Conservation Volunteering – changing times
Exciting times and changes at the Wildlife Volunteer Makalali project, which focuses on research & monitoring of the Big 5. The Makalali Reserve will soon officially be classified as a Big 5 ‘Nature Reserve’, rather than farmland. This means the land is now protected as a conservation area, regardless of who owns the land, securing a safe haven for the wildlife for the future.
With changes to the needs of the reserve, this also means changes to the Makalali volunteer conservation projects. As the world is changing so are their priorities. Since their launch back in 2004, primarily as a project for monitoring elephants, they are now moving forward positively, and have made some significant changes to the conservation volunteer projects.
New Camp 1 – Makalali Research Camp
The focus on this camp is primarily on:
- elephant contraception monitoring
- lion monitoring
- breeding initiatives & monitoring, for Livingston Eland, buffalo and Nyala
- leopard monitoring in conjunction with Bush Camp (rare species project) as part of the Panthera Project (key months February and March)
- hyena monitoring
The work here, is vital for accurate management of the animals within the 25,000 hectare reserve, and all of the work is done under the guidance of qualified rangers.
New Camp 2 – Rare & Endangered Species Camp
The focus on this camp is on-the-ground, hands-on monitoring of some of Africa’s rare and endangered species, and research will focus primarily on the following:
- walking-based rhino monitoring
- cheetah monitoring – cheetah are the second most endangered large predator in Africa
- Southern Ground-hornbill monitoring (key months November to January) – 1500 animals only left in the wild and Makalali has four such animals with one confirmed breeding pair
- in conjunction with Makalali Research, leopard monitoring as part of the Panthera Project (key months February and March)
- Bush Camp education theme, including tracking skills, survival, sleep outs etc working with experience rangers 24/7.
This is a tented camp in the bush, with no electricity. Ideal if you love nature, appreciate the simple life, want to participate in saving Africa’s endangered species, and want to experience the truly ‘wild’ side of Africa.
Can I volunteer at both of the Camps?
There is a unique opportunity on this Makalali volunteer project, to split your time between the two camps, or alternatively, just have one week at the additional camp.
Recent wildlife sightings
Recent activity posted on our Facebook pages have been 2 Pangolin sightings, a lion capture, Caracal sighting, and a reminder of the regular Riverside Bush Breakfast. Follow our Facebook page for more updates and news!