Our Big 5 Conservation project researches lion, elephant and rhino populations as well as contributing to the conservation and management of a game reserve in South Africa.
Volunteers complete Bush Craft training concentrating on animal behaviour, orientation and navigation as well as basic bush skills, GPS and GIS techniques. You will work alongside experienced guides to collect vital data on the elephants, rhinos, lions and other predators. Research is used to track populations as well as to create conservation plans for predators and herbivores on the reserve.
The project is based in a unique ecosystem that is home to free roaming wildlife close to an urban area. The reserve houses the Big 5 (elephant, lion, rhinos, buffalo and leopard). It also boasts cheetah and brown hyena and a large variety of antelope, zebra and giraffe.
Since the reserve opened in 2012, the conservation project has aimed to research issues surrounding human-wildlife coexistence, they have played a vital role in conserving the ecosystem and work closely with rangers to manage the reserve.
Each day will differ and volunteer tasks may include:
- Predator monitoring
- Conservation research
- Game reserve management
When you arrive at the project you will receive an introduction to the camp and the surrounding area. Throughout your first week you will have Bush Craft training concentrating on animal behaviour, orientation and navigation as well as basic bush skills, GPS and GIS techniques. The training also includes modules on animal, tree and bird identifications during game drives and bush interpretation skills such as spoor identification, tracking and animal behaviour during game walks.