This fabulous South African Game Reserve is situated on the Eastern Cape and spans over 6000 hectares. This experience aims to give volunteers a holistic experience of life on a game reserve with exposure not only to the majestic Big 5 family but also conservation of all types of fauna and flora – they all go hand in hand.
The game reserve’s education and rehabilitation centre is home to a number of species of endangered predators including lions, Bengal tigers, cheetahs, wild dogs and serval cats. The dedicated conservation team are committed to the preservation of these elusive creatures by rehabilitating them and releasing them back into the wild. The work is exciting and varied with lots to learn!
The centre is also used for breeding as some of these predators are faced with extinction. For example, the wild dog is one of South Africa’s most highly endangered mammal. As a hunter and meat eater requiring an extensive habitat, it is constantly in competition with humans, in particular with livestock farmers.
Bengal tigers are also found at the centre. Their population has deteriorated at an alarming rate. Over the last 100 years hunting and deforestation have reduced tiger populations from hundreds of thousands to perhaps fewer than 2,500. The centre has been lucky enough to see the birth of a Bengal tiger cub after an arduous 4 years of work and research.
The centre has also raised three lion cubs who are currently developing into fully grown predators before they are transferred to other parts of the country which the lion population has decreased due to human influences such as hunting.
This is programme designed for volunteers interested in having a truly African experience while making a difference to the local wildlife and environment. Activities for this programme vary on a day to day basis and are dependent on weather and other factors (so please expect the itinerary to change from time to time!). The itinerary is designed in such a way that volunteers are divided into groups of up to 10 volunteers per group, depending on the number of volunteers. Each group will have an outdoor volunteer coordinator as a leader and mentor. The groups will be engaged in different daily activities, but will all do the same type and number of activities by the end of the week. In some cases all the groups might do the same activity at the same time depending on the type of activity.