Wildlife photography and volunteering in South Africa
It does not include flights and travel insurance.
Description of Wildlife photography and volunteering in South Africa
Join a volunteer project in South Africa, combining wildlife photography with contributing to conservation efforts, for four weeks. This is your chance to photograph amazing African wildlife, including lions, elephants and leopards, with expert tutorials from a professional photographer to help and support you. A love of photography and wildlife is all you need to join this trip, which is suitable for photographers of all levels and experience, from beginners to professionals. You will also be taught how to edit your photos in Lightroom, so some basic computer skills are required. As well as building up a wonderful and unique portfolio, you can also contribute your pictures to an online database that helps conservation organisations raise funds.
Each week, you will go out on game drives to photograph the African wildlife and landscape in the beautiful Greater Kruger area. You’ll be able to photograph Africa’s big cats, and also elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, buffalos and many other species. The smaller creatures that inhabit this landscape are also wonderful subjects; the chameleons, frogs and other reptiles and insects. There are also sessions that focus specifically on landscape photography.
In addition to improving your photography skills and building up your photo portfolio, you will be able to take part in general conservation work in the area. Volunteers can get stuck into some hands on work in the field, helping the work of local wildlife trusts and foundations that we partner. You might be helping to clear invasive plants, remove snares or collect data so that help with the compilation of animal identity kits as part of wider conservation research. There’s the opportunity to work with an excellent school programme, too, called Conservation Education, which raises awareness of conservation issues in the local community.
The base for this trip is the comfy Dumela Lodge in the Greater Kruger Area. All meals, tuition, transport on the ground and game drives are included.
2022: 23 Jan, 20 Feb, 20 Mar, 17 Apr, 15 May, 12 Jun, 10 Jul, 7 Aug, 4 Sep, 18 Sep, 2 Oct, 30 Oct, 27 Nov, 25 Dec
1 Reviews of Wildlife photography and volunteering in South Africa
Reviewed on 15 Sep 2019 by Linda Gould
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The fantastic wildlife viewing
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Make sure you take some cold and wet weather clothes. It is freezing cold in the mornings and evenings in the safari truck
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes- The Mara conservation system benefits both the local people and the wildlife and this is funded by visitors
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
The whole holiday was great
PlanetWe believe in the power of photography; the power to create incredible experiences, and the power to make a positive impact. That’s why we founded our Trust, a non-profit organisation that uses photography to make a positive impact on both a social and conservation level. Our photo tours finance the running costs of the Trust, so by just by joining one of our workshops, you're indirectly contributing. (So all you have to do to make a difference is have the photo adventure of a lifetime!) Through the Trust, we provide free professional photography to charities doing environmental and conservation work; images they can use for fundraising and communication purposes.
Your Contributions as a Volunteer:
A selection of the wildlife photographs you'll take will be added to a photographic database, which is used to support conservation charities, who can use the images for awareness and fundraising efforts. In addition, your pictures will be used for educational purposes, particularly at schools in surrounding communities. On top of the wildlife photography you’ll be doing, you’ll have a chance to participate in general conservation work in the area. In partnership with local wildlife trusts and foundations, we’ll assist with hands-on field work, such as clearing alien invasive plants and removing snares, and with the collating of data and compiling of animal identy-kits that are part of larger conservation research. You’ll also assist with eco-education projects at school in local communities.
Ethics on Game Drives:
We have strict ethical and environmentally friendly practises in place on any project activity, including game drives. We keep the animals’ wellbeing as a top priority and do not drive off-road unless in pre-designated areas to minimise damage and negative impact.
Recycle and Water Policies:
Through a local company run by the community we recycle all recyclable materials, much of which gets used for crafts. Garden waste from our lodge gets composted along with raw waste from our kitchens to grow seedlings that are used in an aligned community garden project, Farmers for the Future. Our water comes from a borehole on the property that we closely monitor, and we use grey water for the lodge to water our vegetable garden, plants and gardens. To everyone involved in the project, we give presentations on usage of electricity and water to help minimise wastage and raise awareness. Since our lodge is set in the Greater Kruger area, we monitor the wildlife on the property to ensure its health along with the vegetation to ensure their survival. We have also established a butterfly garden to help support a healthy ecosystem.
At our office in Cape Town, we recycle, compost, and minimise the use of paper by predominantly working with digital files.
PeopleApart from supporting conservation initiatives through our photography, we also support social nonprofits. We provide free professional photography to charities that do valuable work and can use the images for fundraising purposes.
Through our Trust, we also run PhotoVoice workshops for youth in underprivileged South African communities. We identify talented young individuals with an interest in and talent for photography, and provide workshops where we encourage them to tell their stories, and the stories of their communities, through photography. We teach them creative self-expression, and the power visual images can have. Participants are encouraged to raise awareness about issues that matter most to them, which stimulates positive activism.
All of our guests (volunteers) work in the local community on both our conservation education and sustainable living projects, providing relevant education and entrepreneurial opportunities to young adults in the local community.
Supporting Local Economy:
All operational staff members on the ground are locals, who get consistent training opportunities, comfortable accommodation, healthy food, and fair wages and working conditions.
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