- Experience life on a Big 5 Game Reserve
- Learn the ropes of becoming a Game Ranger
- Explore South Africa
- Volunteer on a fantastic wildlife conservation project
- Achieve your FGASA accredited qualification
Spend your time on a beautiful game reserve in South Africa and split your time between volunteering and studying for your Field Guide qualification.
Your volunteer work will be varied but focused mostly on wildlife and conservation. At the same time you will learn all that you need to about the environment that you will be staying in along with all the fascinating animals and birds that call the area home; to enable you to take your FGASA level one field guide qualification. The reserve is located near to the coast so the beautiful Indian Ocean is literally on your doorstep for your free time too!
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During your programme you’ll get the chance to see some of South Africa’s most spectacular sights whilst having the opportunity to really understand what you are seeing by learning how to be a Game Ranger. During the week you will be either working towards your Game Ranger qualification or volunteering in the game reserve. You will receive both practical and theoretical lessons from qualified trainers with many years of experience, subjects covered will include:
- Geology and Astronomy
- Weather and climate
- Animal identification
- Mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, arthropods and amphibians
- Animal behaviour
- The Biomes (areas of distinct plants, climates and wildlife) of Southern Africa
- Conservation management and historical human habitation
These will ensure that, by the end of your eight weeks, you will have sufficient expertise to complete the FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) level 1 exam. This qualification is widely recognised throughout Africa and provides a great basis for getting experience as a game ranger or completing further training.
A large part of the volunteering that you can get involved in is centred upon conservation but you may also be able to get involved with worthwhile community projects. Volunteer activities may include helping with the introduction of African mammal species to the park, assisting the rangers in capturing animals for identification and relocation, teaching tourists and locals about nature conservation, general maintenance and repairs, monitoring animals in the wild and many other things. During your programme you will be under the mentorship of either the co-ordinators or trainers.
Please note: It is important to maintain an outgoing attitude and remain flexible as to which of the volunteering options you will be able to get involved in as the needs of the reserve vary throughout the year depending on weather and, of course, the temperament of the animals.
Your first week on the programme will be spent getting to know the volunteer programme and settling in to your new surroundings on this beautiful private reserve.
Your lectures and more formal training will start in earnest during the second week of your course; as you get further into your course your lectures will become more frequent.
Should you have questions or would like more information about your course and study topics outside of your lecture time, you are more than welcome to approach your trainer/mentor at any time for assistance.
In order to get the most out of this programme it is important to remain flexible and open-minded; you are in Africa after all and things run at Africa time!
Please note if you wish to find work in South Africa following your course, you will need to register with the local guiding authorities. This is not something that is included in your programme. If you wish to register with the local authorities, there is a fee associated to this process and our local team will provide you with information on how to go about this.
Please note that all activities, inclusions and itineraries are subject to change.
- Beverages with meals
- Project uniform (t-shirt and cap)
- Learning material
- Registration with FGASA and admin costs
- Some optional weekend excursions (transport and accommodation)
- First aid level 1 course
- FGASA level 1 course (theoretical exam)
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Registration with depart of environmental affairs and tourism
- Meals on excursions
- Activities over and above your itinerary
- Return airport transfer
During your stay at the reserve you will be housed in a volunteer lodge with shared, single sex, bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities. The lodge is fully furnished and has a tea/coffee station, lounge area with satellite television, and has an entertainment room which offers table tennis, table football, pool table and sporting facilities such as tennis courts, splash pool and a cricket field.
The volunteer accommodation has plenty of storage space for you to keep your personal belongings. There are also lockers available for you to store your valuables in securely; there is a small charge of between R20 and R30 per stay for the use of a locker. Please speak to your local coordinator on arrival at the project, should you wish to have a locker.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared for you while you are on the reserve. The food served varies from day to day but usually consists of meals such as pap, beans, curry, rice, vegetables and pasta dishes. Vegetarians can be catered for on request.
During excursions, meals and activities will not be provided for you.
Please note that the game reserve is an alcohol free environment.
Your flight to South Africa should arrive at Port Elizabeth airport before 5pm on your programme start date, and your return flight should be arranged to depart from the same airport on your programme end date.
Please note that airport transfers are operated on a scheduled transfer basis, for further details please refer to the Arrival Info section.
Important: Please ensure that you arrive and depart on the times and dates stated. If you arrive or depart outside of the set dates and still require a transfer, you will be required to pay for an out of hours transfers which is bookable and payable prior to departure - please note that out of hours transfers are on a request basis subject to availability and not automatically added to your booking. Any additional night of accommodation required at the project will cost approximately GBP 40 per person per night and payable locally.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
Minimum age 18 years.
UK nationals don’t require a visa to enter South Africa for stays of up to 3 months. You should ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
A enhanced DBS check is required for this programme, if you do no hold a certificate dates within 12 months of your programme start date, please contact us as we can arrange this for you.
Do I Need To Take A Sleeping Bag?
No, all bedding is provided however if you wish to take one for extra warmth then you can.
Do I Need To Take A Mosquito Net?
No, you will be in a malaria free area.
Will There Be A Safe/safety Deposit Box Available?
You will have lockable chests as well as boxes in your room where you can lock your valuable items in.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.