Volunteer - Wildlife Experience

Wildlife Experience - South Africa

This hands-on volunteer programme exposes you, the volunteer, to wildlife like lion, elephant, white rhino, giraffe, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest and others. Volunteer on this exquisite conservation consortium in the Eastern Cape made up of several private game reserves, only 60 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in the Greater Addo Elephant Area.

You can experience wildlife - up close and personal - as very few people will by volunteering behind the scenes with professionals on our Game Reserve. This fifth generation, family run Game Reserve and Safari Lodge is proudly Fair Trade Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) accredited thereby meeting strict criteria such as: fair wages and equal employment, democracy, transparency and environmental conservation. They will ensure your hospitable experience while creating a wildlife experience, which will capture your imagination, refresh your soul and conserve our natural heritage!

The Reserve is a successful conservation project which has seen the re-introduction of lion, elephant, white rhino, giraffe, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest and many antelope species. During your experience you will gain a holistic understanding of the ecology of the land and a history of the people.

You will gain first hand experience of how a Game Ranch is managed from a unique behind the scenes viewpoint. YOU are the student and the classroom is the Reserve! Get involved in game and conservation management, learn new life skills and contribute to social projects in the area. One main focus area is monitoring the integration of the lions into the reserve by tracking and recording their behaviour.

You will also interact with the children from the local orphanage during your stay. Interaction varies from wildlife / environmental education to fun activities. The reserve has been involved in local schools, orphanage and some vetinary assistance for a number of years and is a reason for our selection of this Game Reserve above many similar offerings.

The "Project Contribution" included in your overall fee will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the project during your actual volunteer stay on the ground.

All of our Projects require you to be in good health, and be reasonably fit. You must be aged between 18 and 60 to be able to volunteer on this project.

PLEASE NOTE THIS PROJECT RUNS EITHER BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR OASIS OVERLAND TRIP.

Volunteer - Wildlife Experience
Rhino
Volunteer-Projects-wildlife

Prices

A £300 deposit is required to book this project.  All prices are in Pounds Sterling (£GBP) and are per person (pp). Once requested your volunteer project cannot be refunded or exchanged.

January to December 2019:

No. of Weeks & Cost

2 weeks ---- £1095

4 weeks ---- £2055

5 weeks ---- £2535

6 weeks ---- £3015

8 weeks ---- £3975

12 weeks --- £5895

Prices are per person in a twin share.  Please ask for a price if you only have 1, 3 or more weeks to spare.

Dates

Please contact Oasis Overland in regards to Start dates for this project

Included

  • Twin / Sharing Accommodation
  • Project donation
  • Orientation programme and project specific training
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (prepared communally at the Lodge by you the volunteers).

NOT Included

  • Flights
  • Visa costs
  • Travel & Medical Insurance (must cover volunteer work)
  • In-country transport
  • Costs and items of a personal nature
  • Transfers from Port Elizabeth airport to project

Your Volunteering experience is not complete without taking in some key heritage and tourist sites during your off-periods. We can recommend some "must see places" however recommendations may vary and are dependent on the location of your project and number of tourists. Extensions and additional sight-seeing can be arranged at a fee on request.

Itinerary

Duration - 2 to 12 weeks (4 weeks minimum recommended)

You can expect to be involved with any of the following, during your stay.  This is not a comprehensive list, and you may not get to be involved with everything, as obviously it depends on your length of stay and what is going on at the Reserve at the time.

The itinerary could include

Community Service

  • Conservation Centre assistance with school groups
  • Assistance at Centre for Vulnerable Children and AIDS orphanage
  • Care, education and vegetable gardening at centres
  • Clean ups

Conservation Service

  • Predator monitoring (mainly lions)
  • Land management (burning, grazing patterns, roads, water & fencing)
  • Game management (re-introducing, counts, bomas, culling etc.)
  • Game drives (animal ID, tracking, introduction)
  • Birding and Entomology collection
  • Indigenous nursery maintenance and removal of alien vegetation
  • Anti poaching patrols

Fun Element

  • Guided walks and over night camping
  • Canoeing, boating
  • Xhosa culture introduction including use of medicinal plants
  • Target shooting
  • History, geology and paleontology
  • Star gazing
  • Beach walks and marine conservation
  • Luxury lodge experience

Accommodation and Hours

Housed in the renovated Old Railway Station with internet, satellite TV, outside barbeque or "braai" area.  Rooms are serviced daily and a laundry service is available. Hours are normally between 06:30 and 17:00, Monday to Friday, although this can vary, especially on projects of 4 weeks duration or longer.

Transport and Transfers

You will be collected each day and dropped off at the project area. You will need to make your own transfer arrangements from the end point of your Overland trip to Port Elizabeth. Ideally your project will start on a Monday - A shared transfer can be arranged from Port Elizabeth airport departing at 14:00 (or other collection points in the city at 13:00) can be arranged. Shared transfers are £36 per person. Please contact our office for the latest information. 

Insurance

It is a compulsory requirement that you have adequate travel insurance before you join any Oasis Trip & at the very least are insured for all necessary medical & repatriation costs incurred overseas with a recommended sum insured of £500,000.  It is also wise to leave a copy of your insurance policy with a friend or relative for safe keeping.

Please ensure that your policy covers you for Volunteering work and activities. We believe that your safety and holiday enjoyment are very important. It is a mistake to think that "it will never happen to me". It is also very important that you are covered for all the activities that you may wish to undertake while on our trip.

For further information on the insurance we offer, the activities covered, costs and how to book please check out the Insurance section of our website.

Visas and Vaccinations

Most nationalities do not require a Visa for South Africa, but it is advisable to contact the relevant Embassy in plenty of time before the trip departs to check the current visa requirements.

As we are not medically trained - we are unable to give detailed or professional advice on vaccination requirements, therefore please consult a reputable travel clinic or GP for advice on any medical issues. We suggest allowing 8 weeks to get all your vaccinations. For more information visit: www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk or www.nomadtravel.co.uk  Oasis travellers receive a 10% discount on vaccinations, medical kits, clothing and camping equipment from the Nomad Travel Clinic - you will receive your discount code on your booking receipt.  Medical advice should also be taken regarding Malaria risks.

Clothing and Equipment

Please see our full list of Clothing and Equipment, in the Essential Trip Information on each trip page, for the Overland trip that you are undertaking before or after this project. This should more than cover the items you will need for your Project. You will also receive a full Welcome Pack from our Project Provider, after booking, that will list any other items.

Responsible Travel

Before you go

  • Remove unnecessary packaging before you go - waste disposal facilities are often stretched in the places we visit.
  • To avoid unnecessary pollution of local water supplies take environmentally friendly toiletries with you.
  • Why not invest in a wind-up or solar-powered torch or media player before you travel or at least rechargeable batteries.
  • Learn some of the local language and read up on the local history / culture before you go. You'll get so much more out of your trip. Why not pack some pens / pencils exercise books in your rucksack and they can be donated to a local school or project while you're away.
  • Take a sturdy water bottle with you from home that you can re-use throughout your trip.

While You're Travelling

From experience gained in running trips, we have developed our own practical and a manageable environmental policy.  We welcome your input on this, plus any new ideas you may have, to improve our existing procedures. As a guide here's a few tips to bear in mind.

  • Don't waste water. It is a scarce resource in many of the places our trips visit.
  • Never buy endangered species or endangered habitat products. Apart from the fact of it being illegal it also encourages the trade to continue.
  • Look after and preserve the areas we visit. Be careful about stepping on coral reefs or trekking on undesignated tracks.
  • Buy locally made crafts and products helping to support the local economy.
  • Don't feel when bargaining that you have to get the cheapest price possible just for the sake of it. Pay what the item is worth to you.
  • Try the local food and drinks - this will help to support local farmers and food sellers. Sitting in a local cafe is also a great way to meet local people.
  • Dispose of litter appropriately on your trip. This includes cigarette butts. Not only does litter look unsightly it can be lethal to wildlife.
  • Where any toilet facilities exist, however unsavoury they might seem to you, they should be used. Where they do not, always bury your waste and make sure it is never near, (at least 30m) from a water source.
  • When game viewing do not encourage your guides to get too close to the wildlife so that their natural behaviour is impeded.
  • Respect local customs, traditions and beliefs of the people in the different regions that you travel through.
  • Do not take photos of people, ritual events or special places unless you have asked first. Dress appropriately according to local codes and show respect around religious festivals.
  • Recycling is almost non-existent in many of the areas and countries we visit - we do the best we can with limited resources & space on our vehicles.

For books dedicated to travelling more responsibly & ethically see: www.tourismconcern.org.uk

Please note that you will be required to fill out an application form prior to being accepted on the Project. You may also be asked for references.

This Project can be combined with any other African Project.

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