Wildlife Conservation South Africa is now closed for 2016.

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The application

Male or female, eighteen or eighty, serious athlete or casual traveller, it really doesn’t matter! Our local partner welcomes hundreds of people each year, all from different walks of life and from all over the world. This provides for an enriching exchange opportunity during your arrival week. Ordinarily the projects will accept up to 5 volunteers at a time, so you can expect to live and work alongside other international volunteers.

Generally, most of the volunteers and activities are rather youth focused. The majority are aged 18-25. More mature applicants are welcome and on average 20% of the volunteers are aged 25+.

You do not need any specific qualifications. However, the types of work that you will become involved in will vary and volunteers who have appropriate environmental or zoological related experience may have the opportunity to become involved in some of the more specialised tasks.

We are looking for friendly, enthusiastic team players who are looking for a hands-on experience working in a game reserve/park environment.

At BUNAC we believe that each volunteer should be treated as an individual. All participants will have an audio orientation. We’ll explain how the programme works and what you can expect, as well as going over issues such as health and security to help prepare you for your time away. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you might have.

The latest date we can consider your application is 6 weeks before your UK departure date.

However, places are available on a first come first served basis so we recommend that you apply as soon as you can.

If BUNAC rejects your application at any stage you’ll receive a full refund of your programme deposit.

We have a 7 day cooling off period, so if you feel that you’re not suited to the programme and you contact us within 7 days of attending the orientation interview you can cancel and receive a full refund (less £50 administration fee).
More information regarding cancellation refunds is included within the Terms and Conditions which form part of the online application.

As part of our responsible approach, each participant must provide a police background check before they travel. For this programme the required check is called an ACPO Police Certificate. Information on how to apply for this can be found on the ACPO Police Certificates page. The check costs £45 for a 10 day process. Once received you should send the original document to BUNAC. If you already hold a CRB from an existing or recent employer issued within 3 months we can accept this as an alternative to the ACPO Certificate.

BUNAC is pleased to partner with Interhealth, a charity which specialises in providing health advice for overseas workers. Your programme cost includes membership to Interhealth and as part of your application process you will complete an online medical screening to ensure that you are suitable for the challenge of volunteering in a developing country. Following the screening you will receive comprehensive medical advice regarding inoculations specific to your destination along with some general travel health advice. Your programme cost also includes post-trip clean bill of health screening and on going remote health care advice through Interhealth.

The inoculations you will require may vary depending on the places you decide to visit within South Africa and also your personal medical history so it is very difficult to provide a guide to the typical cost. However, please be aware that whilst some injections are relatively cheap others (specifically anti malarials) can be very expensive. Interhealth will provide you with further information following your screening.

The 3 projects that we work with are in what are considered “low risk” malaria areas. However, if you plan to travel to Kruger or other areas to the north of the country you will need to take appropriate malarial prophylaxes. Please discuss this with either Interhealth or your GP.

Flights, Visas & Insurance

BUNAC’s preferred travel agent is STA Travel and they will be able to help you book your flights to and from South Africa.

Give them a call on the BUNAC dedicated phone number 0871 468 0666 or get in touch at bunac@statravel.co.uk

If you’d prefer to make alternative plans then you’re more than welcome to as long as you arrive in time for the start of the orientation. Please make sure you provide BUNAC with proof of your return trip so that we can arrange your airport pick up.


Most EU passport holders do not have to apply for a tourist visa in advance. A 90 day tourist visa will be issued on your arrival to South Africa. You can extend your stay beyond the 90 days whilst in South Africa, which currently costs approximately £35. Our local partner will be able to advise you on this. Please check before booking.

Yes. BUNAC’s fully comprehensive insurance policy has been arranged with Endsleigh, one of the UK’s leading insurance companies. The BUNAC policy is compulsory for this programme. You can find out more about the insurance here.

Volunteer Placement

Generally you can expect to be at your project 5 days a week and you’ll be volunteering for about 6 hours a day. During your time off you’ll be able to enjoy the facilities at the project. You may be able to join project staff on trips to the nearest town; most volunteers remain at the project for the duration of the programme and travel further afield after.

The programme includes food and accommodation, so it’s possible to get by with very little spending money. You may want to budget for some spending money during your time in Johannesburg, and also for any extra food or drink that you may want to buy on project but as your programme includes 3 prepared meals a day it needn’t be much.

If you are spending time travelling around South Africa after your Wildlife South Africa programme then we recommend that you budget for at least £150 per week (based on budget dormitory style accommodation and simple food). As part of the programme we’ll send you a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to South Africa. This has loads of useful information on things to do, places to visit and where to stay. You will be able to use this to help prepare a more accurate budget.

These projects are in high demand and it is unlikely that an in-country extension will be possible. You will be granted a 90 day stay on arrival to South Africa so you can certainly stay beyond your placement and explore this beautiful country.