South Africa wildlife volunteering holiday

Two week wildlife volunteering, staying in shared accommodation, all meals provided and different tasks daily working with wonderful array of wildlife on a reserve near Port Elizabeth.
Volunteering on South Africa wildlife reserve Elephant rehabilitation Reserve maintenance Tree planting Giraffes Lion monitoring Swimming pools Tennis courts Port Elizabeth
£800 excluding flights
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7 Days
Tailor made
More info
Price includes training, accommodation, airport transfers, three meals a day whilst at the reserve.
Weekend trip options are offered with food at your own expense.
Stays of 2 weeks or more highly recommended.
Additional weeks cost £350 per week.
Last minute
Make sure this summer includes a holiday with a difference. This project has last minute spaces available so book now to reserve your place.
Make enquiry

Description of South Africa wildlife volunteering holiday

Enjoy a safari trip with a difference at this Big 5 reserve in South Africa, volunteering with wildlife conservation projects. Each day you will head out into the reserve to help conserve the animals and maintain the reserve, preserving native flora and fauna for generations to come.

The reserve is located an hour away from Port Elizabeth, which marks the end of the famous Garden Route. There is never a dull day on the reserve. Building fences, preventing erosion and planting trees has never been more appealing with a giraffe towering above you. This is a great way to enjoy safari by actually living it day by day!

There is also plenty of interaction with the animals, helping with the care and feeding at the rehabilitation area. Some of the highlights include tracking and monitoring animal behaviour, doing safaris at all times of day and even night, and meeting people from all around the world.

Daily routines vary according to the time of year and the movements of the wildlife, but you will always be getting stuck into a vast variety of tasks at the reserve.

Free time
The fun doesn't stop at the weekends either. You have the option of getting out of the reserve to explore the local area and sample a bit of city life in Port Elizabeth. Alternatively you are more than welcome to kick back and relax at the reserve, making the most of the swimming pools, tennis courts and excellent leisure facilities.

Accommodation and food
The accommodation is newly built and has a distinctly African feel about it, full of vibrant colours and comfortable seating areas. You will be sharing a room with other participants in the thoughtfully constructed dormitory-style rooms with large lounges and outdoor areas to relax.

Three delicious meals are provided each day at the reserve, so you don’t even need to worry about cooking. The food is varied, with an African/ Asian feel to it.


MondayArrival in Port Elizabeth and transportation to the reserve
Week daysHelping out around the reserve takes place on each day of the week. Days start around 7am and finish around 16.30, with plenty of time to enjoy the area and facilities
WeekendsAt the weekends you can either relax in the beautiful reserve or head out on one of our trips to explore the countryside around you
DepartureTransfer back to Port Elizabeth in time for a flight after midday on a Saturday or any time on a Sunday

Price information

£800 excluding flights
Convert currency:
Price includes training, accommodation, airport transfers, three meals a day whilst at the reserve.
Weekend trip options are offered with food at your own expense.
Stays of 2 weeks or more highly recommended.
Additional weeks cost £350 per week.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

South Africa volunteering
Away from affluent areas, out of sight of Stellenbosch, and past the protected perimeters of private game reserves, there’s a side to South Africa tha...
Wildlife conservation
The biggest misconception about wildlife conservation holidays is that they are an opportunity to travel to an outlying idyll then spend your days bot...

Holiday information

US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.
We cater for both vegetarians and vegans.
Our partners behind this holiday promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travellers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.


Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.


5 Reviews of South Africa wildlife volunteering holiday

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2018 by

The highlight was being able to see so many different animals during the multiple game drives: elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, hippos, zebras, buffalos. It was truly amazing! Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Mar 2016 by

5 I couldn't of had a better time. I truly had the time of my life, I felt at home, happy and really didn't want to go home. It seems crazy now to think its all over but this whole experience couldn't have been much better. Best decision of my life. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Nov 2015 by

A fabulous experience and I would be keen to return. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2014 by

The best part was meeting the elephants and having contact with them. They are such amazing animals and I could spend all day long observing them, which I did even on some of my days off Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2013 by

An amazing experience that I will never forget and am immensely grateful for! Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


The reserve places conservation at the top of its agenda. Through the help of the volunteers, the reserve is made a good place to be for the wildlife within it. Volunteers are taught to care for the animals, to treat them with respect and to make sure that they act appropriately around them at all times.

The project
Throughout their time on the Big 5 project, participants will be helping to conserve the beautiful environment in which they are in. This ranges from removing alien vegetation (which can be poisonous for the wildlife and destroy habitats) to planting seedlings and digging water holes for the animals. The reserve aims to plant 10,000 native tree species each year.

The reserve
We are aiming to become single-use plastic free on this project. Steps have already been made to replace plastic drinks bottle with glass bottles, providing drinking water from reuseable water drums and initiate a recycling programme for any unavoidable single use plastic.

The reserve is becoming very advanced on water harvesting and recycling, using more solar energy (the aim is to become fully reliant on solar energy) and composting kitchen waste.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travellers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic, and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.


Meeting local needs
The reserve also plays an important role in protecting the local economy. The ‘big five’ wild animals are a key source of tourist income for South Africa and protection of these species is vital for some rural areas, who rely on responsible tourism to sustain them. Through volunteering at the reserve, you will be helping to meet an important local need. You will also contribute directly to the area’s economy, creating jobs for domestic staff at the reserve and by eating locally-sourced food provided by local cooks.You will not be taking jobs away from local people.

Helping local communities
Within the grounds of the reserve is a small community, with a school and several other facilities. Participants can buy souvenirs from their hand crafted goods. These local workers receive fair prices for their goods and are helped financially by the reserve.

Travelling with respect
Before joining the project you are briefed fully on the reserve, the customs there and how you can respect the locals here. Volunteers are encouraged to find out more about the history of the location so that they can travel aware.

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