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Kariega Big Five Game Reserve Volunteer Programme, South Africa

1 - 12 weeks from

minimum age

  • Volunteers in a Big Five Game Reserve in South Africa
  • Help to research and track elephants, rhinos and lions
  • Live and work in the middle of a stunning game reserve
  • Spend one day a week in the local township doing community work

Volunteer lounge at Kariega

Food, Lodging and Travel

You will be lodged in a fully furnished house on the reserve (shared bedrooms and bathrooms). Volunteers are divided into teams and are responsible for the preparation of meals on a rotational basis. There are plenty of opportunities for braai’s (BBQ’s) under the night skies and socialising around a fire. There is a lovely plunge-pool for volunteers to cool off in after a hard day’s work and a pool table in the house. Please bear in mind that the house is in the middle of a “Big Five” game reserve, so therefore one cannot walk outside the boundaries of the garden fence.

Bedroom at volunteer house in KariegaWorking Hours & Free Time

The working week at Kariega is from Monday to Friday. Working hours depend on the season and may vary from 7 – 9 hours per day. The evenings are at your leisure. Saturdays are reserved for a town trip (either to Kenton-On-Sea, Port Alfred or Grahamstown) where volunteers can do their shopping, eat out, visit all the sites of the local towns. Sundays are off time.

Kenton-On-Sea is a beautiful small coastal town only 15 minutes drive from the reserve. The beaches are absolutely breath taking and pristine. Your local “hang-out” is a pub / restaurant overlooking this stunning beach! After your Saturday morning shopping in Kenton (volunteers can stock up on everyday essentials), volunteers often laze around on the beach, swim in the waves or sit in the beach bar while sipping away on a cold drink and taking in the scenery. There are also additional activities that can be organised for you on a Saturday (at your own cost and on condition that a few others in the group also want to partake in the activity), including:

Volunteers horse riding at Kenton on Sea in free timeHorseback riding on the beach or in a game reserve
Sky diving – tandem (that means you are strapped to an instructor!)
Deep sea fishing
Two day canoe trail on the Kowie river (this is a hit with many of our volunteer groups)
Addo Elephant National Park field trip
eekend trips away can include bungee jumping, canopy tours and shark cage diving

Conservation volunteer requirements:

  • Volunteers around the fire at KariegaVolunteers should be 17 to 40 years old (18 to 24 yrs being the average).   Volunteers under 16 years old are only considered when accompanied by a parent/guardian.  Anyone over 35 yrs will be asked to complete a mature volunteers questionnaire, to assess suitability in terms of group dynamics and age ranges for the dates in question.
  • Interest/field of study: conservation, environmental science, wildlife management, ecology or wildlife biology, wildlife journalism, wildlife photography, veterinary science, animal behaviour studies.
  • Personal qualities of flexibility and adaptability.
  • Self-motivated: a carefully structured full programme is provided each week, but volunteers need to be adaptable to some programme changes depending on variables in the running of the project. Free time is also factored in, and volunteers need to be independent and mature enough to make constructive use of such recreational time.

Yellow weaver bird in South AfricaHow to get there
You need to arrange to fly to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa – connecting flights from Johannesburg.  The Game Reserve is a two hours drive from Port Elizabeth (140 kms) and you can get collected and dropped off at the Reserve at an extra cost. 

Passport and visa
A valid passport with at least 2 blank pages in it, is necessary to enter South Africa. Since visa requirements vary from country to country, please check with your local embassy as to whether a visa is required to enter South Africa.

Kariega Big Five Game Reserve Volunteer Programme, South Africa

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