African Wildlife & Community

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This project is a combination of a wildlife project and a community project. On the wildlife program we help wild, rescued and rehabilitated animals to improve their living and environmental conditions. The main purpose of the projects we are involved in is to detect the needs and improve the living and environmental conditions of the various animals residing at these locations. The volunteers will have the opportunity to interact with some of the animals that will be encountered, in a respectful way and always under supervision. On the community program we assist a local underprivileged community where we can.

OverviewProjectsExtra InfoPhotosIncludedActivitiesFAQ's

Project Highlights

  • Learning more about animals through interactive hands-on projects
  • Learning to capture, tag and release wild Vultures
  • Interactions with Elephants, Monkeys and many more animals
  • Working on a real game reserve with truly wild animals around
  • Making a positive difference to wildlife and a local community
  • Helping children develop life skills
  • Living a genuine conservationist lifestyle
  • Developing personal strengths and life skills

Cheetah and Wild Dog Breeding Centre

The Centre’s mission is to ensure the survival of the Cheetah, African Wild dog amongst other wild animals. They have succeeded in breeding with the king cheetah for the first time in captivity and have so far bred over 800 cheetahs as well as wild dog, brown hyena, servals and other endangered animals.

Volunteer Tasks
Volunteers will be involved in the day to day running of the park. Working with the cheetahs, wild dog and other animals. Preparing food, removing alien vegetation as well as repairing fences. This is truly a great experience to work with these majestic animal’s and is usually done for a full week.

Elephant Project

The elephant reserve we work with looks after orphaned and rescued animals, provides a safe environment for young African elephants in need of a temporary home, as well as a safe environment for a big bull (male) elephant called Amarula rescued from a Zoo in 2006. This elephant sanctuary started in 1999 with a strong conversational purpose, and working on a vision to release all the elephants into an environment where they can be more independent once they are older.

Volunteer Tasks
Our volunteer program here will start with an educational introduction about this reserve, the elephants history and how to make a different in a responsible way. The tasks will include assistance to the staff in the day to day management as brushing, cleaning and feeding the elephants, observation of behaviour and general maintenance of the reserve (painting and cleaning the stables) as well as completing projects to benefit the life of the elephants. This will ensure a safe and educational environment where the public is enlightened and where awareness is created about elephants and their plight.

Monkey Project

Monkeys are under constant threat. They are hunted for meat, body parts or captured as pets and exported illegally to every corner of our planet. Monkeys that where kept as pets and then become unwanted, are rescued and released into a wild forest with waterfalls and mountain springs. It is very important to create a safe environment where monkeys can be rehabilitated and professionals and volunteers can take care of them.

Volunteer tasks
Our program in this sanctuary will start with an educational introduction about this reserve, the monkeys’ history and how to make a difference in a responsible way. The required tasks will include assistance to the staff in the day to day management of dietary requirements, observation of behavior and general maintenance of the reserve.

Bird Project

This conservation program focuses on advancing knowledge, awareness and innovation in the conservation of African vulture populations for the benefit and well-being of society. Today, vultures face an unprecedented onslaught from human activities. They have to cope with electrocutions and collisions with electrical structures, poisonings, land-use changes, a decrease in food availability and exposure to toxicity through veterinary drugs, to list just a few of some of the challenges facing vultures today.

Volunteer Tasks
Our program in this sanctuary will start with an educational introduction about this reserve, the wild birds’ history and how to make a different in a responsible way. The required tasks will include assistance to the staff in the day to day management as dietary requirements, handling the vultures and eagles if needed under supervision, observation of behavior and general maintenance of the reserve.

Game Reserve Project

The local area is home to a diversity of “plains game”. The objective of our involvement here is to create a fully functional, clean and well managed nature reserve that is accessible to the public and will generate a consistent flow of visitors to the area. There is a long list of conservation orientated tasks to carry out on the property and we will ensure that every second we spend there will be to the benefit of the animals and plants on the reserve.

Volunteer Tasks
Volunteers will assist with tasks such as clean-up and removal of alien vegetation, developing new eco-friendly visitor paths, building bird hides, developing regular feeding areas and structures for our winter months when food is scarce, regular burning to ensure fresh grass is accessible to the animals and bush clearing (removing excess vegetation that hampers natural growth).

Kosmos Informal Settlement

We help this community to fulfil their basic needs. We support them with donations such as food, water, blankets, clothes, toys, etc. We spend 2 or 3 afternoons per week in the community. We started this project by supporting 9 orphans have now been taken in by the local pastor and his wife. As many other children from this poor community also need enrichment and support, the number of children that come to join us can get up to 30 children during each visit.

We have weekly meetings with the volunteers to share their opinions, and any suggestions to improve these children’s lives are welcome. The main focus of this project is to allow the children to grow in a happier, healthier and more self-sustaining way, we sometimes bring in professionals to teach them skills such as cooking, painting, making bracelets, sawing, dancing, life skills, animal education, etc. Volunteers assist these professionals. Our goal is that this community learn to be able to sustain themselves in the near future.

Volunteer Tasks
Playing with the children and helping with homework, painting & drawing, enrichment activities, group activities, and games. We also try to set an example for these children by helping them to be organized (cleaning play areas, sharing toys, playing together), personal hygiene (brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.), and safety (pedestrian/road safety and many other potential dangers). We also teach them general maintenance such as painting and repairs, and volunteers can help arrange events such as dinners and gift exchanges.

Another volunteer task is helping distribute food and clean water from some of the shops and markets that donate to us, and with the help of the volunteers we bring and distribute it in this community.

Extra information

  • Although care is taken to ensure that animals are treated in the way they deserve, there is often times when animals cannot be released back into the wild and therefore we try to improve the conditions of these animals’ lives as best as we can in their captive environment.
  • The area of Hartbeespoort is rich in cultural and historical value. We are nestled in the foothills of a 2.3 billion year old mountain range surrounded by natural beauty and encompassing the Hartbeespoort dam.

Project details

Project starts: Every Sunday

  • Location: Hartebeespoort, Johannesburg
  • Minimum duration: 2 weeks
  • 2 day orientation in Johannesburg
  • The school calendar for 2017 is as follows:

First Term: 09 January-11 January
31 March-18 April
Second Term: 30 June-24th July
Third Term: 29 September-09 October
Fourth Term: 06 December-08 December

2017 Public Holidays:
01 January 2017        New Year’s Day
20 March 2017    School holiday
21 March 2017    Human Rights Day
14 April 2017    Good Friday
17 April 2017    Family Day
27 April 2017    Freedom Day
28 April 2017    School holiday
01 May 2017    Workers’ Day
16 June 2017    Youth Day
09 August 2017    National Women’s Day
24 September 2017    Heritage Day
16 December 2017    Day of Reconciliation
25 December 2017    Christmas Day
26 December 2017    Day of Goodwill

Johannesburg Orientation

All of our JNB conservation projects will include a 2 day orientation prior to attending the project site. Friday-Saturday is orientation in Joburg, then Sunday you will transfer to project via shuttle and depart project on a Sunday.

Volunteer requirements

  • CV/Resumé
  • Basic level of competency in English
  • Copy of return flight itinerary
  • Availability of position
  • Medium level of fitness

Average working day

  • Volunteers will work 5 – 6 days a week.
  • You will cover different aspect of the conservation project and visit different projects

Winter in South Africa

Please note that May through to September are our winter months and it can get quite chilly with an average temperature ranging from -1 at night to 15 degrees Celsius during the day. So, please make sure to pack enough warm clothes if you plan your trip in that period.

What’s Included

  • Return Transfer from Johannesburg airport
  • All meals
  • Accommodation
  • 24 hour support and supervisor
  • Donation to the project
  • Animal Interactions (Elephant, Monkey, Vulture)

2 day Volunteer Johannesburg Orientation

Arrive in Joburg or Jozi, as it is known locally, and get shown around by people who know the city well. The Johannesburg Orientation is excellent for first-time visitors to find their feet the local way and meet other volunteers on your project.

Highlights:
• Arty districts of Newtown and Braamfontein
• Constitutional Hill
• Telkom Tower
• Nelson Mandela Bridge
• Jazz Walk of Fame
• Mary Fitzgerald Square
• Traditional South African meal

Day 1
You will be picked up from the airport and taken to the hostel. Here you will be given a chance to settle down before meeting our SAVE volunteer representative.
You will be given a briefing on your volunteer program and then meet other travellers and volunteers for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 After breakfast you will be collected by one of our SAVE crew and shown your way around the sites of Johannesburg like a local. We will start off with a visits to Soweto, South Africa’s biggest Township here you will have the opportunity to take some photos at the iconic Orlando Towers and Soccer City, home of the World Cup Final. We then head to a local food market where you can have a light lunch, shop for local arts and crafts and listen to some live music. After lunch we head to Constitution Hill, home of our South African Democracy and an integral part of our history. We then end the tour with a walk through the park at Zoo Lake, a pleasant end to the day.

Please note that the tour is flexible and may change according to the group’s interests for the day. This is your personal tour of our lovely city with our local guide to show you the best sites and places for the day.

Day 3
After breakfast we will either take you directly to your projects site, shuttle terminal or airport.

Accommodation

  • Accommodation is on a wildlife reserve in Hartebeespoort
  • Our volunteer house has multiple rooms with various facilities
  • All self-catering facilities supplied
  • Safe and secure environment

Meals

Please advise on your booking form of any and ALL dietary needs/requirements and allergies. All meals are provided for during the week. This includes a continental breakfast with fresh fruits, Lunch on location and a hearty cooked evening meal. There will be regular shopping trips into town so you will be able to purchase food or additional items you may need during your stay.

Transport

  • All transport is safe and reliable
  • All licenses and insurances are up to date
  • All insurances and liabilities for passengers are up to date and fully paid

Supervision and coordination

At all times a member of our staff will be there to assist and co-ordinate movements on all projects. Our project leaders will ensure that you receive the right instructions, safety briefings and objectives for the tasks at hand. There will be a de-briefing session each day to discuss the days events and the following days work and objectives. 

Emergency and safety information

  • All our staff have the relevant licenses for driving with passengers
  • All staff are qualified in First Aid
  • There will be a staff member in close proximity at ALL times
  • All volunteers are handed a safety guidelines card with the relevant contact numbers and emergency procedures printed on it
  • The nearest hospital is within 20 minutes drive of all locations
  • An emergency cellular phone with call time will be handed to one group member each day
  • Please note: Every precaution is taken to ensure your comfort and safety at all times

Excluded

  • All beverages
  • Additional tours
  • Flights, visas and travel insurance
  • Personal items such as sunscreen, bug-spray and amenities

Tandem Paragliding: Can be arranged for you upon request. Please note that this is weather permitted only.
Costs: R1100 per person

Quad biking and Zipline: Fun in the sun! Yes definitely something to experience.
Costs: R1100 per person

Pilanesberg: The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is located in North West Province in South Africa, west of Pretoria. It is home to the Big 5, along with an abundance of flora and fauna. This Game Reserve in South Africa is every wildlife enthusiasts dream.
Costs: R1000 per person – full day

Sun City “Africa’s Kingdom of Pleasure” is a luxury casino and resort, situated in the North West Province of South Africa. It is located between the Elands River and the Pilanesberg, about two hours’ drive from Johannesburg, near the city of Rustenburg. Here is lots of fun activities to do!
Costs: R1400 per person full day

What do I do at the airport?
I have booked the Johannesburg Orientation package, how does that work?
How do I get to the project?
When is the best time of year to volunteer?
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?
How many people sleep in a room?
What is the facilities like?
Is there a danger of snakes?
Will I get to interact with the animals?
When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?
What animals are on the project?
What do I need when I’m on the project?
Will I have time off?
How much does water/soda cost there?
Where can I do my washing?

 

Example of a typical 2 weeks at this project

Week 1

SunMonTuesWedThursFriSat
Airport pick up. Welcome Orientation
Elephant Sanctuary:
Clearing stables, Prepping food, Cutting branches, painting, and repairs
Community Project:
Assisting in at the community project
Monkey Sanctuary:
Food prep and feeding, cleanout and replace water, census, assit with new arrival and injuries, hand rear babies for release
Elephant Sanctuary:
Clearing stables, Prepping food, Cutting branches, painting, and repairs
Community Project:
Assisting in at the community project
Monkey Sanctuary:
Food prep and feeding, cleanout and replace water, census, assit with new arrival and injuries, hand rear babies for release
Wildlife Reserve:
Remove alien plants, clear rubbish, bird and antelope counts, snare removal, fence patrols
Off

Week 2

SunMonTuesWedThursFriSat
Off
Cheetah, wild dog and vultures centre:
Food prep, feeding cheetahs, camp clearing, assit vet with emergencies, paiting, removal of invasive plants
Community Project:
Assisting in at the community project
Cheetah, wild dog and vultures centre:
Food prep, feeding cheetahs, camp clearing, assit vet with emergencies, paiting, removal of invasive plants
Cheetah, wild dog and vultures centre:
Food prep, feeding cheetahs, camp clearing, assit vet with emergencies, paiting, removal of invasive plants
Community Project:
Assisting in at the community project
Cheetah, wild dog and vultures centre:
Food prep, feeding cheetahs, camp clearing, assit vet with emergencies, paiting, removal of invasive plants
Cheetah, wild dog and vultures centre:
Food prep, feeding cheetahs, camp clearing, assit vet with emergencies, paiting, removal of invasive plants
Community Project:
Assisting in at the community project
Off

Sept – March – vulture breeding season – Volunteers will assist with feeding, peat and parasite removal, water trough and breeding hut repairs.

If this program is combined with a language course  – lessons will be done in the afternoons on project site in different unique environments.

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