Run by: The Great Projects
Reference number: Kariega Big 5 Conservation Project
Set in the spectacular Eastern Cape of South Africa, the 10,000-hectare game reserve has developed into its own self-sustaining ecosystem. The reserve is home to Africa’s famed ‘Big 5’ and other African favourites such as giraffes, cheetahs and hippos! The wide variety of animal species now residing and thriving on the reserve is all thanks to the dedicated conservation plans put in place by the project team in 1990!
The aim of this project is to continue to provide an environment for the wildlife to flourish and to protect the future of the wildlife species that call the area home. As a volunteer, you’ll help to conserve the populations of Africa’s most loved animals by assisting the in-country team with tasks such as monitoring the resident herds, game counts, educating children at the local school and tackling alien plants that kill off indigenous vegetation.
There is so much to do on an€tive game reserve like this one! Here is just a snapshot of what you’d get up to as a volunteer on this project:
Elephant Impact Monitoring
Unfortunately, elephants are seen as a nuisance by locals and as a result of this, they come into conflict with humans. As a volunteer, you’ll help to monitor the range patterns and vegetation impact of these giants. You’ll learn to identify different elephants through the distinct markings on their ears.
To help monitor the numbers and well-being of the animals residing here, volunteers will head out on game drives. You’ll be able to make direct assessments and collect data on the animals you spot out in the field. Keep your eyes peeled and you might just catch a glimpse of all the members of the ‘Big 5’!
Volunteers will pay a visit to Farmersfield school and help educate the local children. Some lessons without volunteers help simply wouldn’t run, so you’ll be helping to deliver English, Maths and Science lessons! These kids are keen to learn and contributing to their education is something to be proud of!
Lion Prey Monitoring
As a volunteer, you’ll assist the in-country team in monitoring the kills of the resident lions. What you’ll observe and record will help the ranger team determine how kills have been made as well as, how well the pride is doing and their prey preferences.
As poaching is a widespread problem in Africa, volunteers are involved in the monitoring of the resident rhinos. You’ll help to observe and record data such as health status, behaviours and movement patterns which will be used to gain a better insight of how the rhinos are getting on at the reserve.
Water levels permitting, you’ll be able to join your fellow volunteers on a relaxing boat ride down one of the local rivers. This boat journey will open your eyes to the diversity of this game reserve and is a great chance to sit back, relax and take in the surroundings.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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