The StayAfrica! Wildlife program is based at a Big 5 Game reserve just outside the city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The main objective and focus of this reserve, is the conservation and preservation of indigenous animal and plant life.
While South Africa, and the African continent as a whole, enjoys an abundance of magnificent wild animal and plant species, it also faces ever-increasing challenges in maintaining these high numbers. Never before has the impact of poaching and illegal trading, both of animal and plant species, been felt so greatly – many species are at near-extinction levels – but in the same breath, never before has the awareness and fight against these factors, been so great! Animal and plant reserves all across South Africa have, for many years, been implementing and running projects and programs, with the aim of minimising this threat, all with the hope of one day totally eradicating the problem as a whole!
Volunteers on this programme fly directly into Port Elizabeth airport and are transferred to the reserve upon arrival. Accommodation in large, shared dorm-style rooms (separate male and female dorms), as well as 3 meals per day (prepared and served on the reserve), are included in the programme.
Volunteers are placed in groups and will, on a rotation basis, perform 2 activities/duties per day (daily schedules are provided every evening, stating the following day’s activities). These include the following:
- Removal of alien (non-indigenous) vegetation in and around the reserve
- Animal tracking and monitoring (Lion, Rhino, Buffalo, etc.)
- Tree planting and landscaping to minimise the effects of erosion
- Wilderness trail hikes and patrol
- Fence and enclosure patrol and servicing
- Game counts and capture
- Assist with Vet duties
- Feeding of predators in rehabilitation
- Assist with early morning, daytime and evening game drives
- *All activities are accompanied by a qualified game ranger
- Scheduled return transfers from Port Elizabeth Airport
- Guided wildlife safari tour
- 1 Reserve T-shirt
- 1 Reserve Peak Cap
- Orientation upon arrival
- Meals whilst on Reserve (breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared and served on-site)
- Shared Accommodation (dorm-style with separate male/female rooms)
- Optional Weekend transport between Saturday and Sunday to either Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, or any nearby destination which includes transport and accommodation only.
This programme perfectly combines the hard work associated with maintaining and operating a game reserve, with the opportunity to see the Big 5 animals of Africa, first-hand. It certainly doesn’t hurt that you will be based on a beautiful 6000 hectare piece of land containing a mixture of grasslands, sub-tropical vegetation, fynbos and bushveld, completed with naturally formed pockets of water, amazing rock formations and splendid flora.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill.