Internship with Wildlife Research

South Africa

8 - 12 weeks

5,085 - 6,485 Euro

This 8-12 week mentorship offers a unique chance to explore African wildlife ecosystems and focus on specific animals in conservation. Ideal for those aspiring to a lasting role in wildlife preservation.


Step into the captivating world of the Greater Kruger Area in South Africa and contribute profoundly to the future of its diverse wildlife. Guided by expert researchers and field guides, this internship offers an unparalleled exploration of the multifaceted ecosystems. It's a journey of learning, observation, and active conservation participation.

Why Choose the Internship with Wildlife Research in South Africa?

  • Experience the Splendor of the Greater KrugerArea:
    Stationed at a privately-owned lodge alongside the Olifants River, enjoy the tranquil setting this location brings to your volunteering journey.
  • Learn from Wildlife Researchers:
    Delve into the hands-on facets of wildlife conservation, acquiring knowledge from field experts about data collection, monitoring, and vital initiatives.
  • Engage in Comprehensive Big 5 Research:
    Undertake hands-on monitoring of Africa's famed Big 5 and engage in community educational ventures to bolster wildlife conservation consciousness.
  • Engage in Comprehensive Big 5 Research:
    Delve into hands-on monitoring of Africa's renowned Big 5 and participate in educational initiatives to heighten awareness of wildlife conservation.
  • Make a Direct Impact on Wildlife Conservation:
    The information you assist in gathering supports local reserves in crafting informed conservation strategies, promoting harmonious living between wildlife and local communities.

Embark on a Transformative Journey:

For the curious souls yearning to unravel the intricacies of Africa's unique ecosystems, this is your golden ticket. Beyond the allure of Africa's stunning landscapes, you will play an instrumental role in its preservation. Get in touch with us and let us start planning your adventure!

More insights


  • Up to 7 volunteers for 8-12 weeks, with 2-4 Sunday starts/month. Part of a up to 50-volunteer wildlife research and photography project.
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Arrive/depart from Hoedspruit Airport (HDS), South Africa, on Sundays at any time.
  • 1.5-hour transfer from Hoedspruit Airport to project (return) included.
  • Full-board meals, drinking water, coffee, tea are included.
  • Free Wi-Fi available; local SIM/data available at Johannesburg airport or Hoedspruit town.
  • Weekends free to explore: safaris in Kruger National Park, panoramic road trips, quad biking, etc.


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Your Activities

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The first week of this program will immerse you in an interactive workshop led by an experienced professional photographer who will serve as your mentor. You'll delve into the basics, tips, and standout aspects of photography, become comfortable with your camera settings, and learn how to take stunning photos through engaging assignments that challenge you to capture frames, colors, movement, and portraits using new techniques. To add the finishing touches, you'll also master the art of editing your photos with Adobe Lightroom, ensuring that your images capture the attention of your audience and leave a lasting impression.

Engaging in Photographic Workshop

Interactive photography workshop with experienced mentor. Learn basics, tips, editing with Adobe Lightroom, and capture stunning photos.

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Throughout the rest of your time on this project, you'll actively contribute to our broader objectives and goals in the Greater Kruger region, all while continually improving your photography skills. The aim is to provide you with an authentic understanding of what it takes to become a professional photographer, including editing and effective utilization of your photographs. Through a range of activities detailed in the following sections, our experienced mentor will take pride in guiding you towards capturing top-notch images, presenting them with context, and exploring opportunities for exposure.

Hands-on volunteering experience

This project sharpens your photography skills, supports the Greater Kruger region, and offers mentorship to become a pro photographer.

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Your involvement in the project's research initiatives will be critical as your photography skills aid in collecting important animal identification data. During game drives, you'll have the opportunity to take detailed and precise images of wildlife, which will support the research team in identifying individual animals and monitoring their health, movements, and behavior. Your photographs will be crucial in updating identification databases that guide important decisions in reserve management, contributing significantly to our conservation-focused objectives.

Contribute to Wildlife Conservation

Your photography skills will aid in collecting animal identification data during game drives, supporting the research team's monitoring efforts and conservation goals.

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Discover the captivating world beneath our feet by immersing yourself in macro photography. As a dedicated photography volunteer, you'll develop a profound connection with the often-overlooked aspects of the wildlife environment and master the art of capturing their fascinating allure. You'll be awed by the stunning creatures that we often disregard, such as dung beetles, dragonflies, and an array of other mesmerizing creatures.

Unveiling Hidden Wonders

As a photography volunteer, you'll capture fascinating creatures through macro photography and gain a deeper connection to the wildlife environment.

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Ensuring ethical photography practices when capturing animals in their natural habitats is crucial for any wildlife photographer. In this program, you'll gain a deeper understanding of animal behavior, fostering a conservation-driven approach in your photographic pursuits. By learning how to photograph responsibly in this setting, you'll create images that both inspire and promote wildlife conservation.

Responsible Wildlife Photography

This program teaches ethical photography practices that promote wildlife conservation and a deeper understanding of animal behavior.

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After a thrilling day of exploration and hard work, unwind and relax poolside, catch a movie, or engage in a fun-filled games night with fellow volunteers at the lodge. Occasionally, the guides and staff members host informative presentations, providing you with further opportunities to discover the fascinating African landscape and its diverse inhabitants, including both wildlife and people. Savor your dinner on the scenic deck, with a cozy fire to set the mood, often followed by marshmallow roasting! Additionally, you can participate in enjoyable fundraising events such as trivia and game nights, adding an extra layer of fun and excitement to your stay.

Additional Activities

Relax with other volunteers at the lodge and enjoy exciting weekend adventures, exploring nearby attractions and capturing unforgettable moments.

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Activity Overview

Volunteers doing wildlife research at the Big Five and Wildlife Research project near Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Study wildlife in the heart of South Africa's 'Big 5' hotspot

Looking for a wildlife internship that offers an unforgettable and diverse experience? Look no further than this project, located in the heart of South Africa's Greater Kruger Area. Here, you'll have the unique opportunity to study and learn about the iconic 'Big 5' - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo - as well as other fascinating African wildlife such as cheetah and wild dog. But that's not all - this project also allows you to study the lesser-known creatures of the bush and other African animals. Whether your passion is in birds, botany, or climate change, you're welcome to study your chosen species or topic on our wildlife internship.

Data Collection & Analysis

Regular game drives and bush walks will provide you with the opportunity to collect data on the location and behaviour of your chosen species, while also allowing you to spot some of Africa's most amazing wildlife. You'll also participate in game counts, which will help you assess predator and prey populations and distributions. With the data you collect, you'll work alongside the team to analyse it and turn it into reports for the project’s partner reserves and conservation partners. This will help everyone to better understand the needs of the animals and the environment, and to make more informed conservation decisions. As part of your training, you'll learn useful analysis techniques such as QGIS to map the data you collect. This will allow you to determine things like distribution, social networks, family relationships, and corridor use, providing valuable insights into the lives of the animals you're working to protect.

Camera Traps & Observation Sessions

As a wildlife intern, you'll have the opportunity to study animal species through camera trap surveys, which allow you to assess animal movements and collect data on your chosen species in their natural habitat. You'll be responsible for organizing and uploading these images to Camerabase software and producing comprehensive reports to assist our conservation team. At the end of your placement, you'll present this data, along with the data collected during research game drives, to our team. If your area of study is botany or birds, we'll work with you to provide observation sessions and learning opportunities on foot.

Restore Animal Habitats

In addition to studying wildlife, you'll also participate in physical conservation tasks like removing invasive plants and clearing encroaching bush. These activities help restore animal habitats and give you a greater understanding of how the ecosystem functions. Physical conservation work is a crucial aspect of wildlife preservation, and you'll have many opportunities to contribute. Whether you're assisting in removing snares or clearing out invasive species, the work you do plays a key role in the survival of wildlife and the success of conservation efforts in the area. It transforms the land back into a healthy habitat where wildlife can thrive.

Wildlife Presentations & Mentorship

As a wildlife intern, you'll have the opportunity to participate in weekly meetings with your mentor and a professional researcher to discuss the project's objectives, your progress, and areas for improvement. In addition, you'll attend presentations on wildlife, ecology, habitats, and predator threats, providing you with valuable knowledge and insights into the world of wildlife conservation. These informative sessions will enhance your understanding of the ecosystem and the challenges faced by the animals you're working to protect.

Additional Activities

After an exciting day of exploration and hard work, unwind and relax poolside, catch a movie, or engage in a fun-filled games night with fellow volunteers at the lodge. In addition, the guides and staff members occasionally host informative presentations, providing further opportunities to discover the fascinating African landscape and its diverse inhabitants, including both wildlife and people. Enjoy your dinner on the scenic deck with a cozy fire to set the mood, often followed by marshmallow roasting. You can also participate in enjoyable fundraising events such as trivia and game nights, adding an extra layer of fun and excitement to your stay.

Off Day Activities

Experience unforgettable adventures during your free time on Saturdays and Sundays with exciting trips to breathtaking destinations. Just a short distance away, the Blyde River Canyon offers stunning views, while the Kruger National Park provides opportunities for safari excursions. Whether you prefer microlight flights, white water rafting, extreme hikes, or a weekend safari, the options for adventure are endless. Please note that these activities are not included in the project fee.

Volunteers on a game drive at Shamwari Conservation Experience in Port Elizabeth.
Volunteers doing plant research at Shamwari Conservation Experience in South Africa.
Wildlife volunteers doing telemetry search in South Africa.
Lion roaring at Born Free Foundation in South Africa.
Wildlife volunteers at the vet clinic at Shamwari Conservation Experience in South Africa.
Group photo of Volunteer at Shamwari Conservation Experience in South Africa.
Group photo of Volunteer at Shamwari Conservation Experience in South Africa.

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WHY we love it

Immerse yourself in an unparalleled wildlife volunteer opportunity, studying and observing crucial species for conservation inAfrica's diverse ecosystems.

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Personalise your experience by choosing a specific species to study or exploring other areas of interest like botany, ornithology ,ecology, or entomology, while assisting in creating easy-to-understand identification kits.

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Join a dedicated research team at a picturesque South Africa and work closely with expert field guides and researchers on game drives across the reserves.

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Contribute to vital conservation efforts that help protect and preserve incredible animals, support local communities, and promote a more sustainable future for both humans and wildlife in Africa.


Internship with Wildlife Research

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