Have you ever considered volunteering for a program with elephants in Africa? Africa is one of the biggest habitats of elephants. At the same time, Elephants are the most poached, amongst the big five in Africa. Africa also offers great volunteer programs with elephants. People are encouraged to work towards saving the endangered animals from illegal trade and poaching. Are you in love with elephants?
Are you aware that these docile yet majestic creatures are the most hunted by poachers? Then you should be worried. If you are the kind that worry then take action afterwards, then you might consider checking out volunteer programs with elephants in Africa and make some impact. Poachers and ivory consumers are creating havoc in the ecosystem. Elephants are on the verge of being extinct. Imaging felling such majesty just for a small piece of it – the ivory?
Conservancies and Sanctuaries have therefore come up with volunteer programs that help in keeping the elephants from being extinct.
Top 5 Goals of an Elephant Sanctuary
The main goal of having an elephant sanctuary is to keep the animals safe from illegal hunting and poaching. However, here are some of the goals for most Elephant Sanctuaries:
- Saving orphan elephants from death after their mothers have been poached killed.
- Giving vet services to sick and injured elephants.
- Creating room for research on the elephants.
- Nuturing elephants in preparation for the wild.
- Allowing elephant census either in the specific country, continent or the world.
Some sanctuaries also train elephants to be human-friendly for adoption in human homes and zoos. Some are released to smaller personal sanctuaries for domestication. If you are a lover of the big lovely creatures, have enough land, can afford to grow vegetation enough to feed an elephant, then you might consider adopting one.
Why Would You Volunteer with Elephants in Africa?
Volunteering with elephants in Africa is a service to nature in a great way. Africa suffers the most when it comes to poaching and animal smuggling. Elephants are the most hunted here as well because ivory is one of the most expensive wild gems.
Currently, there are only 40,000 Asian Elephants and 40 -50, 000 African elephants. For this reason, elephants are highly endangered and if not protected, they might be extinct completely. Hence, a number of sanctuaries have come up to save the species from extinction.
Most of the African countries cannot afford to set up many sanctuaries, or even big enough ones to cater to the need of the available herds. The big herds need expertise. Most African countries cannot afford to hire rangers, and vet doctors, and project managers. Volunteering with elephants in Africa will give you an opportunity to offer your expertise and exercise your passion for nature conservation.
Volunteering in any field, enhances your experience, a quality that most employers look for when hiring. You might want to volunteer with elephants in Africa, to add flesh to your resume. The experience will also help you get acclimatized to the wild. You will get a chance to hone your skills.
Finding Volunteer with Elephants programs in Africa.
Wondering how you can find volunteers with elephant programs in Africa? Google will be your best friend here. Alternatively, visiting the wildlife ministries’ offices across the continent will and inquiring from the ground, will give you an upper hand when it comes to figuring out where your services are needed.
Most countries have independent ministries on wildlife and nature conservancy and they will be able to give you an overview of what is happening in their country as far as elephant orphanages are concerned.
Also, checking out on private conservancies and sanctuaries you might land yourself a comfortable working zone. The private sector in Africa is usually more advanced. However, it is safer to involve the government for security purposes, should you chose to volunteer with elephants privately.
13 Best Volunteer with Elephants in Africa in 2022
#1. THE SAVE FOUNDATION IN HOEDSPRUIT, LIMPOPO GAME RESERVE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Hoedspruit is a town on the slopes of the Limpopo, in South Africa. Here, The Save Foundation runs a program on monitoring the endangered species in the Limpopo game reserve. You are expected, as a volunteer with elephants to help the foundation actualize their dream of protecting the endangered species, including elephants, rhinos, the ground hornbill among others through keeping track of their existence, reproduction, and locations.
The Save Foundation was founded in 2007 and the Endangered Species Project has been running since then.
Who can enroll?
Anyone over the age of 18 can enroll in the volunteer program. Singles people, couples, families, and groups that are enthusiastic about saving endangered species especially elephants, can volunteer.
What will you gain in volunteering with elephants with Save Foundation?
You will experience hands-on monitoring of the species, learn survival in the bush. You will interact with the environment since most of the job is done on foot. The collected information will be used by the anti-poaching organizations to secure the endangered animals.
What is the program like?
you will be provided with transport from Johannesburg International Airport and back to the airport after the program, meals, and accommodation.
Mondays are mainly for introductions after picking up volunteers and orientation.
Tuesdays all through to Friday involves active groundwork on data collection and tracking the animals. You actively walk and drive around, sleeping under the stars and taking note of the species of interest. In your case, you will be monitoring elephants.
Saturday mornings are for environmental clearing. Controlling soil erosion and bush clearing will be your morning business. In the afternoons, you get time to visit a local pub or take a walk through the town.
Sundays will be mainly for relaxing and doing personal or organized tours. You will have a whole week filled with interesting activities.
Be articulate in English for communication purposes, have a good attitude, team playing, and be a lover of nature and the outdoors.
You will have fun and offer your much-needed services at the Limpopo, for $1049 a week for a maximum of 24weeks.
#2. THE EHRA PROGRAM, AT DAMARALAND IN NAMIBIA.
Have you been to the desert before? Do you love the sun? A mixture of desert safaris and surfing. Kayaking and dolphin tours. Two extreme ends of fun and a passion for saving elephants are fulfilled. Namibia is a beautiful place to live. If you care for elephants and how they relate with humans, then you can join, the Elephant Human Relations Aid.
What Activities will you be involved in?
Here, you will do everything to ensure that elephants and people are living with people in harmony. The EHRA Camp is along the Ugab River. Upon arrival, you will be picked at the Windhoek airport at Amanpuri Travellers Lodge. Sundays mornings are for briefing and acclimatization of the environment. Guests will be allowed to rest till Monday morning, all through to the afternoon. You leave the lodge at noon, to the camp at Ugab River where you will spend the night. Your activities will be spread across two weeks henceforth.
- Week one
You will spend the first week making walls around the watering points for the elephants. You will spend most of the nights in the tents during this week. The team works skills will be needed here, for you will be expected to take turns in making meals over an open fire. The walls take a whole week to build. You will then relax over the weekend and prepare for the next week.
- Week two
In the second week, you will do elephant patrol. You will use the GPS trackers, takedown data, do ID shots, and do head counts of elephants. Dung collection is done during this week as well. This week, you sleep in various places on patrol. Most of the time, you will be in the bushes and therefore will have no interaction with other people. This goes on up to Thursday where you return to the camp for a rest. You can travel back home on Friday.
Do You Need Qualifications?
You will need to know English, the common language of communication, and be passionate about environmental conservation. And maybe the love for stars. The camp allows people who are 18years and above. Groups of at most fourteen are allowed too. Enrolling is open from 25th May to 17th December.
You will pay approximately $611 per week and can enroll for a minimum of two weeks.
#3. PORT ELIZABETH GAME RESERVE
Are you 18years and above? Do you love elephants? Would you like to help conserve the environment? If yes is an answer to any of the questions above, then your next flight should be to Port Elizabeth. The game reserve is a 45minutes drive to Port Elizabeth town. it settles on a 6000ha land, and the Wildlife Support Program is about rescuing the orphaned elephants. Other than elephants, the other big 5, birds, and endangered species.
You will be required to fly directly to Port Elizabeth where you will be collected by the reserve shuttle upon arrival. You will be provided with accommodation and a fully furnished staff house. other than the normal volunteer routine, you will be allowed to have all the recreational facilities including swimming pools, bars among others during your stay without limit.
Your accommodation will be share. Upon arrival, you will be given some free orientation, a cap, a t-shirt, and materials you will need.
How will your workload look like?
All days begin at 7.00 am and end at 5.00 pm. you will be assigned duties ranging from tracking, data taking, fieldwork, and rescuing orphaned elephants. The rescued orphans are taken care of and released back to the wild when they are ready. On weekends, guided excursions for those who are interested are allowed.
To qualify, you will need to have a great passion for animals and nature, be conversant with the English language, and have a crime-free record certificate from your country. all nationalities are welcome on board.
You will also have to take care of your travel costs, visa, and travel insurance. Ensure that you are immunized before traveling.
When can you apply?
The program runs throughout the year and one can volunteer for 1-12 weeks at a cost of $594 per week. Check out the program here.
#4. AID RHINO AND ELEPHANT CONSERVATION, MAGWENDI ZIMBABWE
The Aid rhino and elephant project. Protects rhinos and elephants from illegal wildlife trade and poaching. The conservancy is 90minutes away from Harare the capital city of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a friendly country, with warm people who are receptive and helpful. If you are above seventeen, physically fit, immunized, and have your own travel plan, including a Visa, you are good to pack your camping bags and go to Zimbabwe. To help save the elephants!
About Aid Rhino and Elephants
The conservancy is built on a 10,000acre land, that was previously a farm. It is run by a family. For this reason, even families can volunteer at the conservancy. It was founded in 1950. The conservancy focuses on breeding the rare elephants and rhinos and preparing them for the wild. You will be picked from the airport upon arrival and driven to the project site. For fun, among others, you will enjoy horse riding, game drives, campouts, and swimming.
Duties of a volunteer.
As a volunteer, you will be expected to participate in the breeding process, feeding the animals, walking the young ones, and monitoring the older ones on horsebacks. You will also be expected to clean the enclosure. If you have other research questions you will be allowed to connect with your volunteer coordinator for details.
For $1095, a week, you will have an experience of your time and you can volunteer for up to 8weeks.
#5. KARONGWE RESERVE, IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Karongwe Game Reserve, has a program for elephant conservation and it accepts volunteers. Volunteering here will simply give you a chance to work with the qualified Field Guide Association of South Africa. You will have a learning experience as a volunteer. In this conservancy, you have the option of studying a telemetry course, you will take care of wildlife identification. You will be kept busy for a whole week from 5.00 am to 9.00 am. The program runs all the way to 2022 and you can book for up to 12 weeks, for $3002 per week.
Get prepared to learn the survey techniques and take an optional conservancy course for free. You will have time for fun, sleeping under the stars once in a while, and tours out every day. The karongwe reserve will provide for your transport upon arrival.
#6. THE VICTORIA FALLS CONSERVANCY
The Victoria Elephant Conservation project takes place in South Africa in Port Victoria. If you are above 18 years, individually or in a group of about 20, you are allowed to volunteer for between 2 to 7 weeks. Your accommodation will be taken care of, with meals inclusive. You will however have to take care of your own travel expenses.
What will you be doing as a volunteer?
You will be expected to carry out monitoring services on the herds, do reserve maintenance activities, initiate new sustainability activities like planting of trees and other vegetation, alien plants removal, and have a chance to make some influence on the learners in Masuwe school.
You will sleep under the stars as a volunteer. Check out for the poacher’s snares, and contribute to the 5 aims of the project, that you will be orientated about upon arrival.
The Victoria Falls conservancy gives you as a volunteer with elephants a chance to enjoy the exciting experiences of living near a waterfall for a whole month. In addition to this, you will be participating in saving the elephants and ensuring that they are in a conducive habitat. For fun, you will be visiting the Zambezi River, checking out the waterfall, and fishing for sport. The payments are not specified.
#7. DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST,
Have you been to Nairobi Kenya? Do you want to adopt an elephant? For as low as $50 a year, you can volunteer to give a home to an orphan elephant. It is that simple. Just adopt an elephant with a beautiful story. Do you have space? You can pick an elephant, with a beautiful Samburu name, and raise it like family. When it’s old enough, you will send it back to the wild.
You can also market for the Trust to get other adopters. The elephants have rescued orphans of poaching and illegal game trade.
#8. GAME RANGERS INTERNATIONAL AND ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE VOLUNTEERS
Imagine spending a whole month in Zambia. The amazing cultures, cuisine and most importantly leaving a mark in nature. The volunteer’s project is geared towards environmental conservation, wildlife protection, and securing of elephants. You can volunteer as a game ranger here.
This project gives you options! You can go to Kafue National park or Liyayi National park. If you are solely interested in elephants, then you will have a great experience in checking out the elephant behaviors, finding media marketing volunteers, and carrying out research in the parks about the elephants.
The Liyayi park is in Lusaka and in need of game rangers. You will be sleeping at the Liyayi lodges and will be supported by National Parks and Wildlife. Meals will be taken care of. The website provides more information on the charges and the program runs throughout the year. You can enroll anytime as long as you can take care of your travel costs and documentation.
#10. ELEPHANT HAVENS, IN BOTSWANA
What are they about?
Elephant Havens is an organization working in Botswana. The organization works towards saving elephants, specifically the African Elephant. They also take care of the abandoned elephants and orphaned ones. They are currently building an elephant orphanage and this is where your voluntary services come in. you will participate in raising the abandoned elephants and releasing them into the wild after they are ready.
You can also volunteer to educate the community on the relationship between villagers and elephants. You can also instill the importance of conserving the environment in people. Teachers, Rangers, and animal enthusiasts of 18years and above are welcome.
Where is the Haven?
Elephant Haven is in Maun village in Botswana. The haven is along a small river, which makes it a perfect place for baby elephants to be natured. Older elephants are living in the area too in large herds, hence reintroducing the orphaned ones in the wild is easier.
You will have an option to choose amongst the many major safari and air charter operators thus wild trips will be easy for you.
It is that simple, volunteer, find a spot and come enjoy wildlife in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
You will have to go out of your way and pay for your stay. The Haven can give you information on the best lodges in Maun and how you will get transport from the Maun International Airport. Contact them at email@example.com for bookings and more information.
#11. ELEPHANT AND WILDLIFE PROJECT IN KENYA
Kenya is one of the largest homes of elephants in Africa. It is also one of the countries suffering from poaching and illegal wildlife trade that is threatening to render the same elephants extinct. By volunteering with this project you have a chance to share your passion and love for animals, go on daily safaris and help in research. You will also have a chance to interact with the friendliest people and experience the most beautiful cultures of Kenya. The most affordable wildlife conservation project starts from $450.
How it works
If you enjoy solitude in far places, interacting with the wild, then put your travel documents in order and book a flight to Nairobi Kenya. You will be welcome to the Tsavo National Park of Kenya. In Tsavo, there are 1500 elephants and hundreds of other wildlife and bird species. The details of booking and finding a place will be found here
#12. AMAKHALA CONSERVATION PROJECT, IN SOUTH AFRICA
In this project, there is a vast array of wildlife that you can volunteer to participate in. if your niche is the elephant, then you will narrow down your interests to the elephant.
The cost and what you get.
From as low as $450 a person, for a week, you get all meals, 7-84nights, and accommodation. You will choose from the elephants, Rhinos and other big cats. Recruiting is done every Monday of the week, throughout the year. To secure a place, you will have to deposit $195 at the time of booking.
Your Schedule Will Look Like This:
Upon arrival, you will be picked at the Port Elizabeth airport and be taken to the project site to be briefed and be given accommodation details. The following 14days will be for the projects. They start at 7.00 am and end at 4.00 pm. weekends are free for fun and self-directed activities. On the 15th day, you will clear from the camp and leave for your return home trip.
#13. THE KARIEGA BIG 5 CONSERVATION PROJECT
For about $635 you will have an experience of between 7 to 84 days and interact with several animals, elephants inclusive. A group of up to 10people is allowed. The minimum age of participation is 17 years.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to Kariega wildlife center, where you will be hosted. You will be allowed to familiarize yourself with the projects and be guided through them by your coordinators. If you arrive early, you will have a chance to head out for a preview of the Kariega wildlife.
The next 14days will be full of project activities. The days begin at 7.00 am and end at 5.00 pm. You will be allowed a rest at lunchtime. The 15th day is departure day. You can enroll on any Monday and start your trip. The project closes on Christmas periods and a deposit of $195 beforehand for booking. The dorms are shared by two people in houses at the center of the reserve, with a beautiful view of the ocean. Check out the details here, as you pack your bags.
It takes a courageous and a really passionate heart to set out and give your services as a volunteer in a different country away from home. the fun aside, the service and the impact on nature and the elephants go a long way. So don’t hesitate, a country in Africa needs you to help it save its elephants. An orphan elephant needs you.