The Let’s-Go-All-In Gap Year Experience

African gap year adventure? You’ve got this.

Four projects. One epic adventure that will change your life forever. This is your chance to gain real working experience, meet like-minded people and connect with local professionals on the front line of conservation. Ready to get started?

Every day is different and packed with genuine conservation work which has a real impact. And trust us, you won’t want to miss a thing. We have a crew of experts, waiting to show off the great places they work. And the amazing work they do.

But we can’t do it without you. Volunteers like you offer the hands, feet, ears, eyes and energy needed to support real conservation. And not only that. The pictures you take and the stories you tell. It’s all part of getting the word out. We need to protect these awe-inspiring landscapes and we need to do it now.

Group of ACE volunteers relaxing and posing in a tree

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

This project has a "Rhino Rating" of 4


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

Conservation Impact

  • Wildlife rehabilitation
  • Wildlife research and management
  • Reserve management
  • Veterinary nursing
  • Rhino conservation


🇿🇦 South Africa

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Get on the front line of wildlife conservation

Release pangolins that have been rescued from poachers. Track a herd of elephants across the bush. Get hands-on at an animal rehabilitation centre. We work with projects at the forefront of conservation so you’ll get to see how each project and its people are directly benefitting conservation.

Track animals on foot

Your steps will be quiet but your heart will beat loud! Nothing gets you closer to nature than being immersed in the smells and sounds of the African bush. You’ll learn this ancient skill from a master tracker, alongside a highly trained dog. It’s a memory that’ll last a lifetime.

Learn from the locals

This is a unique opportunity to work with locals who are passionate about protecting the places they live. You’ll hear stories of the land which no one else can tell you and you’ll see how powerful it is when conservation projects work together with local communities.

Access all areas

Go behind the scenes of an exclusive safari reserve. See what it’s like to live, breathe and be part of meaningful African conservation. Roll your sleeves up… You’re going to be right in the action.

Genuine animal rehabilitation

You’ll work with practised experts in animal rehabilitation in a project that has rescued hundreds of sick, injured and abandoned animals. Nurse them back to health, reintroduce them into the wild, or provide them with a lifetime of sanctuary.

Exciting variety

It’s not just about the lions. Or the elephants. Or even the rhinos. You’ll see a huge range of species, from big to small, iconic to elusive. And you’ll learn how each species forms part of – and is important to – African ecosystems.

Help save a rhino’s life

Yes really! Get up close to these iconic creatures. Track them in the bush, send info to specialist teams, and help rescue an orphaned calf... It’s a lot but it’s so worth it.

Join the dream team

Dream of working with the biggest names in conservation? Like WWF and The Endangered Wildlife Trust? Well, here’s your chance. See how buddying up with these international organisations gives our projects more clout.


Get stuck in. Learn from experts. This is hands-on work and you’ll be an important part of the team in each project. Here’s a flavour of the work you’ll do:

Animal rehabilitation and care

You’ll help nurse animals back to full health, many of which will be released back into the wild.

  • Prepare feeds and provide hands-on help with feeding
  • Bottle-feed baby animals and keep records of feeding behaviour, weight gain and development
  • Enrich animals’ lives by creating a natural setting in captivity
  • Assist with the preparation and release of animals back into the wild
  • Assist the team in emergency medical support
  • Assist in all vital daily routines: muck-out enclosures, rake grass for bedding, clean bottles and water troughs and create clean living spaces for animals

Research, monitoring and practical conservation work

Valuable conservation is only doable when we have the facts. We need all hands on deck to help with this. Yup, that’s you!

  • Assist with humane rhino horn trimming, an effective anti-poaching strategy
  • Provide a safe area for wild vultures to feed, free from the risks of poisoning
  • Monitor priority species such as black and white rhino, elephants, cheetahs and lions, to help protect them from threats such as poaching
  • Set up infrared camera traps at waterholes and other key locations and study the results
  • Record wildlife sightings and map their movements to build up a detailed database of animals’ territories


Four projects all bursting with expertise. This is real, cutting-edge conservation and your chance to learn all about it. Then spread the word.

Conservation and ecology

  • Why large continuous areas of protected wilderness are so important
  • The current threats facing African ecosystems
  • The vital role each species plays as part of the wider ecosystem
  • The impact of animal population growth or decline of certain species, such as lions and elephants, on the ecosystem as a whole
  • Methods used by poachers such as snares – you may even see some animals rescued after a snare injury
  • The important role animal care centres play in the broader wildlife conservation movement
  • Wildlife relocation programmes – including the WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project and the Rhinos Without Borders programme
  • The rhino poaching crisis, what drives it and how it can be stopped

Bush skills

  • Tracking animals on foot
  • The medicinal uses of various plants and trees
  • 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 hyenas, compared with solitary predators such as leopards and cheetahs
  • Mating and breeding behaviour of the 'Big 5' and other African species
  • 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