Volunteer in South Africa

Language: English

Currency: South African Rand

Time: UTC +2

Capital: Pretoria

Responsible volunteering in South Africa

South Africa epitomises Africa’s iconic wildlife and natural beauty. From the deserts of the Kalahari, to bustling Cape Town and its rolling winelands and Table Mountain, to the wild beauty of the Drakensburg Mountains, and of course, Kruger National Park and its wildlife-filled savannah.

South Africa volunteer opportunities

Endangered Wildlife Conservation

Support award-winning conservation work to protect endangered and vulnerable wildlife in South Africa. Monitor priority species including lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, elephant and African wild dog.

The volunteer project is based in Zululand, one of the most biodiverse wildlands in Africa, much of it declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and considered to be the birthplace of wildlife conservation in Africa.

Wildlife Warriors Anti-Poaching Training

Gain practical experience in anti-poaching techniques, and work alongside conservation professionals to understand the challenges facing those dedicated to protecting Africa’s endangered species.

Gain an in-depth understanding of wildlife behaviour, identify the tracks and signs of humans and animals and learn anti-poaching patrol procedures. Actively work with local communities and contribute to the protection of vulnerable species.

Intensive Anti-Poaching Ranger Training

Join the dedicated teams working on the frontline to protect Africa’s most iconic and endangered wildlife.

The programme consists of a 6-week intensive training course that will test your physical and mental endurance. Successful recruits will then be deployed on active duty with patrols in Big 5 reserves across South Africa. Have you got what it takes?

Why volunteer in South Africa with Conservation Travel Africa?

Not all volunteer organizations are the same, but we pride ourselves on our commitment to ethical volunteer projects. When you choose to volunteer in South Africa with us, you’ll rest easy in the knowledge that we prioritise the needs of wildlife and the local community.

South Africa gallery

South Africa Volunteering FAQs

Where can I volunteer in South Africa?

Our volunteer projects in South Africa are based in large conservation areas such as the wilderness of Zululand; we also run projects in the beautiful game-rich Waterberg region, about 4 hours north west of Johannesburg and in reserves across the Limpopo area.

What do volunteers do in South Africa?

Volunteers in South Africa can choose from a range of volunteer programs including Wildlife Monitoring, Endangered Species Conservation, Anti-Poaching Courses and Ranger Training Programs. Wildlife Conservation volunteering in South Africa will generally involve working on programs dedicated to protecting wildlife and the environment, monitoring and documenting the behaviour of wild animals, collecting data, tracking wildlife and setting up camera traps.

You may get to work with iconic African wildlife such as elephants, lions, rhinos, big cats and African wild dogs.

Our Anti-Poaching courses are perfect for those who want to take an active role in protecting wildlife, or if you just want to learn more about the challenges facing conservationists in South Africa.

If you’re interested in becoming an animal volunteer in South Africa, we can definitely assist!

Is South Africa safe for volunteers?

Sometimes the news that comes out of South Africa isn’t always positive. There is an image of the country being violent and dangerous and a place where you could be bitten by a snake or get malaria. South Africa is a wild and wonderful place full of exciting wildlife, spectacular scenery, vast wilderness areas and incredible cultures.

When you volunteer in South Africa there will be people looking out for you who are experienced with keeping volunteers safe and healthy. If you respect the advice you are given by your bookings coordinator and project leaders and exercise the same precautions that you would at home, you will be in the best hands.

As long as you are aware and sensible, you will have a memorable, life-changing and most importantly, safe, experience when you volunteer in South Africa.

What animals can I volunteer with in South Africa?

The main focus species on our wildlife conservation programs in South Africa will include elephants, cheetahs, lions and African Wild dogs. Other priority species include black and white rhinos, leopards and vultures. Our Anti-Poaching volunteers will protect the full range of African wildlife.

Do I need a visa when volunteering in South Africa?

Most nationalities do not require a tourist visa to be organised in advance for stays of 90 days or less. This is a useful link to the Department of Home Affairs website – www.dha.gov.za (click on Immigration Services and then on Non-Exempt Countries). If you do need a visa in advance of travel, please let us know. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your date of departure and we recommend you have at least four blank pages. We recommend travelling with a printed and electronic copy of your passport.

How much does it cost to volunteer in South Africa?

We suggest allowing around $50-$100 a week when volunteering in South Africa. The cost of eating out, food from supermarkets and activities is generally lower than other countries. Credit and debit cards are welcomed in the majority of food and leisure establishments. Other costs will include:

– Program fees

– Flight tickets

– Travel Insurance

– Transfers and travel costs

Who can volunteer in South Africa?

Our volunteer programs in South Africa are open to people aged 17 and over and many of our projects in other countries also accept volunteers aged 16 and over. To join a project, check you meet the minimum age requirements and apply! We also offer volunteer programs in Africa for families, with activities specially suited to family volunteers.

There is no upper age limit to volunteer in South Africa. The skills and experience of mature volunteers are much needed across all our volunteer programs.

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