The New Horizons Sabbatical

Disconnect from modern life and learn from experts in three different wildlife conservation areas in Africa.

Imagine unwinding under the star-packed sky of a remote wilderness in southern Africa. Or falling into bed after a day on foot tracking lions, elephants and rhinos through the bush, alongside an expert tracker and their trained dog. What about the opportunity to protect pangolins, the most trafficked animal in the world, in a reserve where they have been successfully reintroduced?

Travelling to three projects across two countries means there is an exciting variety of conservation work and professionals to learn from. It’s a hands-on experience and a rare opportunity to challenge yourself, disconnect from the distractions of modern life and be truly present with nature. In every setting, you will learn more about genuine wildlife conservation work in southern Africa and perhaps also, more about yourself.

It’s a chance to understand the unique challenges that certain species – such as elephants, lions, rhinos or wild dogs – face, and contribute to the complex work of protecting these incredible animals and the ecosystems that support them.

With an itinerary that will take you through an awe-inspiring diversity of African landscapes this is a chance to reset, expand your horizons and reconnect with yourself and the natural world.

Close-up of a hippo in the water

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

This project has a "Rhino Rating" of 3


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

Conservation Impact

  • Wildlife research and management
  • Reserve management


🇿🇦 South Africa

🇧🇼 Botswana

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Get back to basics

When did you last stop and listen to the sounds of nature? With the fast pace of modern life one of the biggest thrills can be switching off. Camping under the stars, discovering how good food tastes after a hard day’s work, connecting with people around a campfire. These are things that remind us what it is to be alive.

Explore the true wilderness

In Botswana, you will have the opportunity to explore the last true African wilderness. Volunteering in the Okavango Delta will help you disconnect from modern-day life, and provide a new perspective to the everyday.

Varied accommodation

All three projects you’ll visit offer a different style of accommodation. One is high up on a hill, with spectacular views of the surrounding Greater Kruger National Park. Another is a comfortable farmhouse within a community-owned reserve. And the third is a remote camp in the heart of the Okavango wilderness, where an elephant might brush past your tent at night!

Hands-on wildlife conservation

Whether it’s watching as the team deal with the medical care of a cheetah or identifying a particular rhino and passing that information to the anti-poaching team, you will be able to get stuck in and learn the realities of this exciting work.

Be in the moment

When you are tracking a lion on foot through the bush, tuned to every sound and movement around you, the hot sun on your back and an expert tracker and his dog at your side, your senses are heightened and the rest of the world drops away.

Help conserve Africa’s most iconic species

Collect vital data to help the conservation efforts of some of Africa's most iconic and vulnerable species such as elephants, cheetahs, lions, rhinos, wild dogs, and pangolins.

Elephants with the space to thrive

Elephants need vast intact wildlife areas to be able to flourish. There are only a few places left in Africa where there is enough free-ranging space to sustain them. You’ll visit two areas where the population of African elephants, the largest land mammal on earth, is steadily increasing.

Help save the pangolin

Pangolins are currently the most trafficked mammal in the world, due to the unfounded claims of their magical medicinal properties. While volunteering you will both support and contribute to the ground-breaking research that is fighting to protect this incredible species.

The complete picture of rhino conservation

Support a project where rhino numbers are successfully increasing, to another where protection against poachers is key to saving this magnificent species. The dedicated teams of experts will teach you the importance of both sides of rhino conservation.

Protect lion mega populations

The preservation of large wildlife areas that can sustain mega populations of animals is a priority in conservation. Here you have the opportunity to visit and contribute to the protection of two out of the five places left in Africa that is home to mega populations of over 2000 lions.


Travelling between locations is a perfect way to contribute to a huge range of different conservation work, learning from highly experienced and skilled individuals in each site.

Wildlife research and monitoring

Research is essential to conservation. Conservation efforts can only be improved by regularly monitoring species and collecting vital data to portray the full picture of that ecosystem.

  • 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

As part of your role, you will have the chance to learn from experienced professionals while directly participating in varied animal management tasks based on the species being cared for:

  • 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 projects across two countries, you will be introduced to the value of conservation in large intact wildlife areas as well as the specific impact of a smaller scale community-owned reserve.


  • The different wildlife conservation approach in different 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