Amakhala Conservation Project

Volunteer in Africa on this 'Big 5' game reserve and help to protect and reintroduce a vast array of wildlife into an area that it once called home.

From £805.00

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

Project Details


Game Drives
Game Drives
As well as giving you a fantastic chance to see the big five animals amongst many others at this project, game drives present volunteers with the opportunity to assist in animal monitoring to ensure the wildlife populations remains healthy. You will have the chance to assist in data capture and help the team identify any issues that occur with the animal populations at the project. Game drives present volunteers with a fantastic chance to learn more about the wildlife at the Amakhlala Conservation Project and it is your chance to ask questions about everything from the reasons behind the game reserve being founded through to what is a lion’s preferred food source?
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, which could be 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 almost nowhere!
Game Capture
Game Capture
Occasionally on the reserve animals need to be captured and looked at by the vet or to be moved on to another part of the reserve to control populations, and you may have the chance to help in this process! Alongside the "Big 5", all shapes and sizes of animals occasionally need help, from the small and delicate springbok right through to the awe-inspiring oryx, so who knows when you may be called into action? This is a once in a lifetime experience and you won’t want to miss out!
A Night At The Luxury Lodge
A Night At The Luxury Lodge
Volunteers will get the chance to 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 a delicious 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!
A Visit To A Local Community Centre
A Visit To A Local Community Centre
Alongside the work you will be doing helping to assist the region's animal life, you will also spend time at a local community centre playing with the local children and spending time talking to them. Up to 500 children come to this centre throughout the week and you and your fellow volunteers will be kept very busy playing football and dancing with them! The excitement that the children have when they see the project vehicle come through the gates is palpable, so make sure you have your camera ready as you will get some incredible snaps here!
Bush Camping and Night Drives
Bush Camping and Night Drives
Remember to wrap up warm as you will have the chance to head out on night drives and maybe even sleep out in the bush if the weather allows! This presents you with a fantastic opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the bush lifestyle as you will be surrounded by nature at its most raw. A lot 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! Please ensure that you do grab a blanket from your room to take with you on the night drives, though, as it can get quite chilly at night, even in Africa!
A Visit To the Born Free Foundation
A Visit To the Born Free Foundation
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 that is 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 there. This trip presents volunteers with a fantastic chance to learn more about the work the foundation is doing and will become a source of inspiration.
Alien Plant Control
Alien Plant Control
Alien plant species are a big problem on the reserve as they kill the local plants and this means that the region's animals have fewer food sources. This has had a knock on effect through the whole food chain, so you will spend some of your time on the project helping to dig up and remove these invasive species from the ground in the reserve. Please note that this is a fairly physical activity and will require a good work ethic to complete, and we recommend packing a pair of gardening gloves too to make the job that little bit easier.
Canoeing and Boating on the Local River
Canoeing and Boating on the Local River
One of the more serene activities you will take part in on the project, you will have the chance to gently glide down the reserves river and take in all of the animal life from a very different viewpoint to the one you will get from the game drive vehicles. This experience comes with yet another picture-perfect photo opportunity so keep your camera at the ready but just make sure it's protected from the water!


Please note that this itinerary is subject to change so what follows is a rough guideline.

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 you will be given a tour of the facilities. Volunteers cook for themselves on this project, so this will be a fantastic opportunity for you all to bond as you share dinner cooking duties.
Day 2 - 14 - Project Days:
The day begins at around 7am with volunteers enjoying a hearty breakfast of cereal, toast or maybe even an omelette alongside a big cup of coffee to ensure that they are ready for the busy day ahead! At around 7.30 you will head out for the first activity of the day, and you will need to be prepared for anything as this is an active game reserve where the type of help needed from the volunteers can change at the drop of a hat! You could be heading out to check on the lions on a game drive or spend the morning canoeing on the nearby river. You won’t know for sure until you arrive at the project! Lunch is at 1pm, and after working hard all morning you will have built up an appetite! After lunch at the volunteer house or out in the field, you’ll head back out to complete the afternoon activity, perhaps visiting the community centre or helping to fix a fence before coming back to relax at 4pm. There’s a lot to fit in, so you’ll be pleased to hear that weekends are spent at your leisure so you’ll have time to relax!
Day 15 - Return Home :
Unfortunately, today is your last day on 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

This project begins on every 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.

Duration Price
Please choose a trip using the select menus to the left.

*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, rhino, and elephant.

As this is an active game reserve, the help the volunteers provide eases the burden on the already incredibly busy rangers and allows them to focus their efforts on ensuring conservation activities in the area continue for a long time to come.

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!

Read More
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.

Read More

Is this trip for you?



Throughout your time on this project, you will be staying in a renovated railway station building which has now become the very comfortable and unique volunteer house. The house can hold up to 8 volunteers at a time and this is in a mixture of twin share and solo rooms. Room allocation will be done on arrival and will be based on a same-sex sharing basis when applicable. The volunteer house is extremely comfortable with 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 community pub located just next door which is a fantastic 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 which presents a fantastic 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, as well as for the committed project staff with whom you will be working.



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 of the activities take part all year round, meaning the main factor that affects people's’ decisions on when to volunteer is the weather.

In the coastal region where this project is situated there is not a big difference in day time 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. The project will provide a transfer to the project site, but please note that this comes at an additional cost of 850 Rand each way (approx 50 GBP).

This project starts on a Monday so you will ideally need to book flights to arrive on this day, and a transfer can be arranged to suit any arrival time. If you will be arriving in Port Elizabeth before your start date please contact us and we may be able to arrange a pick up from your accommodation instead of the airport.

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.

When returning home you will need to book a flight on Monday after 12pm to return home or begin your onward travels.

Visa Requirements

Holders of UK, most other EU countries, Australian, Canadian and USA passports do not require a Visa 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 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. The exchange rate is around 1 SAR = 0.06 GBP, 0.07 USD, 0.07 EUR. Please note exchange rates are subject to change.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • Accommodation during your time volunteering
  • All meals and juice, tea and coffee.
  • Volunteer activities (including at the Born Free Foundation)
  • Full-time English speaking ground staff
  • Towels
What's not included?
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers and from the project site (available at an additional cost)
  • Weekend excursions
  • Alcoholic beverages, personal snacks etc.

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+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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