Gap Year & Students

A lot of students volunteer at our conservation projects. You can join the projects for a duration of 2-12 weeks, so you can volunteer during your holidays or as part of a gap year in Africa.

Gap year volunteering is increasingly being recognised by employers and universities for providing real life experience and the opportunity to learn valuable skills.

Gap year volunteer at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

"Since my ACE placement, I've been busy with my Zoology with Conservation degree which has seen me go back to Africa for study and I shortly begin my dissertation on antelope nutrition. I founded and became chairman of the University's Zoological Society which has been a great success and I have plans for further study and a career in conservation, zoology and research.  My gap year was simply vital to gaining the self confidence and determination to follow my chosen path and my trip with ACE played a prominent role in that" D. Wright

Reasons to volunteer in your Gap Year

Prepare for university

Students hoping to gain a place on very competitive programmes, such as veterinary medicine, use participation in projects like the Shimongwe Wildlife Veterinary Experience to make their university applications stand out. Not everyone has ear-notched a rhino or done a pregnancy test on a Sable antelope after all!

Get practical experience

Many volunteers are students of subjects like zoology, animal care, wildlife management, veterinary science, conservation biology or marine biology. Volunteering is a great way to get some work experience which might help you get a great job later.  African Conservation Experience choose every project that we work with for its genuine conservation value, so no matter which project you join, you will get valuable insights and experience at real life wildlife conservation work. Some university courses make it a requirement to complete a conservation internship. If you are looking to join one of our projects for your course requirements, please talk to us about the exact criteria your school or university has, so that we can make sure you can meet them through a conservation placement with us.

Experience a different way of life

While simply going travelling is great fun of course, volunteering gives you the opportunity to get a look “behind the scenes” as you work alongside local professionals in jobs you wouldn’t come across back home. Joining in the life of a game capture team, game ranger, wildlife vet or wildlife researcher can be a once in a lifetime experience.

Challenge yourself

In many ways, volunteering means you throw yourself in at the deep end, as you join a team of people you’ve never met, in a foreign country, taking on completely new responsibilities. Some of these new experiences might be somewhat scary - most new volunteers are often a bit daunted by their first close encounters with wildlife.