During your stay, your days will be spent mostly on foot walking through the reserve, learning how to track the animals. You will be approaching endangered species on foot and recording their behaviour, location and condition. You will, quite literally, be walking in their footsteps!
The information collected is then used by the reserve management and anti-poaching teams, as well as national conservation efforts to help save these species. You will also take part in vehicle based monitoring to see the amazing Big 5, as well as habitat work to help with the monitoring process.
This is a unique experience for people who want to get more out of visiting a game reserve in South Africa. Everyone who joins this exciting program will get to experience the African bush in its extremes, from elephants strolling through camp to the tropical heat or the surprisingly cold winter nights.
If you have a love of nature and want to participate in helping to save Africa's endangered species, this is the project for you. Come enjoy the simple life and let the bush seep into your soul!
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
7 days minimum
£480 per week
+ Return flights + 50 Admin Fee
Minimum 7 days
£480 per week
+ Return Flights to S.A+ £50 Admin Fee
Dates available throughout the year.
Siyafunda Endangered Species project has a minimum duration of 1 week
The project start day is every Monday throughout the year, with volunteers being collected from Hoedspruit.
Typical Project schedule
Monday: Project start day. Town trip to collect new volunteers and restock supplies
Tuesday—Friday: Mornings will consist of monitoring walks to locate rhino and cheetah. You will learn how to identify and age their tracks and how to record this information. Once the animals have been located you will monitor their behaviour, environment and interactions in order to better understand them. Meanwhile, you will also learn how to track other big game such as elephant, lion and hyena in order to better understand utilisation of the areas covered. At all times you will also be on the lookout for potential sightings and nest sites of the Southern Ground Hornbill.
On return to camp, you will enter the data collected onto the computers. You'll also get the chance to work through your bush knowledge work books to help improve your tracking skills. During the week there will be a series of talks on Siyafunda, data collection, bush skills and maybe even a Zulu lesson!
In the afternoons, you will set out on monitoring drives in order to cover more ground to determine new areas to locate rhino, cheetah and Southern Ground Hornbill. Once signs of activity and tracks have been located you will continue on foot to discover more. Whilst driving through the reserve you will also get the chance to see some of our other resident Big 5—elephant, lion and buffalo.
In conjunction with Makalali Research, all sightings of leopard will also be monitored and recorded - the more eyes the better when trying to monitor this elusive animal!
Saturday: In the morning you will help out with some habitat work, either bush clearing, erosion control or road maintenance.
On return from the afternoons monitoring drive, we may head out to the local pub or have a typical South Africa Braai (BBQ)
Sunday: Either an outing will be planned or it will be a free day for volunteers to relax or head out on their own tour.
Your home during your stay will be in our eco-friendly tented camp set amongst the trees which overlooks a water course. There are large, comfortable twin share tents set on raised platforms, ensuring each has its own unique view of the African bush! There are shared ablution facilities with flushing toilets and bush showers. All meals are cooked by the group. Your evenings will be spent hearing tales from your experienced ranger, listening to the sounds of the bush, before you fall asleep under the African sky.
Minimum age opf volunteers is 18 years old.
All collections and drop offs of volunteers are done on Mondays throughout the year so please arrange your travel to coincide with this. If you are unable to do so, please advise us promptly and alternative transport can be arranged for you at your own expense.
Arrival and Departure:
•By Air: You can fly direct to Hoedspruit's Eastgate Airport on South African Airways Express. Make your bookings through www.flysaa.com
•By Transfer bus: Ashtons Tours departs from OR Tambo International every day. For arriving/departing on Monday please book to and from Hoedspruit. For off schedulearrivals/departures (Tuesday to Sunday) please book to and from Makalali/Karongwe. For more information and bookings please go to: www.ashtonstours.com State you are a Volunteering with Sifyafunda Conservation to get a discount.
•By bus: City to City has a daily bus service between Johannesburg and Hoedspruit. They can be contacted via www.citytocity.co.za
If you need to stay overnight in Hoedspruit before or after joining this project Siyafunda can arrange to pick you up or drop you off at the Blue Cottages Guesthouse. For more information please go to www.bluecottages.co.za
Accommodation & Airport Transfers
International Flights, Meals, Travel Insurance, Vaccinations
Volunteers should take practical / comfortable clothes to work in e.g (scrubs).
The project may be extremely short on certain supplies and would likely be very grateful for donations. Please get in touch with us to find out if there is anything in particular that would be helpful to bring with you. If you have any spare room in your bag on the outbound flight, it would be highly appreciated if you are able to bring some spare supplies to use during your trip. This is at your discretion and entirely optional.
It is essential that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance for this project which also covers you for veterinary work. We recommend Go Walkabout who offer tailor made travel insurance policies for WVS volunteers. Please note that fully paid members of WVS also receive a 10% discount on Go Walkabout policies.
This information should be used as a guide only. For up to date information on immunisations please consult your doctor. You will need to allow plenty of time before travelling for your immunisations to be effective. DO NOT LEAVE THIS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. As you will be working with animals the Rabies and Tetanus vaccines are essential. We have provided links below to websites with useful information on immunisations and travel advice which we highly recommend that you visit.
UK passport holders are required to obtain a visa before travelling. Please visit the Foreign Commonwealth Office website for further details: www.fco.gov.uk. All WVS volunteers are required to organise their own visas.