Phinda Wildlife Research Project

African Conservation Experience  »  Phinda Wildlife Research Project

Phinda Wildlife Research Project

from £2,860
Duration: from 2 weeks to 8 weeks
Countries: South Africa
Experience the work that goes on behind the scenes of a successful wildlife safari reserve by working alongside the park ranger and researcher.

Phinda Wildlife Research Project

Work with field researchers in a Big Five Safari reserve.

Few reserves in Africa have the biodiversity Phinda Game Reserve offers. This vast tract of bush, riverine area and rare sand forest is home to dynamic populations of elephants, lion, white and black rhino, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, wildebeest, buffalo and antelope. An area formerly depleted in wildlife, large mammal reintroduction has allowed for the development of this stunning reserve. You can join the research team at Phinda dedicated to the management of this ecosystem.

What will I do?

Sandwiched between the warm Indian Ocean, St Lucia lake and the Lebombo mountains, join an experienced research team at Phinda Game Reserve and be involved in;

  • Work alongside a research team on this Big 5 reserve
  • Monitor over 100 white rhinos, developing a detailed population database
  • Assist with the behavioural studies and introduction of black rhino on the reserve
  • Behavioural studies and population dynamics of predator populations
  • Cheetah, leopard and lion studies
  • Help with elephant population monitoring

Working hours:

You will generally work 6 days a week, with Sundays free, when you might have the option of going to the beach. The daily schedule varies heavily depending on the research objectives at the time.


A rustic farmhouse on the reserve is set aside for research staff (including two anti poaching staff) and volunteers. Running water and electricity can occasionally be intermittent due to the remoteness of the reserve.

You will be provided with a weekly food kitty to do your own shopping and cooking on a rotational basis with the other volunteers. The house is equipped with a fridge, freezer, stove, oven and microwave.

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. African Conservation Experience should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.


Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £2,860 to £6,930

Duration Details:

Between 2 - 12 weeks


Includes return international flights from London, in-country flight transfers, meals, accommodation, all project-related costs and in-country and logistical support.


All the time

This placement would suit:

Those wanting to acquire zoology research skills or experience life as a researcher as part of a small team studying the huge biodiversity of this stunning game reserve.

Do you accept non UK citizens?


User Comments:

“I have just come back from 2 weeks at Phinda, it was so awesome I wish I could have stayed longer! Every day is different, but the basic schedule was in the land rover at 6am, try to find certain animals (elephant, white rhino, cheetah, lion, buffalo, etc), work out who they are, who they are with, and what they are doing; back at the house for lunch/rest; on the road again at 3ish, back around 7-8ish. But the schedule changes all the time! I got to see a few lion dartings, track leopard, and when I left they were planning some rhino dartings. The people were great, it’s a very relaxed environment, and the animal sightings are fantastic. You won’t be disappointed.”

~ by Jennifer Palframan

About African Conservation Experience

Have you ever dreamed of tracking wild leopard and cheetah through the bush, or assisting a marine biologist in whale and dolphin research? 

Open your eyes to a whole new world and way of looking at the natural environment.  We support vital conservation projects in our heritage region of southern Africa and with over 10 years experience we are able to offer every volunteer the benefits of our personal knowledge.  

Members of the Year Out Group and ATOL bonded.

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Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. African Conservation Experience should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

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