Volunteering with Elephants in South Africa

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2018: 16 Jul, 20 Aug, 17 Sep, 15 Oct, 19 Nov, 17 Dec
2019: 21 Jan, 18 Feb, 18 Mar, 15 Apr, 20 May, 17 Jun, 15 Jul, 19 Aug, 16 Sep, 21 Oct, 18 Nov, 16 Dec
2020: 20 Jan, 20 Feb, 16 Mar, 20 Apr, 18 May
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Volunteering with Elephants in South Africa

Environment

The Elephant Care and Research project was established in 2010 and we have been supporting them from the start. The park provides a home to elephants, providing them with an improved environment, healthy diet, enrichment and access to veterinary care.

There is a lack of research completed on captive elephants in South Africa, particularly with respect to their welfare and husbandry, and the park’s research unit is the first of its kind to be dedicated to research to help guide the management of captive elephants to promote the best possible care.

The research team monitor and observe the elephants who live at the park, collecting research to support improvements in both captive elephant welfare and assisting in research for wild elephant management. For example the team have developed new methods to improve heard dynamics in captive elephants who interact with tourists and are providing case studies for new techniques to help reduce human-elephant conflict in the wild.

Volunteers are encouraged to reduce their waste, re-use when possible and recycle. Showers times should be limited to help preserve water. Volunteers help support the research team by recycling the elephant dung and making it into dung paper.

Volunteers share transport for transfer to and from the town in order to reduce negative impacts of travel.

Community

Volunteers act as ambassadors for the research team and its elephants by helping to spread the word about their elephant research results, welfare and conservation issues. The volunteer placement helps support the research project which in turn supports improvements in both captive elephant welfare and assisting in research for wild elephant management.

Volunteers are located on the famous ‘Garden Route’ which is popular due to its beautiful natural diversity including pristine coastline, huge wetlands, salt marshes, rivers, mountains and indigenous forests – and lots of great restaurants and local businesses so it’s a brilliant location and local tour organisations are there to help guests book additional trips whilst with us.

The project team support the local school through environmental lessons, teaching them about the important of biodiversity, conservation and recycling. The students can get involved in making paper from the dung waste from the elephants which makes a great eco-activity!

The rewards you will get from volunteering and helping to make a difference, whilst also enjoying an authentic travel experience in some incredible parts of the world. Volunteers respect local cultures, understand local customs and dress appropriately.

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