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Wildlife Research Project

This project provides a great opportunity to get involved in the conservation and sustainability of African wildlife and ecosystems along the beautiful Garden Route. Not only are volunteers directly involved in protecting and stdying African wildlife and ecosystems but they also undergo educational sessions where the focus is on teaching the bigger picture.

Wildlife Research Project


Location Mossel Bay, South Africa
Duration From 2 - 12 weeks
Dates All year round
  • You must have an Upper Intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You should have a passion for animals and wildlife conservation.
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance
Day of arrival Saturday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Enjoy the chance to see the Big 5 on your African experience
  • Beachside accommodation (live at the beach, work in the bush!)
  • Make a difference and get involved in real-world conservation initiatives
  • Learn more about anti-poaching techniques and research
  • Make new friends from all over the world
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around the Garden Route

Project information

The Wildlife Research Project is a unique volunteer opportunity that gives wildlife enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to get involved in the conservation and sustainability of African wildlife and ecosystems. Volunteers are critical in the continuation of the project’s research and conservation efforts.

Volunteers will spend five days per week assisting in various capacities of wildlife conservation. This can be in the form of collecting data in the field, analysing and entering data into the databases, or participating in workshops and discussion days with the project’s seasoned team members. Volunteers get time off during the evenings and on weekends, which gives you the opportunity to explore the Garden Route and take part in various cultural and tourist activities. Based in the beautiful coastal town of Mossel Bay, South Africa, volunteers have a unique experience to work hands-on in a free roaming wildlife reserve while living within walking distance of the blue flag beaches.

The Wildlife Research Project is located at and operated by the same organisation as the Wildlife Photography Course. For further details please see the Wildlife Photography Course description.

Your role

Volunteers will also be trained in some “bush basics” such as survival, tracking, reading animal behaviour, and ethical approach methods. The team takes great pride in only ethical operations and finds it important to provide the information and understanding with those involved.

Volunteers are provided with an orientation meeting upon arrival. Topics covered include:

  • Staff introduction
  • Safety in South Africa
  • Project induction
  • Reserve safety & procedures
  • Tour of Mossel Bay

When participating in the Wildlife Research Project you will be involved in various conservation initiatives and projects within the game reserve. Projects and initiatives are based on previously founded ecological and cognitive knowledge to improve the welfare of current and future wildlife in Southern Africa. You will assist in all aspects of the reserve’s current needs regarding projects and daily operations.

Volunteer work will be focused on assistance with wildlife management regarding various long-term projects in the way of conservation research. You will rotate through the various initiatives.

Currently work is being done with white rhino social behaviour, elephant habitat, utilization of fynbos, wildlife and roads which is done in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Cape mountain zebra and territoriality, and large ungulate migration. You will be working alongside the team in doing research, observing, collecting data, developing projects and doing data entry.

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 year and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.


Volunteers will stay in shared dormitories with shared bathrooms. Other facilities include:

• Kitchen
• Braai facilities (BBQ)
• Pool
• Lounge
• WiFi (gated access)
• Bedding and housekeeping

Breakfast is provided 7 days a week and lunch 5 days per week during field days. All dinners and the lunches on the weekends are self-catering.


Rafaela Paiva


"I wanted to work with animals from this country. What I loved the most about the project site is the way they try to involve you the most they can within the project. I'll never forget about the beautiful views I've seen and the amazing things I've lived with the southern Africans. I would recommend Good Hope Volunteers cause I don't have a single thing to complain about."