Eco Volunteering in Nature and Coastal Wilderness Conservation
“We are a team of passionate conservationists working tirelessly to save our endangered Wildlife and Marine life
from extinction – trying to create sustainability for generations to come.”
Sibuya Wilderness Team
The Sibuya Wilderness Experience offers volunteers, as part of a gap year, sabbatical or eco traveling, the unique and exciting opportunity to get behind the scenes and involved with the Conservation efforts of Sibuya Game Reserve.
This is the perfect Eco Volunteer Program for you, if you are looking for a meaningful travel opportunity abroad that put your passion for nature, environment and wildlife to good use, trying to make a difference.
Please download our E-Brochure for more details (e.g. rates, schedule example, team, what to pack etc.)
- Wildlife Tracking & Monitoring: Spend your time immersed in Nature, on the trails of Africa’s Big Five. Regular monitoring and observation enable us to identify individuals, compile information about the family/ herd structure and determine feeding habits. Activity includes: Game Drives, Game Counts, Game Captures, setting up camera traps and track stations, learning Bush Skills.
- Rhino-Watch/ Anti-Poaching Support: Play an active role in the protection of our Rhino by performing Anti-Poaching night-patrols and learn more about their importance and protocol through night drives and sleep-outs on the Reserve that assist in Sibuya’s Anti-Poaching Unit efforts.
- Reserve Sustainability Project: Volunteers will assist in the development of a grey-water filtration wetland to further minimize our ecological footprint and will learn hands-on about the benefits of Permaculture and help manage our indigenous tree nursery.
- Alien Plant Control & Botanical Surveys: Alien plants were introduced to the land by the farmers of old for different reasons and uses. Today these invasive plants need to be removed to increase the natural biodiversity and to decrease fire risk. Volunteers take part in Vegetation transects and data collection for monitoring and calculation of Game carrying capacity.
- Marine Explorations, Research & Surveys: The nearby Rivers are being monitored on a regular basis to provide research with much needed information about species population densities, occurrence of critically endangered species, salinity levels and water temperatures. Regular trips to the beach for exploration and learning about the coastal Eco-system and how it works will open eyes to the diversity of life that is so close, yet often unnoticed.
- Community Engagement: Conservation does not stop at conserving Nature alone, but also includes a responsibility to uplift local and impoverished Communities. This responsibility includes environmental education of the Community as to the role and benefit of conserving biodiversity and further stresses the importance of conserving our natural resources. Regular trips are made into the local Community to raise awareness and assist in various Community Projects.
- Free Time: There are several adventure and leisure-based activities in and around the area that can be arranged on weekends – at an additional cost – including horse-back beach rides, whale watching in Algoa Bay, deep-sea-fishing at Port Alfred or surf and river fishing, skydiving and paragliding in Grahamstown, bungee jumping at the world-famous Bloukrans Bridge, arranged game drives or boat cruises on Sibuya Game Reserve and many more.
Much of our Conservation work will take place at the nearby Sibuya Game Reserve itself as well as at the nearby rivers and beaches. The Reserve is located in Kenton-on-Sea, along the Sunshine Coast of the Eastern Cape in South Africa, about 120 km from Port Elizabeth. This renowned Reserve is home to a wide range of different species of Flora and Fauna, with the stunning Kariega River Estuary meandering through it.
PLEASE NOTE: We say NO to any kind of interaction with wild animals and we strongly dissociate ourselves from so-called sanctuaries, parks or rehabilitation centers that promote Cub petting, Lion walking or interacting with Elephants. These organizations mislead visitors to believe that they’re promoting conservation while the truth is that they keep wild animals in captivity and use them for commercial exploitation.
Team & Volunteers
Together with the team, the volunteers will be accommodated and hosted at the wonderful Intaka Bird Lodge (situated close to the Reserve). This beautiful 58ha property overlooks a panoramic view of deep valleys and rolling hills with the ocean and bush as a magnificent backdrop. Happy family vibes, expansive grounds to explore and a large swimming pool with BBQ area make it the perfect spot to relax and unwind from the adventures of the day. Participants will share comfortable twin-bedded rooms with en-suite bathrooms, including full board (3 meals a day).
Accommodation includes the following:
- Shared double twin-bedded rooms en-suite (private rooms are available on demand at an additional cost)
- Full board (3 meals a day & water, tea and coffee included)
- Free Wifi
- Swimming pool, BBQ area & entertainment area (communal TV, pool table)
- Squash court and table tennis
- Laundry Self-Service: washing machines and dryers are available
Find out more about Intaka Bird Lodge: www.intakabirdlodge.com
- We are offering a 1-4 weeks program (with the opportunity to extend your stay after 4 weeks)
- Program starts any Sunday every month
- All year long except creative break from 15.12.–12.01.
- We will work in small groups of max. 8 participants
- Arrival Sunday: Pick-up, Check-in at Intaka Bird Lodge & Welcome
- Conservation work runs from Monday to Friday – Weekends are off for relaxation
Arrival & Departure (on Sundays)
Please book your flight to arrive at Port Elizabeth Airport (PLZ), South Africa. We will pick you up at the airport, meeting you in the entrance (arrival) area. Our shuttle to Intaka Lodge will depart from Port Elizabeth Airport no later than 3pm, please book your flights accordingly.
For departures our shuttle will leave Intaka Lodge no later than 8am (1½ h drive to Port Elizabeth Airport), please arrange your flights for earliest 11-11:30am.
- All program-based activities
- Orientation & 24h support on-site by experienced international and local program coordinators who live and work alongside you every day
- Shared accommodation (private room at an additional cost)
- Full board (3 meals a day) & Laundry Self-Service
- Free Wifi
- Free transfers to and from Port Elizabeth Airport on Sundays
- Rhino Conservation Levy (for Sibuya Rhino Foundation)
What’s not included?
- Air flights – International/ Local
- Weekend entertainment activities
- Drinks (unless otherwise specified)
- Medical expenses
- Travel insurance
- Age 18 years and older
- For volunteers, as part of a gap year, sabbatical or eco traveling
- Interest/ field of study: Conservation, Environmental Science, Wildlife Management, Ecology or Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Journalism & Photography, Eco Traveling, Animal Behaviour Studies or just a sense of adventure
- Personal qualities of adventure, flexibility and adaptability are a must: a carefully structured program is provided each week, however you will need to be adaptable to some program changes depending on variables in the running of the project
- Need to be in good health and have a moderate level of fitness
- Medical and Travel Insurance
- Visa (depending on country of origin; usually Visa-free entry for maximum of 90 days, please ensure you are informed of Visa-requirements prior to program start)