Volunteer on a Wildlife Reserve in South Africa

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

62 People are researching this program

Love Volunteers

(55 Reviews)
  • From $1388 USD for 2 Weeks

  • 2 - 8 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 18 And Older



Based on a game reserve just outside of Port Elizabeth, this program invites you to help save the lives of the native animals of South Africa. With a variety of wildlife including the Big 5, this reserve invites you to play a part in conservation of wildlife and native vegetation. the goals of this project are to save the lives of vulnerable and endangered animals, improve the future prospects of endangered South African animals, research and learn more about the animals on the reserve, and create an environment that encourages different cultures to work together towards saving these animals. The tasks that you will take on each day depend on the needs of the reserve as well as the weather, but you can generally expect to work outdoors and must be willing and able to work in uncomfortable conditions.

This program is best for those volunteers pursuing a career in animal conservation or zoological studies, or who just have an interest in the field. You do not need background experience to sign up, but you must be flexible and willing to take on a variety of tasks as a volunteer.

Arrival and Orientation

Once you arrive to Port Elizabeth, local staff will pick you up at the airport and take you to your accommodations, where you’ll have a full orientation to help you learn more about the program and your role in it, as well as local customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, your role in the volunteer program, and more.


During your stay in Port Elizabeth, you will live in a shared house with rooms separated by gender. Bedding is provided, though you’re encouraged to bring a sleeping bag; you also will need to supply your own toiletries, towels, and personal hygiene products. Each weekday, you’ll have breakfast and dinner provided – breakfast usually consists of coffee, toast, and cereal, while dinner can include traditional South African food such as stews, casseroles, and vegetables and salad. If you have special dietary requirements, please indicate this on your application. You can buy lunch and other meals and snacks at local delis, cafes, and markets.

Field Conditions

This program is based in Port Elizabeth, known as ‘the friendly city’ in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This hands-on conservation project brings you to a 6000-hectare game reserve to help protect the country’s native animals.

You’ll have the opportunity to contribute in a variety of ways in this program, with a few of your tasks including:

- Working in the elephant sanctuary

- Tracking and monitoring animals

- Participating in animal counts

- Mending fences and clearing paths

- Removing alien vegetation

- Feeding animals

- Helping with general visitor management

- Accompanying guides on game drives

Your schedule will generally follow this format, and you can expect to work four to six hours each weekday:

7:00am Breakfast in the communal area

8:45am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor

9:00am Volunteering duties start – you’ll have a tea break and lunch break during the day

4:00pm Volunteering duties end

During the evening, you’re free to explore the area, check out different restaurants and cafes, or relax with your fellow volunteers.

Your Impact

As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to play an important role in protecting protecting South Africa's wonderful wildlife on a game reserve. Each day will be different, but you will have a variety of exciting task to take on to further research, conservation, protection of wildlife. You also will have the chance to learn about issues faced by the animals of South Africa and what is being done to protect them for future generations to see and enjoy.


Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Where you will be volunteering
    Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, South Africa

    Volunteers will be working with exotic animals and maintaining their enclosures.

  • Where you'll be staying
    Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, South Africa

    Volunteers will be staying in a shared house.

  • Nearest Airport
    Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ), Port Elizabeth, South Africa


<p>The program fees listed includes the $299 registration fee.</p>

2 Weeks
8 Weeks
2 Weeks

$1388 USD

What’s Included

  • Certificate of completion (on request)

  • Dedicated pre-departure support

  • Project placement & onsite supervision

  • 24/7 local support network

  • Food & meals (as specified above)

  • Accommodation (as specified above)

  • Orientation & full safety briefing

  • Airport pick-up on arrival

What’s Not Included

  • Return airport transfer (unless mentioned above)

  • In-country trips and excursions

  • Local transport

  • Spending money

  • Additional foods and snacks

  • Travel insurance

  • Vaccinations

  • Visas

  • Airfare

Project Start Dates

This project is available year-round and programs start every Monday. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions. Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.


A top volunteering organization recognized worldwide, Love Volunteers (LV) has been placing volunteers across several countries since 2009. At Love Volunteers, there is deep commitment towards making a lasting difference in developing communities and offering hope to both human and animal life.

Ever since launching this venture, Love Volunteers remains committed to providing transparent and cost-effective volunteering. LV has over 120 projects in 34 countries worldwide, placing over 20,000 volunteers since inception. Based in New Zealand, LV’s team has people who love and live for adventure. This team takes much pride and joy in working hard to deliver top-level assistance, as well as delivering life-altering volunteer experiences.

The name says it all, but the people ensure there’s much more behind that name. Love Volunteers ensure volunteers get top treatment from locals while making sure they get invaluable experiences that last a lifetime. Join LV’s cause, and you can have those moments you can tell your children and grandchildren about!

Reviews (55)


Jun 10, 2018

I am inclined to believe that these perfect 5 star reviews are fake. I recently returned from a trip organized by this agency and it was a mess. Not only was I taken advantage of financially but when I reached out to love volunteers they could care less and in ... +more

Mikela Kring

Apr 27, 2018

I was a medical volunteer in Fewa City Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal.
I am a pre-med graduate from Denmark meaning that I had no previous hands-on experience.
But I still got to observe, participate and help so many people. It was wonderful, challenging, educational and eye-opening. I learned so much ...

Lisa Sloan

Apr 05, 2018

This year was my third placement through Love Volunteers and they are just the best! All of the arrangements they have made have been perfect. They check in frequently to make sure their volunteers are safe and happy, and they take time to ask for feedback regarding the placement. I ... +more


Apr 01, 2018

I had a fantastic time volunteering for an NGO in Cambodia working to support rural communities in adopting sustainable farming practices. I felt like I was helping to make a genuine difference in the lives of disadvantaged families and had great opportunities to have some experiences I would never have ... +more

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