Amakhala Big 5 Experience

The Volunteer World International / Amakhala Volunteer Program and Big 5 Game Reserve Conservation Experience ranks among the best of any on offer anywhere in South Africa and further emphasizes VWIs initiative and promise of only offering the best and most sustainable volunteering experiences available.

The Amakhala Reserve itself, situated near the beautiful town of Paterson, is a 7500 hectare conservation reserve housing all of South Africa’s Famous ‘Big 5’ (Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo) in safe and secluded wilderness.  Due to the conservation practices and beliefs held and upkept by the reserve, biodiversity here flourishes and aside from the ‘Big 5’, you may also be lucky to encounter other species such as cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, a variety of antelope species and if you are really lucky, maybe even the glimpse of some of the more elusive animals such as the hyena, serval cat or even bat eared fox. It is not only the fauna that flourishes here, Amakhala is also home to 5 of South Africas 7 floral biomes – from bushveld to Savannah thus offering its residents a hugely diverse range of habitats and volunteers a plethora of photo opportunities!

Volunteers to the VWI / Amakhala Game Reserve Conservation Experience will be afforded a hugely informative and engaging stay getting involved on a daily basis with all aspects of reserve management and conservation practices from anti poaching patrols to alien species removal.

Activities are not just limited to conservation on the reserve though, the volunteer program at Amakhala fully encorporates, amongst many others, a community outreach program with local schools enabling our volunteers to experience South African culture in a real and grass routes level – an important part of the program which is sure to leave a lasting impression on all of our volunteers here – read our ‘Project Details’ tab for more info on the full range of experiences and activities on offer.

Looking for the perfect conservation experience in South Africa?  Look no further, the VWI / Amakhala Conservation Volunteer Experience offers everything you could possible wish for – book early to avoid disappointment as spaces are limited!

Highlights

Volunteering at Amakhala is a must for anyone with a passion for conservation and wildlife – from getting up close to the Big 5 to visiting local community schools, Amakhala Game Reserve offers volunteers a myriad of potential experiences to be a part of. Below are just a few of the many highlights volunteers with VWI to the Amakhala Big 5 Game Reserve Program may have the privilege of being a part of:

    • See all of South Africas ‘Big 5’ (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo) exactly where they are meant to be seen – in the wild!
    • Enjoy a stay at one of South Africas most ecologically diverse and scenically stunning Game Reserves
    • Track and observe wild lion prides through the South African bush using telemetry equipment
    • Visit a local school and community as part of the program and Amakhalas ongoing ‘Community Development’ initiative
  • If you’re really lucky – get involved and help out in a game

    capture (*only undertaken as demanded expressly by the needs of the reserve at the time)!

 Program Outline

The Amakhala Volunteer Program Big 5 experience in conjunction with Volunteer World International is an exciting overall experience that is sure to enthrall all those who choose to visit.  A variety of engaging activities are integrated into the general program to ensure all our volunteers not only have an amazing experience with us in South Africa, but also leave with the feeling of having made a genuine and real difference to the people and wildlife they have the privilege of meeting.

The Amakhala Game Reserve Project provides volunteers with an insight into the environmental issues faced and the subsequent requisites of reserve management through the Award Winning Amakhala Conservation Centre and also integrates a real contribution to the surrounding community through visits to an AIDS Orphanage and vulnerable children center.  As such, from telemetry tracking of the resident lions at Amakhala and all aspects of conservation and reserve management, to assisting vulnerable children in the local community, volunteers are guaranteed a varied and rewarding program on a daily basis.  An ‘average’ day may be structured as follows:

  • Breakfast at 07h00
  • Leave Volunteer house for duties on the reserve 07h30
  • Tracking of Lions with telemetry and monitor activities
  • Move through to the game reserve identifying antelope and to area allocated for vegetation survey
  • Lunch on the reserve around 13H00 til 14h00
  • Canoe on the river until 15h00 to survey bird behaviour
  • 16h00 Fence patrol on way back to volunteer house

With a huge variety of activities necessary for the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the reserve, your daily routine is guaranteed to be varied and well worth getting up for every morning.  All daily activities for our volunteers are dependent on the specific needs of the reserve at any given time and unfortunately participation cannot be guaranteed in any one particular event. There is always something happening though, and you can be assured you will never be bored!

The range of activities you may be involved in are listed below (though not limited to) and as ever, the longer your stay, the more chance you will have of becoming involved in all of them! Conservation plays a major part of the purpose of the Amakhala Volunteer Program, for this element, you may find yourself involved in any of the below activities:

  • Predator Monitoring: Telemetry tracking of Lions
  • Game drives: Animal ID, tracking and introductions
  • Waterhole surveys
  • Lectures on conservation, reserve management and maintenance
  • Land Management: Burning, grazing patterns, roads, water, and fencing.
  • Birding and Entomology Collection
  • Mapping and understanding of the various floral biomes present on the reserve
  • Indigenous nursery and removal of alien vegetation
  • Anti-poaching patrols
  • Assisting with veterinary work: Dartings and post mortems (as per the express needs of the reserve)
  • Game Management: Culling, re-introducing, counts, boma maintenance, game capture etc.  Please note that these activities will only take place when the needs of the reserve expressly dictate that they are necessary.

As part of the Amakhala Volunteers Community outreach program, weekly visits will be made to the local farm school supported by Amakhala.  Here, you will find yourself involved in any of the following:

  • Conservation center assistance with school groups
  • Center for Vulnerable Children and AIDS orphanage.
  • Care, education and vegetable gardening
  • Beach clean ups
  • Craft Centre Development

Volunteering isn’t all about work, work, work though!  As such, the Amakhala Game Reserve Volunteer Program with Volunteer World International ensures that additional enriching activities are included as part of your stay in addition to and as a reward for the work and commitment you show – these may include any or all of the following:

  • Guided bush walks, night game drives and over-night camping
  • Canoeing on the Bushmans River
  • Xhosa culture and medicinal use of plants
  • Target shooting.
  • History, Geology and paleontology
  • Star Gazing and basic astronomy
  • Beach walk and marine conservation
  • Fishing in the Bushmans River

In addition to all of this, each week an additional excursion will be organised to 1 of the following centres:

  1. Excursion to world renowned Addo National Elephant Park.
    2.     Excursion to a Cheetah Sanctuary, Horse riding and a visit to a Penguin rehabilitation centre.
    3.     Elephant back ride, feeding and river cruise.

The Amakhala Volunteer Program with Volunteer World International truly offers everything you

could possibly wish for in a volunteer experience – engaging activities, stunning scenery and setting, the opportunity to get hands on and make a genuine difference in a variety of areas, built in stimulating extras – the list goes on and on!

 Start Dates

All Year – Starting every Monday
Period – 1 Week

 Pricing

From £450

What’s Included

  • A dedicated volunteer coordinator for the duration of your stay.
  • Accommodation at the ‘Old Railway Station’ in Sandflats
  • DSTV (satellite television) and internet access.
  • Laundry service and daily servicing of rooms.
  • Food is supplied though meals are prepared by the volunteers at the accommodation.

Not Included

  • International Flights and Visas
  • *Airport Transfers (transfers can be arranged as an optional extra if required at R700 one way)
  • Gifts, entertainment and beverages (unless otherwise detailed)
  • Weekend excursions (if required)
  • Monthly stipend

* Why do we not include airport transfers in our pricing?  Through experience, we know many of our volunteers wish to travel South Africa before/after their programs so including costs for transfers in the pricing would represent wasted funds should this be the case.  By not including a cost for airport transfers and offering this separately, we strongly believe we offer our volunteers the maximum choice and transparency over pricing.

The Amakhala Volunteer Project accepts new volunteers every Monday and volunteers should aim to arrive to the project on this day.  Should airport transfers be required, volunteers should ensure they arrive to Port Elizabeth Airport on the Monday and advise their flight details to Volunteer World International as soon as possible in advance in order for us to arrange

transport appropriately.  Whilst weekends are freetime on the project, volunteers are welcome to stay in the accommodation until the end of their stay prior to their return flights. Note: VWI uses Paypal to issue all our invoices – should you require a quotation in a currency not listed above, please contact us detailing your requirements!

 Location

Amakhala Game Reserve enjoys an ideal location for your all-encompassing volunteer vacation and only a short drive from the tourist mecca, shopping and nightlife of Port Elizabeth. At the heart of South Africa’s Eastern Cape region, close to the ocean for relaxing in your

time away from the project and a host of activities and things to do whilst enjoying some of South Africa’s most stunning and varied scenery right outside your window, Amakhala truly ‘ticks all the boxes’ for any volunteer looking for both amazing experiences and a real taste of all that is good about South Africa!

 Out and About

The Amakhala volunteer program in conjunction with Volunteer World International offers a stunning location near South Africa’s famous Garden Route and just a short 2-hour drive from sunny Port Elizabeth that will never leave volunteers short of something to do in their free time!  Be it a trip on the ocean to see some of South Africa’s marvelous marine species or a more energetic approach like skydiving or quad biking – anything is possible!

All of the below activities can be arranged for you between your allocated volunteer coordinator at the project and ourselves here at VWI – we just ask that you give us plenty of notice to enable us to make your requests become a reality!

  • Trip to Port Elizabeth to soak up the nightlife, shopping or simply a nice meal out to sample some of the locally caught seafish.  Maybe even catch a rugby or football match if timings are right!
  • Adrenaline activities such as quad biking, abseiling, mountain biking, hiking, day trips and safaris all offered by Southern Shores Adventures
  • Canoeing (Nukakamma Canoe Trail is a stunning trip along Sundays River – a 14.5km upriver trail with camping and accommodation offered overnight – please ask for further details!)
  • Trips to Addo National Park for elephant back safaris and lodge accommodation
  • Skydiving
  • Various opportunities for ‘Marine Safaris’ on the Indian Ocean to see Great White Sharks, various species of whale, dolphins or simply a deep sea fishing charter.

The above list represents a small selection of the possibilities open to our volunteers in their free time at the Amakhala Big 5 Volunteer Program – if there is anything you find that isn’t listed above, let us know and we will happily arrange it for you if required!

 Gallery

Amakhala Big 5 Experience

The Volunteer World International / Amakhala Volunteer Program and Big 5 Game Reserve Conservation Experience ranks among the best of any on offer anywhere in South Africa and further emphasizes VWIs initiative and promise of only offering the best and most sustainable volunteering experiences available.

The Amakhala Reserve itself, situated near the beautiful town of Paterson, is a 7500 hectare conservation reserve housing all of South Africa’s Famous ‘Big 5’ (Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo) in safe and secluded wilderness.  Due to the conservation practices and beliefs held and upkept by the reserve, biodiversity here flourishes and aside from the ‘Big 5’, you may also be lucky to encounter other species such as cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, a variety of antelope species and if you are really lucky, maybe even the glimpse of some of the more elusive animals such as the hyena, serval cat or even bat eared fox. It is not only the fauna that flourishes here, Amakhala is also home to 5 of South Africas 7 floral biomes – from bushveld to Savannah thus offering its residents a hugely diverse range of habitats and volunteers a plethora of photo opportunities!

Volunteers to the VWI / Amakhala Game Reserve Conservation Experience will be afforded a hugely informative and engaging stay getting involved on a daily basis with all aspects of reserve management and conservation practices from anti poaching patrols to alien species removal.

Activities are not just limited to conservation on the reserve though, the volunteer program at Amakhala fully encorporates, amongst many others, a community outreach program with local schools enabling our volunteers to experience South African culture in a real and grass routes level – an important part of the program which is sure to leave a lasting impression on all of our volunteers here – read our ‘Project Details’ tab for more info on the full range of experiences and activities on offer.

Looking for the perfect conservation experience in South Africa?  Look no further, the VWI / Amakhala Conservation Volunteer Experience offers everything you could possible wish for – book early to avoid disappointment as spaces are limited!

Highlights

Volunteering at Amakhala is a must for anyone with a passion for conservation and wildlife – from getting up close to the Big 5 to visiting local community schools, Amakhala Game Reserve offers volunteers a myriad of potential experiences to be a part of. Below are just a few of the many highlights volunteers with VWI to the Amakhala Big 5 Game Reserve Program may have the privilege of being a part of:

  • See all of South Africas ‘Big 5’ (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo) exactly where they are meant to be seen – in the wild!
  • Enjoy a stay at one of South Africas most ecologically diverse and scenically stunning Game Reserves
  • Track and observe wild lion prides through the South African bush using telemetry equipment
  • Visit a local school and community as part of the program and Amakhalas ongoing ‘Community Development’ initiative
  • If you’re really lucky – get involved and help out in a game capture (*only undertaken as demanded expressly by the needs of the reserve at the time)!

The Amakhala Volunteer Program Big 5 experience in conjunction with Volunteer World International is an exciting overall experience that is sure to enthrall all those who choose to visit.  A variety of engaging activities are integrated into the general program to ensure all our volunteers not only have an amazing experience with us in South Africa, but also leave with the feeling of having made a genuine and real difference to the people and wildlife they have the privilege of meeting.

The Amakhala Game Reserve Project provides volunteers with an insight into the environmental issues faced and the subsequent requisites of reserve management through the Award Winning Amakhala Conservation Centre and also integrates a real contribution to the surrounding community through visits to an AIDS Orphanage and vulnerable children center.  As such, from telemetry tracking of the resident lions at Amakhala and all aspects of conservation and reserve management, to assisting vulnerable children in the local community, volunteers are guaranteed a varied and rewarding program on a daily basis.  An ‘average’ day may be structured as follows:

  • Breakfast at 07h00
  • Leave Volunteer house for duties on the reserve 07h30
  • Tracking of Lions with telemetry and monitor activities
  • Move through to the game reserve identifying antelope and to area allocated for vegetation survey
  • Lunch on the reserve around 13H00 til 14h00
  • Canoe on the river until 15h00 to survey bird behaviour
  • 16h00 Fence patrol on way back to volunteer house

With a huge variety of activities necessary for the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the reserve, your daily routine is guaranteed to be varied and well worth getting up for every morning.  All daily activities for our volunteers are dependent on the specific needs of the reserve at any given time and unfortunately participation cannot be guaranteed in any one particular event. There is always something happening though, and you can be assured you will never be bored!

The range of activities you may be involved in are listed below (though not limited to) and as ever, the longer your stay, the more chance you will have of becoming involved in all of them! Conservation plays a major part of the purpose of the Amakhala Volunteer Program, for this element, you may find yourself involved in any of the below activities:

  • Predator Monitoring: Telemetry tracking of Lions
  • Game drives: Animal ID, tracking and introductions
  • Waterhole surveys
  • Lectures on conservation, reserve management and maintenance
  • Land Management: Burning, grazing patterns, roads, water, and fencing.
  • Birding and Entomology Collection
  • Mapping and understanding of the various floral biomes present on the reserve
  • Indigenous nursery and removal of alien vegetation
  • Anti-poaching patrols
  • Assisting with veterinary work: Dartings and post mortems (as per the express needs of the reserve)
  • Game Management: Culling, re-introducing, counts, boma maintenance, game capture etc.  Please note that these activities will only take place when the needs of the reserve expressly dictate that they are necessary.

As part of the Amakhala Volunteers Community outreach program, weekly visits will be made to the local farm school supported by Amakhala.  Here, you will find yourself involved in any of the following:

  • Conservation center assistance with school groups
  • Center for Vulnerable Children and AIDS orphanage.
  • Care, education and vegetable gardening
  • Beach clean ups
  • Craft Centre Development

Volunteering isn’t all about work, work, work though!  As such, the Amakhala Game Reserve Volunteer Program with Volunteer World International ensures that additional enriching activities are included as part of your stay in addition to and as a reward for the work and commitment you show – these may include any or all of the following:

  • Guided bush walks, night game drives and over-night camping
  • Canoeing on the Bushmans River
  • Xhosa culture and medicinal use of plants
  • Target shooting.
  • History, Geology and paleontology
  • Star Gazing and basic astronomy
  • Beach walk and marine conservation
  • Fishing in the Bushmans River

In addition to all of this, each week an additional excursion will be organised to 1 of the following centres:

  1. Excursion to world renowned Addo National Elephant Park.
    2.     Excursion to a Cheetah Sanctuary, Horse riding and a visit to a Penguin rehabilitation centre.
    3.     Elephant back ride, feeding and river cruise.

The Amakhala Volunteer Program with Volunteer World International truly offers everything you could possibly wish for in a volunteer experience – engaging activities, stunning scenery and setting, the opportunity to get hands on and make a genuine difference in a variety of areas, built in stimulating extras – the list goes on and on!

All Year – Starting every Monday
Period – 1 Week

From £450

What’s Included

  • A dedicated volunteer coordinator for the duration of your stay.
  • Accommodation at the ‘Old Railway Station’ in Sandflats
  • DSTV (satellite television) and internet access.
  • Laundry service and daily servicing of rooms.
  • Food is supplied though meals are prepared by the volunteers at the accommodation.

Not Included

  • International Flights and Visas
  • *Airport Transfers (transfers can be arranged as an optional extra if required at R700 one way)
  • Gifts, entertainment and beverages (unless otherwise detailed)
  • Weekend excursions (if required)
  • Monthly stipend

* Why do we not include airport transfers in our pricing?  Through experience, we know many of our volunteers wish to travel South Africa before/after their programs so including costs for transfers in the pricing would represent wasted funds should this be the case.  By not including a cost for airport transfers and offering this separately, we strongly believe we offer our volunteers the maximum choice and transparency over pricing.

The Amakhala Volunteer Project accepts new volunteers every Monday and volunteers should aim to arrive to the project on this day.  Should airport transfers be required, volunteers should ensure they arrive to Port Elizabeth Airport on the Monday and advise their flight details to Volunteer World International as soon as possible in advance in order for us to arrange transport appropriately.  Whilst weekends are freetime on the project, volunteers are welcome to stay in the accommodation until the end of their stay prior to their return flights. Note: VWI uses Paypal to issue all our invoices – should you require a quotation in a currency not listed above, please contact us detailing your requirements!

Amakhala Game Reserve enjoys an ideal location for your all-encompassing volunteer vacation and only a short drive from the tourist mecca, shopping and nightlife of Port Elizabeth. At the heart of South Africa’s Eastern Cape region, close to the ocean for relaxing in your time away from the project and a host of activities and things to do whilst enjoying some of South Africa’s most stunning and varied scenery right outside your window, Amakhala truly ‘ticks all the boxes’ for any volunteer looking for both amazing experiences and a real taste of all that is good about South Africa!

The Amakhala volunteer program in conjunction with Volunteer World International offers a stunning location near South Africa’s famous Garden Route and just a short 2-hour drive from sunny Port Elizabeth that will never leave volunteers short of something to do in their free time!  Be it a trip on the ocean to see some of South Africa’s marvelous marine species or a more energetic approach like skydiving or quad biking – anything is possible!

All of the below activities can be arranged for you between your allocated volunteer coordinator at the project and ourselves here at VWI – we just ask that you give us plenty of notice to enable us to make your requests become a reality!

  • Trip to Port Elizabeth to soak up the nightlife, shopping or simply a nice meal out to sample some of the locally caught seafish.  Maybe even catch a rugby or football match if timings are right!
  • Adrenaline activities such as quad biking, abseiling, mountain biking, hiking, day trips and safaris all offered by Southern Shores Adventures
  • Canoeing (Nukakamma Canoe Trail is a stunning trip along Sundays River – a 14.5km upriver trail with camping and accommodation offered overnight – please ask for further details!)
  • Trips to Addo National Park for elephant back safaris and lodge accommodation
  • Skydiving
  • Various opportunities for ‘Marine Safaris’ on the Indian Ocean to see Great White Sharks, various species of whale, dolphins or simply a deep sea fishing charter.

The above list represents a small selection of the possibilities open to our volunteers in their free time at the Amakhala Big 5 Volunteer Program – if there is anything you find that isn’t listed above, let us know and we will happily arrange it for you if required!