Volunteer Diaries
August 13, 2018

Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees and Seniors

Have you just retired and want to do something different that’s meaningful? Then you couldn’t choose better wildlife volunteering projects that Wildlife ACT offers - to help make a difference for some of Africa’s endangered species. Who said African wildlife volunteering is for the 20 somethings? You’re as young as you feel and have lots of life skills to offer.[caption id="attachment_17045" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]

Andy & Neil Miller - Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees and Seniors

Caption: Returning Volunteers Andy & Neil Miller.[/caption]Working at one or more of Wildlife ACT's volunteering projects in Zululand, you’ll really enjoy what wildlife volunteering for retirees and seniors has to offer. You'll help contribute towards ensuring the survival of some of Africa's most endangered and priority species - namely African Painted Wolves, Cheetah, Rhinos, Vultures, Lions and Leopards, for future generations.

What work is involved with Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees?

We are a couple in our 60's and have been volunteering with Wildlife ACT since 2013. Zululand is our second home now and we love to return to catch up with our adopted family! Groups at each project can be up to 5 like-minded people and a typical day may start from 4 or 5am monitoring priority species.

Neil Miller - Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees and Seniors

Your main tasks will be using telemetry equipment, helping to collect data, and setting up camera traps, but a typical day often changes depending on the reserve's needs. You may be involved in locating animals for collaring or checking for snares. That in itself is an adventure as no two days are ever the same!

Is there sufficient downtime for Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees?

That’s the excitement of being in the bush. Days can be long but so rewarding and most days there is time for a quick nap or to simply unwind. There are usually 2 sessions per day, but if you need to miss a session to catch up on your beauty sleep then that’s okay too (although you may miss something special)! Back in camp it’s great to form a team spirit and the groups tend to share with cooking and camp duties. If you can paint, sew, DIY, or are a whiz on computers etc., then it’s your time to shine in camp! We’ve been with mixed groups of all ages and have always appreciated how the younger volunteers love mixing with us. We all have something to offer and the beauty of wildlife volunteering is that you leave having made lifelong friends from all over the world.

Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees and Seniors

Is Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees well organised?

Don’t worry if you’ve never been to Africa before; you’re going to love it. Once you arrange your international flight into Johannesburg, Bronwen (the bookings manager) is there to help organise your transport to your project. She’s brilliant, and will guide you with all the information you need. If you decide to do more than one wildlife volunteering project, then transport is well organised to the next place, and then finally to the airport to connect with your international flight home. You’ll leave having made a huge difference, lots of new friends and wanting to return like so many Wildlife ACT volunteers do. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your camera, binoculars and a diary to record your lifetime adventure!

Wildlife Volunteering for Retirees and Seniors

We hope we’ve convinced you to pack your bags and give it a go. You won’t regret it. We're always happy to answer any queries.

- Andrea and Neil Miller

Wildlife ACT is recognised as a reputable wildlife organisation in Africa by numerous world-renowned conservation organisations such as WWF and Panthera. Their Endangered Species Monitoring programme, which caters for those seeking wildlife volunteering for retirees and seniors, is unmatched. Their volunteering projects are Fair Trade Tourism certified and Wildlife ACT was awarded at the African Responsible Tourism Awards in the category: Best for Habitat and Species Conservation.