From Famous Kruger To Remote Okavango

From a pioneering story of animal relocation to the epic wilderness of two vast ecosystems: take a 360° view of wildlife research conservation in Africa.

Do you know what impact the size of a conservation area has on the wildlife? How about the size needed to support a population of elephants or lions? Or the value of hands-on wildlife management work versus scientific research in one of the last remaining intact wilderness areas in Africa?

By visiting three projects in two countries, you’ll engage with the varied challenges and impacts of working across different sizes and types of conservation areas.

Volunteering alongside experts in these diverse settings will build a picture of the relationship and tensions between agriculture, tourism and conservation. You’ll see how vast intact wildlife areas are of key significance and also, how a large community-owned reserve can have a massive impact in protecting species such as rhinos, cheetahs and the most trafficked animal in the world – the elusive pangolin.

You will gain hands-on wildlife management experience in one of the largest community-owned reserves, a project working in partnership with pioneering WWF relocation and repopulation efforts. You will be one of a privileged few who get to learn the ancient skills of tracking lions and elephants on foot in the Greater Kruger National Park, alongside a master tracker and highly trained anti-poaching dog. And you will explore and camp out in the vast wilderness of the Okavango Delta, studying how wildlife adapts to the changes in this seasonally-flooded landscape.

ACE volunteers travelling in a vehicle

Rhino Rating Tells you how physical the experience is. Click to find out more.

This project has a "Rhino Rating" of 3


  • Rhino
  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Pangolin
  • Cheetah
  • Hippopotamus
  • African Wild Dog
  • Giraffe
  • Elephant
  • Buffalo
  • and many more.

Conservation Impact

  • Wildlife research and management
  • Reserve management


🇿🇦 South Africa

🇧🇼 Botswana

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Get a hands-on animal management experience

Work in a project where successful animal management is at the heart of what they do and understand the impact of partnering with international conservation organisations such as WWF.

Protect the most trafficked mammals in the world

Pangolins are said to have magical medicinal properties, and despite the lack of scientific evidence to back this up, they are still the most trafficked animals in the world. You will contribute to ground-breaking research on this incredible species.

Experience two important sides to rhino conservation

From a project where numbers are successfully increasing to an area where protection against poachers is key to maintaining rhino numbers, you will have the chance to learn from experts intent on protecting these magnificent animals.

Stay in a fantastic range of accommodation

Everywhere you stay has its own unique thing. From a traditional farmhouse to an idyllic setting, on a hill high above the African plains, with 360° views of the surrounding bush. Or a totally remote (yet still very comfortable) camp, where the endless stars and a flickering campfire offer the perfect place to unwind after an exciting day.

Visit the two largest natural ecosystems in southern Africa

Large ecosystems are vital for sustaining large populations of wildlife including lions and elephants and learning about these areas is a must for anyone passionate about wildlife.

Where wild means wild

In Botswana, the Okavango Delta is an area of true wilderness. Volunteering here is a chance to switch off from the modern world, become fully immersed in nature and learn a huge amount from your surroundings.

Track animals on foot in the African bush

Learning to track animals on foot alongside an expert tracker and highly trained anti-poaching dog is a totally thrilling and unique experience that only a privileged few volunteers will get to do.

Increasing numbers of elephants

There’s very few areas in Africa where elephant numbers are increasing, in Greater Kruger and the Okavango they are. You will be able to observe and research these incredible animals in their natural habitat.

Monitor a mega population of lions across two settings

There are only five areas left in the whole of Africa that are large enough for a mega population of over 2000 lions to sustain themselves. You will be volunteering in two of them and learning the importance of large intact wildlife areas.

Monitor and work with Africa’s most iconic species

You’ll monitor and record information on key species such as elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, leopards, lions, pangolins and wild dogs.


There’s no one way to approach conservation. With each landscape comes a totally unique set of challenges and the only way to really understand this is to experience them first-hand.

Wildlife research and monitoring

Research is key to conservation. Each area and ecosystem tells its own story and it’s only by consistently monitoring species and recording data that we can improve conservation efforts.

  • Record wildlife sightings and map their movements to build up a detailed database of animals’ territories
  • Monitor priority species and identify individual animals such as black and white rhino, elephants, cheetahs and lions, to help protect from poachers
  • Study the behaviour and population dynamics of animals such as elephants and predators
  • Use GPS equipment to record transects and wildlife sightings
  • Record specific animal’s age and gender as well as predatory, feeding and breeding behaviour
  • Track animals on foot through the bush
  • Set up infrared camera traps at waterholes to monitor elusive species
  • Take a riverboat trip and see animals from a unique and tranquil perspective
  • Gain insight into the behaviour of nocturnal animals such as leopards, hyenas, porcupines and bushbabies during night drives
  • Witness natural wild behaviour in expansive settings, such as lions hunting or elephants playing in a waterhole

Wildlife management

You will be directly involved in animal management with the opportunity to learn alongside highly-skilled professionals. Activities will vary dependent on the animals being managed:

  • Watch rhino ears being notched, enabling researchers to identify, monitor and protect individual animals
  • Assist with humane rhino horn trimming, an effective anti-poaching strategy
  • Learn about contraceptive programmes to manage the populations of elephants and predators
  • Get involved with wildlife relocation programmes, helping to move species such as rhino, lion, cheetah and antelope
  • Go behind-the-scenes at an animal rehabilitation centre and work alongside the team on the ground


By visiting three very different wildlife research projects, across two countries, you will be introduced to the value of conservation in vast, large intact wildlife areas as well as the specific impact of a large community-owned reserve.


  • The different wildlife conservation approach in different sized areas
  • The roles that animal rehabilitation centres play in protecting species
  • Rhino poaching, anti-poaching methods in the field, and relocation programmes
  • Breeding programmes for rare and endangered species – such a black rhino custodianship programme
  • Wildlife relocation programmes – including the WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, the Rhinos Without Borders programme, and lion relocation to Rwanda
  • How wildlife conservation in Africa is funded


  • How large areas of protected wilderness differ from smaller reserves
  • The natural environment of the Big 5 and other African species
  • The role of different species in the ecosystem
  • The impact of population growth or decline of certain species, such as lions and elephants, on the ecosystem as a whole

Bush skills

  • Tracking animals on foot
  • The medicinal uses of various plants and trees
  • How to approach animals safely on foot
  • How to identify some of the many insects, reptiles and birds in the area


  • The relationship between predator and prey species
  • Behaviour of animal groups, such as the social structure in a pride of lions and herds of elephants
  • Predator hunting behaviour and the differences between social predators such as lions and wild dogs, compared with solitary predators such as leopards and cheetah
  • Mating and breeding behaviour of Big 5 and other African species
  • The movement of herd species such as elephant, buffalo and antelope


  • The physiology and natural diets of the Big 5 and other African species
  • Native African plants, reptiles, amphibians and birds
  • The movement of herd species such as elephant, buffalo and antelope


Can I volunteer at more than one project and how much will it cost?

Most of our travellers like to combine multiple projects to create a tailor-made trip. The combined price of projects is cheaper than the individual projects added up online. 

We offer combinations of conservation projects, transport between them, accommodation and travel insurance as you require. We are a travel operator, not an agent, which means we take full responsibility for your trip which will be financially protected through ABTA and ATOL.

We will discuss your options and tailor your experiences so you can realise your dreams.

How do I book?

Your journey to Africa starts with our online application form. This is your chance to tell us about yourself and what you want from your African experience. Following our communication, we’ll send you a bespoke itinerary and quote. Then, you only need to pay a deposit amount of GBP 295 / USD 400 / CAD 500 / AUD 500 / EUR 350 to book your entire trip.

The cost below for this experience includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Airport Meet & Greet

  • Transfers

  • 24/7 Support

  • Personal Guidance

  • Meals

Cost Calculator

Total Cost: GBP 0000