African Impact Wildlife Conservation Programs

Video and Photos


With miles and miles of beautiful land across all different types of terrain, you'll find no shortage of wildlife in Africa. If you are interested in the research and conservation of these creatures, sign up to volunteer on a Wildlife Conservation project with us!

Your daily tasks can include a wide variety of activities; you can go on research game drives or boat trips to collect data, take photos of the animals in their natural habitat, observe and document animal behavior and ultimately, learn all about what it takes to protect these creatures. You can play a huge role in improving the precarious conditions of endangered animals and contribute to successful conservation initiatives.

You have the choice of working with lions, elephants, rhinos, monkeys, cheetahs, chimpanzees, sharks, dolphins and more! If you have a biology, veterinary, or photography background - or even if you just care about wildlife - learn more about these opportunities below:

South Africa

  • African Big 5 Wildlife Conservation, South Africa: Join our field guides and research team on game drives in the world famous Greater Kruger area, a wildlife hotspot in South Africa. Monitor and study the African Big 5 (leopard, rhino, lion, buffalo and elephant) and assist local wildlife foundations with the protection of endangered and at-risk species.
  • Wildlife Photography and Conservation, Greater Kruger Region: Get up close and personal with wildlife in the Greater Kruger Region of South Africa, using your passion for photography to contribute to conservation initiatives, all the while gaining new practical skills.
  • Leopard and Predator Research, South Africa: Contribute to the conservation of some of South Africa's largest and most impressive predators, including leopards, lions, wild dogs and hyenas. Join our research teams and track, observe and collect data on these incredible species, all the while living in one of the most scenic and beautiful areas of South Africa.




  • Chimpanzee and Wildlife Sanctuary, Zambia: Care for rescued chimpanzees and play a vital role in their protection and conservation at an extremely rural chimp sanctuary Jane Goodall once called “the most wonderful place on earth”.
  • Lions, Community and Conservation, Victoria Falls: Contribute to the conservation of the iconic African lion and other wildlife, all the while working closely with communities in the Victoria Falls area to reduce human-wildlife conflict.


  • Dolphin and Marine Conservation, Zanzibar: Volunteering with the Zanzibar Marine Conservation Project will allow you to contribute to the small fishing villages of Jambiani and Kizimkazi’s sustainable use of marine resources, while researching dolphin tourism and monitoring human-dolphin interaction.


  • Marine Research and Conservation, Mozambique: Scuba dive in Mozambique and get hands-on experience in world-class field research on a marine volunteer project designed and created by leading whale shark and manta ray scientists.

Questions & Answers


based on 5 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar

Experience of a Lifetime

Volunteering with African Impact in their Big 5 Wildlife Research and Conservation program is the best thing I've done! I had always dreamed of experiencing Africa's wild in person, so my expectations for this program were very high. To my delight, African Impact surpassed these expectations. There were all sorts of magical experiences in the bush: encountering a leopardess and her cub, eating and talking around a bonfire while an elephant ate just a few yards away, and sleeping in tents to the sounds of lions, elephants and hyenas. African Impact is very professional and I felt safe at all times. Dumela Lodge is a great place to stay and the food is really nice. I highly recommend this program.

How can this program be improved?
The only negative experience I had was the day I arrived when we were picked up in Johannesburg airport by an African Impact third party. They were not very organized nor hospitality, so our arrival to Africa for the first time was a discouraging and a little bit distressing. Nonetheless, I understand that this has been changed and volunteers now arrive to Nelspruit airport, so I hope this situation is better now.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Photography project of a lifetime!

What a fantastic way to learn and practise wildlife photography! The best experience out of my many best experiences here in Vic Falls was staying out in Zambezi National Park Cottages, with wildlife wandering past. The first day I couldn't get enough of photographing the baboons climbing on the roof and peering through the (barred!) windows, but I have to say it was the elephants that stole my heart. Sitting at the table on the porch and watching a herd of elephants wander past between us and the Zambezi river around 60m away was amazing. Even more amazing was peering cautiously around the edge of the house at a massive elephant feeding on ivory nuts by head-butting an ilala tree RIGHT next to the cottage! And I learnt so much about photography - there was a professional photographer who basically custom-designed a programme for me. We went and took photos of the vulture-feeding at Safari Lodge, hung out at the Vic Falls Golf Course to practise on birds and antelope, did Victoria Falls at dawn, and then I got some great editing tuition on Lightroom. Oh - and I haven't mentioned walking with lions, visiting the local orphanage, giving a lesson on lion conservation at the local primary school (outside under a tree), and going for game counts in Zambezi National Park. Oops... running out of room, but programme is flexible, and staff are extremely helpful, friendly, and safety-conscious. What do I remember most? Sitting at the table on the porch after dinner and seeing hyaena and genet wander around the corner of the cottage. Actually, so many memories (all recorded on my camera). It's made my photography leap ahead, actually - but I spent hours and hours on the photos after the trip, doing a photobook, and choosing a few photos to print. Great experience!

How can this program be improved?
It would have been great if there were a few more photography volunteers to share photos and tips with.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Miss the lion cubs

How hard are you prepared to work on your holiday? I ask because you're only going to get as much out of volunteering as you put in - and Lion Encounter provides you with many, many opportunities to help the lions as well as the local communities and schools - if you're ready!

I have always had a passion for big cats, especially lions and tigers - but have only ever been able to see them at the zoo or in pictures. I wanted hands on experience with lions, but not at a tourist zoo, I wanted a project that was making at difference to save wild lions - and Lion Encounters 4 Stage release program matched my wishes.

Spending time with the lion cubs each day was a dream come true, but this would not be possible without the amazing staff they have onsite - from the co-ordinators, lion handlers to the kitchen staff - all very friendly, happy and willing to assist with your stay in any way possible!

I'm not a morning person, but getting up for 5:30am to feed the cubs their morning milk was not a chore - seeing the cubs lap up their milk as the sun started to rise was an amazing experience.

The day is divided into three blocks - morning, mid-morning and afternoon. Each day was different with a variety of activities, from lion walks to meat prep, school visits to cook stove making, enclosure cleaning to visiting the pride of lions at Stage 2, and more.

Time off can also be arranged - I went White Water Rafting with some of the other volunteers - something I never thought I would do! I was nervous at first, but after making the first rapid successfully, it was so much fun!

I could go on, but best to go and experience the project for yourself - who knows, maybe I'll see you there - I'm sure I'll go back again!

How can this program be improved?
The accommodation is very modest - some days water didn't work in the morning (fixed when maintenance arrived) or the wifi stopped working (boo hoo, not a big deal).

Any of the small inconveniences were easily forgotten after a rewarding day of activities and visiting the lions.

I usually stay at 5 star resorts - but was happier than I've ever been out in the middle of the national park with just the basics!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Rhino and Elephant Research- Amazing Experience

It is really difficult to put into words how fantastic this entire experience was. I recently returned from three weeks and Thanda and found it exceeded my expectations.

I was very very nervous, having never traveled much before, and certainly never having traveled alone. But from the minute I landed in Durban and was greeted by African Impacted staff, I felt completely at ease. Everything was explained right away, I was never guessing where I needed to be or what I needed to be doing. The staff there is incredible. Everyone from the guides to the business managers to the cooks was incredibly friendly and helpful and cheerful. The happiness and joy is contagious, even when you are in a new environment and very jet-lagged!

The first day included a lot of orientation. All of the information we needed was presented to us, which was a LOT of information, but necessary to have. The project aims orientation was very intense as well; there is a lot to learn and remember! I would definitely recommend reading through the information they give you via email ahead of time!

I felt like I really knew the importance of the data we were collected, and exactly how it was being used. It was great that members of the wildlife management team, the ecologist, APU, etc, were often stopping by for dinner or joining us on projects. It allowed us to really understand everything that goes into maintaining a healthy reserve and how the work we were doing helped this.

I feel like I accomplished quite a bit in three weeks, and I left feeling like I had really done my part towards a cause I care greatly about! On top of that, I had so much fun! Great friends, great times. All together, a life changing experience.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, nothing comes to mind! Accommodations are great, food is great. No complaints!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Sweet Paps!

All I can say is that since I left Thanda in Sept.2011, I've been planning my next trip back again in 2012. It was amazing, awesome, fantastic. The project managers, the game-drives, the laughs, the braai under the stars, the children we gave presentations to, the road trips to the market to get ice-cream, the photography workshop with Emile, the lions eating a warthog at night, watching the elephant herd for four hours, and everything in between. If anyone asks me, I recommend this program 100%. You will need a sense of adventure and maybe be ok with roughing it a little, and give my sincere regards to the project managers who will be your friends for life... :)

Yes, I recommend

About African Impact

African Impact is a multi-award winning volunteer travel organisation which runs and manages meaningful and responsible volunteer experiences and internship programs throughout Africa. The organisation was founded in 2004 in Zimbabwe, and since then...