Animal Conservation in South Africa

Makalali Game Reserve

8 - 14 days

Through collaborative research projects, volunteers make an important contribution to the “bigger picture” of conservation in Africa - monitoring biodiversity processes and addressing challenges created by the ever-increasing human population, specifically fragmented and isolated habitats.

An average volunteer week generally consists of: 2 elephant monitoring sessions, 2 lion monitoring sessions, 2 rhino/cheetah drives, 2 nocturnal drives (late evening to early morning) for tracking leopards and small predators, and bush clearing/erosion control. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to participate in bush walks and sleep outs within the Reserve.  Opportunities exist in areas of:

  • Elephant contraception:  behavioral and range utilization monitoring of the elephants.

  • Lion contraception: behavioral monitoring of targeted females and range utilization of the pride.

  • Leopard monitoring: activity monitoring by traversing fixed routes within the reserve.

  • African wildcats:  long-term monitoring program to acquire data on the ranging, foraging and reproductive behavior of released offspring in savanna environment.

  • Species demography: identification and sexing of reserve individuals (lions, rhino, cheetah and elephant) and continuous monitoring of these populations with reference to predator/prey density, inter and intra-species relations and the maintenance of identification kits.

  • Sex ratio analysis: establishment of repeatable routes to accurately record the sex/age ratios of herbivore species for the optimal ratio to increase productivity (in conjunction with annual game counts).

  • MSc research: assistance with any Masters of Science student fieldwork and data collection.

  • Alien vegetation & bio control monitoring: identification and mapping of alien and invasive vegetation within the river and reserve, spreading of biological and chemical agents, and follow-up monitoring of problem areas.

  • Community work: Siyafunda provides support for the Holy Family Orphanage every 2-3 weeks.  This is a Catholic run HIV orphanage with approx 90 children under care. Volunteers are welcome to bring old clothes, school supplies or food during visits. 


Your Experience Includes

Round Trip Airfare
Hotel/Host Family
Guided Tours
Full Time Travel Companion
Local Expert Guides
24/7 Local & Remote Support
All Entrances
All Transportation
Travel/Medical Insurance Options
Flexible Payment Plans
Always Private Tours for Your Group
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Locations - Charlotte, NC - Cambridge, MA