- posted on Jul 16, 2018
- by Leanne Sturrock
Are your holiday snaps causing harm to Thailand's wildlife? Read on to see how you can help.
On this amazing conservation project you will have the once in a lifetime chance to volunteer with the 'Big Five' and really help make a difference to African conservation efforts.
The Kariega 'Big 5' Conservation Project is set in South Africa’s beautiful Eastern Cape and this impressive volunteering project is a mere 15 kilometres from the dazzling Indian ocean. Based on a 10,000 hectare reserve, the pristine African wilderness surrounding you is home to all manner of incredible wildlife and here you will get the chance to see the 'Big 5', so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo and if you are very extremely lucky the elusive leopard!
Kariega’s landscape is dominated by two rivers that have shaped and altered the vast plains and valleys you will see before you whilst volunteering on the project. These rivers are the Bushman and the Kariega Rivers: two water sources that have helped the project's animal life to grow to incredible levels since its humble beginnings when the (then small) reserve began life back in 1989.
As a volunteer on this conservation project you will take part in a wide variety of activities and assist in many elements of running a game reserve, essentially becoming an “Assistant Conservation Manager.” Some of the amazing tasks you could be helping with include game capture of the 'Big Five' animals including lions and buffalo, elephant impact monitoring and even helping with tasks such as darting and relocating animals as and when needed. Here you will really become a member of the team and this is your chance to make a real difference and aid Africa's amazing wildlife.
Please be advised, although we are able to offer a 7 night option, a minimum duration of 14 nights is recommended for a more in depth experience. If you can only join for 7 nights there is no guarantee that you will be involved in all the activities listed.
You are able to join this project on any Monday throughout the year but it is closed over the Christmas period. 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.
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 project start dates. (Please note, the maximum age for joining this project is 60 years old)
The Kariega Game Reserve measures an impressive 10,000 hectares and with this size of land comes a series of issues that must be tackled. The volunteer programme was introduced here to ease the burden on some of the rangers at the reserve and the work that has been completed so far by the volunteers has made an immeasurable difference to not only the reserves animals but also the local community as a whole. We can’t wait to see what the future brings for this amazing volunteering project and how our generous volunteers will make a lasting impact to the fascinating, but vulnerable species found here.
Are your holiday snaps causing harm to Thailand's wildlife? Read on to see how you can help.
Find out more about the harrowing ivory trade and the devastating impact it has had and continues to have on the populations of elephants around the globe.
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!
The accommodation on this project is called Ocean View, as you can see the Indian Ocean in the distance from right outside! You will be staying in a recently renovated house on the reserve and will have full access to all of the facilities available here throughout your stay. The volunteer house consists of five spacious twin share bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen with a washing machine, a very comfortable living room and a communal dining area to enjoy meals in as well! Outside the house, there is a plunge pool which is perfect to take a dip in after a hot and hard day’s work and an area dedicated to the braai, a traditional South African BBQ. This area is the perfect place to admire the galaxy of stars that appear above your head every night!
Food is provided on this project but volunteers will take turns to cook on a rotational basis, who knows, this could be another skill you pick up whilst on the project! All of the food you will need for all meals will be found in the house so you will never go hungry! There is also the chance to enjoy a BBQ outside dependent on the weather, which is a very communal meal and a great chance to test your Braai 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.
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.
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 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) temperatures 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.
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 2 hours (140 kilometres) from Port Elizabeth Airport. Your flight will need to arrive into Port Elizabeth on your project start date before 14:30 as this is the latest time a transfer to the project can leave.
If you are unable to arrive before this time on Monday, you will need to stay in Port Elizabeth the night before the project start date (Sunday) and you will be collected from your accommodation in the morning. You will need to tell us where you are staying so that a transfer can be arranged.
On your final day you will need to book a flight that departs after 12pm as the earliest available airport transfer is at 9am.
Transfers are arranged by the in-country team but they do incur an additional cost. A one way trip from the airport to the project site (or vice versa) costs R750 per person, or R400 per person if there are 2 or more volunteers sharing the transfer. The project manager will attempt to arrange for volunteers to travel together to help lower the costs, but please have the money on hand to pay the driver directly for each journey.
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.
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.
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.
Too many memories to mention - the group were great, the coordinator, Jarratt was really knowledgeable and brilliant, being only a few metres away from rhinos, elephants lions, etc etc being on the reserve, I could go on! I missed out on the game capture activities as was only there a week, and the weather was a bit rainy so limited some of the clearing/maintenance activities. Would def recommend and already planning on where my next one will be!
Charlotte WARD, 2018
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.