Location
  • South Africa
Length
2 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
18
Age Max
70
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Rondavel
Groups
Small Group (1-15)
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
1544
Price Details
Cost includes all accommodation and time you spend on the reserves, your 3 meals a day, all training, project running costs (such as fuel for the vehicles that track the animals – sometimes over very large distances to ensure their safety), vehicle maintenance (especially tyres), the tracking equipment (e.g. radio collars and telemetry sets), as well as basic salaries for the dedicated and hardworking wildlife monitors that tirelessly track the animals every day.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Equipment Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Oct 20, 2021
Jul 26, 2022
60 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Get directly involved in some of the most exciting & important conservation work being done in Zululand, South Africa - an area which resounds with the heartbeat of Africa and which is one of the most diverse & productive wildlands on Earth. Join Wildlife ACT on the ground to save endangered & priority wildlife species: African Painted Wolves, Rhino, Cheetah, Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Vultures and more. It’s Real Africa, Real Conservation, and the experience of a lifetime. Ages 18 to 70+ If you want to visit the real African wilderness and be part of real wildlife volunteer work, Wildlife ACT is looking for you.

Our Fair Trade Tourism certified projects are conducted on national game reserves in South Africa. Wildlife ACT was recognized for their conservation work by being awarded Second Place for a World Responsible Tourism Award in the category “Best for Wildlife”
and Second Place for an African Responsible Tourism Award in the category “Best for Habitat & Species Conservation"

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Fair Trade Tourism Certified
  • World Responsible Tourism Awards winner 2018
  • African Responsible Tourism Awards winner 2017
  • Rhino Conservation Awards 2017 Winner
  • Partnered with WWF, Wildlands, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Wildlife Conservation Network, Panthera & others

Program Impact

Conservation efforts are typically driven by passion. Long hours with early mornings and late nights; sleeves rolled up and hands dirty; large distances covered, and funds stretched. This underpins the work that Wildlife ACT does – driven by a team that puts huge effort into their everyday jobs.

The difficult year of 2020 saw Wildlife ACT reflect on a dozen years of conservation impact. This was not a year synonymous with rejoicing, but, considering the immense efforts put in by Wildlife ACT’s dedicated team, partners and supporters, to keep crucial conservation work going during this global pandemic.

Wildlife ACT continues to achieve a number of milestones, including:

9 different species monitored
Over 3 500 volunteers
815 tracking devices fitted
Over 800 animals relocated
Rescuing and treating over 145 snared or wounded animals
209,508 monitoring and field hours in vehicles, in the air, and on foot

The organisation continues to grow and thrive, held up by dedicated staff, a global network of ambassadors and strong, committed partners. “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and look forward to many more years of success in the conservation sector in Africa” - Managing Director, Mark Gerrard

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Program Reviews

9.67 Rating
based on 39 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 97.44%
  • 7-8 rating 2.56%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 39 reviews
Default avatar
Magali
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer with Endangered Species

A wonderful experience in a beautiful environment! The monitors are really professional. They take good care of the volunteers, making sure you have everything you need and making you feel really comfortable. You will follow them on their daily work and will learn a lot about wildlife and life in the bush.
We were in the uMkhuze reserve in July 2022. Our "routine" was: leaving the camp for the 1st session of the day at 4:30 am and the 2nd session at 3:00 pm. The duration of each session depended on the work on the field.
An unforgettable stay!!!

10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Annika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Most amazing time of my life

I have been twice to iMfolozi-Hwluluwe now with Wildlife ACT and both times I have had the time of my life!
To be in the bush for 2 weeks, to see the animals roaming free and wild and knowing you are supporting this, is truly the best feeling.
I have learned so much from the monitors and I felt I really contributed to the welfare of the animals living in the reserve. Every day was a new adventure and every day was different, and I will never forget the beautiful sunrises in the bush and the sounds of all animals in the evening and morning!
I will be back definitely!
I can highly recommend to join Wildlife ACT in one of their projects, because they work very hard to protect the precious wildlife and they are so motivated.
I will definitely go back in the future!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Changing the collar of a cheetah will be something I will remember for the rest of my life!
55 people found this review helpful.
Anton
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience with Wildlife ACT

My two weeks with Wildlife ACT surpassed any of my expectations of what I was heading in to. Getting involved in a research group and taking part of the daily monitoring of endangered species was so rewarding and fun as well. The opportunity to spend fourteen days in the bush with a mission to help researchers with conservation of wildlife, is an opportunity I would recommend everybody to take. A typical day is getting up early in the morning heading out with the jeep and target one of the focused groups, say a lion, with monitoring equipment. While this task is being performed the sun rises, the birds and insects start their day and the forest are buzzing with life. When the lion is found; time, place, behaviour and other data is collected and then the search for some other species is started. In that way it continues along with encounters of other animals that is also fantastic to see. It was truly an amazing experience for me and I will definitely go back when time is given in the future.

53 people found this review helpful.
Bram
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Proffesional and educative wildlife conservation programm

I had an absolute amazing experience with Wildlife ACT.
The way the projects are organized is very personal and efficient. You get to visit several nature reserves in Kwazulu-Natal which is a stunning natural region.
The contribution you have with the small groups together with the professional and enthusiastic monitors feels very important.
You will help WACT with everything thats most urgent and they will learn you a lot about the nature and everything that matters for wildlife conservation.
This unique exhange of work and knowlegde is of great importance to gain attention on wildlife conservation.
Personally, the best thing of WACT is that the result of what they are doing is just for the african wildlife. Nothing more, nothing less.

52 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Simone
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The volunteering, hands-on, impactful experience

If you are wondering about having a real, impactful, meaningful way to spend your vacation helping with conservation - this is a (if not the) great opportunity.

The teams are small, you get to interact a lot with your monitor and colleagues on the back of the car, you get to know how the conservation work with ecologists, rangers, reserve managers is run and monitoring animals and animal populations is just ... great and worth every minute spent outside, in the back of the car. The monitors are really skilled, both academically and in practice. there are lots of good stories, hands-on work collecting data about the animals in the reserves and great visuals - sunrise, sunset, etc.

It is well invested money, it is worth spent the time. I came back with a completely different picture of conservation work, and why I would go back to Africa or other continent to watch nature. Every hand was helpful there, and I came back thinking about my return.

What would you improve about this program?
Volunteers come to help and, of couse, see the animals. If it happens that one reserve has a certain condition that we don't get to see anything, it would be good to have a discussion after some days, if the volunteers could not be rotated to other reserve.
51 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Tina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience!

My experiences with Wildlife Act have been absolutely amazing and unforgettable; an experience like this is something that will stay with you forever, and I guarantee you’ll leave a piece (or two) of your heart in South Africa. With these projects, you get to be part of real conservation, learning from amazingly dedicated and knowledge wildlife monitors, being part of a small team of international volunteers, and of course seeing the wildlife in their natural setting. There is nothing like having an African elephant walk past you, seeing a lion out roaming around, or spotting the African wild dog pack; an experience most people will never have. Most days you will be up before the sun and out on the truck all bundled up in the dark, which means you’ll be taking in the stunning sunrises; the morning tea/coffee break will become a favourite time of the day. You will use telemetry equipment, a GPS device, and learn about triangulation (it’s not scary) to help in finding your priority and endangered animals, making notes on tracks (spoor) you come across on your journey if the monitor deems it important. Though sometimes you may not find the animals you are looking for, or you may spend a couple of hours waiting for a lion to wake-up from their afternoon nap, there is no shortage of things to see; there is ample bird life, plants and trees, as well as other animals all around the reserves. While you might be out searching for the wild dogs/lions/cheetah or other animals, you just might run into a curious spotted hyena, or see a vulture having a meal, or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have a hippo or leopard cross your path. Generally you go out twice a day, and the only thing that beats that stunning sunrise, is the sunset (just something about them in South Africa) followed by the giant open sky filled with stars. You spend your spare time in the afternoons and evenings back at camp with your team, often relaxing or chatting and cooking/braaing. Each time you go out, you know that the information you are gathering and the sightings you are part of, is actually used towards real African conservation; you being there is making a difference, plus it’s really cool and fun.

55 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Anne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Will definitely be back

I spend two weeks with Wildlife Act and it was an incredible experience.

Seeing the animals in the natural habitat was a treat in itself, but obviously something that can be done in many ways - but for me, Wildlife Act was the perfect way to enjoy the wildlife while doing something worthwhile.

We stayed at the research facility, so we got to see the data we collected actually being put into use. It was also great to have the extra people around. Sitting around the bry at night, eating kudo, drinking beer and chatting to the researchers was a lot of fun.

We had two monitors. They were incredibly different, but both of them really brought something unique to the experience. Marumo and Mike are passionate and knowledgeable and truly taught me a lot. They're also good company - we definitely had fun while working.

And hey, coming home you even start to miss having a toad or a lizard in the shower with you.

I'm definitely an experience richer!

What would you improve about this program?
We could have had a bit more work to do. I did like being able to chill and just sit in the moment, but I wouldn't have minded a few extra tasks. Even data-entry or stuff like that - just something more to keep us busy and make us earn our sundowner.
55 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
FLORENCE
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience that makes you better

I participated to monitoring animals as a volunteer at Tembe and Imfolozi.
These experiences have been very meaningful to me and I hope I made a contribution. All I want is to come back to improve and help more.
Some volunteers are amazing and become real experts with telemetry. As for me, I realized that I could spend hours waiting under the sun, to see through binoculars if a cheetah had stopped napping and had decided to make a move. You learn patience. You learn to put yourself aside for the mission. You feel so small compared to the beauty, frailty and greatness and truth of the wildlife. You feel it in your guts and marrow and heart. And in helping, you become greater than what you are. As a volunteer, you share the monitors workload. Monitors who are so young, multitasks, responsible. It is a privilege to be with such beautiful people, in such beautiful places. For me, it would have been a mistake not to be in the field with WildlifeAct.

55 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi Sheillah, Thank you for your query. We get a lot of people asking about employment opportunities within Wildlife ACT. With the conservation environment being as dynamic as it is, and with our goal to expand our conservation efforts, we are always interested in keeping potential candidates on file for when the need arises. We do, however, mainly look for potential wildlife monitors who are...