Nature Conservation in South Africa – Big 5 – Individual program

Nature Conservation in South Africa - Big 5


We invite you to take part in the management of a private game reserve (founded in 1992) and its efforts toward wildlife conservation. Thus, volunteers are called to discover which measures and action are taken in favor of the animal conservation and biodiversity. Be ready for surprise encounters with animals, never knowing which species you will meet early in the morning!

Your schedule is supervised by professional guides who are passionate about nature. The purpose of each activity is explained to you from the point of view of local conservation.

This game reserve offers a wide variety of African animal species including the famous Big 5: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos. You can therefore, through your daily activities, observe these species as closely as possible in a breathtaking natural setting.

Our experience: we spent a month as volunteers on site. To fully appreciate the experience (to observe as many animals as possible and to do most of the activities offered), a three to four week stay is recommended. Personally, we loved it so much that we could have stayed longer!


  • From R16.140 (approx. 980 €)
  • 2 to 12 weeks
  • Minimum age 16
  • Every monday
  • Up to 20 volunteers
  • Lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffalo, antelopes, cheetahs, giraffes, and more

Valid offer for all individual programs starting from 17th of September to the 23rd of December 2018.

Day 1 / Monday: A shuttle picks you up at the Port Elizabeth Airport at 1:00pm. Once in the game reserve, you will be given a quick introduction and will have time to get settled in your rooms (double en-suite rooms) and socialise with the other volunteers. At 5:00pm, dinner is served and you will meet your coordinators and other volunteers.

Day 2 to day 14 (2 week stay example):

8:00am: start the day and depart for the activities. They are organized based on need in the morning and in the afternoon by the coordinators.

12h – 13h: lunch in the bush

17h: end of the day, you go back to the lodge for dinner

Evening: free time

Every Friday: you will leave at 9:00am to support the local community in the different villages surrounding the game reserve. The activities are different each Friday.

Weekend / days off: Weekends are free and it is possible to organize excursions outside of the game reserve. Activities available are: whale watching, visiting the Addo Elephant National Park game drive, bungee jumping, skydiving, horse riding, quad biking, Jeffreys Bay tour with possibility of surfing, and swimming with the sea lions, etc.

The cost of activities is at your own expense.

Day 15 / Monday: transfer at 10:00am to Port Elizabeth. Arrival at the airport around 12:00pm.

Various activities are organized throughout your stay. By doing this, you will be able to understand the life in reserve and the need to sustain the conservation of local biodiversity.

You have generally two activities per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

General activities and tasks (non-exhaustive list):

  • Game Monitoring: Rhino, Elephants, Predators. With regular monitoring, it is possible to identify individuals, compile information about the family structure and
    determine feeding and spatial ecology. Data collected is used to assist in the managing decisions for the reserve.
  • Game Count: game counts assist in the decision making of predator to prey ratios and the movement of animals on or off the reserve.
  • Camera Trapping and Telemetry Tracking: the setting and use of camera traps to monitor wildlife activity is a vital tool in gaining visual footage required to
    manage the reserve. Monitoring of some of the more high-profile wildlife, like cheetah and leopard, are required using
    telemetry tracking equipment.
  • Restoration & Rehabilitation of Reserve Landscapes: the need to return the once pristine landscape to its original splendour includes the collecting and removal of old fence lines and rehabilitating degraded and overgrazed land.
  • Research Projects: undertakings of research projects with a focus on a value add outcome for the reserve or conservation as a whole, are viewed as an incumbency. These projects are often undertaken in conjunction with both local and foreign research and academic testing to capturing data on lesser known species such as the Brown Hyena.
  • Alien Plant Control: exotic and alien plants needs to be removed to be able to increase the natural biodiversity and decrease the likes of fire risk and better preserve our fast diminishing natural water sources.
  • Assisting in night and anti-poaching patrols
  • Born Free Foundation: our visits to the centers are conducted with the overall focus on education and exposure to best
    practice animal care. No breeding of cats is undertaken at the center which is sanctuary for Lions and Leopards who are unable to be reintroduced back into the wild. 
  • Animal Rehabilitation Centre: a place set up to aid in rehabilitating injured animals found on the reserve and surrounding community. No animals are kept for purposes of breeding in captivity but are hosted with the aim of giving them a second chance to take on life back in the wild.
  • Lectures
  • Community Projects (Friday): the role of conservation includes a responsibility
    to uplift local and impoverished communities. Community and sporting interactions with our local community which range from creating and maintaining vegetable gardens, recycling projects, painting classrooms and building jungle gyms and more.

Physical condition: being in average physical condition is requested

The lodge is located in the reserve and you can directly observe impalas, kudu and monkeys etc there. It is divided into two buildings.

The first one has double rooms for volunteers. You are accommodated in a double-room (non-mixed) with a private shower. Each room has a safe. Housekeeping is done on Mondays and Thursdays. Regarding your laundry, it is cleaned once a week.

The second building is dedicated to the living community with a common room (including television and pool table) and its dining room. Outside you can relax around the swimming pool. A fire is regularly lit outside to allow you to spend the evening discussing and contemplating the milky way.

Meals are served three times a day. If you have a special diet, please specify this when you register.

Regarding the wi-fi, you will have to pay a small amount (about 10 €) to have access to it.

The length of stay is from a two weeks minimum to 12 weeks.

Duration   Prix 2018 (en Rands – ZAR)Prix 2019
2 weeksR 16.140 (approx. 920€)R 17.754
3 weeksR 24.210 (approx. 1380€)R 26.631
4 weeksR 32.280 (approx. 1840€)R 35.508
5 weeksR 40.350 (approx. 2300€)R 44.385
6 weeksR 48.420 (approx. 2760€)R 53.262
8 weeksR 64.560 (approx. 3680€)R 71.016
10 weeksR 80.700 (approx. 4600€)R 88.770
12 weeksR 96.840 (approx. 5520€)R 106.524

To know: do not hesitate to use the converter XE Converter, the South African currency fluctuates regularly.


  • Accommodation;
  • Supervision and daily activities;
  • Three meals a day;
  • laundry once a week; and
  • Registration fees

Not included:

  • Flight tickets;
  • Transfer from the airport to the reserve (R1200 A / R – 70 € approx.);
  • Internet (paid voucher available in the lodge);
  • Excursions during weekends;
  • Vaccines; and
  • Travel insurance.

Are you interested in this program and want to book? Complete the form below.

NB: The program is regularly fully booked (March to August), so please – book early.

Special offer

We offer you 10% discount to celebrate the launch of our website! This discount is valid for all of those who wish to finish 2018 in the wild! This offer is applicable to anyone who chooses the individual program starting from September 17, 2018 to December 23, 2018. Mention the offer when you register.

By using this form, I authorize Destination Nature to store my personal information



Big 5

The reserve has the 5 most popular safari species called the Big5, which include: lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos. These species are represented on the national banknotes.

destination nature people

passionate professionnals

Your coordinator is a field guide who is experienced and passionate about his job. Do not hesitate to ask him any questions.

destination nature spot


Since its creation, this reserve has been focused on high quality tourism by offering safaris for only the guests it hosts. You will be lucky to explore 250 kms without seeing other vehicles.

destination nature point

Born Free Foundation

The center is based within the reserve, and is a sanctuary for Lions and Leopards who are unable to be reintroduced back into the wild.

destination nature travel


The reserve’s owners wish to develop and increase interactions with local populations. Many actions are planned to help them.

destination nature agency


The lodge where you sleep offers quality housing, with three meals a day, housekeeping twice a week and cleaning of your clothes.

Has received more than


Has the


Total area of



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Choose to visit with Walter South African peninsula from Cape Town with Walter during 1 week before the start of your eco-volunteer experience!