Volunteer in Africa

Responsible volunteering in Africa with animals

Considering volunteering in Africa on your career break? Interested in gap year volunteering? Are you wondering if taking part in volunteer work in Africa is the right choice for you?

Conservation Travel Africa connects individuals like you to ground-breaking volunteer projects in Africa, offering life-changing volunteer programs that enable you to make a real difference.

Our conservation volunteer programs provide you with the perfect adventure, so whether you’re travelling solo, volunteering with your family, are a gap year student or a mature volunteer, whether you’ve got a week or six months to spare, we’ve got the perfect African volunteer program for you.

Responsible international volunteering programs are a major contributor to overcoming the human-wildlife conflict in African countries. We offer a wide choice of volunteer projects and you can be sure that all our conservation programs are run by trustworthy volunteer organisations with proven track records.

During your chosen volunteer program, you’ll help to protect fascinating wildlife in the most incredible locations on the continent. Additionally, you will work shoulder-to-shoulder with inspirational people from all walks of life. Sharing your passion for adventure with like-minded volunteers and experienced conservationists, you’ll contribute to carefully selected wildlife and community projects.

Along the way, you’ll experience the planet’s most beautiful – and most threatened – wildlife, whilst exploring Africa’s wilderness off the beaten track.

Find your perfect volunteer project in Africa:

We offer a wide range of exciting volunteer in Africa projects. These include protecting endangered wildlife to working on sustainable development projects in local communities. Find exciting volunteering abroad opportunities and book your international volunteer trip today!

If you’re an animal-lover passionate about the protection of endangered species, our wildlife volunteer projects are a dream come true. You could contribute to rhino conservation, work with elephants, conduct marine research, receive anti-poaching training or care for orphaned animals. All to secure the future of endangered species. There has never been a better time to volunteer in Africa – let the adventure begin!

Ready to volunteer in Africa with endangered wildlife?

Our Marine conservation volunteer programs combine scuba diving and ocean exploration with research into the endangered giants of the sea. Including whale sharks, humpback whales, manta rays and sea turtles. As a marine conservation volunteer you will focus on the long-term preservation of Africa’s oceans. You will collect vital data, restore precious marine environments and experience the local community who rely on the ocean for their livelihoods and wellbeing.

Ready to start your marine volunteering adventure?

Long-term wildlife conservation is only successful if local communities are engaged, educated and positive. This can only be achieved by overcoming the daily challenges people face. Our community conservation and service programs support alternative livelihood opportunities, skills training, healthcare and educational projects at local schools. You’ll have the opportunity to experience local life and develop an understanding of local culture. Plus you’ll play a vital role in encouraging community development.

Want to learn more about community development programs?

Family volunteering gives children and parents the chance to experience different cultures, see endangered animals in the wild, meet inspirational individuals and explore a diverse range of cultures and landscapes. Family volunteering holidays offer so much more than a traditional vacation. They provide an immersive experience which everyone can enjoy. Work together on incredible projects and learn more about yourselves and each other along the way.

Ready to volunteer in Africa as a family?

Volunteering with animals in Africa is a safe and exciting way for young adults to learn about new cultures and environments, experience independent travel and become global citizens. Our volunteer projects for under 18s enable young people to develop new skills, live in local communities and gain hands-on experience with local conservation projects. Don’t let age be a barrier to your discovery of the world!

Ready to volunteer in Africa as an under 18?

Volunteering with animals in Africa isn’t just for gap year students and young adults. Career break travelers, retirees and empty nesters all bring life experience, unique skills, knowledge and time to share with other volunteers. So if you’re looking to experience Africa in a different way or want to undertake your first solo African adventure, we thoroughly recommend one of our senior volunteer projects.

Ready to volunteer in Africa as a mature traveler?

What makes our volunteer projects unique?

We have strict policies regarding the wildlife conservation projects we support. We offer a carefully selected selection of some of the best African volunteer program opportunities, all of which are run by organisations that meet our stringent ethical volunteer guidelines.

This means that all our volunteers can be sure that their contribution is supporting genuine conservation projects that work for the greater good of Africa’s animals and communities. At least one member of our team has visited or worked at all of our Africa volunteer programs. The projects we offer were all founded on long-term environmental and community principles and designed to benefit everyone, from wildlife to volunteers, domestic animals and the local community. We believe in building economies which place increased value on wildlife and environmental conservation.

Featured volunteer programs in Africa

Rhino & Elephant

Join a unique conservation program in Zimbabwe, dedicated to the protection of the black rhino. Play a vital role in securing the future of these iconic animals.

From $950
1 - 8 weeks

Endangered Wildlife

Support a conservation project to protect endangered species in South Africa. You’ll get the chance to see lions, leopards, cheetahs, rhinos and wild dogs.

From $1,625
2 - 16 weeks

Wildlife Warriors
Anti-Poaching Training

Gain practical experience in anti-poaching techniques, learning from South Africa‘s most experienced conservation professionals.

From $1,395
7 - 14 days

Community Outreach,
Victoria Falls

Volunteer in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and support grassroots action, building strong communities through livelihood development and education projects.

From $850
1 - 12 weeks

Why volunteer in Africa?

Volunteers like you are a vital part of our work – without you, we couldn’t achieve our vision to preserve Africa’s wildlife heritage through long-term positive impact projects. Volunteering in Africa enables you to work with iconic species, contribute to their survival and immerse yourself in Africa’s wild areas.

Wildlife conservation is most effective alongside community engagement. So, volunteering with us also gives you the chance to work alongside communities, appreciate other cultures and participate in outreach projects.

Volunteer with three elephants at wildlife sanctuary
Volunteers in Namibia building a wall for construction projects

Who can volunteer in Africa?

Volunteering in Africa is not just for college students. Increasingly, families and mature travellers are looking for new adventures that allow them to experience what Africa has to offer and immerse themselves in a whole new world.

Our projects offer something for everyone, where volunteers of all ages will meet like-minded people from all walks of life. Together you will collaborate to contribute to long-term, sustainable programs.

Responsible travel in Africa

Not every volunteer organization offers good volunteer projects. Conservation projects should openly and transparently address the needs of both the local wildlife and community and clearly explain the direct impact of their volunteer activities.

Be wary of projects that breed big cats in captivity and allow cub interactions. Steer clear of wildlife sanctuaries that do not have documented successful animal releases and avoid certain orphanage projects.

Black rhino with enormous horn and calf

Our mission

Our mission is to connect travellers with responsible and ethical African wildlife conservation programs and community projects, and to provide life-changing journeys that have a genuine impact. Are you ready to join us and restore balance and harmony in some of the world’s most eclectic ecosystems?

We are the ethical travel Africa experts

Ensuring that we provide ethical volunteer programs in Africa that allow international volunteers to experience diverse cultures, and offer the chance to help local communities and wildlife while travelling abroad, is of the highest importance to us.

Contact us today and begin a life-changing journey that makes a difference.

Common questions about volunteering with animals in Africa

How do I go about starting to volunteer in Africa?

Applying to volunteer in Africa is easy. Take a look through our projects and then send us an application form online. There is no commitment required at this stage. Our travel consultants will then guide you through the next steps to book your place and start preparing for your volunteer program.

How much money do you need to volunteer in Africa?

Our volunteer in Africa projects range in price so you’ll be sure to find the perfect option to suit your budget. All our program fees include essentials such as your accommodation, meals, and the cost of fuel to transport you and your fellow volunteers around. We also recommend spending money to cover personal expenses such as souvenirs and internet usage.

Is it safe to volunteer in Africa?

Hundreds of Conservation Travel Africa volunteers travel to Africa each year and encounter no issues. At each project, local staff are trained in first aid and there are always Emergency Action Plans and Risk Assessments in place in case of any accidents or emergencies.

The likelihood of encountering security or safety issues during your time volunteering in Africa is extremely low. We recommend that you exercise the same level of caution as you would in any economically disadvantaged country, such as avoiding wearing excessive or expensive jewellery and keeping a close eye on your belongings. It’s also a good idea to refrain from traveling after dark, primarily due to potential hazards like wildlife and potholes, rather than personal safety concerns.

What projects can  I work on if I volunteer in Africa?

We offer a range of projects that primarily focus on indigenous wildlife conservation. We offer wildlife sanctuary volunteering where you can focus on animal care projects. If being in the wilderness is your thing, we have wildlife conservation projects based in huge National Parks where you’ll be in with a chance of spotting the Big 5. We also provide marine conservation programs, taking you into the land of underwater creatures. If you would like to enhance your CV or undertake a course or internship for your own knowledge, we offer a ranger of Wildlife Courses and Veterinary Internships to widen your skills and help with career decisions.

We also offer community-focused volunteer projects in which volunteers will collaborate with community leaders on projects important within their own communities. These might involve skills training, early childhood development, or conversational English sessions with older children.

Can I volunteer in Africa with my family?

Yes! Family volunteering is one of our passions. As parents ourselves, we believe that enabling children to experience nature and wild animals is critical to their development. We offer a range of family volunteer programs in Africa, taking children from as young as 5.

Our Family Volunteer Programs in Africa

Where can I volunteer in Africa?

We offer projects across a number of countries in Southern Africa. Take a look at the links below to find individual projects in each country:

Volunteer Programs in Malawi

Volunteer Programs in Mozambique

Volunteer Programs in Namibia

Volunteer Programs in South Africa

Volunteer Programs in Zimbabwe

Is volunteering in Africa suitable for me?

Volunteers of various age groups and backgrounds from all over the world choose to volunteer in Africa on one of our projects. Each individual brings a unique set of experiences, and our mix of participants is diverse. These volunteers typically include gap year students, those on career breaks, retirees looking to use their new free time to explore the world, university and school groups, and even couples enjoying their honeymoon.

Regardless of whether you can commit to a one-week break at a world class wildlife reserve or a longer immersion in our volunteer work in Africa, we’re sure that we have the perfect project for you. We welcome volunteers with varying levels of skills and expertise, all you need is enthusiasm and passion, ideas, flexibility, and patience. 

What animals will I encounter when I volunteer in Africa?

Whether you are interested in elephants, lions, monkeys or meerkats, most iconic African animals are represented throughout our volunteer programs. For a wide range of animals in a close-knit private conservancy, take a look at our Rhino & Elephant Program in Zimbabwe. If you’re more interested in the smaller creatures, our Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary Program will be right up your street! If you want to be in the wilderness where animals are truly wild and the Big 5 are on your doorstep, look no further than our Endangered Species Conservation Program in South Africa.

Enquire about our African volunteer programs now!

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