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 visit the KwaZulu-Natal reserve, where you will take part in the monitoring of wild dogs 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
Wildlife Monitoring
Africa has over 400 known species of endangered animals, and the monitoring is a critical step in conserving them. Assist a member of project staff in their daily activities, using radio telemetry to track and monitor animals and spend time monitoring their tracks, learning all about endangered species in the process. You may also have the opportunity to take part in the monitoring of nocturnal animals (such as hyena) on night-time excursions!
Data Collection
Data Collection
As well as monitoring the animals on the reserve, you will be taught how to map their locations using GPS equipment. You’ll also record information on their group composition and behaviours, as well as their feeding patterns, retaining the information for research purposes: the more the project knows about its animals and their movements, the more they can do to protect them.
Wildlife Photography
Wildlife Photography
One way of helping the project staff to learn more about Zululand’s animals is to help keep identikits as up-to-date as possible. Take pictures of the animals when out on drives, set up camera traps near the watering holes and game trails, and add all of this information to the identikit as to help with data collection and the observation of the animals on the reserve.
You may be invited to help out with the ‘notching’ of animals, i.e the process of identity marking priority species. This is where an identification mark is made in the ear of an animal, microchipping them at the same time, allowing them to be uniquely recognised for monitoring.
Additional Activities
Additional Activities
Depending on how long you join the team for and the time of year, you may also be part of darting or trapping and radio-collaring of various animal species, the relocation and re-introduction of game, identity tagging of animals, game counts, bird ringing and alien plant control. (Please note that these activities occur strictly when the need arises and cannot be guaranteed.)


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

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
You will be met at Richards Bay Airport at 12pm by a project representative, who will then transfer you directly to one of the five reserves on the project site. Meet with your fellow volunteers and take a tour of the site, hopefully spotting members of the ‘Big Five’ along the way. Settle in for the night – you’ve got an early morning ahead of you!
Day 2-14 - Project Days:
Each of your project days will follow a similar itinerary, which you can learn more about in your free project guide. However, you will leave camp every morning at sunrise in an open 4x4 tracking vehicle to locate collared animals on the reserve, observing them and recording data. Later in the day, you may assist in setting camera traps, mapping sightings using GPS, or observing further animal behaviours.

At least one day per week is set aside for data capture and analysis, and the information you gain will be sent along to the local conservation authority, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and other well-known organisations such as the WWF.
Day 15 - Final Day:
Today is, unfortunately, your last day, and you’ll be transferred back to Richards Bay Airport by a member of staff. Board your return flight home or look forward to commencing your onwards 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?



Your accommodation is located on the reserve – spend an evening relaxing outside or enjoying a barbeque, and you may just be visited by roaming antelope and baboons! The volunteer house itself comes complete with a shared living/eating area, as well as a kitchen with appliances such as an oven, stove, microwave and solar cooker.

Rooms are shared on a twin-room basis, and your bed linens and pillows are provided. There are flushing toilets, electricity, and warm-running water onsite, but do please be aware that sometimes the water does run cold from time to time. We also recommend that you bring your own towel.

Meals and Beverages

Meals and Beverages

Enough food and drink is provided for volunteers to cook for themselves three times a day, so why not work alongside your fellow volunteers to prepare some tasty meals? The project is able to cater for dietary requirements but do please let us know of your needs well in advance so that suitable ingredients can be bought in for you. The project aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible, never purchasing tinned tuna and preferring to use game venison whenever possible.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

Much of the project activity is undertaken from a tracking vehicle, but there is still an element of manual work in-between. There are also regular walks in order to track species, so a moderate level of fitness is necessary. No specific skills are needed – all we ask is that you’re able to work as part of a team, and that you have full commitment to the cause.



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 Mozambique. The weather is generally mild and dry between the months of June and September, meaning vegetation is not so dense and that visibility of animals is better.

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) at night. October to March is summer, meaning temperatures can rise to a very hot 30°C. Overnight temperatures also remain at around 25°C (77°F).

Summer is also Zululand’s rainy season, which may cause afternoon/evening thunderstorms – this is something incredible to experience in Africa, and very different to the rainy days which we have here in the UK! After the first rains (typically November-time), wild flowers start to bloom, and new grass emerges in a brilliant display of green. This does, of course, attract plenty of young animals to the region – impala, lambs, warthog piglets and wildebeest calves can all be spotted at this time of year, so if you’d like to see the arrival of new life in Zululand, summer is the perfect season for you.

Finally, Autumn falls between April and May, bringing with it warm weather in both the day and night times. While animals are still visible, wild dogs are less visible due to settling into their dens to have pups. The pups generally emerge from their dens 4-6 weeks later, so this could be a great time to witness some of South Africa’s most beautiful animals take their first steps into the world!

Getting There

The easiest way to get to the project is to fly into Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport, booking a connecting flight into Richards Bay. It is advisable to spend a night in a B&B close to Richards Bay Airport, transferring back to the airport on Monday for your transfer to the project. We can recommend places for you to stay which include transfers to and from Richards Bay; please speak to a member of our travel team for more information.

A project representative will meet you at the airport at 12pm – please ensure that you are there on time to meet them, as it is best to arrive back at the reserve by nightfall. Your departure flights need to be booked no earlier than 2pm to allow you enough time to get back to Richards Bay from the project site – any earlier, and you may miss 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

UK passport holders (as well as holders of Australian, American, Canadian, and most other EU passports) do not require a visa for South Africa. You will be issued a 3-month permit upon your arrival at no cost but do ensure that the correct arrival date and length of time in the country is entered onto your visa at immigration. Please note that visas are of the volunteers own responsibility, and that requirements specific to your own country need to be checked. Please 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

Enquire to receive the Project Guide for free!

Project Reviews

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.

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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