As recently as 1975, over 200,000 lions may have roamed the African continent. In 2002, estimates put the population between 23,000 and 39,000, representing an 80 – 90% decline in less than 30 years. This program specifically focuses on the conservation of lions and leopards, both of which have experienced decreased populations due to hunting and poaching.
The research, monitoring, tracking and data collection carried out throughout this project is aimed at understanding the reproductive, territorial, hunting, and social behaviors of the lion and leopard populations, and plays a vital role in the ongoing conservation and protection of Africa’s big cats.
What's not Included
This project is based in the Greater Kruger Area close to the famous Kruger National Park – one of the largest game reserves in Africa and home to Africa's 'Big 5' species. The park stretches across the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in northeastern South Africa. With over 500 bird species, 100 reptiles, 150 mammal species, multiple archaeological sites, and an equally diverse array of trees and flowers, Kruger truly exemplifies the majesty of Africa.
You will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with researchers to assist them in data collection and observations of the animals.
Some of your tasks may include:
- Collate and record research data on the lions and leopards. This will involve being in the bush to observe hunting, social, breeding and territorial behavior at various times of the day
- Collate and record research data during night drives to monitor nocturnal predator activity
- Capture data as required by the reserve management team for their on-going endangered species work
- Carry out physical work to help regenerate natural bush from reclaimed farmland, including prevention of further soil erosion and the removal of old fences to avoid injuries to wildlife
- Contribute to the long-term strategy of removal of alien plants from the reserve. You may also be given the opportunity to help use your existing and new found knowledge by discussing conservation education
- Research and monitoring: 40-50%
- Conservation work: 30-40%
- Data recording: 10-20%
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
- Minimum age of 18
- Basic level of English
- Genuine passion and concern for animals and the environment
- Good physical fitness
- Ability to work in a team
- Police clearance form
Travel Extras (Not Included):
There is an abundance of places to go and sights to see during your free time in South Africa. The following activities are available for an additional fee:
- Panorama Route: Enjoy a scenic route along Mpumalanga Escarpment and Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world
- Blyde River Adventures: Head to the Blyde River Canyon and try out kloofing, extreme hiking, white river rafting, tubing, or micro light flying
- Boat Trip: Explore the Kadishi Tufa waterfall and The Three Rondawels and see if you can spot the hippos, crocodiles or
- Paintball: Try out paintballing in the natural bush environment!
- Aerial Cable Trail and Elephant Interaction: Go on the longest trail cable in Africa and stop to see South Africa's largest land mammal along the way
- Full Day in Kruger National Park: Spend a day exploring the vast reserve with an experienced tour guide
- Nyani Cultural Village and Roots of Rhythm Show: Learn about the origins, journeys and lifestyles of the tribes that settled in the Limpopo through song and dance
- Kapama Sunset Safari: Check out nocturnal animals you wouldn't be able to see in the daylight!
- Tremisana Lodge, Balule Big 5 Reserve