Requirements

  • Minimum duration of program is from 2 weeks
  • Minimum age is 18 years

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What our volunteers had to say

I was a volunteer for 11 weeks and absolutely fell in love with the project, the location and the animals.

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Rhino Monitoring & Research

Conservation

This Game Reserve was the first private reserve to be chosen in the black rhino range-expansion project where the rare black rhinos were removed from national parks onto safer private land for protection. The reserve is privileged to be home to these critically endangered animals. The project is passionate and dedicated towards the conservation and protection of both black and white rhinos, which are under increasing threat from poachers for their horns.

As part of their new black rhino project initiative, volunteers will have the opportunity to accompany and aide a staff member for a full day out on the reserve, with the primary objective of tracking, locating, gathering and logging information on black rhinos. By keeping an active eye on the rhinos, their behaviour and their health, volunteers help increase their protection while contributing to the knowledge of Selati's overall rhino population. The black rhino monitoring project is an additional, exceptional adventure that allows all the volunteers to genuinely experience the African bush and animals more intimately. The rhino monitoring activity is available throughout the duration of the stay on a rotary basis with other interested volunteers. The traditional project will continue to operate as normal and will still conduct the regular two game drives per day to monitor lions, elephants, white rhinos, leopards and other species of interest.

The Game Reserve was proclaimed as a conservancy in 2003 and added more than 30,000ha to conservation close to the Kruger National Park. The overall aim of the research is conservation and wildlife monitoring on the reserve, with the particular focus on lions and black and white rhinos, so that accurate and informed decisions can be made to manage the animals, their prey and their habitat. The project aims to determine the impact of reintroduced large mammals on game reserves and to help with their management and conservation.

Who you will be volunteering with

The Game Reserve is a collection of 13 neighboring game ranches that united to preserve and sustain the biodiversity of this wildlife-rich region. The volunteer program provides valuable and accurate research services for this beautiful non-commercial game reserve. The information gained from the research and monitoring is used to maintain a healthy ecosystem and restore this land to its original state. The information is obtained through an intensive predator and wildlife monitoring program, which offers the volunteer an incredible opportunity to learn about and contribute to conservation in one of the most diverse wildlife sanctuaries in South Africa.

The monitoring activity is possible thanks to the collars worn by some of the large predators and herbivores. Collars are very useful to track the animals in an efficient way, spending less time on traveling and more time on research in the field.

Your Involvement

Hand on Rhino

Volunteers participate actively in the research, monitoring and reserve management operations, developing new skills and learning how to use scientific instruments such as GPS and the radio telemetry to locate the animals; as a volunteer you will be taught how to collect record and analyse the data and learn about the African wildlife, animal identification and animal behaviour.
In addition, you may have the special opportunity to participate in the collaring operations of the animals and to be present at other veterinary activities.

Volunteers will also help actively with research in the field, by each taking an important role including map reading, GPS operation, farm management activities, data input and radio telemetry both on drive and back at base.

Learn while you have An Adventure with a Purpose On African Soil

What you will gain from your experience

During your stay you will be the real protagonists in helping to collect and insert data, which forms the major part of the research, taking part in activities including:

  • Determine and monitor predator numbers in the Game Reserve including lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and cheetahs
  • Monitor the feeding behaviour, prey selection, kill frequencies, and theecological impact of lion and other predators in the reserve
  • Monitor the social dynamics of the Game Reserve's resident lion population
  • Monitor the spatial movements and territories of predators and mega herbivores in the reserve
  • Habituate elephants and develop their identification kits
  • Monitor the conditions, the health and the position of white and black rhino in the reserve. The project is very active in the protection and conservation of the rhino
  • Collar and habituate resident leopards
  • Learn to identify and record the animals
  • Utilization of scientific instruments such as GPS and radio telemetry to locate and record the animals
  • Reserve and farm management activities such as alien plant removal, road clearing and maintenance
  • In addition, once or twice per week, FGASA lectures on different topics (decided with input from the volunteers) where you can learn about the different aspects of bush life from Arthropods to Animal Behaviour.

Other experiences to be had with this project:

Kruger National Park / The Panorama Route / Blyde River Canyon -  Three Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Pothole, Lisbon Waterfall, God’s Window, Berlin Waterfall and Mac Mac Falls / Blydespoort Dam / Koppie(rocky outcrop) climbing / Sleep out under the amazing stars / Bush walks with the ranger / Night drives