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.
Volunteers aged 17 years + can join this project.
How can I help?
Join the local expert team to care for and research their herd of 5 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
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
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.
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 is an award-winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Pod Volunteer has a range of trips from 1 week at animal, conservation and community volunteering projects around the world. You can see all approved Gold DofE Residential projects here: https://www.podvolunteer.org/projects#comboFilters%5Bwho%5D=.who-dofe
You can get in touch with the Pod Volunteer team by email at: [email protected]