from £695 GBP
Duration: from 2 Weeks to 12 Weeks
Countries: South Africa£75 discount for volunteers who combine more than one PoD project! Work hands on with elephants whilst contributing to a really worthwhile ongoing research project. Live in a beautiful 110 hectare park located on the Garden Route
A fantastic opportunity to work hands on with elephants as well as helping an active research team. The project introduces you to the magnificent African Elephant; you will be caring for these animals as well as researching them creating the elephant experience of a lifetime!
The project allows you to work closely with the elephants on a daily basis. This creates an awe-inspiring experience as you will be contributing to all aspects of elephant research, education, husbandry and conservation. As you are based in a large park, volunteers are able to get involved in all aspects including research, marketing, functions, maintenance, training, and guiding.
The research you do will contribute to ongoing research at the park. This is necessary as there is a significant lack of research carried out on captive elephants in South Africa. The project is also ideally located along the Garden Route which offers great prospects for your free time and it the ideal place to start a longer travelling trip.
A typical day:
Volunteer jobs are varied but include the following elephant care tasks:
*Preparing food for the elephants
*Preparing milk bottles and feeding baby elephants (this will depend on when volunteers are at the park and if there are any babies at the time)
*General maintenance eg mucking out pens, general cleaning, painting
*Helping elephant guides during tours
*Assisting with veterinary care (when necessary)
One of the volunteers main activities will be assisting with research, this depends on the research being conducted at the time but could include monitoring behaviour, recording social interactions, night time observations, botanical surveys, studying feeding behaviour, dung, urine and other sampling for analysis, data input and analysis and the compilation of educational presentations.
Volunteers are an important part of the park and its research unit. They enable the park to include more animals in their studies and to study these animals for longer periods of time.
Having volunteers to assist with the research has allowed the park to include additional projects into their schedule. The knowledge gained from this research adds to the advice they are able to provide for the optimal care and management of captive elephants.
Volunteers help the elephant staff to feed and care for twelve elephants which is no small task!
There is also a personal satisfaction gained when the elephants start to recognise you and trust you; you will become part of the herd! Volunteers act as ambassadors for the park and its elephants by helping to spread the word about elephants and their research, welfare and conservation issues.
£75 discount for volunteers who combine more than one PoD project!
All the time
This placement would suit:
Anyone who would like to work with elephants
Do you accept non UK citizens?
Do you accept applicants with disabilities?
“Our time spent at the park was truly amazing. As a volunteer you are involved in all aspects of the elephants care and well-being. It gave us a true insight into the herd dynamics and psychology which we would never have gained any other way. Truly recommend this project!”
accommodation, airport pickup
PoD is a leading non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world. We work with long term projects that we know personally and where there is genuine benefit to local communities. Whether it is for 1 week or 6 months, volunteers are needed to help work with disadvantaged children, communities, animals and conservation projects in Belize, Cambodia, Ghana, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.