Zululand Wildlife Conservation Project

Join critical conservation work in Africa with the iconic 'Big Five' species, with a focus on rhino conservation.

From £1,195.00

  • Up to 5 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 14 - 84 Nights
  • Rhinos,Lions
  • Every other Monday
  • Minimum Age 18

Project Details


The reserves on which you will be working include the 96,000 hectare Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and Mkhuze Game Reserve, a 40,000 hectare park (recently designated a 'Big 5' park).

You may also be able to join the Panthera Leopard Survey work being conducted within KwaZulu-Natal which also includes Wild Dog monitoring, in between performing camera trap work.

Lastly, you may work in the Tembe National Elephant Park on the border with Mozambique, where the 'world's biggest elephants' reside. Please note that visiting this park depends on your length of stay on the project. For example, if volunteering for two weeks, you will be based at one reserve. If volunteering for four weeks, you will visit two reserves etc.

Wildlife Monitoring and Tracking
Wildlife Monitoring and Tracking
You will work side by side with professional wildlife monitors, assisting them with all monitoring activities. As one of only five team members, you will be part of an agile and efficient team. Monitoring work will include daily tracking and locating of priority wildlife species (including black rhinos, wild dogs and leopards) from an open 4x4 vehicle via radio telemetry.
Data Collecting
Data Collecting
All volunteers are taught how to use the radio telemetry equipment as sightings will have to be mapped the using GPS equipment. You will also need to record behavioural and feeding patterns for research purposes along with vulture-counts and nest surveys. Depending on the time of year, you will also be able to assist on game counts.
Wildlife Photography
Wildlife Photography
You will also be asked to photograph the animals and where necessary create identikits for reintroduced/relocated animals. Also camera traps must be set up at watering holes and game trails to help with data collecting and observing animals in specific areas.
Time Dependant Activities
Time Dependant Activities
Depending on the time of year, and the dates you select to participate in the project, the following activities may also be a part of your volunteer programme: radio collaring of animals, notching (identity marking) of animals such as the critically endangered black rhino and the relocation or reintroduction of endangered species.
Night Tracking
Night Tracking
At least one night a week will be dedicated to night tracking excursions, where you will have the opportunity to witness some of the bushveld's elusive creatures. Keep your eyes and your ears peeled for the call of a lion, locating other pride members as they hunt through the night, or the fascinating high pitched giggle of a hyena!
Occasionally, you will also be able to help with 'notching' (or identity marking) priority species including black rhinos. This is a real privilege as this offers great insight into the important conservation work that occurs on these stunning game reserves. What's more, you will also be able to experience the iconic 'Big Five' with your very own eyes!


Please note itineraries are subject to change and what follows is simply a rough guideline.

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
If arriving into Richards Bay the night before (as recommended) today you will make your way back to Richards Bay Airport. You will be met at 12:00pm by a project representative who will transfer you directly to the project site in which you will be working. Once you have settled in you will meet your fellow volunteers and the project facilitators before spending the remainder of the afternoon taking a tour of the site. This is a great opportunity to see some of the Big Five.
Day 2-14 - Project Days:
During these days you will follow a similar itinerary. At sunrise you will leave the camp in an open 4x4 tracking vehicle to locate collared animals on the reserve. Once found you will observe and record data on these animals. You will then return to camp to relax and have lunch. After lunch you will head back out to try and locate the animals that you did not in the morning to again observe and record data. You will also assist in setting camera traps, mapping sightings using GPS and observing animal behaviours. After the day's activities you will arrive back at camp for sunset, prepare dinner and have the evening at leisure to socialise with the rest of the group and get to know the facilitators and the work that is undertaken at the project.

At least one day a week is set aside for data capture and analysis. This information is then supplied to the local conservation authority, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, as well as well-known organisations including the WWF and the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project.
Day 15 - Final Day:
Sadly, today is your last day and you will transfer back to airport for your return flight home or will commence your onward independent travel plans.

Dates, Availability & Price

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
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

This project experience is unmatched in terms of the diversity of species. The efforts made on a daily basis by both the project staff and volunteers are indispensable in the continued protection and on-going conservation of all manner of iconic and crucial species in South Africa (including the conservation of the critically endangered black rhino).

The work carried out by this project is cast over a number of reserves, which means that volunteers working on the project for more than two weeks will have the opportunity to experience a variety of conservation work (including rhino conservation), as well as have an impact on the continued existence of numerous Big Five and game species throughout the wider Zululand region.

What's more, this is also the only volunteer program in in Southern Africa that is supported by and works with high profile organisations including WWF, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Wildlands Conservation Trust, Wild Dog Action Group and Black Rhino Range Expansion Project to mention but a few. This really is an excellent project supporting incredibly worthwhile conservation work.

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
A Breathtaking Update From The Zululand Wildlife Conservation Project

A Breathtaking Update From The Zululand Wildlife Conservation Project

Over at the Zululand Conservation Project, the generous and hard working time strive to protect the endangered species of South Africa. They work closely with Panthera to set up camera tapping, as this is best and most responsible techniques with which to monitor leopards. Check out some of the majestic big cats that Zululand and Panthera have been working hard to capture over the past 45 days!

Read More

Is this trip for you?



The project accommodation is situated inside the site and is based on rooms with two sharing. The accommodation includes running warm water, flushing toilets and electricity. A bed, mattress, bed linens and pillows are provided for each volunteer. There is also a shared kitchen area with cooking appliances and an outside seating, dining and BBQ area.

Meals and Beverages

Meals and Beverages

Food and drink for three meals a day is provided, and volunteers take turns preparing meals in the kitchen area.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

This project does not involve a large amount of manual work, mainly data collection and tracking. However, there are regular walks during the programme, in order to track species and so a moderate level of fitness is necessary. No specific skills or experience are required, only a positive attitude and full commitment to the cause. You must be prepared to work as part of a team.



The vaccinations required will depend on your medical history. We recommend that you consult with your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website.

Project Details

When Is The Best Time To Volunteer?

Zululand has a subtropical climate as it is situated in the Northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal province, bordering on Mozambique.

Between June and September the weather is generally mild and dry which means vegetation is less dense making animal sightings more frequent. In June and July temperatures very rarely drop below 10-15°C (50-59°F) overnight and by midday, the days are generally warm and sunny. By August/September temperatures are around 20-25°C (68-77°F) at midday and around 15-20°C (59-68°F) overnight.

October to March is summer which can get very hot with midday temperatures averaging 30°C. Overnight temperatures also remain at around 25°C (77°F).

Summer is also the rainy season, and afternoon/evening thunderstorms can occur, which is something incredible to experience in Africa. After the first rains (which usually start around November), the wild flowers then begin to bloom and the new grass emerges in a brilliant display of green. There are usually also plenty of young animals (impala lambs, warthog piglets, wildebeest calves, etc) around during these months.

Finally, April and May is autumn which has warm weather in both the day and at night. Wild Dogs are seen less frequently in May as they settle into den sites to have their pups. The pups will generally emerge from the dens about 4-6 weeks later.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to the project is to book an international flight to Johannesburg (or Tambo International Airport), and then book a connecting domestic flight to Richards Bay.

Preferably you should fly into Richards Bay the day before and spend this night at a B&B close to the airport. We can provide you with recommendations that include both an airport pick up and a transfer back to the airport on Monday.

A project representative will meet you at the airport at 12:00pm on Monday and you will be transferred by road to whichever of the project sites (Tembe, Mhkuse or Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Parks) you will be working in. Please make sure that you arrive in time to meet the pick up so that you arrive into the reserve before nightfall. On departure, you will need to make sure that you book the 14.40pm, 15.05pm or 15.45pm flight back to Johannesburg. If earlier flights are booked you may run the risk of missing your flight!

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 counties, 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.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency in South Africa is the Rand. The exchange rate is around 1 ZAR = 0.06 GBP, 0.1 USD, 0.07 EUR. Please note exchange rates are subject to change.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • A monetary contribution to the project itself
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated
What's not included?
  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
  • Visas if required
  • Wines and spirits
  • Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary

Speak To A Travel Expert

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Give Us A Call


+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.

Project Reviews

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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