The ranch that volunteers work in is a not-for profit South African Natural Heritage Site that supports the proactive breeding of rare Sable and Roan Antelope. In order for it to continue its vital conservation work, it is essential that it is run efficiently and that the game is monitored and well looked after. Volunteers therefore get involved in a wide variety of activities ranging from daily feeding and counting of game, tracking and monitoring different animals on the ranch and helping out with the research and breeding programmes.
In addition to sable and antelope, the reserve boasts over 2,500 head of game, including leopard, buffalo, black and white rhino, giraffe, hippo, eland and kudu.
How long can I go for? Placements last either 18 or 32 days and include a 4-day arrival orientation.
Working hours: 6 hours a day, 5 days a week
Eligibility: British/Irish, 18+ Volunteers must have a love of wildlife and be willing to get their hands dirty!
Check out our top 10 facts about Sable antelopes here!
Sable Antelope, arguably the most graceful creatures on earth, are often hunted for their unique and attractive horns. There are four subspecies of Sable Antelope and most are considered vulnerable to extinction. Sable are currently estimated to number ca. 75,000, and population trends are more or less stable in protected areas, increasing on private land and decreasing elsewhere.
Named for its colour, the Roan is reddish grey to reddish brown, with a striking black-and-white facial mask. It is the second largest African antelope, distributed throughout the continent in sub-Saharan savannah habitat. Numbers are estimated to be 76,000, 60% of which are in protected areas. The population is threatened by poaching and loss of habitat (as a result of expansion of settlement). This trend will only be reversed if more of the surviving populations receive adequate protection and management.
The ranch has a fully functioning guest lodge onsite that has the facilities to host 10 visitors in comfortable apartments. Volunteers live on the ranch in a fully furnished, fully equipped 2 bed apartment. All meals are prepared for the volunteers.
The reserve itself is located approximately 2 hours drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria and it covers approximately 4000 hectares.
Volunteers on the programme work alongside local people and other volunteers.
Johannesburg is easily accessible from the reserve. These are just a few ways that volunteers can get the most out of Jo’burg:
Top of Africa: Climb to the top of Africa’s tallest building for a great a panoramic view of the city.
Mandela Family Museum: Nelson Mandela's first home is now museum and is the perfect place to learn about the apartheid.
Cloud 9 Spa: Go on, pamper yourself!
Lesedi Cultural Village: Make a trip to the authentic Zulu, Sotho, Pedi, Xhosa and Ndebele villages and discover the traditional customs, food, dances and music of the people who live there.
Gold mines: All that glitters is gold in these mines on the outskirts of Johannesburg.