Amakhala Conservation Project

Volunteer in Africa on this 'Big 5' game reserve and help to protect a vast array of wildlife through some crucial conservation activities.

From £805.00

  • Up to 8 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 14 - 56 Nights
  • Elephants,Rhinos,Big Cats
  • Every Monday
  • Minimum age 18

Project Details

Activities

Game Drives
Game Drives
As well as giving you a fantastic chance to see the 'Big 5' and many of the other animals that call the reserve home, game drives present volunteers with the opportunity to assist in animal monitoring to ensure the wildlife populations remain healthy. You will have the opportunity to take part in data capture and help the team identify any issues present within the animal populations at the project. Game drives allow you to learn more about the wildlife on the reserve, so make sure to ask your project facilitators anything that comes to mind. The real challenge here is to ask a question that they don't know the answer to!
Reserve Maintenance
Reserve Maintenance
The Amakhala reserve measures a massive 7,500 hectares, and as you can imagine a reserve of this size requires a lot of upkeep. As a volunteer, you will get the chance to take a behind the scenes look at how a game reserve is run by assisting with a selection of varied tasks. This could include anything from re-burying an electrical wire that has been dug up by a roaming elephant, through to heading out on a fence patrol to ensure that all of the fences are strong and stable. There is always work to be done so be prepared for anything as jobs can appear out of nowhere!
Luxury Lodge Night
Luxury Lodge Night
Volunteers will spend a night at the luxury lodge on the Amakhala Reserve. Here you will spend the night relaxing and enjoying an incredible dinner with your fellow volunteers before retiring to one of the beautiful rooms to enjoy a good night's sleep. This will help to ensure you are raring to get back to your volunteer activities the following morning! You will also have the chance to enjoy breakfast as you look out onto the nearby watering hole which has been known to attract a whole host of incredible wildlife, including Norman the resident elephant!
Game Capture
Game Capture
Occasionally on the reserve, animals need to be captured and checked over by the vet or moved on to another part of the reserve to help control population size. As a volunteer, you may have the chance to help in this process! Animals of all shapes and sizes occasionally need help, so who knows when you may be called into action? This is a once in a lifetime experience and one you certainly won’t want to miss out on!
Local Community Centre Visit
Local Community Centre Visit
Alongside the work you will be doing helping to assist the region's wildlife, you will also visit a school and community centre spending time with the local children. Up to 500 children come to the centre throughout the week and you and your fellow volunteers will be kept very busy playing football and most likely dancing!
Bush Camping and Night Drives
Bush Camping and Night Drives
Remember to wrap up warm when you head out on night drives and maybe sleep out in the bush if the weather allows! This presents you with a fantastic opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the bush lifestyle, surrounded by nature at its most raw. Many of the animals on the reserve prefer to come out at night, under the cover of darkness, so keep your eyes peeled and you may be able to spot a lion stalking its way through the bush or a rhino crashing through the undergrowth!
Born Free Foundation Visit
Born Free Foundation Visit
The international animal charity Born Free has a location in the neighbouring Shamwari Game Reserve and during your time on this project, you will have the chance to pay it a visit to see the amazing work going on there. You will get a closer look at the lions that are being cared for at the foundation as well as any other animals that have recently come in for care.
Alien Plant Control
Alien Plant Control
Alien plant species become a big problem on the reserve as they kill the local plants, meaning that the region's animals have fewer food sources. This has a knock on effect through the whole food chain, so you will spend some of your time on the project helping to dig up, remove or cut back these invasive species. This is a fairly physical activity and will require a good work ethic to complete, we recommend packing a pair of gardening gloves to make the job that little bit easier!
Canoeing and Boating
Canoeing and Boating
This is one of the more serene activities you will take part in on the project. You will have the chance to gently glide down the reserve's river and take in the wildlife from a different viewpoint to the one you obtain from the game drive vehicles. This experience comes with yet another picture-perfect photo opportunity so keep your camera at the ready, just make sure it's protected from the water!

Itinerary

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
After arriving at the project site from the airport on Monday, you will be given time to settle into the volunteer accommodation and given a tour of the facilities.
Day 2 - 14 - Project Days:
These will be your project days. You will be up early for breakfast followed by your first activity of the day beginning at 7.30am. Once this is complete you will head back to the house for lunch at around 1pm. After you have refuelled with a sandwich or two, you’ll head back out to take part in an afternoon activity until 4pm. There’s a lot to fit in, so you’ll be pleased to know that weekends are spent at your leisure.
Day 15 - Return Home:
Unfortunately, today is your last day of the project! After saying your fond farewells to fellow volunteers and project facilitators, you will make your way back to the airport to begin your journey home or commence your onward and independent travel plans. Wherever you're headed, you can be sure to be walking away with a lifetime of unforgettable memories in tow!

Dates, Availability & Price

You are able to join this project on any Monday throughout the year. To secure a place on this project, a deposit of £195 is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.

Select a duration below to see the available start dates. All dates shown are currently available for you to join this project!

Duration Price
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*Rates other than GBP are estimates based on today's exchange rates. All payments are made in GBP.



Updates & Outcomes

The Amakhala Game Reserve was founded back in 1999 after 6 local reserves joined forces in an attempt to reintroduce the region's once abundant flora and fauna back into its natural habitat. Since then the reserve has grown into a huge 7,500-hectare area and is now home to many African animals including lions, rhinos, and elephants. As well as its commitment to wildlife conservation, this game reserve is also home to the Amakhala Foundation which was started in 2009 on the reserves 10th anniversary. The foundation commits to numerous projects including its Environmental Education Programme, which offers local children the chance to learn about conservation from within the reserve and the Isipho Charity Trust which supports over 300 children through preschool classes, feeding schemes, HIV/AIDS education and providing materials for schooling.

As a volunteer on this project, you will have the opportunity to visit the school where the Isipho Charity Trust works. This is something volunteers (and indeed the children) love and during this time you can play with the children, help in their computer classes or maybe just sit and have a conversation to allow them to practice their English.

What To Do In And Around Port Elizabeth During Your Trip To South Africa!

What To Do In And Around Port Elizabeth During Your Trip To South Africa!

We have a fair few Great Projects that are situated in stunning South Africa, and some on its beautiful Eastern Cape near the bustling city of Port Elizabeth. During your free time on our volunteering projects, you are free to explore to your heart's content! Check our list of a few suggestions on the kinds of adventures you can get up to during your time in South Africa!

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World Rhino Day 2017

World Rhino Day 2017

In light of World Rhino Day 2017, take a look at this infographic which details the current state of this endangered species, and see how you can assist in their conservation.

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Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

Accommodation

Throughout your time on this project, you will stay in a renovated railway station building which is now the very comfortable and unique volunteer house. The house can hold up to 8 volunteers at a time with a mixture of twin share and single rooms. Room allocation will be done on arrival and will be based on a same-sex sharing basis where applicable. The volunteer house has 2 bathrooms shared between the volunteers, a communal living area with wireless internet and television, and an outdoor braai area beside the pool. There is also a small shop and community pub located just next door which is a great place to relax of an evening.

Meals and Beverages

Meals and Beverages

Whilst food is provided on this project, volunteers will be cooking for themselves presenting a great opportunity to try different foods from all around the world! Generally, volunteers will take it in turns to cook dinner, with breakfast and lunch being prepared by yourself. The food is always fresh so this is a good chance to show off your culinary skills! Drinking water should be purchased from the small shop located just next door to the project site for a minimal cost. One night every two weeks you will also have the chance to enjoy a braai outside and taste this traditional South African style of cooking.

Fitness and Skills

Fitness and Skills

We recommend that you come with a moderate level of fitness as the days are busy and you will be involved in a whole host of activities! In terms of skills, all we ask is that you arrive with a willingness to get involved with tasks and a dedication to the ethos of the project, as well as a respect for the enchanting wildlife and the committed project staff with whom you will be working.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

The vaccinations required will depend on the individual medical history of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult with your GP regarding your own immunisation needs as this will ensure you are protected and prepared to travel. In conjunction with this, we would recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website for more helpful information on what you need to do before your departure.

Project Details

When is the best time to volunteer?

On this project nearly all the activities take part all year round, meaning the only factor that may affect your decisions on when to volunteer is the weather.

In the coastal region where this project is situated there is not a big difference in daytime temperatures throughout the year. These can reach 35°C (74°F) but average 20 – 25°C (68-77°F). Night time temperatures, however, are much colder in June, July, and August. During this period which is winter in South Africa, they can drop to between 5 and 10°C (41-50°F). The rest of the year they average between 13 and 18°C (55-64°F). Whilst it does not rain heavily for long periods of time, February and March are definitely the wettest months, with October and November being extremely dry.

Community work, however, is the one activity that is affected as schools are closed between mid-December and approximately the 7th of January. Therefore, if you are keen to get involved with the community projects you should avoid volunteering during this time.

Getting There

The easiest way to get here is to arrive into Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo International Airport), and then book a connecting domestic flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth. The project is approximately 1 hour (75 kilometres) from Port Elizabeth Airport. A member of the project team can pick you up from the airport and transfer you to the project site, and whilst this is something we can arrange for you in advance, it does come at an additional cost of £60 each way.

This project starts on a Monday so you will ideally need to book a flight that arrives on this day, and a transfer can be arranged to suit any time. If you are staying in Port Elizabeth before your project start date please contact us and we may be able to arrange a pick up from your accommodation instead of the airport. On your final day, you will need to book a flight that departs after 12pm as the earliest available airport transfer is at 9am.

If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flights page and fill out the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with a suitable quote.

Visa Requirements

Holders of UK, most other EU countries, Australian, Canadian and USA passports are not required to obtain a Visa in advance for South Africa. Upon entry, you will be issued with a 3 - month permit (at no cost). Make sure the correct date and length of stay in the country is entered onto your visa when at immigration. If you are travelling from Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Russian Federation, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Algeria, Angola, Comoros, China, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mexico, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Paraguay, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia or Vietnam, you will require a Visa and should consult your nearest South African embassy.

Please note that the South African immigration policy states that you will need at least two empty pages in your passport and at least six months validity to enter.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The exchange rate is approximately 1 ZAR = £0.06, US$0.07 and €0.07. Please note exchange rates are subject to change.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day
  • Fruit juice, tea and coffee
  • All volunteer activities (including at the Born Free Foundation)
  • 1 Night at the luxury lodge
  • A conservation donation to the project
What's not included?
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers to and from the project site (available at an additional cost)
  • Weekend excursions
  • Alcoholic beverages, personal snacks, etc.

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Give Us A Call

Nikita

+44 208 885 4987

If you have any questions about this project or would like help finding the perfect project for you then please feel free to give us a call or send us through your enquiry and we will be happy to help.

Nikita & team.

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 9BX
United Kingdom
Opening hours: 9am–5pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

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