Wildlife Research

Course Overview

At Afri-Campus we are passionate about research and the role it plays in modern day conservation. Years of experience allows us to offer you as student or a wild child traveller the best and most comprehensive opportunities. Whether you want to contribute to research whilst travelling or need to collect data for a University thesis, we have it covered.

Research tourism has become a wonderful way of contributing to the bigger picture whilst travelling this stunning continent. As part of a passionate and dedicated team, you will get the opportunity to work on a 27000ha privately owned game reserve in South Africa. The volunteer programme is run directly under the reserve management and therefore, has input from wildlife managers, scientists, ecologists and qualified field guides.

The reserve is located in the Lowveld region of Limpopo and falls within the Kruger to Canyon Biosphere area. Founded in 1993, the 27000ha reserve is typical of the savannah woodland biome with six different veld types offering a great diversity of habitats that support over 50 species of medium to large sized mammal.

The research team aims to support the ongoing management of the fauna and flora of the reserve through monitoring and a wide range of scientific surveys and studies. Through the data collected in the field, reports are composed and given to the reserve management team, giving them the best information on how to manage the reserve. The data plays a vital part in securing the sustainability of the reserve and the animals

The well-being of the ecosystem is underpinned primarily by the dynamic interplay between climate, geology and the populations of fauna and flora species. Good management decisions rely on us developing a better understanding of our natural environment.

What can you expect?

Students can expect to be involved in the monitoring of populations of lion, white and black rhino, cheetah and collecting data on leopard, elephant, hyaenas and more. As a volunteer you will be directly involved with the monitoring and radio tracking in the field. In addition, volunteers assist in monitoring the animals via camera traps. Maintaining and upkeeping the cameras, including the changing of batteries, swapping SD cards in the field and processing the photos in the office is also part of the volunteers’ role on the reserve.

University students requiring a thesis or dissertation project to conduct their field work with us. The team consists of scientists, wildlife managers, ecologists and field guides to assist you in the field. Limited spaces are available each year, and operate on a first come first serve basis. Researchers pay a reduced rate to the volunteers.

There are a range of projects from 6 weeks to 1 year studies, depending on your requirements. We welcome all ideas and will happily work with you to develop your project.

Camp life, prices & dates

Some days there will be two game drives roughly 3-4 hours long (morning and afternoon/evening), other days the team will be in the field all day and get back mid-afternoon. The programme is varied as different surveys need to be conducted from season to season and working with wildlife is always unpredictable so flexibility is required.

Evenings and free time is generally spent relaxing around the camp, watching the regular visitors to the waterhole and chatting around the fire, under the star-lit sky.

Volunteers are accommodated in a comfortable tented camp overlooking a waterhole. The sleeping arrangements consist of two people sharing a room. Women and men do not share rooms unless booked as a couple. Volunteers requesting single accommodation are required to pay a supplement.

The programme is open for 18-80 years old.

Electricity is readily available at the camp. The water supply is pumped from an underground borehole on the reserve, making it safe to drink from the tap.

A laundry service is provided free of charge on certain days of the week.

The project caters for three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Extra snacks can be purchased during the weekly shopping excursion.

Wifi is available and accessible within the camp as well as the office.

Programmes runs from Tuesday to Tuesday are priced as follows (prices given in South African Rand ZAR)):

2 weeks R16,800
3 weeks R24,150
4 weeks R30,800
5 weeks R36,750
6 weeks R42,000
7+ weeks Please enquire

What is included?

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Tea, Coffee & Cordials
Laundry service
All activities on the reserve
Private paramedic service
Transfers from & to Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport or the Ashton Tours Shuttle bus service drop off point at Three Bridges restaurant – on Tuesdays only
Wifi access

What is excluded?

Flights & Travel
Travel and medical insurance
Any related travel costs such as visas
Vaccinations and medications
Transfers/transport to the game reserve on days other than Tuesdays
Any group excursions
Any accommodation before and/or after the stay
Personal kit and equipment.