If you are new around here you may not realise that the addiction level we have to volunteering abroad is on the higher side. Upon the completion of our ninth project we took a moment to realise that the culture, landscape, wildlife and volunteer projects in Africa fuelled this addiction.
Bucket lists are a great way to not only plan but also excite future travel. We are big fans of them so we have decided to compile a list of volunteer projects we would love to do when we return to Africa!
Projects Ticked Off The Bucket List
Living with Big Cats in Africa
We could not put together a bucket list without looking back on some of the past projects we have been thankful enough to partake in. If we were to do a top list (make mental note to do that in a future post) we would easily put the Living with Big Cats Program right at the top.
From looking after lions, cheetahs, hyenas and tigers to taking elephants on their morning walk – this really was the perfect African volunteer project.
Read More: Living With Big Cats Program
Living with Cheetahs in Africa
Our second African project took us to a cheetah breeding facility smack in the middle of South Africa. Here you prepare meat and food for the cheetahs before feeding the adults and the extremely cute babies in the breeding camps.
Read More: Living with Cheetahs Program
Wild Cat Sanctuary
If you are looking for a variety of wild cats, this sanctuary is your best bet. Alongside lions, caracals, jackals, cheetahs and servals you will also see the very rare white lioness. Throw in some cheeky monkeys, very cute bat-eared foxes and the resident jack russell (who is braver than us, taking on the cheetah), you have enough animals to keep you busy and satisfied.
Volunteer Projects: South Africa
Even though we are extremely lucky for the amount of projects that we have already been able to experience, you honestly do not realise how addicting volunteering abroad is. Going through our partners GoEco’s Volunteering in Africa page we couldn’t help but dream of one day returning to continue our love of volunteering in South Africa. It also doesn’t help that I’m from SA – making the return trip that much more worth it.
South Africa is a very big country, so for this reason we have split up our bucket list into the main areas where projects take place in.
Johannesburg – S.A.
Johannesburg is the main hub for international arrivals in South Africa and also the closest city to the Kruger National Park. As a bonus this is the city I was born in – but I havw to be honest and say that most of the beauty lies outside the main city.
Greater Kruger Wildlife Photography & Conservation
Here you head into one of Africa’s largest game reserves, the famous Kruger National Park to not only learn the photography skills of an award winning photographer but to also use your new found skills to raise awareness through educational means.
The Big 5 Wildlife Reserve in the Greater Kruger Area
There’s no surprise that there are multiple projects located in Kruger. At this wildlife reserve you will monitor the behaviour of the highly endangered black rhino as well as elephants and lions. After collating your data you assist in regenerating a natural habitat for the animals.
Wildlife & Social Volunteering Combo
This project caught our eye due to the wide variety of sanctuaries found in the small town of Hartbeespoort. You have a choice between an Elephant Sanctuary, Monkey Sanctuary, Vulture Project, Nature Reserve or Community Project.
George – S.A.
African Elephant Conservation
When you come up close to one of these incredible animals you will understand our need to work with them exclusively on a project. Located on the beautiful Garden Route in South-Eastern South Africa you will assist in behaviour research, conservation and compiling data on the elephants.
Durban – S.A.
Orphanage Day Care
Ever since we decided to step out of our comfort zone (that being volunteering with animals exclusively) in Bali we have since come to understand and appreciate the importance of humanitarian work. Here you raise the awareness of HIV/AIDS to a rural village where 70% are infected.
Cape Town – S.A.
Now this is a city we recommend not only visiting to volunteer, but also taking some days off to travl and explore the area. From the absolutely breathtaking beaches, mountains and luscious forests, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities we have ever been to!
Great White Shark Conservation
One of our biggest South Africa bucket list items was to cage dive with sharks. Upon returning to this beautiful city we would love to learn more about this style of ecotourism and to become more educated in the conservation of the Great White Shark.
Cape Town Orphanage Care
At this orphan care program you head into the townships of Cape Town to educate and empower the vulnerable orphaned children. Daily activities include teaching young children basic needs, helping with homework and running an after-school care program.
Volunteer Projects Zimbabwe
Heading to Zimbabwe will be uncharted territory for both myself and Jess. Being able to not only explore a brand new country, but also experience new volunteer projects is very appealing when organising volunteer projects abroad.
African Wildlife Orphanage
At this rehabilitation centre your main goals is to not only rescue, but care for injured wildlife who have been abused or abandoned in Zimbabwe. On top of this you prepare food and feed the sick animals as well as taking time off to provide educational activities to local schools.
Lion Rehabilitation in Antelope Park
If you love animals just as much as we do then this one will certainly peak your interest. Your tasks include going on lion walks in the bush as well as watching young cubs learning to stalk their prey. This project just sounds incredible!
Orphanage & Teaching in Victoria Falls
If you are looking at doing humanitarian work in Zimbabwe as well as seeing the majestic Victoria Falls then this is the project for you. Your main task is to improve the quality of life for the children in the local communities surrounding the area while also having day trips to visit the magnificent falls.
Wildlife Photography & Conservation in Victoria Falls
This project is primarily a research and photography based one. Living in the National Park of Zimbabwe, you will hone your photography skills whilst you collect data on the wild animals, the natural habitat of the park as well as assisting in the African Lion rehabilitation & release program.
Volunteer Projects Madagascar
Just as a side note, when we make it to Madagascar, I am so having “I like to move it, move it” on repeat the entire time our feet are in the country.
Diving and Marine Research
The moment we learnt to scuba dive in South Africa we have been addicted, trying to find anywhere to dive around the world. Combine this with our favourite form of travel – volunteering, this one easily made our bucket list. At the project you take part in mapping the underwater bay whilst also assisting in fishery studies and coral disease.
Wildlife Research & Conservation
Not all projects in Africa need to contain wild cats and this is why our appeal towards the wildlife research base in Madagascar was brought to our attention. Here you study amphibians and reptiles such as chameleons and snakes as well as the incredibly cute lemur’s. Our Madagascar bucket list is not complete without seeing one of these cute primates.
Volunteer Projects Seychelles
Moving away from Madagascar and onto another incredibly beautiful island to volunteer in the crystal blue waters of the Seychelles is just a must do.
Wildlife Conservation Expedition
Working with the critically endangered hawksbill turtle and giant turtles your job is to collect data to assist in the protection of these animals. I don’t think I will ever want to leave the water when taking place in this wildlife and environment conservation project…
Scuba Dive for Research & Conservation.
Well maybe there is one reason, but that would be to go to the Scuba Diving Conservation Project where you will dive to monitor the coral reef, invertebrates and local fish. Being able to go down and explore the incredibly vast coral reef and wildlife on a tropical island just sounds bliss to me.
Volunteer Projects Kenya
Masai Mara Lion & Wildlife Conservation
Just making our way out to the Masai Mara is a bucket list item in itself but being able to see the wildebeest or zebra migration would be spectacular to experience in person. Kenya is in the Eastern part of Africa and at the project you will assist in research of the great migration.
Volunteer Projects Zambia
Chimpanzee & Wildlife Orphanage Care
Here you get to volunteer in the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the world. Despite undertaking a few monkey based projects around the world we have never worked with the closest relatives to humans. I think the cuteness of these animals is enough to sell me, I will clean any enclosures to get close to them.
Livingstone Community Teaching
Here you get to really make a difference at impoverished communities in Zambia. You will undertake building and construction of classrooms, assistance in farming as well as improving language and literacy skills in the community.
Volunteer Projects Tanzania
Dolphin and Marine Conservation
Here you will work on the tropical island of Tanzania to assist in monitoring and researching dolphins. That sentence there is enough to convince me to pack my bags and fly to Africa!
Where do you want to volunteer abroad?