Game capture and relocation in South Africa

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Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Game capture and relocation in South Africa


Our local staff members have established a link with a local game reserve that would not be able to continue its operations without the help of volunteers; the reserve simply lacks the funds and manpower to continue without assistance from volunteers.

Approximately once a year the game reserve has a game capture. Game captures usually only take place when there are too many animals of a particular species on land that is not big enough to sustain their numbers. The rhinos are usually captured so that it can be relocated to another Reserve or game farm that may not have sufficient of the species or that wants to repopulate its land with a species that once was indigenous but now no longer lives there.

Game capture and relocation is essential for restocking new areas and keeping the different populations diverse amongst the Reserves. It plays a major part in conserving endangered species and is a positive means of stimulating the local economy and providing local jobs.

There is a genuine requirement for your help on this capture. You’ll be involved in any task that is necessary to facilitate the game capture and enable important conservation efforts to be achieved. By volunteering your time you’re directly helping the project staff with preparation, capture and release - enabling them to focus on coordinating the efforts. By supporting local conservation efforts you’re influencing local community in many ways, such as, preserving their natural environment and the animals that live there, bringing income to the project enabling them to develop conservation efforts and ultimately education through cultural exchange. Where possible volunteers are encouraged to purchase supplies for their placement in the local community rather than in their home country, supporting local business.

You’ll be staying in the camp on the game reserve, which has been designed to ensure that volunteers are as close to Africa as possible, without compromising safety or comfort. By staying in the camp, you’ll be directly benefiting the local community and economy. The tents are simply built, with a wooden deck and an open-air ensuite bathroom. All materials used to build the camp are local and the construction provided yet more jobs for the local community. The camp is simple, environmentally friendly and you’ll be actively encourages to recycle, be efficient with energy and water usage and preserve the surroundings. The money that you pay us will go directly to the project to pay the wages of staff members and for the food you will eat. All of your food is prepared for you and sourced locally, thus directly assisting local businesses. This provides not only much needed income for the project but also extra jobs, income for local businesses from food purchases and the money you’ll spend during free time. By taking part on the project you’re bring financial support and learning experiences for the whole community.

Sustainable and ongoing development of local communities is always the primary aim of our volunteer projects and this project is no different. You’ll take up where others volunteers left off and be joining this rhino capture, you’ll be involved in the continued development of this game reserve and its conservation efforts.

Having regard for the local community by being consciously aware of your impact is encouraged in all our documentation for all our projects in all our destination countries. This is because we feel very strongly that many countries are subject to, for example, water shortages, high cost of energy and high impact of energy usage, the negative impact of litter and general pollution. Thus we encourage our volunteers to be aware of these possible impacts so that they contribute positively and not negatively to the community in this respect.

Our company:
You taking part in this project enables us to continue to donate financial assistance as well as necessary goods, where it is needed around the world. Examples of donations include building new classrooms, providing school uniforms for poorer students, buying computers, sports equipment, playgrounds, toys, mattresses, classroom equipment and funding school trips and the building of libraries, and more. We also donate significantly to conservation research efforts and the purchasing of necessary conservation equipment. In the past, these donations have been made in all continents and in projects where we work, and some where we do not work.

Recent donations made include:

- Donation made of approximately £300 to a school in Ghana to support the purchase of new equipment for a new classroom, funding to build new signs to advertise the school and money to purchase school books.

- Ongoing monthly donations made to orphanage in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and every year additional money given at Christmas to buy presents for children.

- Approximately £1,500 towards the building of a desperately needed classroom in a Zulu school in eMakhosini, South Africa.

- £1,500 to build a roof at the Grace Kennet Foundation Orphanage in Madurai, India. This was a donation made to match the fundraising efforts of an ex volunteer. A tree had fallen through the roof of the orphanage during a storm, and so a large part of the building was un-usable and dangerous.

- Approximately £880 to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Malaysia to help publicise the centre and draw funds to care for injured and abandoned Orang Utans.

We employ an all local staff force in most of our destination countries, which benefits the local economy. These range from skilled country managers, who are often pillars of their community, to local labourers and craftspeople. We believe in paying our overseas staff fairly, and many are rewarded with higher than average wages for local standards. When required, we send local staff on training courses to widen their skills. For example, a member of staff in South Africa recently attended an ‘eco-school’. Here, she was trained in eco teaching methods, which she will take to the schools around her region of South Africa to encourage eco-friendly farming methods.

We are committed to upholding strict ethical standards that ensure a positive and lasting impact upon the environments, communities, institutions, volunteers, animals, children and people that we work with.

For example:

- We encourage our volunteers to make the most of local opportunities available to them, such as shopping at local markets, eating in local restaurants and using local services and transport.

- We encourage volunteers to pay fairly for goods and services. We believe that over payment for goods and services or payment to beggars can have negative consequences and result in the over-reliance on tourism within the local community.

- We strongly advise against purchasing wildlife souvenirs or anything which may perpetuate the death or cruel treatment of animals for the purpose of profit.

- We advise on dress codes and codes of behaviour in all of our destination countries to ensure volunteers don’t cause offence to local communities.

Our aim is to create always a win-win-win situation in terms of the benefits for the local communities and institutions that we work in, for us and for the volunteer. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to the communities, institutes or volunteers. We conduct regular volunteer satisfaction surveys to monitor our performance.

We are also an incredibly environmentally aware company – we recycle in our offices and carbon offset when we need to send staff to our destinations. Although individually these are small actions, we believe it’s the first step to preserving the planet for future generations.

Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. For example, the schools where we teach English very often have no other English teachers, and so they rely on us for continued lessons. We kept a Species Survival Conservation project in South Africa afloat until completion after it was threatened by lack of funds. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.


See "My promise to support my community"

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