Feel the heartbeat and rhythm of Africa at Amakhala Game Reserve, which has quickly become one of the finest tourist destinations in the Eastern Cape wilderness. It is a malaria free reserve which boasts the accolade of accommodating the Big Five in South Africa.
In addition to the king of the jungle, timid leopards, clumsy rhinos, graceful elephants and mystic buffalo make up the big five. In addition, a diverse abundance exploding in a variety of antelope and other species such as giraffe, warthog and cheetah roam the plains which form Amakhala Game Reserve which will provide you with African memories which will last forever.
Amakhala’s ethos is one of community support where volunteers get involved in the local Isipho orphanage and contribute by playing games, educating the children and support with the vegetable garden.
Volunteers can also contribution through community clean ups and visits to the Amakhala Craft Center.
The Amakhala Volunteer Programme is the veins behind the heartbeat of reserve conservation. For those volunteers seeking an experience to explore a corner of Africa and all its inhabitants, Amakhala will not disappoint. All aspects of conservation are addressed in your experience, no matter how short your time with us.
Amakhala Game Reserve is continuously monitoring and managing game throughout the year. As an Amakhala Volunteer, you will assist behind the scenes of the reserve on various ongoing conservation and community projects.
The main focus for community is the Isipho Centre for vulnerable children and those affected by HIV AIDS.
The working week at Amakhala will usually comprise of a 5 day week working 8 hours a day (Monday-Friday). Time to start and finish work will depend on the activities of the day and time of year. Evenings and weekends are therefore allocated for your leisure to either relax in the pub or sit in front of an open fire. Alternatively a wide variety of activities can be booked from the volunteer house.
The Eastern Cape is a malaria free area home to many “Big 5” private game reserves in South Africa
The Eastern Cape, lying on the southeastern South African coast, is a region of great natural beauty, particularly the rugged cliffs, rough seas and dense green bush of the stretch known as the Wild Coast.
The province’s diverse climates and landscapes range from the dry and desolate Great Karoo to the lush forests of the Wild Coast and the Keiskamma Valley, the fertile Langkloof, renowned for its rich apple harvests, and the mountainous southern Drakensberg region around the town of Elliot.
Volunteers are accommodated in a one-storey 7-bedroom house, which overlooks a large garden and within walking distance of the local bar and basic shops. Most of the rooms are doubles, with 3 sharing one bathroom, 2 sharing a second bathroom and 1 room is en suite. Each bathroom has a hot water shower.
A communal dining and sitting room with digital satellite TV is central to the house, with well equipped kitchen and office space adjoining. A sun room provides additional seating room where the internet and telephone is available. The internet is charged at R10 per 30 minute intervals. If you spend less than 30 min the R10 still apply and telephone calls can be made from the telephone using a World Call Card. Use is restricted to email, booking activities and research only.
The house also has an outside seating area with braai (BBQ) and fire pit for chilly nights and social gatherings.
As a Volunteer at Amakhala, your primary responsibility is managing the lions. This doesn’t mean petting the animals but monitoring them and checking the fence lines.
Community support is also an important aspect with regular visits to community projects. The rest of the day is filled with tasks and duties based around Amakhala. You may also have the chance to assist with many ongoing short and long term projects on the reserve. A list below provides the details of various projects both on going and experienced by past volunteers.
Reserve duties at any one time may change, which means no week at Amakhala is the same.
Long term projects:
- Animal Tracking using telemetry
- Assisting vulnerable children and aids orphans
- Birds in Reserves Project
- Game Counts
- Giraffe movement and breeding monitoring
- Lion health and breeding monitoring
- Local community sustainability
- Territorial ranges and feeding range monitoring
General reserve duties:
- Erosion control
- Fence patrol and maintenance
- Herbarium development
- Alien plant control
- Bush clean and clear up
- Road maintenance
- Boma maintenance
Short term projects:
- Game capture, counts and monitoring
- Medicinal use of plants and vegetation biomes
- Guided walks, tracking and trails through the reserve
- Nocturnal predator monitoring
- Wetland restoration
- To continue all current running projects to their full effect
- Providing basic pre-school education at the Isipho Centre
- Get involved in active sport games at Isipho to aid children’s health and fitness
- Relocation and renovation of the Isipho vegetable plot
- Bi-annual neutering of stray dogs and cats in and around the Amakhala townships
- Setup of the Indigenous nursery.
- Bush camping
- Navigation and Compass Orientation
- Xhosa Bush Tour
- Target shooting
- Updating Project Information on the Computer
- 5-Star Lodge Experience
- Darting and relocations
- Game drives
- Volunteer diary for our website
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