Safari reserves generally require a “look don’t touch” attitude towards wildlife. But as a volunteer at Phinda, you’ll get the chance to discover the other side of this excitement and challenging world – and experience life behind the scenes on a world-famous safari reserve.
You’ll have to be ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty as you track lions, cheetah, rhino, elephants, antelope and other species through the bush, recording their movements and behaviour. You’ll also have the chance to work hands-on with some of Africa’s most iconic species.
And because Phinda is owned by the local community, it’s not just the wildlife you’ll be supporting. You’ll be making a real difference to the future prosperity of Africa’s rural people as well.
The dangers facing Africa’s animals
Today, South Africa’s wildlife face threats from all directions. A growing population means there are fewer natural resources such as water and habitat to go around. Meanwhile poachers continue to kill, injure and orphan thousands of animals a year, adding to those killed by legal hunting.
As if that wasn’t enough, the impacts of climate change are being felt in many remote locations across southern Africa, as rivers which once provided a vital lifeline to wildlife, are reduced to little more than a stream.
Phinda is also involved in the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, meaning you can have the unique opportunity to monitor black rhino in the wild.
Typically, Phinda is home to between one and four volunteers at a time which means you’ll be fully involved with all the day-to-day activities of the reserve.
How you can help
Volunteering at Phinda, you’ll be at the heart of a conservation project that seeks to create a self-sustaining ecosystem, where people and animals live harmoniously alongside each other.
To help achieve this goal, you’ll join the project team in monitoring the population dynamics of each species, how predator and prey species interact with each other and managing the available natural resources.
The African Conservation Team and Phinda locals have provided me with memories that will last a lifetime and an endless amount of stories that I will treasure forever.