Conservation and animal care don’t take holidays, and it’s certainly not too late to book a volunteer experience for the festive period. So if you want to volunteer over Christmas or the New Year, take a look at our selection of projects below – your assistance is definitely needed!
The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary needs volunteers year-round, to look after the small and large animals in their care. This wildlife sanctuary programme relies on volunteers to support local staff in all aspects of animal care, enriching the lives of the long-term residents, and working on rehabilitation strategies for those destined for release. Volunteers are responsible for daily food preparation and feeding, habitat enrichment, orphan care and health checks. Volunteers also collect research data on rehabilitated animals, monitor released animals and undertake game counts within the reserve.
Again, the work never stops when it comes to the human-wildlife conflict, and the Carnivore Conservation programme also operates year-round. December is a lovely time to be in the desert, as the occasional summer rains bring out the wild flowers and grasses, giving the desert a unique bloom. Volunteers assist research staff in the monitoring and tracking of the large carnivore and mammal populations in the heart of the Namib Desert. The Desert Retreat site is dedicated to studies of wild hyena, plus land rehabilitation and studies of the local desert ecosystems. The Winelands site is home to highly adapted wildlife including cheetah and leopard. Volunteers at both sites will record wildlife information, conduct game counts, collect data and experience desert living.
In South Africa:
Rhino poaching never takes a holiday, and our Anti-Poaching Training Course will also run through December and January. The course covers wildlife identification, animal behaviour and big game tracking skills, plus anti-poaching techniques and procedures, firearms handling and the background behind the poaching industry and trade in illegal wildlife, from local communities to international organised crime syndicates. You will also learn about ecological relationships, wildlife law and bush survival. You will live in a remote wilderness camp, in an area heavily populated with white rhino.
This project is an unforgettable wildlife experience, where your long days out in the bush, tracking big game, are rewarded with incredible animal sitings. Volunteers in South Africa focus on the intensive monitoring of priority species, including African wild dog, cheetah, rhino, lion, elephant, leopard and vulture. Tracking of endangered species is a critical step in conservation, to keep track of movement patterns, demographics, populations and poaching. Volunteers are based at one of five unique locations in South Africa, and the research work is vital to the success of conservation activities.
Be a wildlife sanctuary volunteer in Malawi and support the wildlife in one of Africa’s poorest nations. Volunteer duties include animal husbandry (cleaning, feeding and enrichment), orphan care, veterinary clinic support and animal observations. You will also get involved with individual animals re-integrations, reintroductions and release strategies – the most rewarding part of any stay, as wildlife are released, safe and well, back into their natural environment. Get your hands dirty this Christmas, work hard and make new animal friends!
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