We offer the first wildlife volunteer programme in Africa to be Fair Trade Tourism certified! “We have a high regard for Wildlife ACT’s contribution to conservation and are thrilled that they are now able to display the Fair Trade Tourism mark” – Jane Edge, MD of Fair Trade Tourism
We are the only Fair Trade Tourism certified wildlife volunteer programme in Africa that works with and are supported by high-profile and international conservation organizations such as WWF, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Panthera and Wildlands Conservation Trust (to name just a few).
We work across five different game reserves in South Africa: Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Game Reserve, the uMkhuze section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Tembe Elephant Park and Manyoni Private Game Reserve. Conservation volunteers therefore get the chance to experience varied natural environments. Many volunteer organizations allow their volunteers to experience only one reserve.
Unlike other volunteer organizations that work solely on small, private game reserves (used as farmland in the past) we work predominantly on large, nationally proclaimed and protected game reserves that have always been home to wildlife – giving you a real sense of the true African wilderness.
The Wildlife ACT experience is unmatched in terms of the type of work we do and the diversity of species we work with, including the ‘BIG 5’. We have been reviewed on several online platforms and the feedback we receive is overwhelmingly positive.
No more than six volunteers are allowed per reserve at any given time. Unlike other volunteer projects we are not a glorified safari where up to 10 people get on one vehicle and as many as 30 volunteers on one private reserve.
Our team members are highly qualified and focused on real conservation work. Our one founding member, Dr Simon Morgan, holds a PhD in Black Rhino Ecology. Our other founding member, Chris Kelly, completed his studies in nature conservation before a long career in wildlife monitoring, game capture, relocation and reintroduction.
Wildlife ACT has been extensively reviewed on multiple and reputable websites, including TripAdvisor, GoAbroad & GoOverseas. It currently has a rating of 9.9 out of 10 and 97% respectively with gold star verification!
Wildlife ACT was awarded with both a World Responsible Tourism award and an African Responsible Tourism award in the category “Best for Habitat & Species Conservation” in South Africa (and second in Africa) – an event that promotes and supports responsible travel.
Wildlife ACT is a founding partner of Project Rhino KZN and sits on the advisory committee of the Wild Dog Advisory Group of South Africa. The Wildlife ACT Team founding members are also trustees of Wildlife ACT Fund.
Wildlife ACT is looking for people who want their contribution, in terms of their time and funds, to be effectively utilised in genuine conservation efforts. If you wish to be a part of a professional conservation team, make a real difference and experience important conservation work in Africa, then you are the kind of conservation volunteer we are looking for!
Anyone from the age of 18 up can join our team. All you need for wildlife volunteering is the passion to make a difference, have a good grasp of the English language, be in a reasonably good physical condition and most importantly, have a good attitude. And remember: This is Zululand, not Disneyland!
You can make a no obligation application at any time. ENQUIRE NOW
Make contact with us
Fill out our simple online application form to become a conservation volunteer.
Ask our expert
Bronwen Kelly is our friendly and helpful reservations manager. She will guide you through the process and make sure your plans come together.
Pay your deposit
When you are happy with everything, you can secure your place by paying your 30% deposit. 70% of your remaining balance will be due four weeks before you arrive in Africa.
Book your flights
You will be responsible for booking your own flights.
We collect and drop off all our participants at RICHARDS BAY, which is the closest airport. You would need to book your international flight arriving in JOHANNESBURG (O.R. Tambo International Airport), followed by a short internal flight from Johannesburg to Richard’s Bay (RCB). Please see the “How Do I Get There” tab on our Project Page for more info about flights.
When you arrive at Richards Bay airport, you will be collected by an organised responsible transfer company with a sign. All arriving conservation volunteers will be transported by the transfer company to a central meeting point, where you will be met by your respective Wildlife ACT wildlife monitors, who will then take you into the reserve, on the back of a monitoring vehicle. On the Monday of your departure you will be transported back to Richards Bay airport to catch your departing flight home.
Contact us at any time for help and advice
We guarantee you a prompt response to your enquiries. You will be able to contact the Wildlife ACT team on the reserves at any time during your preparations, so you will have access to all the latest developments live from the field. The Wildlife ACT team can also help you with specific enquiries relating to latest animal sightings and other interesting news as it happens. For the latest news, visit our blog.
Most conservation volunteers join Wildlife ACT for 4 to 12 weeks, with a minimum stay being two weeks. We maintain a small volunteer group of no more than five people per reserve and therefore recommend that you apply as soon as possible in order to confirm the dates that suit you.
Wildlife ACT runs a number of projects so we are in the unique position to offer you the opportunity to join us on more than one reserve, giving you the chance to experience diverse aspects of wildlife conservation. The opportunity to work on multiple game reserves depends on the length of your stay. If you stay for only two weeks, you will work on one reserve, but for every additional two weeks you stay, the better your chance of experiencing another reserve.
Please Note: Once bookings fill up, placements will be made based on where there are spaces available. Although we do our best to keep to the planned schedule once bookings are confirmed, all placements are subject to change should there be a specific need at any time.
If you are ready and excited to start planning your trip, but discouraged by a financial road block, Wildlife ACT has another solution for you. We have teamed up with FundMyTravel, who provides us with an online platform where you can fundraise for your meaningful travel experience. How does it work? You create a campaign page, complete a brief profile to build trust, add a video and tell your story!
FundMyTravel has a team of dedicated staff who want to help Wildlife ACT participants reach their fundraising goals. They can provide tips and insights on the best ways to spread your word and offer sharing tools to get your campaign greater exposure through social media and email. Click the button below to learn more and get started!