African Elephant Research Project

Overview

The park was created as a result of the emergency situation of elephants in the surrounding forests. More than 100 years ago there were 400-500 wild animals in the area, in 1994 it was only a single elephant. Recent research has shown that there are about 6 elephants in the forests today.

The park covers about 100 hectares of forest and farmland. There live African elephants at the age of 2-21 years. The care is one of the best in the country. The facilities are world class and the park follows the concept of ‘free-ranged controlled environment’ as a controlled, yet free and natural environment for the elephants. The herd can move freely on the site. If they are hungry, they can go to their known feeding stations.

Important information

  • Minimum age requirement of 18
  • Volunteer for 1 – 12 Weeks
  • Specific start dates
  • Arrive & depart from George airport
  • All transport included
  • Accommodation provided
  • Price starting from 880€ (2020) 

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  • Applications are free
  • 24 hour response time
  • 2-week period to accept service offer
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The park does not have the same concept as many parks in Asia: you can not touch the elephants constantly, they wash, feed, etc. Of course, there are these opportunities, but the focus is on the free movement of animals and not on the “standing by” for tourists. Volunteers help with all daily tasks in the elephant park. These include research, marketing, maintenance of the site, workshops and information events for visitors, education project in a neighboring school, etc.

You support the elephant guides at work, help with medical care (if necessary), clean the elephant beds, prepare the food, and bottle the baby elephants (if a baby is in the park). You can also help with the research, observe the elephant’s behavior, collect data, evaluate it, etc. It can also include night observers and collecting manure and other samples for physiological analysis. Some tasks can involve very long observation periods. So you should be physically fit.

In the park, you have a unique opportunity to get close to the elephant and make personal contact with them. An experience that you will surely never forget! If you are interested in elephants and want to work with them and their protection, this is the project for you.

The working hours

There are no fixed working hours because it always depends on the tasks of volunteers. An “elephant day” usually begins at 6:30 am and ends at 5:30 pm. You usually work Monday-Friday, but you may also need to help out on the weekend. If you still want to travel during your time in South Africa, you should do that after working in the park.

Please note that the tasks always depend on the current needs of the park and can vary. So you should be flexible and get involved in different work. The best reward is certainly when the elephants recognize each other after a while and start trusting you!

Starting dates:

1-Week stays:

Month Date
January 05/01/2020 & 25/01/2020
February 15/02/2020
March 07/03/2020 & 28/03/2020
April 18/04/2020
May 09/05/2020 & 30/05/2020
June 20/06/2020
July 11/07/2020
August  01/08/2020 & 22/08/2020
September 12/09/2020
October 03/10/2020 & 24/10/2020
November 14/11/2020
December 05/12/2020 & 26/12/2020

3-12 Week stays:

Month: Date:
January 12/01/2020
February 02/02/2020 & 23/02/2020
March 15/03/2020
April 05/04/2020 & 26/04/2020
May 17/05/2020
June 07/06/2020 & 28/06/2020
July 19/07/2020
August 09/08/2020 & 30/08/2020
September 20/09/2020
October 11/10/2020
November 01/11/2020 & 22/11/2020
December 13/12/2020

Important facts regarding the project:

  • Any special features to keep in mind when choosing this project? Special vaccinations are not required. The park is located in a malaria-free area. Volunteers should be motivated and ready to help. You should be reasonably fit because you will often accompany the elephants.
  • Should I bring Malaria medication? The project is located in a Malaria-free region of South Africa. No medication needed.
  • When did the project start? The project was started in 2009.
  • How many volunteers can participate? 10 – 12 volunteers at any given time.

Accommodation

You live directly in the park. There are five bedrooms (with 2-3 beds), each with its own shower and toilet. Furthermore, there is the office and a library with TV and a fireplace in the house. There is WiFi, which you can share.

Food

You take care of the food yourself. There is a restaurant in the park, which is open daily from 8:30 – 17 clock.

Accommodation at the African Elephant Research project in South Africa

Bathrooms at the African Elephant Research project

Bedroom at the African elephant research project in South Africa

 

The prices:

2020:

Weeks: Price:
1 880€
2 1325€
3 1780€
4 2230€
5 2560€
6 2890€
7 3220€
8 3550€
9 3835€
10 4120€
11 4400€
12 4685€

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Our services:

Before departure:

  • Placement at project personally visited & approved by a Claim Victory member.
  • Detailed information & service package with all needed information
  • Flight suggestions & checking of travel insurance
  • List of fellow travelers who will be joining you at the project

On-site:

  • Airport transfers (Pick up & drop off) at George airport
  • All project-related transport
  • All project-related costs (Accommodation & activities)
  • Dedicated volunteer coordinator located on-site at the project
  • 24/7 Local emergency assist number of Claim Victory

After return:

  • Feedback/Debriefing (Optional)
  • Certificate of volunteering (Optional)
Tours:

Want to get the most out of your visit to South Africa? Why not add a tour to your adventure!

2020: 

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