The Amakhala Volunteer Programme is the veins behind the heartbeat of reserve conservation. For those volunteers seeking an experience to explore a corner of Africa and all its inhabitants, Amakhala will not disappoint. All aspects of conservation are addressed in your experience, no matter how short your time with us. Amakhala Game Reserve is continuously monitoring and managing game throughout the year.
As an Amakhala Volunteer, you will assist behind the scenes of the reserve on various ongoing conservation and community projects but your primary responsibility will be managing the lions. This doesn’t mean petting the animals but monitoring them and checking the fence lines. Community support is also an important aspect with regular visits to community projects. The rest of the day is filled with tasks and duties based around Amakhala. You may also have the chance to assist with many ongoing short and long term projects on the reserve.
Project Type: Conservation, Big Five Game Reserve.
Location: Near Paterson, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Pick Up Point: Port Elizabeth Airport.
Duration: 2 weeks – 12 weeks.
Price: from £949 for 2 Weeks.
Start Dates: Projects start on a Monday and operate year round.
Accommodation: Purpose built volunteer house, off reserve.
Meals: Three meals per day included, meal preparation is semi participation.
Age Range: 17 Plus.
Amakhala Game Reserve is a unique conservation initiative that allows animals to be re-introduced to the area where they once roamed freely and so making a contribution to the conservation of our natural heritage. The land was used to ranch sheep and cattle up to the turn of the century. The challenge has been to re-establish the original flora and fauna species to the area and to return the land to nature.
Amakhala is actively managed as a protected area. The reserve combines the expertise of the owners as well as external consultants to achieve this. Reserve duties at any one time may change, which means no week at Amakhala is the same. As a Volunteer at Amakhala, your primary responsibility is managing the lions. This doesn’t mean petting the animals but monitoring them and checking the fence lines.
Community support is also an important aspect with regular visits to community projects. The rest of the day is filled with tasks and duties based around Amakhala. You may also have the chance to assist with many ongoing short and long term projects on the reserve. A list below provides the details of various projects both on going and experienced by past volunteers.
Below is a summary of possible activities that you are likely to be involved in during your time on the reserve.
Possible Reserve Activities
- Animal Tracking using telemetry.
- Assisting vulnerable children and aids orphans.
- Birds in Reserves Project.
- Game Counts.
- Giraffe movement and breeding monitoring.
- Lion health and breeding monitoring.
- Local community sustainability.
- Territorial ranges and feeding range monitoring.
- Erosion control.
- Fence patrol and maintenance.
- Herbarium development.
- Alien plant control.
- Bush clean and clear up.
- Road maintenance.
- Boma maintenance.
- Game capture, counts and monitoring.
- Medicinal use of plants and vegetation biomes.
- Guided walks, tracking and trails through the reserve.
- Nocturnal predator monitoring.
- Wetland restoration.
Possible Off Reserve Activities
- Providing basic pre-school education at the Isipho Centre.
- Get involved in active sport games at Isipho to aid children’s health and fitness.
- Relocation and renovation of the Isipho vegetable plot.
- Bi-annual neutering of stray dogs and cats in and around the Amakhala townships.
- Setup of the Indigenous nursery.
Other Possible Activities
- Bush camping.
- Navigation and Compass Orientation.
- Xhosa Bush Tour.
- Target shooting.
- 5-Star Lodge Experience.
- Darting and relocations.
- Game drives.
Volunteers are accommodated in a one-storey 7-bedroom house, which overlooks a large garden and within walking distance of the local bar and basic shops. Most of the rooms are doubles, with 3 sharing one bathroom, 2 sharing a second bathroom and 1 room is en suite. Each bathroom has a hot water shower.
A communal dining and sitting room with digital satellite TV is central to the house, with well equipped kitchen and office space adjoining. The house also has an outside seating area with braai (BBQ) and fire pit for chilly nights and social gatherings.
Volunteers are responsible for cooking evening meals in the communal surrounding. Breakfast and lunch are to be prepared individually due to the nature of the week varying.
Your home whilst working on Amakhala Game Reserve will be in the town of Paterson in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This town was once an important railway link until steam trains were derailed in the 1980′s. By 1996, the rail functions had been transferred to the city of Port Elizabeth and Paterson became semi-dormant.
The farming community of Paterson saw a clash of domestic and wild animal hunting interests, which caused the eradication of ‘problem animals’. Substantial parts of the area since have become sanctuaries for wildlife and nature-based conservation. The last 200 years have seen dramatic changes in the farming and conservation around Paterson, with several farms diversifying into game reserves.
The local community is actively involved in the running of these game reserves, retraining from farmers and labourers into maintenance and service workers. Paterson has since become a busy town offering a Café, coffee and cheese shop, fuel stations, – take-away restaurant, 2 mini-supermarkets, a post office and the popular Sandflats Public House.
2 Weeks – £949
3 Weeks – £1,249
4 Weeks – £1,499
5 Weeks – £1,799
6 Weeks – £2,049
7 Weeks – £2,299
8 Weeks – £2,599
9 Weeks – £2,849
10 Weeks – £3,099
11 Weeks – £3,399
12 Weeks – £3,699
£200 deposit to secure placement at time of booking, final balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.
- Pre departure support and documentation.
- Programme fee and contribution.
- Return Transfers Port Elizabeth Airport to Amakhala Game Reserve.
- Accommodation for duration of stay.
- Housekeeping costs.
- All meals. (Semi Participation)
- Reserve activities.
- All transportation on project.
- 24 hour in country support.
- Travel Insurance.
- Any vaccinations as recommended by your GP.
- Internet access.
- Soft drinks and snacks.
- Any visas required.
- Any additional activities outside of project itinerary.
CALL : +44(0)207 193 7819