Game Capture Team

Join the dynamic world of a wildlife capture team in South Africa

Working with a dedicated mass and specialised capture team, you will be part of a local team relocating wildlife. Crucial for wildlife conservation and management, game capture also facilitates the up close and hands on work with wildlife that we all dream of! Learning a wealth of information about their behaviour to assist in the movements, you are often close enough to feel the texture of their skin and smell their breath!

Volunteers relocating giraffe

Conservation value

The game capture industry is essential to the continued existence and conservation of species endemic to southern Africa. Through careful handling of rare and endangered species and general game, restocking of new areas and population diversity is retained; while game capture is also of huge economic benefit to the country and local employment. We are proud to be able to expose our volunteers to the reality of conservation and the long term models we need to work with to ensure a positive impact to both wildlife and local communities.

  • Game Capture Video
  • Helicopter assisted capture
  • Rhino capture
  • Wildebeest capture
  • Setting up a boma
  • Impala capture
  • Wildebeest in enclosure
  • rhino capture on foot
  • Checking rhino
  • Blindfolding rhino
  • Rhino capture from helicopter
  • Injecting buffalo
  • Male lion captured
  • Transporting buffalo
  • Lion capture
  • Relocating giraffe
  • Treating injured giraffe
  • Roping giraffe
  • Preparing pole syringe
  • flying in the helicopter
  • Capture trucks at sunset
  • Administering tranquilisers
  • Release
  • Bush kitchen
  • Game capture base camp
  • Accommodation on the capture project
  • Bundox Game Capture video

Game Capture Video

Video of volunteers joining the Game Capture Team.

Helicopter assisted capture

The capture team often use the help of a helicopter when capturing wildlife

Helicopter assisted capture

Rhino capture

Moving a sedated rhino is hard but exciting work

Rhino capture

Wildebeest capture

The team herding wildebeest into the enclosure

Wildebeest capture

Setting up a boma

Volunteers help with setting up bomas (enclosures) in the bush for capturing herd animals

Setting up a boma

Impala capture

Once the boma is set up, volunteers are right in the middle of the capture, moving the animals along

Impala capture

Wildebeest in enclosure

Wildebeest in enclosure

Wildebeest in enclosure

rhino capture on foot

Taking on a full grown rhino on foot is somewhat daunting - they have a way of making you feel quite small!

rhino capture on foot

Checking rhino

Once the rhino is sedated, it is checked for its vital signs and attended to by a vet.

Checking rhino

Blindfolding rhino

All sedated animals are being blindfolded to prevent the stress caused by seeing the movement of people and vehicles around them.

Blindfolding rhino

Rhino capture from helicopter

Rhino capture from helicopter

Injecting buffalo

Volunteers help with looking after the captured wildlife, such as injecting animals with antibiotics

Injecting buffalo

Male lion captured

Here the team captures a male lion.

Male lion captured

Transporting buffalo

The captured animals have to be transported to the reserve they are being relocated to

Transporting buffalo

Lion capture

On rare occasions the game capture team also work with predators.

Lion capture

Relocating giraffe

Transporting the animals sometimes requires purpose built vehicles

Relocating giraffe

Treating injured giraffe

Occasionally the capture team are called on to catch an animal for treatment - like this giraffe, who stepped onto a waterpipe

Treating injured giraffe

Roping giraffe

While the giraffe is sedated, ropes are fitted loosely around it, so it can be controlled when it is awake again.

Roping giraffe

Preparing pole syringe

Volunteer preparing a pole syringe

Preparing pole syringe

flying in the helicopter

Occasionally volunteers get the opportunity to fly in the helicopter between capture operations.

flying in the helicopter

Capture trucks at sunset

Relocation gives volunteers the opportunity to travel to other parts of the country

Capture trucks at sunset

Administering tranquilisers

Volunteers then use the pole syringes to administer tranquillisers to the animals on the trucks before moving them to their new home

Administering tranquilisers

Release

At the end of capture, the wildlife is released in its new reserve

Release

Bush kitchen

While out on capture, the team often camps rough and cooking is done out in the open.

Bush kitchen

Game capture base camp

Game capture have a comfortable base camp, but often spend several nights out on capture

Game capture base camp

Accommodation on the capture project

Base camp accommodation is in furnished tents

Accommodation on the capture project

Bundox Game Capture video

ACE volunteer Karan Saini records his time at game capture 2014.

Work with the wildlife

A 'real life' experience, this project allows you into a world of travelling through stunning landscapes and a cultural experience only this industry provides. Game Capture is often subject to the whims of the elements, especially the wind, and of course the animals themselves, so you need to be quite flexible.

Join the specialised capture team working with endangered and rare species

  • Work as part of a large local team, who have a wealth of experience working with rare and endangered species such as rhino, roan and sable antelopes.
  • Receive informal lectures about species to be captured and related topics, relocation and drugs used in the process.

Get involved in the physical capture, translocation and release of wildlife

  • Help with all capture operations: Captures of herd animals like antelopes and zebra involve mass captures in net enclosures while larger species like buffalo and rhino are darted and sedated.
  • Some captures need the assistance of a helicopter - there might even be the opportunity to get a ride in between captures.

Establish concealed net and curtain capture bomas in the bush

  • Lend a hand with the extensive preparations involved in setting up a capture - this can involve fairly strenuous work as you help to build large net enclosures in the field.

Help with animal care in quarantine bomas

  • Every year the game capture team move a large number of animals to Mozambique to help replenish the country's wildlife reserves after years of civil war and unrest have wreaked havoc on the populations of endemic species.
  • Help with the husbandry, feeding and daily care of the quarantined wildlife: Giraffe, buffalo, nyala, rhino and kudu all need to be quarantined for several weeks and tested for diseased before being moved across the border.

Assist with veterinary procedures when necessary

  • Learn about the tranquilising drugs used in darting operations: Most large capture operations require the presence of a wildlife vet, giving you the opportunity assist with minor veterinary procedures when needed.

Camp in the African bush

  • Travel to other regions of South Africa as the capture team moves between capture and release sites.
  • Camp in the bush or en route while on extended captures. This is a project for volunteers with a sense of adventure.
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Hear from other volunteers who've visited Game Capture Team

An editorial of things we did and places we went can't do the experience justice! It is hard to try ... click for more...

An editorial of things we did and places we went can't do the experience justice! It is hard to try and convey the experience I had but if I say that in my first week I helped the capture of around 100 blue and black wildebeest and red hartbeest, watched a herd of giraffe from 50 metres helping their bull calf feed, tracked a white rhino bull on foot to find his mate that had got a wire in her foot and sat watching the sun set with herds of springbok, gemsbok, and blesbok grazing on a veld below the koppie on which I was sitting, then you will have the slightest glimpse of what game capture can offer you.

James Cook

You can feel nothing but honour when you are dealing with and relocating game such as Roan or Sable, some of the most endangered bovids in Africa. On my last day, we had to relocate a male giraffe which is an experience that I'll never forget!

Oliver Lock - Student Volunteer

I literally had the best 4 weeks of my life. The people, both workers and volunteers were so nice and the things I got to do were awesome, with giraffe mass capture topping my experience!

John Keymer

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Your placement cost includes return flights and carbon offsets (if selected), return transfers from Johannesburg Airport to your project, all accommodation, meals (at most projects), transfers between projects if you are volunteering at more than one project, the 24 hour support of our South African ground manager, ACE T-Shirts, and, of course, the contributions to the projects, without which they could not operate. Read more about the costs, where your money goes and financing your volunteering placement here