Amakhala Big 5 Exprience Program

By June 29, 2019 September 27th, 2019 Conservation Volunteering

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.

Program Outline         Location          Dates and Rates          Gallery

Program Outline         Location          Dates and Rates          Gallery

Program Outline

The Amakhala Reserve 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. 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 with the opportunity to become involved on a daily basis with all aspects of reserve management and conservation practices. From anti poaching patrols to alien species removal, your stay with us at Amakhala is sure to provide memories to last a lifetime!

The Amakhala Big 5 volunteer program offers visitors a huge range of activities to become involved in during their stays. As ever, the longer your stay, the more chance you will have of becoming involved in all of them! With conservation being a primary focus of the program, daily activities may include any of the following and more:

  • Predator Monitoring: Telemetry tracking of Lions
  • Game drives: Animal ID, tracking and introductions
  • Waterhole surveys
  • Local community visits and interaction with the farm school supported by the reserve
  • 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: Game 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.


Amakhala Game Reserve, Paterson nr Port Elizabeth

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 Indian Ocean coastline. Amkhalas location offers volunteers 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!

Rates and Dates



FROM R17, 500

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.

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 R800 one way)
  • Gifts, entertainment and beverages (unless otherwise detailed)
  • Weekend excursions (if required)
  • Monthly stipend

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As we make our way into the official Lock-Down period here in South Africa, our thoughts and best wishes go out to one and all for safe transition through these uncertain times.

Our core team at VWI head office continue to operate remotely to answer any questions or queries you may have – please visit our website for specific contact information:

Be assured that all of our volunteer programs, our very own Field Guide Training Program at Shamwari and the support we are able to offer to and create in South Africa as a result will resume as soon as it is safe to do so.

Owing to the current spread of Covid-19, we have taken the difficult but correct decision to suspend the May start date of our Field Guide Training Program at Shamwari – our next course will resume on August 3rd and we look forward to welcoming students back into the stunning South African bush at this time!

For now, keep safe, keep positive and believe that as a global community all of whom are affected by the spread of the Covid-19 virus, together we will come through stronger.

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