Wildlife Bush Experience South Africa


This authentic and ethical 2 week course provides you with crucial practical and theoretical knowledge on African wildlife and conservation of the nature.

The program runs in the Balule Game Reserve which is adjacent to the Kruger National Park. Trips to the Kruger Park will be made on a regular basis, morning and afternoon bush walks and sunset- sundowner and night drives are a daily part of the program. You will also gain practical experience in the Bush, which could include alien plant control, erosion management or maintaining roads, etc.

The program is designed to bring the student/volunteer in close contact with nature, wildlife and conservation, encourage eco-friendly utilization of South Africa’s nature and wildlife resources, point out ways and methods to generate revenue to be re-invested in conservation and preservation.

You will receive some lectures during your stay, but cannot be compared to the lectures that you have in college. The lectures take place on the first floor of the lookout tower! No windows, no doors, going back to basic! The information given during the lectures will be put into practice during the bush walks, drives and the other practical experiences.

The lectures are from the FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa) Level I modules, such as:

  • Reptiles: Southern Africa is blessed with an abundant number of diverse reptiles. This lecture will introduce you to the three orders of indigenous reptiles: chelonians (shield reptiles, ie, with a shell), the Nile crocodile and scaled reptiles, including snakes – how to ID them and with emphasis on their fang structure and venom type.
  • Birds: there are over 950 bird species in southern Africa. This introductory lecture will teach you basic bird classification and biology as well as characteristics to look for to help with bird identification, knowledge that we will take out and put into practice in the Bush!
  • Mammals: on what basis are mammals classified? What is their social structure and what do they eat? How do you tell if the animal is male or female? How long do they live? All is explained in this comprehensive lecture!
  • Animal Behaviour: in the lecture room we will give you a basic understanding of an animal’s behaviour which is part of the animal’s habitat interaction. This lecture is brought to life in the Bush as we observe animal’s without intrusion to give you an understanding of their natural behaviour.

All-in-all there are 17 modules and apart from the set modules listed above, we give you the option to choose other lectures that suit your interests as we cannot possibly cover all modules in a two-week period!
  • Age: min. 18
  • Location: Hoedspruit area
  • Requirements: 18 years, good physical fitness, flexible
  • Group size: max 12 participants
  • Project duration: 2 weeks
  • Laundry:Included
  • WIFI: Free of charge
  • Linen/towels: All provided
They are located in the Balule Game Reserve near Hoedspruit

The minimum age for volunteers is 18 years and you must have a genuine interest for the animal’s welfare, enjoyment of wildlife and the outdoors.

Accommodation & meals
The camp consists of 6 thatched rondawels with shared and single accommodation. There are shared bathroom facilities and a central communal area overlooking the bush. All bedding and mosquito nets are supplied.

The communal area consists of a 30m tower with 4 levels. The first level is an open area where all meals are made and evenings are spend with friends. The second level is the lecture room, internet station and TV room. The third level is an open deck area overlooking the bush and used by students to have a sleepout under the star (mattresses supplied). The fourth level is the lookout tower.

The "braai" area (barbecue) next to the tower is the ideal place to reminess over the days a. Saturday evenings students and volunteers have the opportunity to sit around the fire and share in a traditional South African braai. Furthermore there is a pool and they have a comfortable 14 seater car, to take students to town, excursions and social outings. At camp there is 2 open games drive vehicles. Furthermore there is DSTV (cable tv) with 164 channels and a lecture room.

Basic meals 3 times a day are provided.


The following practical experiences are included:
  • KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - Undoubtedly the jewel in South Africa’s crown! Kruger National Park is the largest South African National Park, boasting almost 2 million hectares of unrivalled diversity! Here we spend two full days in the mid & southern sections of the park, the areas with the highest density of animal populations. After the first day, we spend the night IN Kruger National Park, camping in one of the park’s Rest Camps. Subject to availability, you may be able to book a Night Drive or Morning Walk in Kruger National Park (this is run by South African National Parks and is in addition to the programme and is therefore at the student’s own expense). Both are highly recommended and information on these will be given to participants in their welcome letter.
  • WILDLIFE REHABILITATION TOUR - This famous wildlife rehabilitation centre is a haven for the care of abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife. Animals are brought to the centre from all corners of South Africa, and, once healthy enough, are re-introduced into their natural environments. Those creatures which cannot be returned to the wild due to the nature and extent of their injuries are cared for at the centre and are used to educate the many people who visit each year, both from across South Africa and abroad. The tour includes cheetah, lions, leopard, hyaena, every kind of eagle, Ground Hornbill, caracal, serval, the chance to feed vultures and see Stoffel, the world-famous Honey Badger!
  • RURAL COMMUNITY OUTREACH WORK - An early start takes us into the Lepelle community, a small rural village about an hour’s drive from camp, with HALO – Hoedspruit AnimaL Outreach. HALO is a Non Profit Organisation set up in 2016 to provide assistance to the people and animals in the communities around Hoedspruit. HALO’s goals are to improve animal health and living conditions, prevent and alleviate suffering of domestic animals, encourage and assist in spaying and neutering of pets and to provide education about their animals to the individuals in the community. Community work at an outreach can mean assisting the vet, dipping the dogs (prevention against ticks), administration work in the form of capturing data on each animal seen, and interacting with the dogs and their owners! This is a remarkable opportunity for participants to experience community life and to make a substantial difference!
  • REPTILE PARK INTERACTIVE GUIDED TOUR - On this guided tour through the reptile park are all kinds of snakes as well as crocodiles, bearded dragons, iguanas, monitor lizards, scorpions and spiders! You will have the opportunity to feed plated lizards and to hold a python! In a live demonstration, the Reptile Park Curator talks about snake behaviour, fang structure and venom types using a Puff Adder, Boomslang and Snouted Cobra.
  • VISIT TO 2,000-YEAR-OLD BAOBAB AND PANCAKE RESTAURANT (cost of 1 pancake and 1 beverage included) A trip to the Glencoe baobab, the second largest baobab in South Africa which has been carbon-dated to +/- 2,000 years old. In its prime, this baobab stood with a diameter of 15.9 m (52 ft) with a circumference of 47 m (154 ft) and at a height of 17 m (56 ft), and the spread of crown 37.05 m (121.6 ft)… and whilst adoring the mighty Baobab participants can enjoy a delicious pancake!
  • TRIP TO WATERFALL AND POOLS FOR SWIMMING, INCLUDING PICNIC LUNCH - A trip to the stunning Blyde Canyon waterfalls and dam: a leisurely day in the beautiful pools of the waterfalls; whilst the adventurous can venture and discover two other hidden falls! Plenty of areas in which to dive in and swim in nature’s natural pools. If the fresh, unpolluted air doesn’t take your breath away the natural scenery will! PLEASE NOTE: if closed due to filming the excursion will instead be a trip to Mariepskop mountain view and swimming area. • GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF LOCAL VILLAGE - Uplifting the local community, this sustainable tour takes you through a village borne from the displacement of locals as the Kruger National Park was established. Experience the history and day-to-day village life with a member of the community as your guide. Visit the local school and crèche (during term time) and taste a traditional home-cooked meal.
  • TRIP TO LOCAL RESTAURANT (COST OF STANDARD MEAL COVERED) Enjoy a tasty meal whilst sat overlooking the mighty Olifants River or sat deep in the African bush!
  • SLEEP-OUT IN THE BUSH A night under a blanket of stars with the sounds of the night serenading you!
Please be aware that the program is run in a BIG 5 area and that the programme may be disrupted at any point by game viewing opportunities, whether it be elephants visiting at the camp fence, giraffes passing by or an early morning wake-up call to go see lions.
The program runs for 2 weeks and usually starts on a Monday - depending on availability


Duration Fee
2 weeks 24000 ZAR
Rates includes
  • Accommodation (shared) in Balule game reserve
  • 3 meals per day
  • Bush walks/drives and informal lectures, designed to give participants an understanding of both animals and nature to enhance their experiences on bush walks and game drives
  • 2-days in Kruger National Park
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation tour
  • Reptile Park interactive guided tour
  • Visit to 2,000-year-old Baobab and pancake restaurant (cost of 1 pancake and 1 beverage included)
  • Rural community outreach work
  • Trip to waterfall and pools for swimming, including picnic lunch (or when closed for filming, trip to mountain view-point and thereafter swimming area)
  • Guided walking tour of local village
  • Trip to local restaurant (cost of standard meal covered)
  • Sleep-out in the bush
  • Special activities may be included as they arise, at no extra cost, for example, accompanying the local wildlife vet on call, visiting a game farm, attending a conservation event, etc.
  • Participation in the conservation of the area with hands-on experience in the Bush, which could include alien plant control, erosion management or working on sustainable projects
  • Email
  • Laundry
  • Pick up and drop off at arrival and departure points around Hoedspruit
  • Weekly town trips for shopping
  • 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
  • Flights/transfers to Hoedspruit
  • Visa fees (if required)
  • Travel Insurance
Click here to sign up.