Big Five work and Wild life

Volunteers working with elephants.
wildlife volunteering
Volunteers working with elephants.
wildlife volunteering
Big Five work and Wild life


This project is based on a Big 5 game reserve in a beautiful part of Kenya. As a wildlife conservation volunteer you’ll assist wildlife foundations and research trusts in conserving and protecting the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, rhino) and other animals to support a balanced ecosystem.

Having research work done on the reserve means they can keep a track of their animals’ behaviours and populations. We help the Reserve to understand more about their animals, their territories, movements and what they eat. They can establish from the data collected how many animals they have on the reserve and plan accordingly for the future.

As a conservation volunteer in Africa you will experience the amazing wildlife Africa has to offer, through research drives, game count drives, and reserve management conservation work.

Conservation volunteering activities consist of work such as monitoring and collecting of data through research drives and compiling of animal identikits as well as reserve-focused conservation activities such as bush encroachment clearing, setting camera traps, removal of alien plants, waterhole maintenance and picking up litter.

During your volunteer work with animals you will learn an incredible amount about the behaviour of animals, why it is important to monitor animals in a wild habitat, understanding the impact of wildlife poaching, the importance to the reserve of eradicating alien plants and how a game reserve is managed.

You may also have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the communities surrounding the reserve and the culture of the local people as you interact with them and experience their warmth and welcoming hospitality.
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Knysna is based in one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. Stunning views, impressive mountain passes, lush green forests and white sandy beaches.

Knysna itself is nestled on the shores of the Knysna estuary - or Knysna Lagoon, as it is more commonly known. It's the most biologically diverse estuary in South Africa and home to the Knysna Seahorse, the most threatened seahorse species in the world. Knysna is also an avenue to the Tsitsikamma Forest, which stretches from just west of George to the Tsitsikamma River near Humansdorp. This indigenous forest is home to numerous fauna and flora. The forest also houses the worlds's most southerly elephants. Sadly, with only a handful of elephants left, the forset elephants are rapidly becoming part of Knysna's history, rather than Knysna's nature.

The Elephant Sanctuary where our Elephant Research & Care projects are based is about a 50 minute drive outside of Knysna.


Flexible! You can choose your start and end dates based on availability. You'll work between five to eight hours per day, with an optional number of days per week depending on the activities the volunteer chooses to participate in. Once a volunteer has registered, they will work out a schedule with one of our program coordinators that meets both the volunteer's and project's needs.

The working hours vary but your day may start as early as 6:30-9:00 and finish at 15:00-17:00. You will work 5 days a week, leaving you two free days to explore the area.

Example Timetable:










Free Day

Free Day



Conservation Education


Elephant Care

Elephant Research


Kayalethu Eco-Trail

Recycling Swop Shop


Elephant Care

Elephant Research


Kayalethu Eco-Trail

Cultural Activity





Free Day

Free Day


All of our accommodations are within a short walking distance and in the park Volunteers have the option to stay with a homestay arrangement or at a hotel or a camp. Housing will be arranged on a case by case basis to ensure the comfort of each volunteer. Private rooms are available upon request. We can also recommend nearby hostels for volunteers who choose to find their own housing. If volunteers choose to arrange their own housing in one of the nearby communities they will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the library. Amenities include:

  • Access to clean, potable water at accommodations and the project site.
  • Hot, running water is available at accommodations, and there are several options in town for volunteers to do their laundry.
  • Internet is available and free at the project site; however, Internet service in kenya some parts can be unreliable. There are several Internet cafes in town with good rates and we can assist you with recommendations.Also volunteers can buy modem at 50 usd.

Cost Breakdown

This program may have a Reservation Fee, which is included in the total cost and is due once you commit to the program, with the remaining Program Fee balance due 30 days before your arrival date.

4 weeks:     $3,002 Longer:     +$861 per week

Transport fee to the national park is not included ,Also amount forsafaris /excurssions.Airport fee is not also included.

Click here for full details about your program costs and how your Program Fee is used.

Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Note: All listed prices are in US Dollars.

How To Sign Up

Signing up is a three-step process:

  • Fill out an Inquiry Form. Please note: submissions must be made at least 4 weeks prior to your prospective start date.
  • A member of the Volunteer Global team will get in touch with you to confirm program availability for your chosen dates, and schedule an interview if needed.
  • Once your interview is complete, you will be notified to submit your Reservation Fee to reserve your program and schedule. Your final Program Fee is due at least 4 weeks prior to in-country arrival in order to reserve your placement.

Important Note

This is a pilot program. As part of our program development process, we ask our first groups of participating volunteers to provide additional feedback to assist us in ensuring the most rewarding experience possible in cooperation with African Nest Safaris & Volunteers Placements Projects for their associated programs.

Registration must be completed at least one month prior to your program start date, so...let's get started!


Physical accommodationsAccommodations for deaf, hard of hearingAccommodations for blind, low vision
  • 18 and older
  • Good health
Country: Kenya

Type of Work: Animals & Wildlife

Duration: 4 weeks or longer
Fee: From $3,002
Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Your Program Fee Covers:

  • Registration and pre-departure interview
  • Volunteer handbook (when available)
  • 24/7 U.S.-based staff support
  • In-country housing and certain amenities
  • Training and guidance from host group
  • Host program needs, such as tools or supplies for your project
  • Post-trip thank-you packet
  • Monthly newsletters

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, it does not cover your flight, passport/visa, vaccinations, transportation while in country, exit fees, meals, or personal expenses. Click here for full details about your program costs!