The Umdoni Wildlife Project is based in the beautiful South Coast area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The project is run in partnership with Wildlife Parks Africa, an organization dedicated to saving wildlife in Africa. We are working to save some of the wildlife reserves and last remaining natural coastal forest in the South Coast area.
Wildlife conservation projects like these are vital for protecting the local wildlife. At the Umdoni Wildlife Project we focus on saving the little guy. The wildlife that does not get the media attention and usually gets ignored by international charities but are essential to having a healthy biodiversity in Africa.
Many wildlife parks and reserves in Africa are underfunded and under-resourced, without projects like this and the support of volunteers, these wildlife areas won’t exist in the future. By volunteering you are having a direct impact and saving our wildlife… Appply Now
The range of the wildlife we monitor include zebra, blue wildebeest, eland, giraffes, Nyala, leopard, bushbuck, blesbok, oribi, reedbuck, blue and grey duiker, Natal Red duiker, black-backed jackal, samango monkeys, vervet monkeys, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, caracal, slender mongoose, white tailed mongoose, Egyptian mongoose, banded mongoose and porcupine.
All reptile and ampiphian life.The abundant birdlife (over 300 confirmed species) includes a number of spectacular raptors like the Crowned (Africa’s most powerful) and Martial eagle(Africa largest) which nest in the reserves. We also monitor vulture populations in the Oribi Gorge area. There is also an interesting variety of indigenous flora that we monitor for the reserves.
Umdoni Wildlife Project offers a truly authentic learning experience for people who want to make a difference in wildlife preservation and experience the habitat and culture firsthand. Volunteers will help us monitor between 4 to 7 parks, each ranging in size. As part of this holistic African experience, volunteers will:
a) Daily lessons on wildlife conservation and preservation in Africa.
b) Learn about Africa’s wildlife and how to identify them.
C) Learn the basics of wildlife tracking and other bush skills.
c) Daily walks on hiking and bush trails. Repairing if needed.
d) Monitor the movement of wildlife in the reserve.
e) The setting up of camera traps on varies game paths on the reserves.
f) Assist with the processing of camera trap footage.
g) Identify and monitor targeted species with in the parks.
h) Monitor the numbers, health condition and movement of these animals.
i) Collect and analyze data with the goal of maintaining the balance and general health of the park ecosystem.
j) Contribute towards anti-poaching to protect endangered species.
k) Help with conservation work on the park which includes things like erosion control, road maintenance, bush clearing, alien plant removal, fence repair and removal, game capture (when requested by the park manager)
Volunteers will also have the opportunity to spend time out of the parks and engage in other adventure activities. These type of activities include:
1) White water rafting
2) Shark-cage diving
3) Surfing lessons
4) Game drives
7) Cultural tour and see bushman paintings
*Please note that activities available to volunteers may depend on the time of the year.
Field Conditions for volunteers
Blue Bay Lodge is the main base for the project and feels like staying in a large tree house. This beautiful property is situated in the lovely forested coastal suburb in Freeland Park. Just a 10 minute walk away from some of the best beaches on the South Coast. There is usually plenty of wildlife visiting the gardens, from Vervet monkeys, Purple crested louries and Banded mongoose. There is enough space for 6 volunteers at a time. There is also a swimming pool. The accommodation is very comfortable and safe, just minutes away from hospitals and shops. Its a great place to come and chill out after a long day out in the bush but still close enough to get to all the activities the South Coast has to offer.
We offer meals 3 times a day. The meals are typically South African and there is a fair amount of braais to look forward two. If you have a particular diet we are happy to accommodate you. We can easily cook vegetarian food, however we can not accommodate vegans at this time due to the added cost of providing such meals.
Umdoni Wildlife Project accepts volunteers of 18+ years of age. Volunteers under 18 years old are only considered when accompanied by a parent/guardian. There isn’t a maximum age limit, though a reasonable fitness level is necessary. Families are welcome!
1 Week : US$1500
2 Weeks : US$2500
Volunteer contributions cover meals, accommodation, most activities and project donation. Flights, travel/medical insurance, internet/phone services are NOT included. The only additional spending money required will be for personal purchases, social excursions away from Umdoni, and pre/post project travel.
The project is run all year round. Please note we can only accept 6 volunteers at a time. The sooner you apply, the better your chances of securing your placement!