This project’s objective is the reintroduction of white lions back to the wild. Participants have a unique opportunity to gain hands-on game-ranging experience whilst making a valuable contribution to conservation.
|Location||Closest towns: Acornhoek & Hoedspruit, Timbavati Region, Kruger Park, South Africa|
|Dates||This project is closed between mid December and mid January|
|Documents required||Application form, CV/ résumé, letter of motivEnrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance|
|Day of arrival||First Tuesday of every month|
|Day of departure||Tuesday|
Help save the White Lions!
The primary objective of the White Lion Project is the ‘world-first’ reintroduction of White Lions back to the wild in their endemic area – the Greater Timbavati region – and their long-term conservation. They operate within a modern conservation paradigm: conservation through sustainable development, with particular emphasis on community participation, education and cultural upliftment. The project is also involved in helping to alleviate poverty in local rural communities. They do this by integrating science, culture, education and enterprise development.
Volunteer students can expect a richly diverse experience, which focuses on the daily scientific monitoring of the magnificent White Lions. Other activities include eco-educational programmes in community schools. Volunteer students are expected to make a meaningful difference, and this experience is an once-in-a-lifetime experience for all participants.
Please note: The organisation does not allow hands-on petting of baby lions, walking with lions, or any direct contact with the lions themselves (except when darting the lions for veterinary treatment). In fact, they caution all responsible people worldwide not to participate in this practice, which is directly linked with captive breeding and / or canned hunting.
Please note that this project is good fun but it’s not just a ‘holiday camp’!
Successful candidates (maximum number of 8 volunteers at one time) are trained as active members of the conservation monitoring and research team, and are not just extras in a student-volunteer programme. You need to be very dynamic and adaptable to the changing day-to-day needs of the project. You also need to be prepared to identify and develop your skills and strengths, be self-sufficient, and enjoy ‘down-time’ in nature as well. The programme allows for scientific research, but equally they encourage spiritual pursuit, and have representation from many indigenous cultures who support the cultural and spiritual side of a rich White Lion heritage.
You will see the White Lions twice a day (unless they are hiding in the African bushveld!)
Other possible activities that you might be asked to do could be some construction work, gardening, cutting of branches, sand moving, etc. - all dependent on the direct needs and priorities of the lion conservation project.
This programme is a combination of conservation and community-based activities.
Please note that no photographs or videos whatsoever can be taken of the white lions without the prior written permission of the White Lion Project staff. The copyright on all photographic images and material is ceded to the White Lion Project to be used at their discretion for the purposes of the white lions’ welfare and protection.
It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the volunteer, the time of the year and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.
You will be accommodated in a farmhouse within one of the lion territories that comprise the White Lion project conservation area. These are shared facilities, which include 2 bedrooms (3 to 4 people in a room), one single room (depending on availability), 2 bathrooms with 2 showers. The house is equipped with a communal kitchen complete with stove, oven, refrigerator and freezer. All utensils, dishes, etc. as well as bedding and towels are provided. Outside there is a braai (BBQ) area as well as a pool. Self-service laundry facilities are available. WiFi is included.
"My four-week stay as a volunteer at the White Lion Project was a very special experience for me and I really enjoyed spending time with the beautiful white lions and the great people there. On our morning and evening checks on the lions we learned how to locate and track them by using a telemetry and spent a very interesting time observing and analyzing the lion’s behavior. I learned a lot about those wonderful animals, their environment and the Trust itself. Besides watching the lions the volunteer program also included some physical work at the camp, like building a new fire pit or chopping down some Lantana. Working together as a team was lots of fun and all of us felt very satisfied afterwards. Another important part of our work was visiting some of the local primary schools the Trust works with. There we supported Hilary Rivers, one of the volunteer coordinators, with the projects she has developed to teach the children about the White Lions and their value. We also spent some time playing with the children and entertaining them-another very special experience for me!I really appreciate that I had the opportunity to be a part of the Trust and that volunteers are given the feeling of being able to change things and to support the organization while staying there. I will always keep this amazing time in good memories!"
"I had an absolutely incredible time with Linda, Jason, Celia, Wolfgang and the rest of the team there at the Global White Lion Protection Trust. From the moment I was met by Celia and the volunteers who were there already Ireally felt part of the team. My aims when I went there were to learn aboutthe project and the white lions themselves and also to help, I wanted to dosomething where I could leave and feel that I had done something to help. Being there, in fact, helped me so much as a person. I did all the hands on work I could and was allowed to really get involved in the actual labour needed to make a project like that run, from painting fence posts green, to digging water holes, to cutting reeds in the river beds. I also got to go to local schools and interact with the children there. All of this, I can honestly say contributed to the most fantastic experience of my life. Additional to this, I was able to get to know the 2 prides of lions that they have there, the Royal Pride and the Akeru Pride. They all have such individual personalities and from going on morning and evening checks most days I really felt that I got to know them. They are such amazing creatures with the best spiritual presence. Jason was absolutely fantastic at teaching us about the prides and explaining the next stages and aims of the project."
"First night out with Jason checking on the Royals, I was very excited, as I wanted something to happen that would make it unforgettable. Wow, it was just that, an experience I will never forget – watching them and observing their behavior. I remember lots of Roaring and when one starts they all started, even the lions in the next camp also joined in on the choirs. Their Roars were so penetrating it went right through the seats of the jeep and made my toes curl ? it touches one’s very soul and rises up through the whole body – it was like thunder which shudders the whole earth – that is the only way I can describe it."