Shamwari volunteering
Shamwari volunteer south africa
Shamwari conservation volunteering south africa
Shamwari research volunteer south africa

Shamwari Conservation Volunteer Project South Africa

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Volunteers, adventure seekers, eco-tourists or anyone wanting to make a real difference is welcome to make their unique and lasting mark at any of the facilities that the Shamwari Conservation Experience has to offer.

While learning specialized skills and intricate knowledge on the animals both in and around the Reserve, you will have the opportunity to gain first-hand, hands-on experience while being involved in all assets of conservation.

An all-inclusive conservation experience is the most rewarding and beneficial experience. Caring for and protecting Africa’s unique and endangered wildlife is a feeling near-impossible to compare!
  • Age: min. 18
  • Location: near Port Elizabeth
  • Requirements: 18 years, good physical fitness, flexible
  • Group size: max 20 participants
  • Project duration: 1 week - 3 months
  • Laundry:Laundry is done once a week
  • WIFI: 100mb @ R20, 500mb @ R100, 1 gig @ R150
  • Linen/towels: Linen provided, you need to bring your own towels with
Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of private game reserves and home to the coveted Big Five on one of the largest conservation initiatives in Southern Africa, some 25 000 hectares in extent. Shamwari is a place where guests can exist in harmony with nature, however fleeting the moment; where free-roaming wildlife traipse the landscape, often under the relentless African sun. Shamwari Game Reserve’s hospitality division incorporates five, Five Star lodges, each one with its own unique essence of Africa. The lodges are designed and operate in harmony with their surroundings and are a place where guests can experience nature in sublime comfort. Although without the splendour of the luxury sector, Shamwari Conservation Experience facilities offer unsurpassed industry standards for individual guests, from the purpose commissioned and staffed facilities.

The program is supported by a very diverse support base, including volunteers, gap-year, adult sabbatical and adventure seeking travellers and takes participants behind-the scenes and exposes them to the several daily aspects involved in the conservation management of Shamwari Game Reserve. Participants are exposed to short and long-term projects which are by outcome, intended to create sustainability for generations to come.

Tasks may vary from physical work to interesting and interactive lecture based content. There are several monitoring projects which assist in capturing vital information used in the research and management of all species on reserve. The experience is diverse and structured, yet not pre-scheduled as result of the nature of working in and around wildlife and a reliance on prevailing conditions. Visits to the Born Free Foundation, Big Cat Rescue and Education Centres and Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) are undertaken to educate and expose participants as to these initiatives and what they are attempting to achieve. This is carried out in accordance and to suite the requirements to manage and host the big cats and other animals deemed to have chance of being rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild. With a core drive and focus on conservation and keeping wildlife in the wild, they operate with a no-touch policy for predators, unless approved under incumbent veterinary procedure and otherwise as part of the professional animal care of non-predators, under the watchful eye of the qualified vet nurse.

The facilities include accommodation with twin-bedded, on suit rooming (shower, toilet and basin) dining and common lounging areas, with swimming pool and boma (an outdoor enclosure, often used for communing around a fire) areas. Average stays vary from between 2 to12 weeks, with recommendation of a longer stay on request for availability. Although uncommon and room or facility changes are averted, participants may be moved during their stay as result of operational requirements. With a minimum stay of two consecutive weeks, start dates are any Monday, on availability and by time schedule, operations run from approximately 08H00 to 17H00 daily. Evenings are at leisure, with any need for early morning or late-night activities dependent on the tasks at hand. The conservation work generally runs in-week from Monday to Friday or as is required by the operations of the reserve’s conservation efforts, therefore you may be asked to assist and conduct related weekend activities from time-to-time. Weekends are at leisure with a host of extra mural and adventure activities available. We can advise and supply information on locally registered adventure and leisure operators, who can offer you a host of great off-site extra mural activities. These range from cultural tours to adventure activities which include canoeing, quad biking, horse riding on the beach, to the likes of inter-tidal coastal and marine tours. These off-site activities are undertaken on an elective basis and at cost to client..

Accommodation, meals & facilities
The accommodation for individual participants is based in the Northern extent of the reserve and can host up to 20 volunteers. The facility hosts ten-twin rooms, (same-sex shared basis), unless on special request as a couple. All rooms are en-suite, with shower, toilet and basin. The lodge facilities include communal lounge, dining and swimming pool, with outside boma (enclosure), for enjoying a relaxing evening around the fire and under the stars. .

Room Configuration .
• Ten twin bedded rooms
• Shower, toilet and basin per room
• Cupboards
• Communal safe per room
• Balcony area

Communal facilities
• Outdoor boma area and fireplace
• Swimming pool
• Dining area
• Beverage storage fridge
• Lounge and entertainment area
• Television and access to local cable channels
• Desktop PC (Wi-Fi vouchers can be purchased on site)
• World Call Card telephone system

Laundry is being done once a week. Please do not bring delicate or high value clothing to the laundromat, as Shamwari cannot be held responsible for any damages to apparel as result of hard water, colour runs, shrinkage or marking due to chemicals..

The project caters three meals a day throughout the week. You will either eat at the lodge or take with as a pre-packed serving in case of activities outside. Dietary requirements including vegetarian can be catered for, thus must be notified in advance. Generally on Friday you will receive a cooked breakfast. Although there are no facilities to service Kosher or Halaal requirements, this can be accommodated on request and availability at an additional cost. Meals are prepared in such a way that you will be exposed to an array of local dishes and are generally taken on a selfservice basis with the option of juice, tea or coffee. Still and spring water and soft drinks will be for your own account and are available on site and with greater selection, from local trading store Madolos Retreat

Example of Menus:
  • Breakfast: cereal and toast, muesli and yoghurt, muffins and toast, cooked breakfast.
  • Lunch: sandwiches, wraps and potato salad, quiche and pasta salad, burgers and chips.
  • Dinner: macaroni and cheese with green salad, roasted chicken with vegetables, traditional meals for example braai and potjie (local type of meal similar to stew).

Arrival is every Monday in Port Elizabeth before 12h30 noon.


1 week10250 ZAR
2 weeks18250 ZAR
3 weeks 27850 ZAR
4 weeks36700 ZAR
Rate includes:
  • All on site meals
  • Shared accommodation
  • Linen/bedding
  • Laundry once a week
  • Shared transfers from Port Elizabeth airport to project
  • Cleaning twice weekly
  • All on reserve activities
  • Tea
  • Coffee
Rates excludes
  • Flights to Port Elizabeth
  • Visa costs (where applicable)
  • Insurance costs (medical as well as personal items)
  • Alcohol and additional snack food and beverage items you wish to purchase.
  • Optional activities
Click here to sign up.
Shamwari animals
shamwari volunteer house
Shamwari conservation research
Shamwari volunteering south africa
shamwari pool
shamwari house
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