I have ever visited. It is now located on the Marataba Section of the Marakele National Park. Working and doing conservation for a National Park is absolutely a privilege experience!!!
The LEO Team is very passionate, knowledgeable and ready to teach you anything about the bush. My contribution towards conservation has been concrete: we have been monitoring wild and free roaming lions, leopards, elephants, white and black rhinos and collected data on them to create reports for the park managers. We have taken photos that the staff members will use to create ID kits of these key species as well as hyenas to determine the number of animals on the reserve( who can't be count during the annual game count from the helicopter); the work done is really valuable and it gives you a deep insight of what real conservation is. Everyone is ready to help and very professional.
You stay out in the bush for either the entire day (if busy with a lot of reserve management activities) or the day can be split in two different game drives/activities. You will stay back at base on a rotation basis to carry on house duties and cook which gives you an opportunity to rest a bit as we always wake up pretty early!
Bring a large water bottle, sleeping bag, a camera, a good torch and a lot of enthusiasm!! Volunteers are also very friendly and sharing the room has not been a problem. The rooms are very spacious and the girls room has an inside bathroom as well.
Other than that... Enjoy the experience! I can't wait to go back!!!

What would you improve about this program?
I liked it as it is. It is a good balance between work and some private time. Game drives are amazing, the park is stunning and you get to see a lot of animals and learn a lot about them.


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