Conservation Volunteer Projects in South Africa and Botswana
- Placement location: Wild At Tuli, Botswana
- Role: To help conserve, study biodiversity and maintain the reserve
- Main Research Focus: Elephants, baobab trees, inventory of fauna and flora
- Local Environment: African Bush
- Accommodation: Volunteer tents at base camp
- Price: From
- What's included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What's not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 1 week
- Start dates: Flexible
You can take part in a Conservation & Environment project in South Africa on our nature reserve called Wild At Tuli. You will be based on the Botswana side of the Limpopo River, on the very frontier with South Africa. This is the chance of a lifetime to experience living in a wild landscape teeming with animals.
The project involves different reserves and environmental groups in South Africa and Botswana working together. We look to conserve wildlife and bush ecosystems, and to share knowledge about the diversity of the area. Volunteers can help to conserve animals from hyenas to elephants, and many other African species. All of this takes place in an incredible location with skilled and experienced supervision from local staff.
This project is perfect for anyone with a passion for nature and the great outdoors. It offers you adventure and the chance to learn about the fascinating world of African Bushveld Conservation. You do not need previous experience to take part in this project. Volunteers are welcome on a gap year, a career break, for university research, or as part of a summer holiday.
Here you will find answers to the following questions:
What is my role on this Conservation & Environment project?
Volunteers on this project can take part in a wide variety of activities, such as:
- Elephant research studying population dynamics
- Baobab tree surveys and protection
- Soil erosion control
- Removal of old fencing wire
- Dam building and protection
- Helping construct natural water holes for animals
- Mammal and bird inventory using: visual sightings at observation points, camera traps and identification of tracks and signs
- Building viewing hides
- Clearing and repairing existing roads and designing and marking new roads
- Anti-poaching patrols
- Learning skills in animal and plant identification
Volunteers on average work five or six hours a day; four hours of more strenuous work in the cooler morning and two in the late afternoon. The middle of the day is normally devoted to eating, sleeping, swimming, relaxing and keeping cool!
The work is divided up amongst all of our volunteers using a weekly timetable. Trained local staff are on hand to supervise activities and provide support.
What are the aims of this Conservation & Environment project?
The project aims to create a protected conservancy, bringing together Projects Abroad Wild At Tuli and other reserves in the area to create a central Tuli block. Once this is achieved we can join a Trans Frontier Conservation Area, consisting of conservation blocks from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. This is an exciting new initiative, combining conservation efforts across international boundaries - including game reserves, national parks and conservation areas. It is all for the benefit of wildlife, local people and future generations.
Drought, illegal hunting, desertification and land degradation are major environmental problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Reserves like Wild At Tuli are essential havens for wildlife. Human encroachment onto wild areas has caused wildlife populations to decrease. This adds to the importance of legally protecting land to ensure the survival of African wildlife and preserving land in its natural state.
Wild At Tuli reserve is 5000 hectares and the conservation efforts are continuous. Volunteers will find themselves getting involved in a wide variety of different on-going projects. Data collected across these projects is used to gain a greater understanding of the populations and their ecology, which is passed on to various co-operating groups. By joining forces we can create one powerful voice with an aim of conserving a big enough land mass to allow the original migratory routes of large indigenous mammals.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Botswana Conservation Management Plan.
Where will I live on this project?
You will live on the Botswana side of the Limpopo River, on the frontier with South Africa. Accommodation at base camp is in 6 person, single-sex tents surrounding an open air communal area with a fire pit and kitchen facilities. This is where volunteers spend their evenings socialising under a magical night sky, watching dancing flames.
In your spare time at the camp, you can relax under the shade of the nearby trees with a good book. Some volunteers simply like to watch a magnificent African sunset or sunrise from one of the view points from the fire place. Due to the absolute wildness of this reserve, volunteers are never to leave camp without a qualified member of staff. A staff member, with one volunteer, will make weekly trips to town to help re-stock the fridge and get hold of anything you've been craving since the last trip.
Please note that the maximum length of stay on this Conservation project is 3 months, and it’s preferred that volunteers arrive on a Monday. The project also closes for 3 weeks over Christmas, from about the middle of December to early January.
You can join the Conservation & Environment project in South Africa for one, two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely on a variety of conservation activities please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. Volunteers joining the Conservation & Environment project for just one week should arrive at a weekend.