Whether you’re learning to track elephants across the wilderness, giving an orphaned rhino calf her afternoon feed, or racing into the bush to help a wounded giraffe – as a conservation volunteer in Africa you’ll get hands-on in the fight to save the continent’s enchanting wildlife. From the moment you arrive, you’ll also find yourself working shoulder to shoulder alongside seasoned wildlife professionals, learning specialist skills while assisting with real conservation.
Our volunteering experiences in Africa can last anywhere from two weeks to many months. If you want some help finding the perfect experience from the options below, please contact us.
Volunteer in a real conservation project where your time and energy make a meaningful impact.
Live and work on the project, where you’ll get to know Africa’s animals, local professionals and your fellow volunteers.
Gain a breadth of skills and experiences, which could even help you advance your career.
Help injured and orphaned animals through wildlife care, husbandry and nursing
Learn from conservationists and field researchers, helping to protect wild animals and ecosystems
Join some of Africa’s most experienced wildlife vets and help treat wild animals
I highly recommend the Shimongwe Wildlife Veterinary Experience to anyone considering applying. You will not only gain useful veterinary knowledge and skills, you will also create amazing and unique memories in an astonishingly beautiful country.
Some days we would be transporting buffalo to various camps, and so the vet would go up in the helicopter and dart the buffalo from the air. We would then chase down the buffalo by truck and transport them out of that camp and into another. This was truly exhilarating.
For a full month at Okavango, I had the opportunity to assist in vital research, documenting species presence on the Kwatale conservancy. We had some truly special sightings while there.
I could talk for hours and hours about the many adventures I was lucky enough to undertake during my placements with ACE, I still haven’t finished telling my friends and family everything! The amazing sense of accomplishment and pride I feel whenever I look back at what I’ve learnt and been privileged to be a part of is unfathomable.
My experience at Phinda, in three words, was wonderful, unique, and enriching. The team from the researchers, ecologists, logistic, back-office, and our dear volunteers were all great people and supportive, and helped make my journey wonderful.
What an experience that was! Bottle-feeding baby rhinos was simply amazing. Looking into their eyes, I saw their beautiful souls each and every time I fed them. “And I get to do this every day for two weeks”, I thought to myself.
The vet I was working with was an incredible teacher and always explained what he was doing and why. He always encouraged us to get involved and even let me take a ride in the helicopter!
My experiences at Chipangali and Phinda were absolutely insane. It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. The people there topped off the experience and I have so many good memories, I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone - just thinking about my trip makes me want to go back!
The people and animals I met while I was there will always have a special place in my heart and I’ve done things I never thought I would like; help raise a baby squirrel, hold a baboon spider to get over my arachnophobia and see a white rhino in the wild.
Huge thanks to the vet team in Hoedspruit for welcoming me and teaching me so much valuable information that will transcend into the rest of my veterinary career. Also, thank you to African Conservation Experience for setting up this wonderful experience! Counting down the days when I can return!
At Phinda our lives were enriched by the knowledge of our team leader in the many facets of wildlife management, whilst working with the wildlife veterinarians at Shimongwe was AWESOME. We were able to be a part of a team capturing wild animals for medical treatment, ID chip placement, and relocation.
Work hard and you maybe given more responsibility with special cases – teaching vultures to fly to the glove, looking after the baby bush pig and assisting with the cheetahs were some of the extra cases I had. I have so many amazing memories from being at Moholoholo.
As a traveller, there is simply no other experience that brings you closer to Africa’s wildlife, communities and conservation professionals than volunteering. You’ll find yourself working alongside highly skilled individuals every day, gaining unparalleled access to – and a unique perspective on – Africa’s wildlife, rural communities and the challenges they face.
Spending time as a wildlife conservation volunteer in Africa, you’ll also discover the sense of excitement that comes from being able to recognise individual animals even within a wild area or a large group of similar animals. This is something many of our wildlife volunteers tell us is the most profound memory from their time in Africa. For some, it’s also the reason they return to volunteer with wildlife in Africa again and again.
There’s no denying the work can sometimes be challenging. But as you sit down to a well-earned dinner each evening you’ll be able to reflect on the many incredible things you’ve seen, done and learned that day. What’s more, you’ll be supporting conservation projects and initiatives at the very forefront of wildlife conservation in southern Africa. Their ongoing success will be the legacy of your time spent as a conservation volunteer in Africa.
Whether you’re an animal lover who wants to work with wildlife in Africa, a student looking for exciting wildlife internships, or someone planning a career sabbatical who has always dreamed of doing something meaningful while seeing the world, wildlife conservation volunteering is for you.
We offer a range of wildlife volunteering opportunities in southern Africa to meet the needs of every individual traveller. Many people with a background (or a future) in biology and conservation are drawn to our wildlife research and management, wildlife rehabilitation and care, and marine conservation experiences. Likewise, our veterinary volunteering experiences are very popular with veterinary students seeking a wildlife internship in Africa as well as qualified vets looking to test themselves in a new environment.
Work with the world’s largest land animal by joining a team of experts
Help save the rhino by working closely with these incredible prehistoric creatures