SELATI GAME RESERVE RESEARCH PROJECT
Lowveld, Limpopo, South Africa
"Our goal is to provide education around conservation and wildlife management, facilitate an unforgettable experience with memorable moments, and utilise your extra hands to help us conduct our conservation work."
Do you want to support a Wildlife Research Team in a Big 5 Game Reserve and make a real difference in conservation?
As a volunteer you will join the Selati Research Team, working directly under the reserve management, and be directly involved in their daily tasks. Each volunteer's contribution is heavily valued as they would not be able to carry out their vital conservation work without the extra hands.
You will contribute to real conservation through:
- Hands-on fieldwork that supports the conservation management of the reserve
- Authentic engagement with a small group of passionate, like minded people
- Exposure to wildlife experts and day-to-day wildlife management practices
- An oppurtunity to contribute towards building a conservation legacy
Cost (2023 Rates)
2 weeks £1300
3 weeks £1900
4 weeks £2475
Additional weeks at £350 per week
All Meals Included
Min Stay 7 Nights (Monday arrival)
Age 18+ Unless with a Parent/Guardian
- Transfers for arrival and departure on a Monday to/from Hoedspruit, Limpopo
- Linen (except towels)
- Housekeeping and Laundry
- Training from Qualified Rangers
- All Monitoring and Conservation Activities
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (excludes own snacks, soft drinks and alcohol)
- WiFi access in camp
The Selati Research Project has a minimum stay of 2 weeks.
The project start day is every Monday throughout the year, with volunteers being collected from Hoedspruit.
Daily to Day
At Selati Research each day is different. Some days there will be two game drives roughly 3-4 hours long (am / pm), other days the team will be in the field all day and get back mid afternoon. The programme varies as different surveys need to be conducted from season to season and working with wildlife is always unpredictable so flexibility is required.
Example Daily Schedule
(Times will vary due to weather, seasons and special tasks)
5h30 - 10h00: Wake up and research drive / fieldwork
10h00 - 12h00: Return to camp. Office time for data processing and/or free time
12h00 - 13h00: Lunch
13h00 - 15h30: Office time for data processing and/or free time
15h30 - 18h30: Research drive / fieldwork and sundowner
18h30 - Bed: Dinner and campfire or night drive
Volunteers are accommodated in a comfortable tented camp overlooking a waterhole. The sleeping arrangements consists of two people sharing a room. Women and men do not share rooms unless booked as a couple.
Electricity is readily available at the camp with South African 3-pin plugs.
Water is pumped from an underground borehole on the reserve, making it safe to drink from a tap.
The project caters for three meals a day. Dinner is prepared for you whilst breakfast and lunch are on a help-yourself basis.
Special diets can be catered for by prior arrangement. This may result in an additional cost if specialised items need bringing in.
Selati Research is responsible for the 27 000ha reserve's monitoring efforts. This includes monitoring the populations of lion, white and black rhino, cheetah, elephant, hyaenas and more. As a volunteer you will be directly involved in the monitoring and radio tracking of animals in the field.
There are a large number of camera traps across the reserve that Selati Research maintains. This involves changing batteries, swapping SD cards in the field and processing the photos whilst back in the office. You'll get to know the reserve's different vegetation types as the camera traps are distributed over 27 000 ha.
Volunteers have the opportunity to see some of the more elusive species on the reserve through the camera traps eyes!
On every game drive, volunteers help collect as much data as possible to monitor species distribution through population dynamics across the reserve. Data collection and regular surveys are key tools for reserve management, and often help in detecting early signs of ecological declines. Get prepared for counting big herds of impala!
From time to time, animals have to be immobilised in order to collar, relocate, or contracept them for management purposes. Volunteers will have the chance to experience this incredible encounter through direct involvement in the operation. Whilst there's no guarantee of a darting experience during your stay, most volunteers have been lucky enough to join on some form of wildlife operation.
In the midday break, volunteers will help with data input and processing camera trap photos. These activities enable a better understanding of how the work you do contributes to the larger picture of wildlife management.
Occasionally night drives take place. You will set off after 20h00 in search of nocturnal animals that are not active during the day.