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Game Reserve Conservation

From this rare location in the middle of 4 game reserves on the Garden Route, join other volunteers to learn about conservation, environmental management and game-ranging from some of the most experienced professionals in the business. You also have the opportunity to learn from local veterinarians about the care and protection of wild animals.

Game Reserve Conservation project


Location Mossel Bay, South Africa
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round from mid-January to mid-December
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You must be physically fit. You should have a love for animals and an interest in conservation
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance
Day of arrival Sunday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Supporting important conservation work with a passionate and dedicated team.
  • Hands on work on reserves and assisting wildlife vets when necessary.
  • Seeing South Africa’s famous Big 5 animals.
  • Learning more about anti-poaching as well as survival in the bush.
  • Taking part in important research topics.
  • Getting personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Experiencing amazing tours and adventures in and around the Garden Route.
  • Making new friends from all over the world.

Project information

This conservation project aims to rehabilitate agricultural land and develop a long term self-sustaining natural environment, create community awareness, expand the existing reserve and continue their successful free roaming cheetah research. They work with surrounding farms on the reserve to ensure these objectives and goals are met. The core aim of this project is to return the land to its natural state and ensure a self-sustaining, functional ecosystem.

You take part in all research on various wildlife species in the reserve. The project has numerous research projects running and all data is collected and compiled into a detailed monthly report. The project team makes sure that the volunteers get training in all the fields of work they will be involved in from tracking courses to approaching animals on foot. Hard work is also part of a normal day with projects such as alien bush clearing and soil erosion control.

Your role

You will work from Monday to Friday (8:30 - 17:00). Weekends will be your free days.

Every day is different and will consist of both lectures in the reserve and practical conservation work. The schedule board is updated every day and will provide you with details for the next day’s activities. A morning briefing is done every morning and debriefing done every night to go over the daily activities.

Your roles and responsibilities could include:

  • Game tracking
  • Tracking & monitoring of released cheetahs
  • Elephant research
  • Lion monitoring
  • Anti-poaching night patrols
  • Training on approaching wild animals on foot
  • Mineral and medical darting, when needed
  • Overnight Survival Camp (4 week stays and longer in summer, weather and group dependant)
  • Community involvement, e.g. sustainability & conservation
  • Wildlife immobilization when needed
  • Wildlife nutrition monitoring and feeding when needed
  • Game counts and species recording
  • Marine education (optional extra)General reserve duties: soil erosion control, vegetation rehabilitation and road & fence maintenance.

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 stay in a communal volunteer house on the reserve. The house has four dorm rooms that sleep between 3 and 6 per room and two shared bathrooms. There is a fully equipped communal kitchen with a microwave, BBQ facilities, oven and a washing machine. The house has great views over the reserve, a fireplace and a bar. There is also a separate cottage that sleeps up to 6 people with one bathroom and a small kitchen. For an upgrade fee, you have the option to stay in a single luxury tent, with a bed and electricity, elevated on a wooden deck overlooking the reserve. The bathroom (toilet, basin, shower) is outside and shared. There is a pool table, TV and WiFi available (limited, no streaming or Skype). Laundry is done once a week by the house manager. The washing machine is readily available in the volunteer house should you require it more often.


Good Hope Volunteers Simon from Germany

“There is a very nice atmosphere at the camp, I could see and interact with many animals. There was also lots of fun activities after work each day.”

Good Hope Volunteers Liv from Germany

“I absolutely fell in love with this place! Being outside in the nature the whole day, watching animals, counting and feeding them is so much fun. You work with the coolest people ever. They teach you so many things about animals and nature. It's incredible how much I learned and I'm very thankful for that! I had such a great time and I wish I could have stayed longer!”

Good Hope Volunteers Maria from Brazil

"It was an experience of a lifetime that I will carry with me throughout my days! The way I was received at the project and made to feel at home during my stay made a big difference. South Africa got me and it is hard to say goodbye to all of this!"

Good Hope Volunteers Julia from Brazil

"I had the most amazing time here! Everybody was so nice. I made a lot of friends from another countries. I've learned a lot and at the same time had a lot of fun. The animals are incredible. I absolutely loved my time here and I will remember it forever!"

Good Hope Volunteers Vitor from Brazil

"I’ve had such a good experience here, I've enjoyed learning a lot of new things. This programme exceeded my expectations in many ways. I met lovely people here that I will remember this forever and save it in my heart."

Good Hope Volunteers Laurie from France

"It was really an amazing experience. The people here are incredible, I love them. Vicki (the Volunteer Coordinator) knows a lot of information and you learn new things every day. If I could stay more, I would do it."

Good Hope Volunteers Priscila from Brazil

"It was an amazing experience in every way. Besides feeling that the project really makes a difference, I felt that something in me has changed. I can't think of a better way to spend my vacation, exceeded my expectations and will stay forever in my memory."