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Kruger Wildlife Project

South Africa

This project is perfect for anyone interested in zoology, wildlife conservation, game park management, or anyone with a passion for wildlife. Set on a South African wildlife reserve and farm, this project is centred around conservation, welcoming both skilled and non-skilled volunteers to get involved. Throughout the project volunteers will have the opportunity to get involved in various aspects of wildlife management and conservation. 


This project is for gap year, pre vet and pre-clinicals; (anyone not yet qualified)-  if you are a clinical vet student or qualified vet/ vet nurse/ vet-tech check out our Kruger Vet Project.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Getting involved with wildlife reserve and animal management


  • Involvement in anti-poaching efforts, including the use of anti-poaching dogs for conservation


  • Contributing to the importance of wildlife conservation and research


  • Work with iconic species such as rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard and lions


  • Exposure and involvement with community outreach and development


  • Working side by side with a wildlife veterinarian and assist with darting at minimum one animal per week


  • Live within a big 5 wildlife reserve deep in the bush, in the most authentic African way

Project video


While completing the two week project, you'll expand your horizons and be immersed in the daily efforts that go into the management and conservation of wildlife in South Africa. You will be assisting in the daily management of wildlife camps, with herds of buffalo, impala, sable and elephants, assessing their conditions, implementing parasite control, conducting pregnancy diagnosis and immobilising (darting) injured animals for treatment.


The management, rescue and care of wildlife is as varied as it is exciting. From routine work, to fast paced emergencies, some of the procedures you may be involved in, include:



WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT:

  • Snare removals from antelopes, elephant, giraffes and predators

  • Collaring procedures, with elephants, lions, wild dogs etc

  • Monitoring of rhinos, elephants, and lions by using radio telemetry

  • Location and mapping of injured animals by vehicle patrols

  • Help relocate animals that may have broken out of the reserve (lions, hippos, buffalo) and return them to their home reserves

  • Sable, giraffe and buffalo herd health management and monitoring

  • Assessing and counting of sable and buffalo calves

  • Participating in faecal egg counts and how to counteract any parasites

  • Feeding of wildlife in dry periods of the year


ANTI-POACHING:

Please note: as a volunteer will not be put into a real life situation, endangering you, all patrols and tracking with the k9s will be simulations and training exercises and loads of fun!

  • Assisting with anti-poaching fence patrols

  • K9 (antipoching dogs) tracking and patrols

  • Take a bite from one of the K9s if you are brave enough! (wearing a protective suit)

  • Assisting with ongoing maintenance on the farm – path/bush clearing/alien vegetation

  • Night monitoring and camera trapping of predators, such as leopards, lions, hyenas

Please note that working with the K9 unit is not always guaranteed and is subject to availability of the dogs and their training schedule.

OTHER ACTIVITIES


  • Learn how to use both a pneumatic and .22 dart gun, both which are used for immobilisation of wildlife

  • Mountain trails & bush walks

  • Sleep out under the stars in the big 5 area

  • Learn the art of tracking animals, identifying spoor (tracks) of various wildlife

  • Understand the need for breeding projects and how it aids conservation

Project Photos

ACCOMMODATION

The large luxury tented camps situated in the wild  lanscape, amid raw african bush and farm land. There is a kitchen, where  you can store extra snacks and food (if the 3 large meals a day don’t  quite fill you up!) and an outside deck, a pool and jacuzi overlooking  the waterhole where the animals of the big five reserve come to quench  their thirst. Near the tents there is a communal area with a fire pit,  an honesty bar (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages). Tents have two  single beds, a fridge to store drinks and snacks, and ensuite bathrooms  with two showers each. Regardless of where you sleep, bedding and towels  are provided. If we need to stay away from home for a night to complete  work, all accommodation will be in comfortable farmhouses or lodges.


Three hearty meals a day will be provided for you in  your course fee. You help yourself to breakfast and choose from cereals,  breads, juice and fruit. Lunches are prepared for you (unless we take a  packed lunch) and dinner will be cooked and served for you at the  accommodation. You will enjoy regular Braais (BBQ’s) consisting of  African steak, boerewors (sausage), stews, bolognaises, burgers and  pastas. The project can cater for most dietary requirements so just ask  us at time of booking. No matter what is eaten, it is always at the end  of a good day’s work, under the stars, enjoying the dancing light of the  campfire. Once a week you will be taken to town for any extra snacks or  supplies you may need. Don’t forget the marshmallows to toast on the  fire!

LOCATION


Kruger National Park needs little introduction. It is the largest national park in South Africa, located on the north eastern edge of the country. This  area of the world is real wildlife territory, with animals crossing  freely between the main park and surrounding reserves. It is one of the  best places to visit in Africa to view wildlife and is known for  thriving populations of elephants, giraffe, lion, leopard, rhino wild  dog, zebra and other planes game like antelope. Here you are surrounded  by nature every moment of the day, off the beaten track, waking up early  to enjoy the calmness of the bush and enjoying evenings around the  campfire, under the stars.


During your stay, you will have weekends off to make  the most of your time in South Africa. Some students enjoy relaxing by  the pool with a good book, whilst others head out to do extra activities  including visiting wildlife sanctuaries such as the great Moholoholo  Rehab Centre) to help care for rescued wildlife. We run daytrips through  the world famous Panorama Route, a breath-taking drive through the  mountains of the Mpumalanga province, centred around the Blyde River  Canyon, (the 3rdlargest canyon in the world) and a chance to explore  waterfalls and sleepy historic towns.

PROJECT COST


2 weeks: £1500


Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:


  • 3 daily meals

  • Non-alcoholic beverages

  • Accommodation

  • Water bottle

  • Transport

  • Wi-Fi

  • Laundry

  • Travel advice prior to departure

  • An attendance certificate

  • Transfers to and from the airport

  • £100 conservation fee


OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:


  • Flights to/from South Africa

  • Personal medical insurance

  • Visa for South Africa (free to many nationalities)

  • Any ‘extra activities’ you wish to do. (we suggest budgeting 5,000 to 10,000 Rand)


PROJECT SPECIFICS


  • AGE: 18 +, no upper limit.

  •  QUALS: gap year, prevet, preclinical. Will accept anyone but this is NOT a clinical project.

  • EMS (other)

START DATES


The project has set start dates throughout the year. We can also run private courses if you have a group of 6 or more people for outside of these dates. Please email us to discuss this.



2024


  • 10-23 January 

  • 7-20 February

  • 7-20 March 

  • 4-17 April 

  • 1-14 May 

  • 1-14 November 

  • 1-14 December 


2025


  • 10-23 January

  • 7-20 February

  • 7-20 March

  • 4-17 April

  • 1-14 May

  • 4-17 June

  • 2-15 July

  • 6-19 August

  • 3-16 September

  • 7-21 October

  • 1-14 November

  • 1-14 December

There is the opportunity to join the project in 2025 for longer periods:

  • 18 June - 1 July 2025

  • 16 - 29 July 2025

  • 17 - 30 Sept 2025

Volunteer feedback

WHAT NEXT?


We want you to join us in South Africa, to help the animals and have the adventure of a lifetime. Sound good? Just fill in the form below and we will be in touch with you right away.

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