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A lot of students join our wildlife conservation projects in Africa. You can choose a placement length of 2-12 weeks, so you can join a project during your holidays or as part of a gap year in Africa.
Gap year volunteering and conservation travel is increasingly being recognised by employers and universities for providing real life experience and the opportunity to learn valuable skills.
“Since my African Conservation Experience placement, I’ve been busy with my Zoology with Conservation degree which has seen me go back to Africa for study and I shortly begin my dissertation on antelope nutrition. I founded and became chairman of the university’s Zoological Society which has been a great success and I have plans for further study and a career in conservation, zoology and research. My gap year was simply vital to gaining the self confidence and determination to follow my chosen path and my trip with ACE played a prominent role in that”
Students hoping to gain a place on very competitive programmes, such as veterinary medicine, use participation in projects like the Wildlife Veterinary Experience to make their university applications stand out. Not everyone has ear-notched a rhino or done a pregnancy test on a Sable antelope after all!
Many conservation travellers are students of subjects like zoology, animal care, wildlife management, veterinary science, conservation biology or marine biology. Joining a conservation project is a great way to get some work experience which might help you get a great job later. African Conservation Experience choose every project that we work with for its genuine conservation value, so no matter which project you join, you will get valuable insights and experience with real life wildlife conservation work. Some university courses make it a requirement to complete a conservation internship or accredited module. If you are looking to join one of our projects for your course requirements, please talk to us about the exact criteria your school or university has, so that we can make sure you can meet them through a conservation placement with us.
While simply going travelling is great fun of course, conservation travel in Africa gives you the opportunity to get a look “behind the scenes” as you work alongside local professionals in jobs you wouldn’t come across back home. Joining in the life of a wildlife capture team, game ranger, wildlife vet or wildlife researcher can be a once in a lifetime experience.
In many ways, a gap year in Africa and conservation travel means you throw yourself in at the deep end, as you join a team of people you’ve never met, in a foreign country, taking on completely new responsibilities. Some of these new experiences might be somewhat scary – most people new to conservation travel are often a bit daunted by their first close encounters with wildlife.
Who are the ACE Travellers?
Are you thinking about planning a wildlife conservation adventure? But maybe you are not sure if it would be right for you, because you don't know what kind of person joins a wildlife project and why?
In this short clip, a number of ACE travellers tell us which project they are about to join, and why they have decided to do so.