Volunteer with the Big 5 in South Africa

Volunteer with the Big 5 in South Africa

Placement Details

Experience life as an assistant game ranger on a private Big 5 reserve in South Africa.  You will work alongside some of the world’s most iconic animals – lions, zebra, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, buffalos, cheetahs, monkeys and more!


The reserve is home to Africa’s impressive Big 5 – elephants, lions, rhino, Cape Buffalo and the elusive leopard. As well as the Big 5, you will see hippos, zebra, giraffes, monkeys and baboons and more. Conservation is at the forefront of this reserve, over 20,000 trees are planted per year to promote the numerous habitats found here. This is the perfect place to experience wildlife conservation inSouth Africawhich is renowned for its amazing animals.

Every day you will experience the thrill of seeing lions, elephants, giraffes as you head out to take on the day’s duties.  The sight of these animals in spectacular and one you won’t take for granted.

What will I be doing?

This volunteer project is a hands-on conservation experience which gives you the opportunity to promote wildlife conservation in South Africa and work with a variety of animals overseas. The park works closely with the local community so you will have the opportunity to help in the local school.

Every day is different in the reserve, as life here is very changeable. The project runs from Monday – Friday so you’ll have weekends free. Duties that you might help out with can include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing game counts and wildlife surveys
  • Tracking and monitoring wildlife
  • Clearing non-native vegetation from the reserve
  • Sunrise and sunset game drives
  • Tree planting and erosion control
  • Capturing and relocating wildlife
  • Working in the animal rehabilitation area
  • Fence patrols, repairs and maintenance
  • School community projects and feeding schemes (during the school year)


  • You will live in on-site accommodation in shared single-sex dorms
  • Single-sex toilet and showers
  • Lockers provided for your belongings
  • You will have use of swimming pools, tennis courts and gardens throughout your stay
  • Basic dormitory accommodation provided in Port Elizabeth for participants wishing to venture out at the weekend (no extra charge)


  • Food is included throughout your stay at the reserve
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared for you each day
  • Breakfasts include cereals, bread, jams, tea, coffee and sometimes cooked options
  • Lunches and dinners are buffet style and comprise of mainly western, African and Asian food
  • Food is included at weekend but if you choose to leave the reserve, you will need to provide your own food
  • Most dietary requirements can be catered for

Free Time

  • This project will keep you busy at the reserve from Monday to Friday, with weekends free for you to enjoy
  • At the weekend many volunteers head in to Port Elizabeth to enjoy the coast, they also base themselves here to explore the area
  • You are welcome to spend the weekends at the reserve, to relax and enjoy the fantastic facilities there
  • Placement Information 

  • Company: Oyster Worldwide
  • Vacancy: Volunteer with the Big 5 in South Africa
  • Category: Conservation projects, Wildlife, Environmental Work
  • Dates: Arrival dates throughout the year - 1 - 12 weeks
  • Cost: Prices from £709
  • Support in place: In country support
  • Age limit: 17+
  • Included with this placement
    • Airport Pickup
    • Accommodation
    • Food
    • Company Representative
  • Locations:
    • South Africa
  • Options



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