Venture into the African bush in
search of the big five at
Amakhala

Assist behind the scenes on on-going conservation projects

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  • Duration
    1-12 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
    12+
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From
    £300
  • Duration
    1-12 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
    12+
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From
    £300

South Africa Amakhala big five conservation

Do you want to experience and explore South Africa and all of its inhabitants? Well Amakhala will not disappoint! Assist behind the scenes on various on-going conservation and community projects, where you will help to protect and reintroduce a vast array of wildlife into an area that it once called home.

You will spend your days out in the game reserve, where around any corner, behind any bush and at the top of any brow could be wildlife – how exciting! This is your chance to go on an extensive safari at a fraction of the cost, while doing your bit to help with important conservation work.

Everyday you will see a different part of the 18,000-hectare game reserve (it’s bigger than you think!) and come across new animals – some you never knew even existed! Meet “Norman the nuisance”, the elephant that seems to destroy everything in his path, be brave and try some termites (they taste of mint!) and keep an eye out for the giraffes heads as they hide behind the bushes.

"I have just returned from a two week trip to Amakhala. I cannnot speak highly enough about our local coordinator, Ebin, who made the whole experience truly worthwhile. He was not only very knowledgeable, but so passionate about the community and all the animals we encountered. I would recommend it to anyone and like to thank the TMR for making it possible. "

Home to some of the world’s most iconic animals, including the king of the jungle lions, timid leopards, clumsy rhinos, graceful elephants and mystic buffalo that make up the big five. There is also a diverse abundance of a variety of antelope, giraffe, hippo, warthog, cheetah, zebra and over 25 other species that roam the plains of the game reserve, providing you with everlasting memories!

This area was once densely populated with wildlife, however diversity changed dramatically after the onset of intense animal hunting. The hunting was followed by farming practices that saw a clash of domestic and wild animal interests and the systematic eradication of problematic animals. Substantial parts of the area are currently undergoing a transformation back to wildlife and nature-based land usage after 200 years of various forms of domestic animal and agricultural farming.

You will generally be volunteering Monday – Friday for around 8 hours a day. Depending on what your activities are for the day will depend what time you start and finish, but this will all be communicated to you beforehand.

You could be tracking animals using telemetry equipment, identifying wildlife, managing game, helping with game capture and counts, fence patrols and maintenance, predator health, breeding monitoring and nocturnal monitoring.

Amakhala prides itself on its strong involvement within the local community. At the community centre that is run solely by donations and volunteers, you will get involved in providing basic pre-school education, playing sports and games and assist in growing and renovating the local vegetable plots.

It won’t all be work though! Apart from driving around the reserve monitoring the wildlife, you will get the chance to camp out in the bush under the starry night with the lions and other animals! A once in a lifetime opportunity where you will learn bush survival skills and hopefully survive the night!

Not only this, but you will stay in the one of the luxury safari lodges for a night where you will dine out with the most delicious meal ever, relax in your private plunge pool, have a drink or two while watching the wildlife roam right past your door!

You may also get the chance to go canoeing down the spellbinding Bushman’s river that runs right through the reserve, fish, target practice shooting and lots more.

Make sure to ask as many questions as you like! You will learn so much about the animals that call Amakhala home, from how often the lions feed to telling the gender of a zebra! You will gain in-depth knowledge about each animal from our local team and also be taught about population management, conservation practices and so much more.

Be prepared to get really stuck in and get your hands dirty, where your varied role will mean no two days are the same. With sprawling savannah and bushveld that is simply bursting with a whole host of amazing wildlife, it will leave you in awe of life’s abundance, beauty and spectacular scenery.

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A great two weeks at Amakhala!

Our two weeks volunteering at Amakhala included so much, with something new everyday. Getting close to amazing wildlife, helping the community and exploring South Africa.

Sara's story

Heading off on safari in South Africa

Between the UK and South Africa teams, I felt fully supported and had the best two weeks at Amakhala. I saw so many animals and learnt so much, I cannot wait to volunteer again.

Lynette's story

Four months helping penguins in South Africa

Even though I was volunteering for several months, which is longer than most, the time flew by and I really wished I stayed longer! If you like penguins or birds, then I can highly recommend this programme

Stephanie's story