Dreamed of tracking wild lion, elephants or rhino through the heart of real South African bush veld? Want to combine this with a stay amongst some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery anywhere in the world? Read on, your dreams could be about to come true…
South Africa is one of the most popular destinations for volunteers wishing to take part in conservation and for many good reasons – not just to see our amazing Big 5! Apart from obvious points like a great year round climate, conservation volunteers to South Africa have a mind blowing array of experiences to choose from and things to do from viewing all of the ‘Big 5′ in their natural habitats, observing and tracking wild lion to learning more about protection of our rhino or even getting hands on in ongoing conservation practices, the possibilities for our volunteers are truly endless and are all set against the backdrop of some of the most stunning environments and scenery to be found anywhere in the world!
Wildlife conservation within South Africa is though at times a hugely contentious issue and regrettably, the necessity for sanctuaries and private reserves to exist is becoming more and more important as urban sprawl and social change place growing pressure on our truly ‘wild’ habitats and subsequently our bio diversity.
The plight of many of South Africa’s indigenous animals such as the rhino, lion, leopard and cheetah to name but a few of the more publicized terrestrial species whose declining numbers are currently a cause for concern are constantly making global news – rhino poaching for their horn is a prime example of this and for good reason. Rhino horn is made from the same substance as human hair and finger nails (keratin) but is still believed in certain cultures to provide health benefits when ground up and ingested though this is in direct contrast to indisputable scientific evidence – an incorrectly held belief that within the next 20 years, should the current trend continue, could see our wild rhino population made extinct. Indeed 946 rhino were killed through poaching in South Africa in 2013 – a worrying 50% increase on 2012 figures.
With this thought in mind and as per Volunteer World Internationals motto ‘vita per eruditio’ or ‘life through learning’, education is a hugely powerful tool and one that we ensure is integral to the experiences on offer at all of our volunteer programs. We strongly hold the belief that raising education and awareness can lead to change and as such, volunteering is a powerful tool to achieve this. Not only will our projects give you the experience of a lifetime and ensure you want to return to South Africa over and over again, we hope also that they will give you real knowledge of the issues faced and leave you with the feeling you have made a genuine and real difference during your stay!
Remember, all of our ‘Big 5 Reserve’ volunteer Programs are inspected regularly by Volunteer World International and assessed by experienced and independent personnel within the Conservation Industry to ensure their ethical and sustainable procedures – all are providing genuine end results to provide long term benefit to South Africas natural heritage and, most importantly of all, will provide some of the most amazing volunteer experiences available anywhere in the world!
Why delay??? Find out more about our Big 5 Game Reserve Volunteer Programs below and we look forward to seeing you soon!