Projects Abroad | Wildlife Conservation

South Africa: Bird Research and Conservation

Hoedspruit, South Africa

Description

Location: Hoedspruit, South Africa

Duration: 2-12 weeks commitment

Start Dates: Project starts on a Saturday with set start dates throughout the year. Check with us when applying.

Cost: from £1,745 for 2 weeks. Check the Costs tab for further information.

Includes: All food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations

Benefits:

  • Travel on safari vehicles through a private nature reserve contributing to other conservation initiatives while working toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #15 Life on Land.
  • Contribute directly towards the conservation of Southern Africa’s bird species whilst learning how to identify them using sight and sound.
  • Go on a wildlife safari adventure in a private South African nature reserve.
  • Listen to the quiet hush of the wild open spaces, waking each morning to a chorus of savannah birds and drifting off to the night time hum of endemic frogs and crickets.
  • Learn to identify predators, like lions, cheetahs, and leopards, as well as megaherbivores like elephants and rhinos.
  • Master radio telemetry techniques and learning how to track and record animal movements.
  • In your free time, visit the famous Kruger National Park, only an hour away from where we are based or visit the nearby Drakensberg Mountains where awe-inspiring vistas are afforded over the Blyde River Canyon.
  • Live and work alongside Field Guide Association of South Africa, FGASA, qualified guides, growing personally and professionally by learning from their experiences.
  • Sleep under the star-filled Southern night sky,its beauty enhanced by the lack of light pollution, and wake to a golden African dawn.
Costs Explained

Introduction

Leading bird surveys in one of three key areas in Karongwe Private Game Reserve, located in the heart of the Limpopo province, famous for safari wildlife spotting. You will upload this data directly to the most important bird monitoring project in Southern Africa, and its largest citizen science database, the South African Bird Atlas Project.

You will contribute to the South African Bird Atlas Project, the most important avian monitoring project in Southern Africa, and its largest citizen science database. Birds are appropriate indicators of ecosystem health because they are popular and well studied. The availability of significant, long-term datasets in South Africa makes birds a good choice for early-warning system for climate change impacts and other systematic, ecosystem-wide threats to broader biodiversity. The number of critically endangered birds in South Africa has increased from 5 in 2000 to 13 in 2017. One group in particular features particularly dramatic statistics, 22 of the 79 raptors occurring in the North-Eastern region of the country are now considered threatened. Of concern are the low numbers of scavenging raptors. Most of South Africa’s vulture species, as well as the Tawny Eagle and the Bateleur, two obligate scavengers,are listed as endangered or critically endangered. In December 2016, the project featured nine million records across 17339 pentads, five minutes of latitude by five minutes of longitude, squares with sides of roughly 9 km, in South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Selection of sites and habitats critical to bird conservation rely on this data. All other conservation initiatives depend on the results of the bird atlas, to a greater or lesser extent. On cannot determine the conservation status of a species unless you know its range and how this is changing.

In addition, you will contribute to other conservation activities, like the monitoring of predators, assisting with habitat rehabilitation in the local area, and conservation awareness at local schools. Most weekdays will be spent going on a safari conservation drive through the protected are. Each volunteer is assigned to specific duty on each drive. This might include using the telemetry equipment to track lions, cheetahs, and other predators, capturing the data noted on the drive, navigating through the reserve, or checking and tidying the vehicle. Our staff on base will guide you through our training program during your first week on base to ensure you are prepared for all conservation work you will be carrying out during your time on this bird research and conservation project in South Africa.

Daily Life

Join this program to work towards preservation of South Africa’s 854 bird species.
You will be involved in leading bird surveys which is one of three key areas in Karongwe Private Game Reserve, located in the heart of the Limpopo province, famous for safari wildlife spotting.

You will upload this data directly to the most important bird monitoring project in Southern Africa, and its largest citizen science database, the South African Bird Atlas Project.

Our staff on base will guide you through our training program during your first week on base to ensure you are prepared for all conservation work you will be carrying out during your time on this bird research and conservation project in South Africa.

You will also get involved in other conservation activities, like the monitoring of predators, assisting with habitat rehabilitation in the local area, and conservation awareness at local schools.

Most weekdays will be spent going on a safari conservation drive through the protected are. Each volunteer is assigned to specific duty on each drive. This might include using the telemetry equipment to track lions, cheetahs, and other predators, capturing the data noted on the drive, navigating through the reserve, or checking and tidying the vehicle.

You will head out on 1-2 drives a day, master radio telemetry techniques and learn to track animals through the bush; get acquainted with big game and all the main predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant and rhino.

Book with Confidence

Travel & Accom.

Accommodation is in shared (mixed sex) rooms with a private bathroom. Large bedrooms with 4-6 people in each room. There is hot running water available for cooking and showers. Flush toilet facilities are available, and you will share house duties, including cleaning and other chores. large balcony and big patio in the garden which is used as communal space.

Food is very basic, and most volunteers will prepare their own breakfasts, usually toast and cereals, and packed lunches to eat at the project site. You will be split into teams to prepare the evening meal on a rotational basis, which is loads of fun, but also encourages team building. All dietary requirements will be catered for accordingly.

Fundraising Help

Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Be keen and enthusiastic to get involved in the project
  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Minimum 2 weeks commitment
  • CRB Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions
  • Signed medical form
  • Good English skills
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Necessary flight & visas
  • Full travel & medical insurance. Full assistance will be provided in getting everything you will need ready if you choose our Placement Support Package.
Premium Support Upgrade

Costs

Duration Price
2 weeks £1,745
4 weeks £2,345
6 weeks £2,945
8 weeks £3,545
10 weeks £4,095
12 weeks £4,695

* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 20% deposit.

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes;

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pickup
  • Orientation
  • In-country support
  • All project activities.
What’s not included:
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations

Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate