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Xtreme Wildlife Volunteering Experience

A world of adrenaline travel.

Make a real difference, grow your skills in conservation and have the experience of a lifetime! This is an extraordinary and exciting conservation project, at the forefront of numerous species reintroductions and conservation drives. If you want more than just a safari … come and get your hands dirty and learn more about conservation management on a Big 5 game reserve.

Volunteers from all over the world You will meet volunteers from across the world, get the opportunity to get hands-on involved in conservation management on the reserve. During your stay with us, you may see yourselves as “Assistant Conservation Managers”, as all the work done and data collected by you will be utilized for conservation on the reserve.

Dedicated Corrdinator A dedicated coordinator will endeavour to ensure that you have a wonderful learning experience and leave with a stronger understanding of conservation issues feeling like you made an important contribution.

Amazing Coastline You also get the opportunity to explore South Africa’s amazing coastline as we are just 16 km from the sea... the beautiful Indian Ocean is literally on your doorstep!

Community Outreach programme Also you join a brilliant community outreach programme. You will assist at a local rural farm school by teaching children basic subjects like English. Come and make a real difference and have fun doing so!

Elephant impact monitoring

Population status of leopards

You will help monitor the elephant. A part of this research Project that you are very involved with, is recording the unique ear markings of each elephant for management purposes. Elephant identification sheets are given to each volunteer, who in turn will assist the conservation department in this regard.

Leopards have been persecuted in the Eastern Cape for the last three hundred years, resulting in a decline in numbers and fragmentation of populations, placing the local population at risk of extinction. Virtually the entire landscape was hostile to them, and few leopards survived in only the most isolated areas. Leopards are now legally protected.


This project aims to assess the status of leopards in the and investigate the role of the Reserve as a refugee habitat for leopards.

Lion prey selection monitoring

Rhino monitoring

One of the volunteer programme’s responsibilities is to record as many lion kills as possible. This data provides the conservation department with valuable information regarding prey selection. Certain lions on the reserve are fitted with radio collars, so you learn how to use telemetry tracking, whilst out on night drives.

The estimated number of rhino poached during 2012 in South Africa is 633! This crisis is the most significant conservation issue that South Africa has faced. You will help monitor and account for rhinos on the property on a regular basis.

Birds in Reserve Project (BIRP) This project involves preparing a catalogue of the birds, bird numbers and their breeding status in the reserve as part of a project headed by the University of Cape Town’s Avian Demography Unit.

Conservation management Conservation management activities form a large part of your volunteer programme. Some of these activities involve physical work and therefore a certain level of determination from the volunteer’s side is required. Keep in mind that the "reserve needs" are always taken into account and you will help to fulfil those needs as a volunteer.

Volunteers may also have the opportunity to experience the following additional conservation activities: 

Capturing of Wild Animals Our recent volunteers had the AMAZING once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist with the capture of the following species on the reserve: elephant, lion, rhino, hyena, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, nyala and impala!! Please remember that captures only occur when required by the reserve and not for the sake of the volunteers.


Game Introduction There is an on-going programme for the introduction of additional game to the most recent acquired land by the reserve. This section of the property is to be stocked with various different African mammal species.


Fire Management An important driving force in savanna ecosystems (depending on the time of year and fire regimes)

Education Theory and Practical Each volunteer will be given a field booklet, which can be taken home at the end of the placement. Before you start with each practical task, the relative theoretical background on the subject will be discussed in the form of informal lectures. The theory provides insight into the value of the practical activities in which you may participate. Mammal, plant and bird checklists are included in the booklet and will help you to identify differentspecies.  

Bush Walks, Game Drives and night drives - identification and discussion of various mammals, plants and birds

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Sleep Outs - Camping out in the bush around a campfire under the African sky (weather dependent)

Help the local community! We have identified an under-funded farm school near the reserve where our volunteer programme can make a real difference. The school is small, yet very under-staffed and local kids aged 4 to 15 years attend the school. We visit the school one day a week (not during school Holidays or rainy days (most of the children walk about 10 km to attend school so if it rains, no one goes to school!), and make valuable contributions to the children’s education. Our volunteers take many of the classes themselves and teach 6-12 year olds subjects like English, Maths and Science. You might also help with the maintenance of the school’s facilities or by giving sport lessons to the kids. A recent group of volunteers renovated a classroom (with a completely collapsed ceiling and floorboards!) for the pre-primary school kids. Your contribution here is real, and both the children and the headmistress are very appreciative. Guaranteed to leave you with a feeling of satisfaction!

What else is there to do? Don’t worry: it isn’t all work, no play on this trip! You’ll get plenty of days off and will have the choice of many different activities to complete – or you can simply sit back and relax for the day, while you take in the sun and the beautiful scenery in the game reserve. Some of the additional activities you can complete are: 

Horse riding on the beach

Deep sea fishing

Quad biking

Two day canoe trip on the Kowie River

Trips to the Addo Elephant National Park

Shark cage diving

Tandem sky-diving

Accommodation in the middele of the BIG 5! You will be staying in a renovated, fully furnished house on the reserve - comfortable but not luxurious. You will be sharing bedrooms (bedding provided for you) and there are communal bathrooms (2 bathrooms in the house). There is an entertainment / lecture room with a pool table, a lounge with a T.V (South African channels only), dining room and a fully equip kitchen with a fridge, stove, microwave, cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. There is a safe for cash and small valuables on site. Please bear in mind that the house is in the middle of a "Big 5" game reserve, so therefore one cannot walk outside he boundaries of the garden fence. There even is a plunge pool is situated in the garden for volunteers to cool of f in after a hard day’s work. There is also a “braai” (BBQ) area outside in the garden. There is also Wifi at the Volunteer house! So its easy to Stay in touch.

Meals All the ingredients for three basic meals a day are provided. Your group will be divided into cooking teams and all meals are made by the volunteers themselves at the house. The meals are good! For example cereals, porridge and toast for breakfast; sandwiches for lunch and lasagna, veggies and salad for supper. If you wish to add ingredients to meals that are not available at the volunteer house, you can buy it on town trip days at your own expense.

The Area Nearest Town Kenton-On-Sea is a beautiful small coastal town only 15 minutes drive from the reserve. The beaches are absolutely breathtaking and pristine. After Saturday morning shopping in Kenton (volunteers can stock up on all everyday essentials), volunteers often laze around on the beach, swim in the waves or sit in a beach bar while sipping away on a cold drink and taking in the scenery. There are the following services in Kenton-On-Sea: small grocery store, ATM, pharmacy, post office, police station, doctor, stationary shop, internet cafĂŠ and a small beach clothing shop. Grahamstown is a viby student town famous for Rhodes University and is 30 minutes drive from the reserve . Port Alfred is also a coastal town, a bit bigger than Kenton, and is also about 30 minutes drive from the reserve. Both Grahamstown and Port Alfred have good doctors and most services and products that one would need. Port Elizabeth is an hour and a half to two hours drive.

HOW TO JOIN How to join: On the programme page you will find a book Now button. We check availability and get back to you asap! There are no set start dates. Questions: Email us for all your questions, We will get straight back to you! Connect with us on facebook and be the first to know about new trips and great Travel deals. Want More Ideas?:

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Xtreme Gap, Xtreme Wildlife Voluntering Experience  
Xtreme Gap, Xtreme Wildlife Voluntering Experience  

Make a real difference, grow your skills in conservation and have the experience of a lifetime!