Wild rhinos could be extinct by 2030
Join our Rhino Conservation Programme in Zimbabwe
Projects for everyone
From families to mature volunteers,
we've got you covered
Ethical travel experts
Life-changing journeys that have
a genuine impact
Genuine wildlife projects
Make sure your sanctuary is ethical

International Volunteer:
Volunteer holidays overseas

Conservation Travel Africa offers life-changing international volunteer experiences throughout Southern Africa. We are dedicated to supporting ethical grassroots organisations where international volunteers have a tangible and positive impact. Our diverse selection of volunteer abroad opportunities focus on the protection of endangered and priority species, as well as wildlife rehabilitation, research and marine conservation. We also offer safari experiences and adventures off the beaten track to bring you closer to Africa’s best-kept secrets.

“Africa will change you forever,
like nowhere on earth.
Once you have been there,
you will never be the same.”
– Brian Jackman

Find the overseas volunteering experience for you

Wildlife Conservation Programs

If you want to help protect endangered species, our wildlife volunteer opportunities are the ideal choice. Through our overseas volunteering solutions, you’ll have the chance to make a meaningful difference in securing the future of vulnerable species.

Are you ready to volunteer abroad and make a difference for endangered wildlife?

Discover the perfect volunteer holiday overseas and work with wildlife today. Enquire about our volunteer abroad destinations today!

Marine Conservation Programs

Our marine conservation volunteering abroad programs blend scuba diving and oceanic exploration with the study of endangered marine species such as whale sharks, humpback whales, and sea turtles.

As an international volunteer, your efforts will center on protecting Africa’s oceans for the future. This involves gathering crucial data and engaging with the local communities who are dependent on the ocean.

Are you ready to dive into an overseas volunteering journey with marine life?

Community Volunteering

Effective wildlife conservation relies on active involvement. Our volunteer programs in community conservation are designed to provide skills training, support healthcare programs, and facilitate educational projects within local schools. 

By participating, you can immerse yourself in local life, gain insight into diverse cultures, and contribute significantly to community development.

Want to discover more about our community development volunteer trips abroad?

Family Volunteer Programs

Family-focused international volunteer projects offer children and parents a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in new cultures, encounter endangered animals in their natural habitats, and meet inspiring people.

Volunteer holidays overseas go beyond traditional vacations, offering you and your family an immersive journey.

Are you ready to volunteer abroad as a family?

Courses and Internships

If you dream of a career in wildlife conservation or veterinary science, or just want to further your knowledge, explore our selection of wildlife conservation courses and internships.

Our international internship programs provide you with a unique chance to immerse yourself in hands-on work in natural settings, learn and refine practical skills and gain an understanding of on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Contact us today if you want to make your volunteer trip abroad a course or internship.

Programs for Mature Volunteers

Participating in international volunteer programs isn’t limited to high school students, young adults and families. Individuals on career breaks, retirees, and empty nesters all have valuable life experiences, unique skills, and knowledge that can help them with their volunteer work.

Whether you’re seeking a fresh perspective or embarking on your first solo African journey, we highly encourage you to consider one of our projects tailored for mature volunteers.

Do you want more info about our volunteer holidays overseas for mature adults?

Our volunteer projects in Africa

We provide a wide variety of unique volunteer programs in Africa. Check out a few of our featured volunteer abroad programs below or hit the button to view all our experiences.

Join a unique conservation programme dedicated to the protection of the black rhino. This volunteer abroad experience will allow you to play a crucial role in securing the future of these majestic creatures.

From $950

1 - 12 weeks

Volunteer abroad and take part in vital conservation work to protect endangered wildlife in South Africa, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos and wild dogs.

From $1,625

2 - 16 weeks

Work directly with South Africa’s most experienced conservation professionals to learn advanced anti-poaching techniques and protect endangered species on our anti-poaching volunteer program.

From $1,395

7, 10, 14 days

In this volunteer trip abroad, get up-close and personal with carnivores big and small, primates and more at our busy sanctuary, learning all aspects of animal care and supporting rehabilitation.

From $1,250

2 - 12 weeks

Why choose a volunteer abroad program

Our projects are perfect for volunteers like you who want to explore the beauty of the world while making a positive impact. We believe that the most important part of volunteering is the connections you make along the way – uniting with individuals from all walks of life, experiencing different cultures, exploring nature and wildlife, and reconnecting with yourself to discover what truly matters to you.
When you volunteer overseas, you’ll open your mind to new possibilities, allowing you to learn, reflect and grow, all whilst contributing to projects that make a difference in the world, protecting Africa’s most vulnerable wildlife and local communities.
Volunteer in Africa watching rhino

Choose responsible volunteer trips

Not all volunteer organizations make for worthwhile projects, and legitimate volunteer abroad programs must openly and transparently cater to the requirements of local wildlife and communities, while also clearly outlining the direct effects of volunteer efforts.
The best volunteer abroad programs prioritise animal welfare. Exercise caution with international volunteer projects involving captive breeding of big cats and cub interactions, wildlife sanctuaries that lack documented instances of successful animal releases, and specific orphanage initiatives.

Featured blog posts

Our blogs show just a glimpse of what we achieve every day here at Conservation Travel Africa – find out what you could be a part of.

Spring special offers! Save up to 20%

Wildlife Medicine Course 2024 -
apply now!

Why you should volunteer with your family in Africa

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

Volunteer testimonials

Our partners

International Volunteer FAQs

Why choose volunteer holidays overseas?

International volunteer projects helping animals offer unique opportunities to contribute to wildlife conservation, biodiversity preservation, and animal welfare initiatives. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider volunteering:

  1. Conservation Impact: By becoming an international volunteer, you can directly contribute to the conservation of endangered species and habitats, helping to protect biodiversity and ecosystems for future generations.
  2. Hands-On Experience: Volunteering provides hands-on experience working with a diverse range of wildlife, allowing you to learn about animal behavior, ecology, and conservation techniques from experienced professionals in the field.
  3. Personal Growth: Working with animals in a different cultural and environmental context can be a transformative experience, fostering personal growth, resilience, and a deeper appreciation for nature and wildlife.
  4. Contribution to Local Communities: Many animal conservation projects in Africa also benefit local communities by providing employment opportunities, supporting sustainable livelihoods, and promoting eco-tourism, thus contributing to poverty alleviation and community development.
  5. Educational Opportunities: Volunteering often includes educational components, such as workshops, lectures, and field trips, which allow you to deepen your understanding of conservation issues and gain valuable skills that can be applied in future endeavors.
  6. Making a Difference: Overseas volunteering allows you to make a tangible difference in the lives of individual animals and contribute to larger conservation efforts aimed at safeguarding entire species and ecosystems.

Overall, becoming an international volunteer can be a rewarding and meaningful experience that allows you to connect with nature, make a positive impact, and contribute to the collective effort to protect and preserve wildlife for generations to come.

What is the role of an international volunteer?

There are a number of options for international volunteering. If you are interested in seeing endangered and threatened wildlife such as lions, elephants and rhinos, in the wild, join one of our exciting Wildlife Conservation Programs.
If you’re keen to be in the ocean, Marine Conservation will be right up your street – no prior diving experience is required and full training is given. If you’ve volunteered before and want to expand your knowledge, we offer a range of Wildlife Courses and Internships, including a Wildlife Veterinary Internship in Malawi and a Horse Riding Internship in coastal Mozambique.
Conservation volunteers will undertake activities such as wildlife monitoring, game counts, research projects, collecting and analysing data and setting camera traps, while marine volunteers might get involved with shark tagging, manta ray identification and humpback whale research.

Why become an international volunteer in Africa?

Traveling with a purpose is ideal for people who want to have an amazing experience and make a difference during their holidays or their gap years. There are a huge number of benefits to overseas volunteering, both for your own personal development and to support wildlife and communities across Africa. These benefits include:

  • Build confidence and leave your comfort zone
  • Meet new people sharing a common purpose
  • Share ideas, languages and cultures with like-minded volunteers
  • Learn new skills and gain international experience – great for your CV or resume!
  • Form new life goals and open up new possibilities
  • Return home with a new perspective and lots of great memories!

Are volunteer holidays overseas ethical?

Volunteers have a crucial role to play in the conservation of wildlife in Africa. We hold our projects to very high standards, to ensure volunteers can be sure they are only doing genuinely meaningful work which has the maximum impact.
The ethics of overseas volunteering depend on various factors, and we advise volunteers to check out the projects they are interested in carefully and ask lots of questions about how their fees are used, what volunteers are doing and why they are needed. If you’re looking to contact us for more information, key questions to ask include:

  • Why are volunteers needed?
  • What is the impact of volunteers on local communities?
  • What are the long-term goals of the program?
  • How have volunteers made a positive impact in the past?

How old do I have to be to become an international volunteer?

Most of our projects will accept solo volunteers aged 17 and over and accompanied volunteers aged 12 and above. There are no upper age limits on any of our programs! For families with younger children, we have a range of family volunteer projects that will take children generally aged five and over.

Can I volunteer with my family?

We can accommodate families on many of our volunteer programs and you will always be accommodated together at the same site and do the same activities. Children as young as five can be accommodated. Learn more about our family volunteering opportunities to find the program best suited to your family.

Can I volunteer with my school?

Yes! Many of our programs are suitable for school groups looking for international volunteer opportunities and our projects have hosted many school and university groups. Please get in touch to discuss the options suitable for your group. We can offer customised itineraries to ensure that your program is impactful and meets your own learning and development goals. Get in touch to find out more.

Can I volunteer for a week?

If you have limited holiday time, there are several short-term volunteer programs where you can stay for a week and still make an impact. We’d recommend one week as the minimum duration, to make sure you have time to settle in and get involved with as many activities as possible.

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

Fees are essential for international volunteer projects. Without adequate funding, programs would not be able to operate sustainably in the long term. Project fees cover the costs of hosting volunteers – your food, accommodation, transfers, supervision, equipment and much more. Additionally, volunteer fees contribute to the huge costs of the long-term goals of the organisation – the ongoing costs of protecting wildlife (anti-poaching staff, motorbikes, security equipment, fencing), veterinary fees, support for local communities (education, healthcare, infrastructure programs), staff costs and maintenance.
The money you pay to volunteer ensures you have a hassle-free trip – where your questions are answered quickly before you leave home; to ensure you are met and transferred in safe, roadworthy vehicles and that the equipment you need to do meaningful work is safe and maintained.

How much does it cost to volunteer?

The cost of volunteering will vary depending on where you go, what you want to do and how long you want to stay. Our program fees generally include:

  • 3 meals a day
  • Accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Staff supervision
  • Pre-arrival support and assistance

We take a low deposit to secure your place and then the balance of your fees is only due a few months before you travel. It’s possible to pay in instalments if that’s easier to budget.

Want to learn more about international volunteer opportunities?

From program fees to itineraries, our team is on hand to answer all of your questions and help find the right international volunteer program for you!

Enquire now

Jump into our

(access to exclusive offers and all the latest project news!)