This varied and exciting conservation project offers interns an opportunity to become involved in conservation matters within the Greater Kruger Park area, whilst also enjoying the African Big 5 Experience.

You will be based in a bush camp with other volunteers, interns and staff members. During your stay you will get the opportunity to perform research that not only contributes to rural community upliftment and innovative solutions to a sustainable tourism industry BUT also in your personal life!

It’s a registered Non-Profit Organization and established accredited training facility since 2007 through FGASA (Field Guiding Association of Southern Africa) & CATHSSETA (The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority). They are a research testing center since 1999 and situated within a Big 5 nature reserve as part of the Greater Kruger National Park

The training and research takes place under supervision of qualified nature guides, one of whom has a BSc degree in Zoology & Botan. You will be involved in field work which will put you in contact with wildlife and the environment directly and have access to the free-roaming wildlife on bush walks and game drives.
  • Age: min. 18 max. 40
  • Location: Balule game reserve near Hoedspruit
  • Requirements: 18 years, good physical fitness, flexible
  • Group size: max 20 participants
  • Project duration: recommended 8 - 12 weeks
  • Laundry: Approx R50 per load
  • WIFI: Free of charge
  • Linen/towels: Linen and towels provided.
L
Location
They are based in Balule Game Reserve near Hoedspruit

R
Requirements
    The minimum age is 18 years old. Studying towards a related degree is recommended.

    W
    Why choose the program?
    • Registered Non-Profit Organisation
    • Established accredited training facility since 2007 through FGASA (Field Guiding Association
    • of Southern Africa) & CATHSSETA (The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority)
    • Research testing center since 1999
    • Situated within a Big 5 nature reserve as part of the Greater Kruger National Park
    • Training and research takes place under supervision of qualified nature guides
    • Internship research supervised by a supervisor with a BSc degree in Zoology & Botan
    • Comfortable accommodation with all facilities available to students
    • All students have access to the free-roaming wildlife on bush walks and game drives
    • You will be involved in field work which will put you in contact with wildlife and the environment directly.


    N
    Need for research
    Balule Nature Reserve covers 40 000 hectares of privately owned land within the Greater Kruger National Park. The park consists of 9 regions with 18 commercial lodges and 43 landowners. Thorough research and data we have identified five fields in need of research:
    • Sustainable food production and alternative cooking methods
    • Estimated food waste is 1987kg per lodge per year, a total of 35 766 kg (excluding landowners household food waste)
    • Renewable energy
    • Estimated 2 619 680kWh electricity usage for 18 lodges in the area for 2015
    • Recycling
    • Recyclable materials burned during 2015 measured 32 tons (excluding private incinerators)
    • Biofuel and Biodiesel
    • Estimated 52 four-wheel drive game viewing vehicles and 184 vehicles in total excluding contractors)
    • Estimated carbon emissions of 940 metric tons per year (excluding personal and contractor vehicles)
    • Estimated fuel consumption of 98 500 liters per year
    • Water recycling and management
    • Estimated grey water waste of 243 000 liters per year for the area

    I
    Implementation of sustainable product
    • Unsustainable tourism practices undermine the purpose of what we perceive nature to be. Research solutions will make a difference to a sustainable future for humans and wildlife alike
    • Rural communities NEED solutions that are practical at low to zero cost! Research solutions inspire new solutions to eradicate this problem. What works for Europe does not always work in Africa!
    • The organization intends to implement sustainable solutions to these two sectors.

    W
    What is offered?
    • Research that not only contributes to rural community upliftment and innovative solutions to a sustainable tourism industry BUT also in the student’s personal life
    • Participation of mentors, supervisors and lecturers at the testing sites
    • Collaboration between international and local students and volunteers
    • 35-hour work week from Monday to Friday
    • Accommodation and facilities
    • Laundry
    • Social outings and excursions (optional)
    • 24 hour uncapped Wi-Fi
    • All facilities available to the volunteers i.e. swimming pool, barbeque area, lookout tower, bush hides for sleep-outs etc.
    • Lectures: , Ecology & Geology, Astronomy, Weather & Climate, Taxonomy, Mammals, birds, reptiles, arthropods, fish & amphibians, Animal behavior, Biomes of Southern Africa, Botany & Grasses, Conservation management, Historical human habitation, Bushwalks and game drives on week days with weekends optional

    W
    What will your day look like
    Interns are the foundation of all the projects in progress. You will have a 35 hour work week from Monday to Friday and leisure time over weekends. Leisure time can be spending on social interactions with other projects, optional excursions such as visiting the Kruger National Park or spending quality time in nature.

    A typical day (Monday – Friday):
    05:30 – 06:00 Wake-up, coffee/tea
    06:00 – 07:30 Bush walk or game drive with a qualified nature guide
    07:30 – 08:00 Breakfast
    08:00 – 12:00 Research
    12:00 – 14:00 Lunch and off time
    14:00 – 17:00 Research
    17:00 – 19:00 Bush walk or game drive
    19:00 – 22:00 Dinner, leisure, games, movies etc.
    22:00 Quiet time

    C
    Current projects
    • Sustainable food production Aquaponics ecosystem. Project testing phase completed. Building of the production plant and implementation phase to commence soon. Student from the Netherlands and South Africa monitoring a closed aquatic system producing sustainable food production. Project started in January 2017 breeding Tilapia fish and growing vegetables & herbs in grow beds with different grow medium, comparing natural growth to the growth in the Aquaponics ecosystem. Various factors will be monitored including, NO2 , NO3 and NH3 , water temperature, O2 %, fish growth and production and nutrient deficiencies.
    • Indigenous nursery: Testing phase still ongoing. Re-introduction of Marula (Sclerocarya birrea) and Knob thorn trees (Acacia nigrescens). This project is a joint project at camp. These trees were heavily impacted by the current drought in South Africa. Trees will be grown in a nursery and compared to the natural growth in the field. Solutions to protect the introduced trees will be researched such as bees, rocks etc.
    • Recycling Building of the recycling plant to commence soon. Compost production from food waste and various other recyclable materials. This project is a joint project at camp. The compost will be used in any agricultural projects and camp garden.
    • Water recycling and management Grey water recycling. Testing phase still ongoing. Student from South Africa just finished the initial testing phase and is open to a new student taking over. Different methods of recycling will be tested and introduced to the camp grounds, agricultural projects etc. Water quality testing after different methods of purification, testing possibilities of re-use at waterholes.
    • Renewable energy Biodiesel. Testing phase completed. Building of production plant to commence soon. Testing of game viewing vehicle performance still ongoing. Student from the Netherlands and South Africa monitoring the testing phase on vehicles. Specifically, biodiesel for use in game viewing vehicles. Use of used vegetable oil to produce biodiesel. Waste from the production is used for making soap and other products still being researched.
    • Kinetic energy, wind energy and solar Testing phases still ongoing. The aim is to introduce different methods of generating energy with little to no impact on the environment. Currently we have a student from USA researching kinetic energy and wind energy.

    P
    Proposed projects 2018
    • Sustainable food production and pest control; Micro farming targeting rural development and research pest control methods. Bio-intensive agriculture targeting lodges and rural development and research pest control methods
    • Alternative cooking methods; Design and use of solar cookers and mirt stoves. Targeted for rural development.
    • Black water recycling; Design systems to recycle black water back into the bush from french drain system and septic tanks.
    • Water management; Design and research systems to reduce water usage in showers and toilet cisterns
Dates

Start date is very flexible, contact us for availability

Rates

Duration2018 Fee
8 weeks2300 USD
12 weeks3240 USD
Rates includes
  • Accommodation sharing in rondawels (max. 4 - 6 people)
  • All facilities such as bush hides, barbeque area, lookout tower, kitchen, lecture room etc.
  • Trips to town for supplies
  • Coffee and tea
  • Research supervision
  • Research assistance
  • Lectures
  • Bushwalks and game drives
  • Volunteers to assist you with areas such as construction, data capture, ideas, etc.
  • Uncapped Wi-Fi
  • Pickup and drop-off at Hoedspruit or East Gate Airport on arrival and departure
  • Laundry
  • Intern Africa will assist you in finding a suitable flight, apply for a possible visa, provide information on travel insurance, immunizations, travel to Hoedspruit and other required details.

Rates excludes
  • Travel to Hoedspruit
  • Food (meal plan available at 10 USD per day for 3 meals)
  • Transport not related to the research project
  • Personal items
  • Social events
  • Excursions
  • Research equipment such as microscope, water testing equipment, etc
  • Travel and Medical insurance

Click on below link for more information on the program

CONSERVATION RESEARCH PROGRAM









Application form volunteering

Personal information

EMERGENCY CONTACT DETAILS

VOLUNTEERING