The Big Five Conservation project in South Africa is a fantastic volunteering opportunity. Give your own contribution towards a huge wildlife monitoring and conservation project. You will have the amazing opportunities to learn a lot about nature, park management and anti-poaching strategies while living an experience that will feel like it lasts for a lifetime!
The aim of the Big Five Africa research project is to provide valuable information that can be used by park wardens and ecologists. Collecting detailed information about wildlife within the Marataba section in imperative for conservation. It will be used to evaluate the impact of re-introduced animals and to continue to maintain balanced, stable, and sustainable ecosystems.
With the work focus on collecting, analysing data and monitoring of the Big Five and also Hyenas. Also, we work in close collaboration with the park managers and vets, while also setting the priorities for the benefit of fauna and flora in the surrounding areas. Our work within the Park is really important for many different aspects. We monitor all of the wildlife. A balanced ecosystem is the key to ensuring a quality life for all of the animals.
For this reason, you main aim will be to help the team with the reserve management activities. These will include bush clearing, road maintenance and removal of foreign plants. The area of operation in the National Park which we work and conserve has a rich natural biodiversity. We have a main priority to avoid interference with the animals and their lives as monitor them. Contact in a ‘hands on’ interaction is only done for medical emergencies.
- Determine and monitor predator numbers in the National Park including lions, leopards, hyenas, and cheetahs
- Monitor the feeding behaviour, prey selection, kill frequencies, and the ecological impact of lion and other predators in the section
- Analyse the social dynamics of the section’s resident lion, leopard, hyena, rhino, elephant population
- Monitor the spatial movements and territories of predators and mega herbivores in the section
- Monitor elephants and develop identification kits
- Specifically monitor the condition and movements of white and black rhinos
- Monitor and habituate resident leopards
- Collect and analyse data to maintain the balance and general health of the section’s ecosystem
Free time Activities on offer to volunteers include reading, data analysis/Camera Traps, ID kits, educational FGASA Talks on request, excursions, relaxing areas, watching movies.
Volunteers also have the fantastic opportunity of visiting many of the surrounding areas in excursions that we are happy to organise for you accompanied by a guide (all the excursions not included in the volunteer price and run on week days). The excursions available include Marakele and Pilansberg National Parks, and Matlabas River boat trips. Additional activities include climbing, Safari, Zoo, Hiking and Riding.