This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get behind the scenes and involved with the conservation efforts of this well know game reserve. The project boasts a multi-purpose centre which is geared to get volunteers involved in various components of conservation. The experience is a true reflection of the day to day operational requirements needed to manage this reserve.
Volunteers are exposed to short and long term projects which are by outcome, intended to create sustainability for generations to come. Tasks may vary from being physical work to leisurely based interactions.
There are several monitoring projects which assist in capturing vital information used in the research and management of all species on the reserve. The experience is divers and unscheduled as a result of the reliance on prevailing conditions.
The emphasis and drive behind the conservation initiatives of this project has always been focused on sound and ethical wildlife and ecological principals. The day to day work does not require human intervention and interaction through touch, but in times of crisis or true need for intervention, volunteers may be afforded the opportunity to get safely close to observer and at times directly participate on a more hands on basis with the wildlife species.
Visits and tasks at the Born Free Foundation and Animal Rehabilitation Centre are undertaken according to the requirements at the time of a volunteer's stay at the project.
Weekend activities are at leisure with volunteers opting to stay at the project, or rather travel to partake in various off-site adventures and other activities at their own expense.
Long term projects and possible activities at the project include :
- game monitoring (rhino, elephants, predators)
- game counts
- telemetry tracking
- restoration and rehabilitation of reserve landscapes
- management of breeding centre
- alien plant control
- volunteering at Born Free Foundation
- volunteering at Animal Rehabilitation Centre
- community projects
- general reserve maintenanceOther Possible Activities
Other possible activities could include game capture, sleep outs on the reserve, orientation walks, and night and anti-poaching patrols.
The program generally runs in-week from Monday to Friday as it is required by the operations of the reserve's conservation efforts, so volunteers are asked to assist and conduct related weekend duties from time to time. By time schedule, operations run on a 08H00 to 17H00 basis with the need for early morning or late night activities dependant of the tasks at hand at the time of your stay.
Possible talks and presentations could include the introduction to wildlife conservation in SA, wildlife monitoring, understanding the principals of eco systems, animal population dynamics, capture techniques and relocation of wildlife, use of boma's, stress factors in handling and containment, animal husbandry, vets roles in conservation, conservation of flagship species in Africa, biomes of the Eastern Cape, control of alien invasive vegetation, medicinal plants and trees, wildlife tracks and signs, basic wildlife conservation, ecology and management principals, astronomy, parasites and diseases in nature, facilities and drugs to reduce stress, introduction to Game Ranging, darting techniques, animal welfare in relation to capture and containments, hand rearing orphaned animals, and anti-poaching methods.