In the Field


In The Field: GVI Wildlife Conservation Program in Karongwe National Park

Life doesn't stop when you run a conservation project

Annabel du Preez
Partner Manager

Name, occupation and project name?

GVI Wildlife Conservation Program in Karongwe National Park 

How long has the project been running and what is your greatest achievement?

GVI are dedicated to protecting the natural habitats of animals and endeavour to contribute to animal conservation activities. We believe that conservation and the community go hand-in-hand. We are committed to educating local and global communities about the impacts of their actions on specific habitats, unique species, and the planet as a whole. 

As a result, we have been operating conservation programs for over two decades and are committed to furthering the progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Over the years, alongside our partners and with the help of our volunteers - we have managed to make a large long term sustainable impact in the conservation of the Big 5 animal population in South Africa. 

GVI Conservation Programme, Karongwe SA

What conservation challenges does this project seek to address?

Unlike a conventional safari trip, this program allows you to play an active and meaningful role in the research and long term conservation of South Africa's natural resources. 

Learn how to track and identify  predators, like lions and cheetahs, and megaherbivores, like elephants and rhinos. This data is used by reserve authorities and conservation organisations to develop an accurate picture of predator impact on prey populations, determine the spatial movement, behaviour, social structure and genetics of specific species. This information helps authorities maintain a healthy balance of natural resources in the reserve, helps conservation organisations further their objectives, and ultimately assists with conserving important African species and habitats.

What are the challenges presented by the location / environment / wildlife on the project?

Since we are based in a national park, one of the challenges would be Rhino Poachers. This has encouraged the start of our Anti Rhino Poaching wildlife conservation program run from the same base which focuses on raising awareness and funds for efforts in the conservation of Rhinos. What should a conservationist expect of daily project life?

Volunteers head out on two game drives daily and can spend up to 12 hours a day collecting data  in the heat of the African sun. Master radio telemetry techniques and learning how to track and record animal movements.  

GVI Conservation Programme, Karongwe SA

What experience and skills do you offer conservationists?

Other than what we have already mentioned above, you will live and work alongside Field Guide Association of South Africa, FGASA, qualified guides, growing personally and professionally by learning from their experiences. Upon completion we will offer you a certificate of participation as well as personal references. We also have internship options which are a way to kickstart your career in wildlife conservation - reach out to find out more! 

Do you have any exciting plans for the next 12 months?

Offering this program as part of a Virtual Internship! GVI Virtual Internships include practical work experience with a range of governments, NGOs and social enterprises in locations around the world, daily one-on-ones with an assigned mentor and weekly masterclasses delivered by local experts. 

After successful completion of the online wildlife conservation internship you’ll have:

One final piece of advice for a conservationist considering your project?

Don’t let the current global reality stop you. Get started today and make a living out of something you’re truly passionate about.

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You can find GVI's Wildlife Conservation Program in Karongwe National Park here

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