Shamwari Wildlife Conservation Experience


Game Monitoring: Rhino, Elephants, Predators
With regular monitoring it is possible to identify individuals, compile information about the family structure and determine feeding and special ecology. Data collected is used to assist in the managing decisions for the reserve.

Game Count
Annual game counts are conducted to establish the carrying capacity of the reserve. Game counts assist in the decision making of predator to prey ratios and the movement of animals on or off the reserve.

Telemetry Tracking 
Monitoring of some high profile animals like cheetah and leopard are required using telemetry tracking equipment as result of the neighboring properties carrying livestock and the elusive nature of some of the species.

Restoration and Rehabilitation of Reserve Landscapes 
The need to return the once pristine landscape to its original splendor includes the likes of collecting and removal of old fence lines and rehabilitating degraded and overgrazed land.

Management of Breeding Center 
Management of breeding center can include anything from veld (open country or grassland) conditions assessment, mapping of breeding area, mapping of alien vegetation, monitoring animal numbers and managing water points.

Alien Plant Control 
Alien plants were introduced to the land by the farmers for different reasons and uses. Today these invasive plant life need to be removed to increase the natural biodiversity and decrease fire risk.

Volunteering at Born Free Foundation 
It is the mission of both the Born Free Foundation and Shamwari Game Reserve to promote the conservation of species and the protection of habitat while maintaining a humane and compassionate approach to the welfare of animals and therefore it is their goal to create an awareness of the horrific way in which wildlife is exploited in captivity around the world. An opportunity will be given on a weekly basis for individuals to volunteer at the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary.

Volunteering at Animal Rehabilitation Centre 
Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation Centre was set up to aid in rehabilitating injured animals found on the reserve and surrounding community. The aim is to give the animal short term care and release it back into the environment. Volunteers are sent when and if assistance is required. The centre is not a sanctuary as no animals are kept for purposes of breeding in captivity but are hosted with the aim of giving them a second chance to take on life back in the wild. The centre boasts avian, small and large stock boma (enclosure) areas which house the various species which may find their way to Shamwari. Participants may gain different types of exposure through this experience which dependant on the needs and requirements of the operation and may range from assistance through observation to more hands on animal care and husbandry.

Community Projects
The present role of conservation does not stop at conserving nature alone but also include the responsibility to uplift the local community. This responsibility includes education the community as to the role and benefit of conserving biodiversity and stresses the importance of conserving our natural resources. Weekly trips are made into the local community to assist in various community projects that range from creating and maintaining vegetable gardens and recycling projects, to painting class rooms.

​Possible Activities

*Game capture
*Sleep out on the Reserve
*Orientation walk
*Night and Anti Pouching Patrols
*Gap Year Possible Talks and Presentations
*Introduction to Wildlife Conservation in SA
*Wildlife Monitoring
*Understanding the principles of Eco Systems
*Animal Population Dynamics
*Capture Techniques and relocation of wildlife
​*Use of Boma’s
*Stress Factors in Handling and containment
*Animal husbandry
*Veterinarian’s role in conservation
*Conservation of Flagship species of Africa
*Biomes of the Eastern Cape
*Control of Alien Invasive Vegetation
*Medicinal Plants and Trees
​*Wildlife Tracks and Signs
*Basic Wildlife conservation, Ecology and management principles
*Parasites and disease in nature
*Facilities and drugs to reduce stress
*Darting techniques
*Introduction to Game Ranging

Most of us have watched wildlife programs and dreamt of being in Africa, understanding the secret language of the wildlife and being a part of the diverse landscapes. Volunteer in Africa through the Shamwari CNSV:XP experience, volunteers have the opportunity to do just that in South Africa!

We are offering volunteers an experience of a lifetime…to be part of a working wildlife reserve, helping to preserve indigenous wildlife and habitats, getting hands on experience with running a reserve, taking part in game monitoring and management research projects and receiving nature conservation, general zoology and behavior discussions.

Participants are exposed to short and long term projects which are by outcome, intended to create sustainability for generations to come. Tasks may vary from being physical work to leisurely lecture based interactions. There are several monitoring projects which assist in capturing vital information used in the research and management of all species on reserve. The experience is diverse and unscheduled as result of the reliance on prevailing conditions. Visits and tasks at the Born Free Foundation and Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation


Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of game reserves and home to the coveted Big 5, stretching 25,000 hectares over a malaria free landscape, it offers an award-winning nature experience and is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa. Shamwari is a place where guests can exist in harmony with nature, however fleeting the moment; where free-roaming wildlife traipse the landscape under the relentless African sun. Shamwari incorporates seven 5 star lodges, each one unique and each with its own essence. Lodges are designed in harmony with their surroundings where guests can experience nature in sublime comfort.


​​Conserving a vanishing way of life…

*World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve and the World’s Leading Conservation Company since 1998

*Environmental Award from American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)

*Traveller’s Choice 2008 from Trip Advisor

*One of the largest private game reserve in the Eastern Cape and one of the largest private conservation

*Initiatives in Southern Africa

*Largest concentration of wildlife in the Eastern and Southern Cape

*A premier Big 5 safari which is private and exclusive to Shamwari guests only

*5 of South Africa’s 7 biomes occur on Shamwari Game Reserve

*Dedicated Wildlife Department (including qualified wildlife veterinarians, ecologist and

*Environmentalist) boasting a breeding centre, a rehabilitation centre, an animal hospital, an

*Education centre and an anti-poaching unit has received the Global Nature Fund Award for Best Conservation Practice

*Unique safari based activities to allow for a complete 5-star and tailor-made experience

*Malaria Free

*Approximately a 45 minute drive from Port Elizabeth Airport with daily flights to international airports

*Natural extension of the famous Garden Route        

*Ultimate family destination         ​

*Unique activities aimed at children of all ages


Imagine waking to the sounds of the African bush! The full functioning student center is situated in the middle of the wildlife management properties bordering the main reserve. The center is in a very safe and protected area and is separate from the main reserve to avoid lions and elephants walking through camp! General game in the are including zebra, kudu, hartebeest, bushbuck, diker, and many more. Volunteers enjoy relaxing around the fire in the evening while listening to the roar of the lions in the distance and chatter of the nocturnal animals of the night.  A truly African experience!

Room Configuration
*Spacious twin bedded (2 single beds) room 
*Shower, toilet, basin bathroom facilities per room
*Cupboard with study desk per person
*Communal Safe per room

Communal Facilities
*Swimming pool
*Canteen dining area
*Storage fridge
*Lounge and entertainment area
*Television with
*DVD and access to limited channel services
*Computer with
*Internet access on availability at cost
*Telephone service making use of World Call Card system – can be purchased locally.
*Laundry services are provided once a week. It is advised that no delicate or high value clothing is brought or handed in at the laundered

Food & Meals
Three meals are provided on a daily basis. Meals will either be served at the facility itself or taken as a pre-packed serving, depending on planned or as result of unscheduled activities. Vegetarians and other dietary requirements can be catered for, if notified in advance. Cooked breakfasts are served once weekly – generally Fridays. There are no facilities to service Kosher or Halaal requirements  but the supply of such meals can be serviced at extra cost, request and availability. Meals are prepared with exposing participants to an array of local dishes in mind and are generally taken on a self-service basis with the option of juice, tea or coffee being available. Bottled still and spring water is available for purchase from local trading stores.

Example of Menu’s
Breakfast – cereal and toast, muesli & yoghurt, Muffins and toast, cooked breakfast
Lunch – sandwiches, wraps and potato salad, quiche and pasta salad, burgers and chips 
Dinner – Macaroni and cheese with green salad, roasted chicken with vegetables, traditional meals like braai and potjie (local type of meal similar to stew)

Experience Fees all inclusive: 
For each week (2 week minimum): $1345
Airport transfer: $50 

Center are undertaken according to the requirements at time of stay. Weekend activities are at leisure with participants opting to stay on site or rather travel to partake in various off site adventure and other activities at own cost.

​This experience is generally operated from a roofed accommodation block with proximate mess and lounge common areas. Average stay is between 2 to 12 weeks, with recommendation of a longer stay for a more complete experience.