The only WILD conservation program where volunteers live at the beach and work in the bush! The accommodation is a three minutes walk from the beach. Volunteers will be assisting in conservation efforts on the only free roaming Big-5 Reserve in this biome. They are able to view and protect some of Africa’s best wildlife and see them in their natural habitat.
The difference that the project or volunteers make
Without our volunteers we are unable to collect the data necessary to continue the protection and further understanding of these incredible animals. The studies they assist with serve to better anti-poaching knowledge and the health statuses of wildlife on free-roaming reserves to better understand how real wild animals actually live.
Interns, volunteers, retirees, sabbaticals and working holiday makers have a chance to get involved in wildlife conservation in the field. Our participants play a critical role in the continuation of our research efforts, without whom we would be unable to continue our work in understanding and protecting wildlife.
Receive academic credit, build your C.V., gain one of a kind field experience and make a difference in Africa’s wildlife.
The program commences on the first of every month with arrival day spent at leisure, taking time to explore Mossel Bay and adjust to the area. The second day of the program is allocated for orientation with team and project introductions as well as more information pertaining to daily tasks and schedules, day three in South Africa signifies the first day in the field.
Each weekday students travel to the reserve to complete training and reserve field work, Fridays are set out for lectures and workshops which will take place in town. Weekends are allocated to leisure that is be spent in the coastal town of Mossel Bay, where students are free to explore and take advantage of the local culture and tourism activities.
The duration of the program is one calendar month, however, stays for up to six months are available.
All of our volunteers, interns, and students stay together in the pristine town of Hartenbos in 4 Star self catering accommodation. The facility is highly secure and safe with restricted access that only allows our students, staff, and fellow travellers staying at the facility to enter. The facility also mandates 24/7 security personnel and is located in the safest town in South Africa.
Students have their included cold breakfast 7 days a week and are provided basic lunches in the reserve on work days. Students are responsible to supply their own dinners.
There are various activities that can be booked for weekends and downtime. Nkonzo also leads multiple weekend trips (2 or 3 nights) to lesser known areas of the Western and Northern Cape that are exclusive to Nkonzo volunteers.
Please note, these activities are not included and are available at the students’ own expense.
As students stay in Hartenbos they are also within walking distance to many restaurants, Hartenbos Seafront ,shops, and take-away places.
Based out of Mossel Bay, South Africa volunteers wake up on the beautiful beach overlooking the bay and can enjoy safe backpacker style accommodation that gives them access to the local night-life and day activities during their free time.
Dates & Costs
14 NIGHTS € 1249
28 NIGHTS € 2399
- 4 Star Shared accommodation
- Basic cold breakfast 7 days per week
- Lunch Monday-Friday
- Conservation fees
- Daily access to game reserve
- Work related transported
- 24/7 emergency standby team
- Guided research and management activities
- All training and training material
- Nkonzo Wildlife text book
- Daily Housekeeping
- Airport Transfer (GRJ)
- Free WiFi
- All dinners (fully equipped self-catering kitchen available)
- Curios and other souvenirs
- Weekend activities
- Anything not stated
All participants must be of reasonably good health, physically and mentally. Students will be required to work days and partial days on foot (the other days will be spent primarily in a vehicle/stationary). During on foot days the team hikes to access the areas needed to complete our work. The trails used are sometimes abandoned roads that are no longer vehicle accessible, or they may be hiking trails and animal pathways. Students must be able to hike up and down hills and across this terrain whilst carrying their own backpack that contains their provided lunch, drinking water, personal snacks, additional layers (weather dependant), and their share of the day’s equipment such as nets, camera traps, clipboards, binoculars, reference books etc.
Our team stops frequently on hikes for data collection, tracking, water breaks, and training but students can expect to hike between 5 and 10km on a given day. Please note that this layout of a week may change based on workshop days, animal availability etc.
Am I Eligible?
You need to be:
- Of reasonably good health, physically and mental. Students will be required to work several days per week on foot.
- 18 years of age or older
- Fluent or semi-fluent spoken English (able to understand and follow conversation, able to communicate thoughts and ideas.
- Able to work in groups or individually
- Strong work ethics
- Ability to follow direction
The program is open to individuals of all academic fields and experience background however, only a few students are taken at a time. If unsure if you are a good fit, please contact us to discuss.
Who will pick me up at the Airport and how will I find them?
One of our team members will be meeting you at George Airport. The team member will be wearing a dark-green button up shirt and will be wearing blue jeans.
What happens if there is an emergency?
If a student has a medical emergency, they will immediately be taken to BayViewPrivate Hospital in Mossel Bay, one of the top hospitals in the country. Using the medical aid information given on the registration form the student will be checked in and examined by hospital staff. At this time the student’s will phone the emergency contact provided on the registration form and notify them of the situation.
Why am I paying a Program Fee?
- So that we can arrange safe and clean housing, meals, training, work transport, and more without requiring you to arrange these yourself.
- To file necessary paperwork and settle the required conservation fees set by the reserve(s).
- And finally, a portion of your program fee goes to the continuation of our conservation and research work.
Can I use a Credit Card in South Africa?
Yes, as long as your bank is aware before you travel. Keep in mind that bank fees may apply. Additionally, most places take credit cards but some smaller shops and street stalls will ONLY take cash.
Tip # 1: Exchange any cash in ZAR (South African Rand) whilst in your international airport (such as Heathrow or JFK).
Tip # 2: Keep a copy of your Passport and ID in your wallet that you carry with you. Keep your original Passport locked in the secured safe at the Backpackers.
Tip # 3: Get Travellers Sickness Tablets from your local Healthcare Professional to help your system adjust to the local cuisine and water more quickly.
Tip # 4: Notify you banks and insurance providers of your travel plans to ensure that your bank cards work and you are fully covered in the case of emergency in South Africa.