South Africa – Greater Kruger Area Wildlife Photography and Conservation

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Improve your skills and take some of the most amazing wildlife photographs as you volunteer in the heart of the world famous Greater Kruger Area. Add your photographs to the conservation database and contribute towards ongoing awareness campaigns and research.

Program Highlights:

  • Take part in an extensive workshop, where you will learn the basics of photography, get to practice your skills with hands on activities, and learn about how to edit your pictures in Lightroom.
  • Stay in a lodge situated on a private reserve surrounded by wilderness and other private game reserves. Some of the animals that this reserve is home to is the vervet monkeys, impala and the occasional leopard
  • Live only 45 minutes away from the world-renowned Kruger National Park
  • Spend the first week getting intensive tutoring from a professional photographer
  • Camp out in the bush and enrich your African experience
  • Enjoy a day learning about the Shangaan culture, language and history, through dance and music
  • Use your weekends to further explore the surrounding areas such as the Blyde River Canyon (white water rafting, hiking and kloofing), or perhaps take a trip to Eswatini


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum four-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Sunday: Arriveat Kruger Mpumalanga International airport (MQP). You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to the volunteer house in Limpopo. Spend the day settling into your new home and get to know your fellow volunteers and the local team.

In your first week you will take part in an extensive workshop learning the basics of photography, completing assignments and gaining experience in editing your photos to enhance their quality. The following is an example of what the next three weeks typically look like, as the activities can vary from week to week:

Day 1, Monday: Photograph waterfalls and landscapes, practice macro photography on a bush walk.

Day 2, Tuesday: Participate in conservation by removing invasive plants, listen to a rhino poaching presentation, go on a game drive and spend the night at a camp where you will experience astral photography.

Day 3, Wednesday: Take some more photos on a game drive before you pack up the campsite and return to the lodge. The afternoon will be spend planning the conservation club, photo editing and light painting.

Day 4, Thursday: Experience a sunrise photo shoot, work with the community at the conservation club and have fun at a quiz night in the evening

Day 5, Friday: Take part in a photo critique session, do some more photo editing or take a trip into town, before beginning your weekend with a Braai Night (an African BBQ).

Days 5-6: Saturday-Sunday: Take the weekend to rest before another week of adventure, or use it to explore the Greater Kruger Area and it’s surrounds.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday free. Try your hand at photographing everyday African life on your weekends by joining a culture tour or retreat to a boat trip for a chance to catch a glimpse of hippos and crocodiles. Departures are on a Sunday.

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!


Location icon Location of the Project: The Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

Project length Project length: Min 4 weeks – Max 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Kruger Mpumalanga International airport (MQP)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Wildlife photography and environmental education

Age Age:  18 – 80. Age Exceptions: this project accepts volunteers who are 16 and 17 years old with signed documentation from a parent or guardian.

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 14 international volunteers


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared room in volunteer lodge

Food Food: Three meals a day

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers provided on both arrival and departure days

Orientation Orientation: Orientation provided upon arrival that includes a 3-day photography course, introduction to photographic databases and accommodations, as well as optional language lessons.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses

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.


Project Orientation (Included):
Upon arrival, you will have a comprehensive orientation facilitated by the project volunteer coordinator that includes:

  • A 3-day wildlife photography course taught by an award winning photographer
  • An overview of the aims of the project and the volunteer role in supporting those goals
  • An introduction to where volunteers will be staying
  • An optional basic language lessons – volunteers will learn some basic words & sentences in Zulu, the local language
  • An introduction to the photographic database


During the first 4 weeks of your stay, your tasks may include:

  • Improve photography skills while working alongside professional photographers
  • Take pictures of the extensive wildlife on regular game drives
  • Learn and photograph smaller species of flora and fauna on bush walks
  • Help to create a photo database for awareness and educational purposes
  • Help raise awareness in the local community about the importance of conservation
  • Assist on conservation initiatives within the park, for example, alien plant control, soil erosion or bush encroachment
  • You may also be given the opportunity to help use your existing and new found knowledge by discussing conservation education


You may choose to stay on the project for an additional two or four weeks. During this extra time, you will be working closely with the research volunteers to assist them in gathering photo research that is still needed. You will not be participating in photography training or workshops after your first 4 weeks.

As part of assisting the research team during your additional weeks, you will assist in building the database for records of animals and the landscape as well as contribute to documentation of erosion, spot patterns, whisker patterns, etc. During this time, you will develop your photographic skills as well as your knowledge of the animals on the reserve. If you choose to stay on beyond the four-week photography course, you will also have the opportunity to visit neighboring reserves.

A typical day: You should be prepared for an early 6:00 am start at which point you may head out for a photography game drive and return for breakfast around 9:30 am. You will then participate in a photography or conservation-related lecture before having lunch. Your afternoon project will begin around 1:00 pm and could involve going on a game drive or assisting with conservation education. Your day will finish around 4:30 pm when you’ll return to the lodge to edit your pictures. Dinner will be at 6:30 pm, followed by time to relax and hang with fellow volunteers.

Internet icon Internet: WiFi is available for a small fee.

Laundry icon Laundry: Laundry services are available for a small fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: During your placement, you will stay in comfortable, shared accommodation in the volunteer lodge, located within the Greater Kruger Area. Standard rooms are spacious with up to four people per room and en-suite bathrooms.

Food icon Food: Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast is self-serve and includes cereals, toast, coffee and tea. Lunch and dinner are prepared by the on-site cooks.


Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Police clearance
  • Your own photographic equipment including an SLR digital camera with at least an 18-55 mm lens (100-400 mm recommended), battery charger, 8GB memory card and a tripod.
  • Basic English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)

Travel Extras (Not Included): There is an abundance of places to go and sights to see during your free time in South Africa. Activities available for an additional fee include those below and can be arranged only upon arrival:


Day Tours:

  • 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 fish eagles that roam the area
  • 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!


Weekend Trips:

  • Tremisana Lodge, Balule Big 5 Reserve
  • Swaziland


Add on our eight-day Garden Route Road Trip to enhance your South Africa experience!

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