Elephant Research & Community Conservation

Volunteers South Africa Addo Elephant National Park




Volunteers on this project will have the opportunity to make a real and tangible difference to sustainable conservation projects. Not only will volunteers work hands on with local conservation initiatives but will also participate in educating the wider community about conservation and nature – as well as learning a great deal themselves!! By educating the local community we aim to sow the seed of respect and passion for South Africa's natural heritage – we believe that conservation relies on community appreciation and understanding.

Addo Elephant National Park Experience

After a long history of poaching and human encroachment, today Addo Elephant National Park is home to over 400 elephants in a fenced area of 12,500 hectares – the entire park is over 148,000 hectares. Addo has one of the highest concentrations of African elephants in the world!!

Volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in a 3 day (2 nights) excursion to Addo where they will have the privilege of camping in this beautiful National Park.

Please note this excursion is only guaranteed on 4 week plus projects.


Elephant Sanctuary:

  • Stable cleaning
  • Fruit chopping
  • Cleaning the night pen
  • General maintenance
  • Conducting behavioural observations contributing to long term research goals

Please note: Volunteers will have the opportunity to get close to and interact with the elephants however please be aware that it is not possible for volunteers to be constantly interacting with the elephants due to the fact that constant human contact could lead to difficulties when the elephants are to be released from the Sanctuary.

Volunteers may be asked to assist with tasks that do not directly relate to the care of the elephants but are necessary for the general upkeep of the Sanctuary.

Kayalethu Eco-Trail:

  • Planting indigenous species
  • Removal of alien invasive trees and plants
  • Mending paths and walkways
  • Clearing river debris
  • Helping the guides with tourists from abroad, and the surrounding communities
  • New business plan development
  • Assisting at Judah Square Education Centre
  • Conservation & Nature Lessons:
  • Teaching lessons on Elephant Conservation & Management
  • Teaching lessons on Biomimicry*

*Biomimicry may be a concept that you haven't come across before so here is a brief explanation! – the basic idea of biomimicry is to be inspired by and imitate nature's designs in order to conserve life and create a more sustainable way of life.


This Project aims to expose volunteers to all aspects of conservation and involves the following elements: working with members of the Rastafarian community on their "Kayalethu Eco-Trail"; assisting at a local Elephant Sanctuary; assisting with our "Recycling Swop Shop"; experiencing one of South Africa's many National Parks; educating the community about conservation and nature; and of course educating themselves about conservation and nature!