About the Nature’s Valley Project
Join this hands on Volunteer Programme and help protect the environmental integrity of Nature’s Valley. Volunteers will gain experience in a wide range of skills whilst getting an insight into life as a conservationist in Africa.
Conservation Education Volunteers
Become a conservation education volunteer and take part in a grass roots project that brings real change to communities and how they see the natural resources they use. This is an opportunity to engage local school children, project partners, conservation professionals and the local community. Typical activities include:
- Event assistance and support during holiday programmes
- Environmental calendar days and other events
- Facilitation of school groups during outdoor classrooms
- Research support for updating of environmental education resources
- Planning of outdoor activities with eco clubs and school camps
- Support and assistance during community projects and events (e.g. tree planting and beach clean-ups)
Research Ecology Volunteers
As a research volunteer you will have the opportunity to join a team of acclaimed biologists with decades of experience in African conservation based research. Working 3 – 4 days a week in the field, this is the perfect insight to life as a conservationist in Africa.
Research volunteers will work on long term ecological projects, experiencing conservation based research in several different biomes and habitat types including beach, estuary, river, fynbos (shrubland or heathland vegetation), forest and urban areas. This project will give you a range of experience, working with whales, dolphins, fish, aquatic macro invertebrates, seals, marine birds, primates and more!
Free Time for Volunteers
Our conservation work generally runs in-week from Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm daily. By nature, some work involves getting up early or working late, occasionally we do work stuff on weekends – but this is all optional for volunteers.
Located in Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley you will be truly spoilt for choice in your free time. Volunteers can spend their time lounging on stretches of pristine golden beach, exploring the lagoons, estuaries and forests or experience the abundant wildlife on safari at a nearby game reserve. Whale and dolphin watching and swimming with seals also promise a once in a lifetime experience. For adrenaline junkies there is plenty of excitement on offer. The Garden Route has become a centre for adventure with shark cage diving, parasailing, the world’s highest bungy jump, mountain biking, abseiling and sky diving. There are discounts for volunteers on some of these activities, transport to them over weekends can be provided at nominal rates.
“Our approach is to identify and reduce the impact people have on local biodiversity. We do this through a combination of high quality research-driven science that guides impactful, locally relevant conservation intervention and education programmes. Our interns get hands on, gaining the necessary people skills modern day conservationists need. For example, participants have actively enabled us to reduce fishing related litter on our beaches locally by 75%, and to enable beach breeding birds to increase their breeding success by 300% in some cases.” – quote by Project Director