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Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation Experience

Greater Kruger Area , South Africa
from £895 (1 week)

Ref: AV117

Situated just 30 minutes from the world famous Kruger National Park, this wildlife conservation project is based on a beautiful game reserve in the Greater Kruger Area.  The reserve is over 4000 hectares and home to an abundance of wildlife including ostrich, leopard, giraffe, hyena, lion, elephant and many more. As a volunteer on this project you will become part of a team helping to rehabilitate and release wildlife, particularly cheetahs as well as helping in reserve development and conservation management.  This project is very hands on and welcomes volunteers with a passion for wildlife and conservation. Experience the beauty of Africa and make a difference to it's wildlife! 

Who can join: 18 years and over unless accompanies by an adult
Accommodation: Tented Eco Camp
Transfer time:
Pick up Point: Phalaborwa Airport or town
Meals: Included
Volunteer numbers: Approx 10

Duration & Fees

1 week£895
2 weeks£1,095

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Start Dates

Guests can arrive on any Monday throughout the year and the departure day is also a Monday.

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Return Transfers from Phalaborwa Airport or 3 Bridges (Hoedspruit)
  • 24 hour on site support from volunteer co-ordinators and local staff
  • Accommodation in the Eco-camp
  • 3 meals a day
  • Weekly laundry service
  • Wi-fi
  • All activities on the reserve
  • Kruger Day Trip (transfer included for Mondays only and subject to availability/dates and exclude conservation fees).

What's not included

  • Travel insurance (to include cover for repatriation)
  • Flights
  • Visas if required
  • Telephone calls
  • Personal transportation off the project
  • Snacks and alcoholic beverages
  • Extra activities

An exciting Wildlife Conservation project based in the Greater Kruger Area where volunteers get to experience first hand the process of rehabilitation and release of wildlife (particularly cheetah), as well as wider conservation management and reserve development activities.   If you are passionate about wildlife and conservation and want to work up close with some of Africas most beautiful wildlife then this is the project for you! 

Volunteers will have a unique behind the scenes experience of what it takes to run and develop a wildlife reserve as well as be involved in the rehabilitaiton and release of endangered wildlife.   This is a hands on project that is based on a reserve that is over 4000 hectares and home to an abundance of wildlife including ostrich, leopard, giraffe, hyena, lion, elephant and many more.  The location of the project is the Greater Kruger Area is well known for its diverse and rich African wildlife, making it the perfect place for rehabilitation and release of animals.

With the volunteers help, the proeject will be monitoring and releasing cheetah onto the reserve as well as being involved with the reintroduction of different animals and the monitoring and recording of their behaviour and location. 

The project has been working with many world-renowned conservation bodies. Past initiatives of the Project have resulted in the successful release and rehabilitation of Cheetah, Lion, Brown Hyena, Caracal, Spotted Hyena, Serval, Cape fox, African Wild Cat, Elephant, Black and White Rhino and Buffalo on several Game Reserves around South Africa. 

Background

The founders started this project with the intention to release cheetah back into the wild and increase the total population on smaller reserves.  This dream started in 1992 when they were given a cheetah cub that had been found next to the main road. The cub was malnourished and in need of care and they agreed to take on the task. Immediately this cheetah, Skekunk, crept into their hearts and became apart of their family.  The owner would walk with her on the reserve and she began to learn to hunt for herself. Skekunk regularly visited the game lodge and stayed close to her human family but soon enough returned to the wild. The turning point was when the owners sold their game lodge and decided to move to the Cape. It was on their last game drive when they spotted a familiar cheetah who recognized them instantly.  When called Skekunk replied encouraging him to go on one last walk together. It was in this moment that they realized the dream of the re-wilding process. Skekunk became the first cheetah they released and kick started a method for rehabilitaiton and release that has developed. 

The Project 

The work on the reserve is diverse, and therefore daily activities vary, but volunteers are assured of a close and personal experience with the African Bush and its wildlife. Weekdays will focus on the project’s conservation efforts, where volunteers will work hands on in the cheetah project and on the reserve.

In the week, Game Drives, Cheetah Walks and Bush walks will be on the itinerary as well as many other activities. Weekends will be dedicated to “leisure time”. Volunteers visiting for 2 weeks or longer will get to experience an included overnight camping trip (2 Day, 1 Night) to the Kruger National Park. Weekends can also be used to visit surrounding areas at your own cost.

Activites that volunteers take part in may include:

Wildlife Activities:

Working hands on in the cheetah project by taking part in:

  • Walking with cheetah during the rewilding process 
  • Feeding, monitoring, and behavioural enrichment of any animals undergoing rehabilitation 
  • Maintenance of cheetah enclosures and cleaning of enclosures

Release and monitoring of other species

  • Assisting wildlife veterinarians, when the need arises
  • Daily monitoring of released species
  • Daily monitoring of other species on the reserve (tracking)

Conservation Management:

  • Erection of Fences and bomas (holding encampments)
  • Fence Patrols
  • Road Maintenance
  • Control and removal of alien vegetation
  • Reserve clean–up
  • Game counts, and individual identification profiles for game
  • Monitoring of waterholes
  • Game capture, and game transportation
  • Game introduction
  • Recording of information (such as animals’ whereabouts)
  • Being educated on the area and ways to protect it

Other activities:

  • Bush walks and game drives
  • Identifying of animals, insects, reptiles and plant species
  • “Sleep outs” under the African Skies.
  • South African Cooking Lessons
  • Braais (Barbaques)
  • Overnight Kruger Trips (for volunteers staying for periods of 2 weeks or more)


Work time is generally from 8h30 – 16h30 in winter and 5h00 to 17h00 in summer. With breaks for lunch, tea etc. However, times are flexible, depending on duties to be performed (e.g. animal feeding, monitoring of natural species) and the weather of the day.

Weekends are spent doing basic duties and are best spent participating in fun activities off the reserve however volunteers are welcome to explore the surrounding area at their own expense if they would like to. 

Extra Information

Getting There

Inclusive transfers are provided from and to Phalaborwa Airport or Town on the Monday start date.

There are two recommended ways to travel:

  • You can fly into Phalaborwa Airport which is a short connecting flight from Johannesburg OR Tambo.
  • There is a shuttle service which is less expensive and can be taken from Johannesburg OR Tambo to Phalaborwa.  This take approximately 5/6 hours as opposed to the approx 1 hour flight.   Ashton Shuttles offer a good service please contact Amanzi Travel for further details.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and we can make flight arrangements on request.

A perfect way to explore more of Africa

Before heading straight back home, why not take an Overland Journey through Africa to explore more of the wonderful sights and experiences that this beautiful continent has to offer.  You can take a trip that starts and finishes in the same city (eg Windhoek to Windhoek) or you can use it as an opportunity to get your from one city to another (eg Cape Town to Nairobi).

“This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ... brilliant. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. The overland trip was excellent - really well run”
Southern Sun 21 days, Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, aged 32 and 34.

“I didn’t know I could become such close friends with people in just a week. The trip attracts a great group of people who are so easy to get along with. My group ranged from 20 to 70 and we all sat down with a drink, played cards together and just gathered around the campfire.  It was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family”
Tanzanian Game Parks and Zanzibar, 10 Days and Masai Mara Safari, 3 Days - Sara, Canada/Malaysia, aged 20.

 From 3 days to 56 days, take a look at the exciting Overland Trips here.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Greater Kruger Area , South Africa, Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation ExperienceGreater Kruger Area , South Africa, Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation ExperienceGreater Kruger Area , South Africa, Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation ExperienceGreater Kruger Area , South Africa, Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation ExperienceGreater Kruger Area , South Africa, Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation ExperienceGreater Kruger Area , South Africa, Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation ExperienceGuests are accommodated in the tented Eco-Camp which is situated on the reserve right alongside the dam.  There are 5 comfy African Safari Tents that sleep 2 people each.  There are 2 ablution blocks (one for females and one for males) that are situated right behind the tents with bush facing showers and hot running water. Towels and linen are provided, however if you are planning on swimming, we recommend bringing your own swimming towel. Males and females are allocated separate sharing rooms, unless travelling as a couple, in which case please request this when booking with Amanzi Travel.

The Lapa area is equipped with a kitchen, bar, boma/braai area, deck and swimming pool. There are also hammocks set up around camping for afternoon relaxing. There is also a recreational area great for relaxing and cooling off in the summer heat.

Wifi is also available. Laundry service are provided once a week.  Volunteers are provided with 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Clean drinking water is always available. Tea, coffee, sugar, and toilet paper are supplied. 

Items of a personal nature are not included such as snacks, alcohol and cooldrinks.

Special trips to the shops can be organized with the volunteer coordinator. 

Please inform us of any dietary requirements in advance. 

Click here to view the full interactive mapSouth Africa - Help Local Communities Get Started

Why visit South Africa?

Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.

Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.

The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.

Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.

Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.

Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.

Highlights of South Africa

  • Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
  • Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
  • Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
  • See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
  • Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
  • Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
  • Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.

Climate

For Johannesburg:

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 25 °C 10 °C
Winter (May - August) 19 °C 4 °C
Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest


South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.

In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception -  the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).

Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.

Key Facts

Population – 50 million

Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)

Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours

Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00

Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation Experience

We spent one week with my wife at The Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation Experience and loved it. All the people in were really friendly and made our visit really welcoming and lovely. We got to experience walkings with cheetahs, many sightings of animals and their tracks in the bushes, watching the cheetahs hone their hunting skills, visit to Kruger (massive amount of different animal sightings). Camp area and lodging was really on excellent level and everything worked really well.

Jari, Netherlands (Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation Experience)

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