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Cheetah and Predator Conservation in South Africa



Help conserve Cheetahs and other predators in their natural environment. You'll live on a Game Reserve, in a delightful bush camp where you get up close and personal with the animals.

You'll learn a great deal. You'll be given training in how to practically assist and will work closely with the field staff to really make a difference. The main aspects include tracking and monitoring predators, researching and collecting data, and assisting on the Roan and Sable breeding project,

You may also research and monitor Buffalo habituation. You'll experience night safaris (an unbelievable experience!) and will work in the bush almost every day of the project.

List of ALL PROJECTS in South Africa CONSERVATION in South Africa List of ALL PROJECTS in South Africa 

Start Dates All year round - you choose your start and finish dates. You should arrive on any Friday.
Duration From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
Requirements No qualifications needed, just a big heart and a love of animals and their conservation. Minimum age 17.
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance

Meeting you at Polokwane airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Return transfer to Polokwane airport
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required).
Who can do this Project? This project is open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in conservation, caring for animals and working with wildlife overseas. This is a good placement if you want to learn about conservation strategies and wildlife habitat and behaviour while doing voluntary work, projects abroad or study abroad.
Also available as a summer placement in South Africa or a short break activity.


  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many diverse cultures in South Africa

  • The unique and very rare opportunity to gain practical, hands-on veterinary medicine experience with wild animals in a Game Reserve setting.

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

This project is based on a Game Reserve in the Limpopo province, in Northern South Africa.  The reserve has 18,000 acres, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to see some or all of the great variety of species living on the Reserve: Giraffe, Lion, Cheetah, Eland, Buffalo, Leopard, Roan, Kudu, Hyena, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Gemsbok, Sable, Impala, Duiker, Steenbok, Wild Dog, Aardwolf, Serval, Caracal, Black-backed Jackal, and Bat-eared Fox!

Cheetah: This project was started to specifically find a solution to Cheetah/Farmer conflict, to demonstrate that Cheetahs could be sustainable through tourism rather than by hunting and killing them. This idea has now expanded to include a very successful Predator Conservation project which conserves and sustains all the large predators on the Reserve.

You'll learn a great deal. You'll be given training in how to practically assist and will work closely with the field staff to really make a difference. The main aspects include tracking and monitoring predators, researching and collecting data, and assisting on the Roan and Sable breeding project,

You may also research and monitor Buffalo habituation. You'll experience night safaris (an unbelievable experience!) and will work in the bush almost every day of the project.

Typical Weekly Schedule:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:
Cheetah tracking and monitoring, rhino tracking and monitoring, buffalo habituation, sable and roan breeding project management, reserve management.  

Wednesday: Spend the day at the local township school assisting with conservation lessons on awareness of wildlife to the children. 

Saturdays are dedicated maintenance days which could include vehicle maintenance, checking game fences, tidying of the camp and project work areas.

Day off spent at cheetah conservation reserve and camp.

This is a superb project. You'll not only witness some extraordinary sights, but learn a great deal about African Wildlife and make a difference in the process! Volunteers help on the working Reserve, so you'll get the chance to experience 'real' Africa through important wildlife conservation. This project is leading the way in finding new approaches to solving the farmer / predator conflict. You can expect to help in some or all of the following areas:

  • Cheetah and Predator tracking and monitoring (the majority of the cheetah and hyena tracking is done on foot)

  • Reserve Management

  • Fence Checks

  • Anti-poaching initiatives

  • Game capture (seasonal)

  • Relocation projects

  • Assisting  on the Roan and Sable breeding project

  • Wildlife habituation

As a working reserve, plans and schedules can change when the unexpected happens, but generally a typical day would be something like this:




Reserve management




Wildlife tracking/monitoring (cheetah, rhino, serval, buffalo, hyena)


Head back to camp



You'll also have the opportunity to be involved in up to 3 spectacular night drives per week. You'll work Monday - Saturday, with Saturday being an off-day. The work you do and the data you collect will contribute to best practice of running a sustainable Game Reserve and will also be used to inform others of sustainable conservation practices for the various different species. You'll be guided and the work you do will be challenging, but determined by your abilities.

Cheetah and Predator Conservation in South Africa

Cheetah and Predator Conservation in South Africa

Cheetah and Predator Conservation in South Africa

You'll live on the Reserve, in the beautiful tented camp. It was designed specifically to ensure that volunteers are as close to Africa as possible, without compromising safety or comfort. Each tent has a wooden deck with an en-suite, open-air bathroom. There is no electricity at the camp, but it is lit by firelight and paraffin lamps in the evening, which amplifies the night atmosphere of being in the African bush.

Evening entertainment is based around board games, playing cards and socialising around the camp fire. The camp has a rustic charm which encourages an atmosphere of laid back relaxation....the way Africa was meant to be experienced!

Food: All food is prepared for you and is a mix of African and international dishes. Sometimes breakfast is prepared at different locations in the bush after an afternoon tracking the cheetah!

All food is prepared for you and is a mix of African and international dishes. Sometimes breakfast is prepared at different locations in the bush

This project is based in a rural location, 25km from Alldays, the nearest town. The project staff make at least one trip a week into town, which you're welcome to join. If you wish to arrange extra trips, your Co-ordinator will be happy to help.

The easiest way is for you to book your international flight through any airline of your choice, arriving in Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo International Airport), and then book a connecting domestic flight from Johannesburg to Polokwane (our closest airport).

You should arrive in Polokwane on a Friday, before 15.00 hrs, and your flight should also depart on a Friday, after 10.00 a.m.

Volunteers who find it difficult to get flights that fit this arrival schedule often arrive in Polokwane the night before (Thursday) instead. We can recommend a Bed & Breakfast accommodation that will collect you from the airport when you arrive, and then we arrange for our transport service to collect you from the accommodation on the Friday morning.

Accommodation on the Cheetah Conservation Project with Travellers Worldwide

Accommodation on the Cheetah Conservation Project with Travellers Worldwide

Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of the Project stafff who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone.

During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture.


Feedback on Wildlife Conservation on Game Reserves in South Africa with Travellers Worldwide

Cheetah and Predator Conservation in South Africa

Photo Galleries
Knysna Diary
Wildlife Rehabilitation Diary
Wildlife Expedition News!


You can also book some Optional Add-Ons to do before or after your placement, tomake the most of your Travel Experience in SOuth Africa. The most popular choices are the safari trips from Cape Town and many volunteers use these as their means of travel to arrive at their project in Knysna, but it is a very varied, beautiful adventure up the Garden Route..

Wildlife Safaris & Adventure Tour Combos
4-Day Surf Safari and Wildlife Adventure
1-Day Adventure Activities in Cape Town
1-Week Wildlife Rehabilitation

1-Week Whales Sharks Dolphins
Cage Dive with Sharks

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in South Africa, or you could even do a second project in a different region of the country, thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment!

Cage diving with sharks in Cape Town
Cage diving with sharks in Cape Town


The best advice you'll get from us is to try to see some of the country while you're in South Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up there :-)  KwaZulu-Natal comes a very close second, albeit very different. Knysna is where South Africans go on vacation, which gives you some idea of how lovely the region is.

Northern South Africa has some of the most famous Game Reserves, including Kruger National Park, and vibrant cities like Johannesburg. With its gold mines and history, it's very different to the rest of the country.

Adrenaline Activities -
Enjoy exciting and “real” adventures with an adrenaline twist!

  • Abseiling

  • Sandboarding

  • Deep-sea Angling

  • ‘Kloofing’ (insanely jumping off very high cliffs into pools of water!)

  • Paragliding

  • Helicopter flips

  • Bungee jumping (just up the coast)

  •  …..and a LOT, LOT more!!!!

      Township Tours - A visit to one of the many townships surrounding the city is an experience that will open your eyes to the way in which the biggest portion of Cape Town's population are living. Take a township tour of Langa, the oldest township in South Africa or Khayelitsha, the second largest township in South Africa. Township tours will usually be co-led by a resident in the area, showcase local industry and community projects and include a visit to a township bar or 'shebeen'.

      Cape Winelands - Wine lover or not, a visit to the Cape Winelands is an absolute must as the region is one of breathtaking beauty and majestic mountain backdrops. Rolling vineyards and quaint Cape Dutch homesteads ... as well as some of the country's best wines.

Cape Town has lots of cafes and restaurants with outdoors seating areas overlooking the street or on the pavements, with colourful sun umbrellas - a perfect place to sit with the sun on your face, watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy cappucino or staving off the heat with a cold drink.

To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.

Hands-on care for elephants – an opportunity to help the elephants and learn a lot about their wonderful natures and characteristics. You'll work closely with mahouts, helping to change the practice of using elephants for street begging and circus shows to providing an alternative for their elephants that is more natural, less stressful, and is sustainable.
This project is a very caring sanctuary set in a small private game reserve in the Eastern Cape. It is a very popular and worthwhile placement where your work and help is desperately needed. You'll assist in hand-rearing, feeding and generally looking after many different animal species, including about 150 different species of birds, most of which you will never have seen before.