Private Big 5 Game Reserve Research Initiative
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live and work on a big 5 game reserve in Africa? Here is your opportunity- this project will allow you to experience working and learning from a dedicated conservation research team on a beautiful South African big 5 game reserve close to the Kruger National Park, assist with obtaining critical data for the management and ongoing conservation efforts on the reserve, get hands on with various big game projects taking place on the reserve and do your bit in contributing to wildlife conservation.
The conservation and research effort at our selected game reserve provides an amazing opportunity for you to live and work on a beautiful South African game reserve, directly contributing to the ongoing research and management. Our programme is carried out by scientists, ecologists, wildlife managers and qualified guides. The Wildlife likely to be encountered includes lion, leopard, elephant, white and black rhino, cheetah, spotted hyena, sable, eland, reedbuck, kudu, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, nyala, black-backed jackal, and several smaller antelope. Birdlife in the reserve is prolific (current recorded sightings at 300 different species). The research initiative has two sides, the researchers and the volunteers. The researchers have a specific project that they are required to collect data for, usually for a degree whereas the volunteers aid in collecting data for the ongoing monitoring and research topics on this reserve, very close to the Kruger National Park
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeVolunteer Research, Wildlife
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
Situated in Limpopo, close to the Kruger National Park, the programs host Game Reserve is a place of rare value. With an unusually low human footprint, this beautiful, undeveloped 27 000 ha private conservancy offers unique opportunities to participate in the scientific research needed to understand, conserve and enhance the biodiversity of its complex ecosystem, home to a huge variety of South African wildlife.
Synopsis of the volunteer program:
The volunteer programme seeks to support the reserve’s management in monitoring the fauna and flora species, in order to sustainably manage the ecosystems through sound conservation practices. Volunteers will have the chance to work alongside professionals in the field gaining valuable experience and learning about all aspects of the African bush. Volunteering on this game reserve will give you the chance to encountered lion, leopard, elephant, white and black rhino, cheetah, spotted hyaena, sable, eland, reedbuck, kudu, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, nyala, jackal, and much much more.
• Meals. (Personal snacks are not included.)
• Tea, Coffee & Cordials.
• Laundry service.
• All activities on the Game Reserve.
• Private paramedic service.
• Free transfers from camp; to Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport, Hoedspruit town or the Ashton Tours Shuttle
bus service drop off point at Three Bridges restaurant – on Mondays only.
• Travel and medical insurance.
• Any related travel costs such as visas.
• Vaccinations and medications.
• Transfers/transport to the Game Reserve on days other than Mondays.
• Any group excursions.
• Any accommodation before and/or after the stay.
• Special beverages (beers, ciders, soda drinks, bottled water).
• Personal kit and equipment.
– Daily Itinerary
Each day is different from the last with a wide variety of research and wildlife monitoring activities. A usual day would be a morning game drive starting at around 6:30am with an objective (lion monitoring for example), back to the research camp for lunch and some free time, before heading back out into the bush around 3pm. It all depends on the objective however usually between 3-5 hours per drive, however some days we might be out all day and have lunch in the field, or go out later in the evening for a night drive.
The research personnel are accommodated in a comfortable house located in the south of the reserve overlooking rocky outcrops. The sleeping arrangements consist of two people sharing a room. Women and men do not share rooms unless booked as a couple. People requesting single accommodation are required to pay a supplement.
Free transfers to and from Hoedspruit Town, Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport or the Ashton Tours Shuttle bus service drop off point at Three Bridges restaurant (Mondays only).
Usually a 90 day visitor’s visa is granted upon entry. However, please consult South African Immigration before booking your visit.
The host Game Reserve is in a low risk malaria area. Please consult your medical doctor for more advice.
Yes, free wifi will be available at the research base.
Travel insurance including medical cover is mandatory
Yes, a free laundry service including ironing is available
Summer temperatures average around 35-37°C during the day, dropping to 20 -25°C (68 – 77°F) at night. Winter temperatures can fall as low as 4°C at night and average between 18 – 25°C during the day. Occasional winter showers prevail but are unusual. Rain in the summer takes the form of heavy thunder-showers or frontal rainfall over longer periods of time.