(214) 390-7947 (Overseas Callers)

Toll-Free: 1-800-675-2504 (US/Canada)

01273 93 0514 (UK ), (02) 8006 6640 (Australia)

Volunteer South Africa Wildlife

Do you love animals? Is it your dream to travel the world and volunteer in South Africa Wildlife? If this sounds like you then volunteering in a wildlife project in South Africa will be perfect for you.

South Africa is a beautiful country with a diverse natural history. From sweeping savannahs filled with herds of elephants and prides of lions, to rugged coastlines and mountainous hiking trails, South Africa has something for every nature enthusiast.

Sadly, many of the wild animals and plants in South Africa faces threats such as poaching, illegal trading and habitat destruction. Due to these threats many species are now facing extinction. The magnificent abundance of flora and fauna each create unique challenges for wildlife conservationists to overcome.

Luckily with more and more awareness and programs working to fight the issues South African wildlife faces there is hope. However, more wildlife projects means there is more work to be done. Caring for wildlife is a full-time job and projects often have low funding meaning that more hands are desperately needed. This is where you come in! Your passion for wildlife conservation will make a deep positive impact on the lives of wild animals. Your work will help save species from extinction and improve the chances of survival for injured individuals in rehabilitation. By volunteering with a wildlife conservation project in South Africa you will be part of the solution these animals and plants need to thrive in their natural environment.

As a passionate wildlife lover your help is needed to secure a more promising future for the plants and animals on the brink of extinction in South Africa.

Contact IFRE today to get more detailed information on how you can become a wildlife conservation volunteer in South Africa projects.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteers’ Responsibilities & Impact

As a volunteer in South Africa wildlife program, you will be responsible for completing two activities per day with your fellow volunteers. These activities will be on a rotating schedule so you will get to experience a range of tasks essential to wildlife conservation in South Africa. Throughout your tasks you will always be accompanied by a qualified game ranger to ensure your safety.

Duties volunteers are responsible for include tracking and monitoring animals such as lions, rhinos and buffalo, removing non-indigenous plants from the reserve, planting trees to combat erosion, patrolling reserve hikes and trails, monitoring and servicing fencing and animal enclosures, game counts and capture, assisting veterinarians, feeding animals in rehabilitation, helping morning, afternoon and evening game drives.

Skills and Qualifications:

You do not need any specific skills or qualifications to be part of the wildlife conservation volunteer program in South Africa. All we ask is that you have a passion for working with a wide-range of animals and an interest in wildlife conservation. Those with animal work experience or veterinary experience may be able to offer more help in certain areas but there is something everyone can do to make a positive impact in the lives of these animals.

Minimum 18 years old is required.

As someone who is passionate about helping volunteering as a wildlife conservationist everyday will be unique and rewarding. Working with animals requires a flexible schedule as some animals may require care early in the morning and at night. You will be placed in groups on a rotating schedule and required to perform two activities per day.

You will be given your daily duties every evening before so you can organize your daily schedule around your tasks. You will have Saturday and Sunday off to explore everything Port Elizabeth or the nearby Grahamstown has to offer.

First Day: On your first day of volunteering in South Africa, wildlife program, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator. They will introduce you to placement staff and help orientate you in the project. You will receive a run down on the tasks that you will be required to help with, your initial schedule, and any housekeeping and safety advice you may need to know.

Volunteer South Africa Wildlife: Program Dates and Fees

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.

Our Fees

Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fee (US$)

Duration Wildlife Projects (Cape Town)
  1 Week   $700
  2 Weeks   $1,100
  3 Weeks   $1,550
  4 Weeks   $1,950
  5 Weeks   $2,350
  6 Weeks   $2,750
  7 Weeks   $3,150
  8 Weeks   $3,650

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day »

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Accommodation (host family)
  • Food (only breakfast and dinnery)
  • Airport Pick up/Transfer
  • Program Orientation
  • In-country support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Accommodation and Meal

As a wildlife conservation volunteer in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. You will share secure dormitory style room with the other volunteers of the same gender on the reserve. Rooms contain comfortable single beds. All rooms feature shared western style toilets and running water.. Volunteers are expected to wash their own laundry. You will be fed three meals a day, all prepared and served on the reserve.

Learn more about Cape Town volunteer accommodation and delicious meals.

Free Time and Weekends:

South Africa wildlife Conservation volunteer projects are based out of Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth is a friendly coastal city surrounded by nature in South Africa. You will be volunteering on a rotational night and day roster that will allow plenty of time to explore the city and its surrounds.

Your in-country support team and project staff are always happy to share their favorite past-time activities so you will never run out of anything to do. Some popular sights around Port Elizabeth include Addo Elephant National Park, The Valley Market, Fort Frederick, and Gamtoos River Mouth.

Learn more about how to spend your free time and weekends in and around Port Elizabeth.

Safety and In Country Support

At IFRE we put your safety first. We have already provided over 22,000 people with affordable and safe volunteer experiences in over 20 countries since 2006. Rest assured knowing that IFRE has vetted all our projects and checks annually that they still meet our standards. IFRE also offers a Comprehensive Insurance Plan for your peace of mind.

During your volunteer experience you will be assigned in-country support personnel . They will be available to answer any of your queries, offer immediate assistance if any safety issues arise and are there to ensure you have a meaningful volunteer experience. In-country personnel will periodically check on you to make sure you are okay, organize your airport pick up, introduce you to local staff, take you through a project orientation and provide any safety tips you may need to know.

Find out more about in-country safety and support, and meet the amazing team of people who will be helping you.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer South Africa Wildlife: FAQs

Arrival And Departure

You will need to should arrive into Port Elizabeth International Airport the day before your South Africa wildlife conservation volunteer project starts. Please advise us of your flight information well in advance and notify us of any changes or delays to we can be sure to pick you up from the airport on time. IFRE doesn’t offer airport drop-off services.


You must obtain a tourist visa to participate in any of our volunteering programs in South Africa. Ideally you should get a tourist visa before arriving into South Africa through your local Embassy of South Africa. However, citizens of some countries such as Russia, Canada, Argentina, most of Europe, the United States, and Brazil can get a visa at the airport on arrival.

All visas require a passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining. If you decide to volunteer longer you can extend your visa for up to 3 more months by visiting the South African immigration offices.

Review the following website for more information:


The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for South Africa: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza.

You must visit your local travel doctor advice before your volunteering trip to South Africa.

For further readings:


Volunteer Health and Safety

Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Why Volunteer in a Wildlife project in South Africa?

Volunteering with wildlife is an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience. Anyone who has worked with animals can tell you that everyday will be different and it is a pleasure to get to know the different personalities of each animal.

You will get the opportunity to help wild animals

Wild animals around the world are under great threat from dangers such as habitat destruction, poaching and low genetic diversity. Much of this, if not all is due to human interference. You will get the chance to help study, care for and rehabilitate wild animals to give them the best chance out of captivity as possible.

You will gain an understanding of wildlife conservation in South Africa

Africa features a wide diversity of animals and therefore requires a wide diversity of wildlife conservation strategies. By working hands-on with a wildlife volunteer program in South Africa, you will get in-depth knowledge of wildlife conservation in South Africa.

You will gain valuable animal work experience abroad

Volunteering with wildlife or animalis a great addition to any resume. For those who seek a career working with animals, work experience with South African animals including lions, rhino and buffalo will add immense value to your future career. You will get first hand experience working with wild animals that you simply can’t gain from textbooks.

You will get the opportunity to help wild animals in need

Most importantly, you will spend your time helping wildlife that are in need. Whether you are assisting with monitoring programs or in the veterinarian clinic you will go to bed every night knowing that your time was spent helping make better lives for wild animals.

You will learn new animal handling skills

You will learn a lot about the requirements of working with or near wild animals. Wild animals need to be treated differently than domesticated animals. You may also encounter animals under stress and need to learn how to handle each species and individual differently.

Volunteer Programs in South Africa

No matter what your passion for volunteering is, IFRE offers variety of volunteering opportunities such as work in child care, volunteer English teaching, sport coaching,social welfare, health care in South Africa

IFRE Wildlife Conservation Volunteer Opportunities In Other Countries

Wildlife conservation volunteers are needed in other countries other than South Africa. IFRE wildlife conservation volunteer opportunities range from working with tiny baby sea turtles to giant elephants. Explore wildlife conservation projects in countries such as Nambia, Costa Rica, China, Sri Lanka and Thailand. With IFRE wildlife volunteer programs you will help create a more secure future for animals in need. Contact us today to learn more about how you can help wildlife projects worldwide.

Top destinations