Kickstart your career in conservation by gaining invaluable work experience in the South African savannah habitat.
Join an international conservation team, deep in the South African bushveld and experience an internship experience like no other! Wake up to the roar of lions, spend your days out in the reserve tracking wildlife, conducting valuable research and learning a variety of new skills to kick start your career in conservation!
6 days a week
Set start dates throughout the year
As with all our Internship programmes, there will be a strong focus on developing professional skills and being able to apply them with a holistic approach to conservation. Participants will also be given the opportunity to undertake additional leadership responsibilities, an assigned mentor who will monitor their progress on a weekly basis. You will also complete a leadership course endorsed by ILM (an internationally recognized body).
Before you head out onto the reserve, you will undergo extensive training to ensure that you will be able to effectively contribute to the research on the local wildlife. Some of the training participants can expect to add to their skillset is how to carry out radio tracking and monitoring of all the collared predators, mammal and bird identification, ecology and bush first aid.
The main project our team works on is recording the number and species of animals in the reserve to assist management with maintaining a healthy balance of predators and prey. We also assist Panthera by providing data on lions and leopards and Elephants Alive with preventing damage caused by elephants to fragile local plants. In addition, we also monitor cheetah feeding behaviour and their success in the reserve environment in partnership with Endangered Wildlife Trust. In the local community, we also run environmental education programs and support the reserve with environmental rehabilitation and anti-poaching initiatives. As a wildlife conservation intern in South Africa, spending 3 months with us at our base, you will have a chance to get involved in just about all these projects.
In addition you will also complete a Biological Survey Techniques program, allowing you to learn how to set up a conservation research project in just about any ecosystem worldwide, as well as an Emergency First Responder.
Participants should expect some long days, with a typical day involving up to 12 hours collecting data. While out on the reserve, you will be tracking the wildlife and conducting vital research, usually between dawn and dusk when the weather is cooler and the animals are most active. Our main focus is usually on the large predators such as the lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyena but occasionally also involves herbivores such as elephants. When not out on the reserve, your time will either be spent working on data entry, miscellaneous camp duties or conducting educational days within the local communities, highlighting the importance of conservation.
During the expedition you will have 1 day off a week. In this time you could visit the stunning local mountains (Karongwe), go curio shopping, or just spend some time wandering around the local town. At the end of each 4 week cycle volunteers have the opportunity to take 4 days off, during which they are free to arrange their own trips if they wish. Before and after your program you could visit Kruger National Park, the Blyde River Canyon, go bungi jumping or canyoning at Sabiethe possibilities are endless!
Mixed dorm with a shared bathroom
Shared, mixed gender dorm rooms with shared bathrooms
Participants take it in turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is very basic with about two thirds of the meals vegetarian. Breakfast could be cereal, fresh fruit, rusks etc., lunch is typically sandwiches, salads and a typical evening meal may include rice, fresh veg, etc.
WiFi is available on on a ‘prepaid’ service on base, we advise participants bring extra cash to purchase WiFi credit.
Participants typically use mobile phones to keep in touch, with limited access to internet. MTN South Africa and Vodacom are the service providers that covers both bases. Check with your home service provider that they have roaming agreements with MTN or Vodacom. SIM cards and starter packs/ airtime are easily available on the weekly town trips for less than R5.00, but will require a passport for registration purposes.
Pick up included on the day or program start from Hoedspruit Airport (HDS)
Passport, Medical form & Criminal Background check
Doctors note must be signed if you have any illnesses to declare
Kit list will be provided at time of booking
Once you have confirmed your spot on this program, you will be allocated to a dedicated program expert who will assist you as you prepare for your program.
Project staff on base who facilitate the project, run training’s & assist with any additional health & safety needs if required. 24 Hour emergency phone. Please ask your program expert for more information.
You will be given the option to pay in instalments for an Instalment Fee of £125 per booking. If you select this Instalment Fee option, a non-refundable deposit payment of £350 is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program, 50% of the balance will fall due 16 weeks before departure and the remaining 50% of the balance will fall due 12 weeks before departure. If you the Participant cancel this agreement, the Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of any monies paid.
If you do not select the Instalment Fee option, the full cost of your booking is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program. If you the Participant cancel this agreement more than 16 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of the full amount paid minus £350.
If you the Participant cancel this agreement between 16 and 12 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of 60% of the full amount paid. If you the Participant cancel this agreement less than 12 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of £100.
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