Opportunity Finder

Elephant Care and Research – Gold Residential with Pod Volunteer

Join Pod Volunteer to study the biology, behaviour and husbandry of their elephants with the aim of enhancing the welfare of captive and wild elephants throughout South Africa. Volunteers work closely with the elephant herd who live in the park to provide care and enrichments for them.

How can I help?
Join the local expert team to care for and research their herd of 10 African elephants, which includes relocated elephants, orphaned calves and elephants rescued from situations such as culls. The elephants live in a 110 hectare park where tourists visit daily to interact with the elephants on educational elephant tours, feeding and walks.
All volunteers receive elephant information and talks and are involved in a range of tasks, including:
• Helping look after the elephants – preparing their food, changing their sawdust bedding, and mucking out their living areas
• Field observations of the elephants – during the day and at night
• Walking with the elephants
• Data entry
• Making elephant enrichments to encourage wild foraging behaviour
• General maintenance – cleaning of elephant pens, water troughs and other areas, maintenance and painting
• Making elephant dung paper to sell to raise funds for the project

Volunteers who stay for 3 weeks+ also undertake additional tasks, which may include:
• Monitoring and recording the elephants’ social interactions (how they interact with each other) and behaviour (grazing, drinking, playing, dusting and walking)
• Monitoring and recording interactions between elephants and tourists
• Dung collection and analysis for health checks
• Data analysis
• Environmental education with the community
• Helping to grow food for the elephants
• Weekly monitoring of the zebra herd who live in the park

When can I join?
You can join on the monthly start dates throughout the year for 1-12 weeks.

Where will I be living?
The volunteer accommodation is located within the elephant park. You will be located on the famous ‘Garden Route’ which is well known for its beautiful natural diversity including pristine coastline, huge wetlands, salt marshes, rivers, mountains and indigenous forests – so it’s a brilliant location for nature lovers.

Placement fee
Volunteer placements start from £895 for 1 week. This includes accommodation, airport pick up and transfer to the project + planning your trip support from the Pod team.

To learn more about the Elephant Care and Research project in South Africa and the next steps on how to apply you can visit our website: https://www.podvolunteer.org/projects/elephant-research-south-africa

Pod Volunteer has a range of opportunities from 1-12 weeks at animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projects in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. You can see the full range projects that are available for your Gold Residential Award here: https://www.podvolunteer.org/projects#comboFilters[who]=.who-dofe

You can get in touch with the Pod Volunteer team by email [email protected] .