A Guide to Giving Back as a Zululand Wildlife Conservation Volunteer

People volunteer for many reasons, and the Zululand Wildlife Conservation volunteer project, have recently written a few words about the volunteers at their particular volunteer project in South Africa, which we would love to share:

Why do people volunteer?

“People volunteer for many reasons, and we love the diversity of personality and character that makes our work more interesting.

For some it is to gain knowledge,

others it is to fulfill a dream,

and for some it is for the experience during a gap year

or to simply see lions and African wild dogs in the wild.

For many, being a Conservation Volunteer is also about giving back and in a way “sow what has been reaped”.

Why we need your help as a volunteer

  •    setting up call-up sites
  •    carrying 250kg lions during relocations
  •    extra eyes for spotting un-collared animals
  •    camp maintenance
  •    pictures for ID kit
  •    data entry
  •    telemetry work

Where does the Volunteer money go?

volunteer with wild dogs
A pack of wild dogs spotted a terrapin

The money spent in taking this journey feeds directly back to us on the ground. This is used to pay salaries, fuel for monitoring, collars for animals, equipment, supplies for camp maintenance, tyres for vehicles and much, much more.

But the greater picture adds into the economy of South Africa too – not only is conservation and communities benefiting directly from you being here – but local companies that transports volunteers to the projects, airlines and airports (Richard’s Bay is a tiny speck on the world traveller’s map), restaurants and craft shops all depend on this journey.

So, the next time you fly and stop and travel and meet people on the way, think of what you are giving back as you travel.

It is often the unseen and unnoticed that is all around us.

Other ways to give back from your volunteer trip

And if you feel that this is not enough, then perhaps take a leaf out of some previous conservation volunteers who came up with some ingenious ways to add to their trip-of-a-lifetime.

Pre-departure – by visiting a thrift store and buying all or most of your clothes for the trip there. Then on your last day, leave behind what you don’t want to take back with you. This all finds its way into the community, and directly benefits the very people who surround and support the conservation work we do – the community.

Other options are looking at bringing a few pens or writing books that can be used in the Bush camps or given to the schools surrounding the various parks.

All these small benefits (great for those who receive them) add into the overall ethical and holistic approach in conservation.

volunteer in South Africa
Volunteers around the campfire discussing the days activities !

Can you think of any other ideas that might seem small, but have a large impact and can easily be done?”

Fantastic blog from Clinton, at the Zululand Wildlife Conservation Volunteer project.



We’d love to hear any of your ideas to Giving Back – however big or small.

Please add your Comments below so we can all share …..


A truly life changing experience, working on wildlife and community volunteering projects in Africa over 15 years ago, convinced Gemma Whitehouse to give up her job as a Marketing Manager for an international organisation and use her skills and expertise to set up a company that would offer others the same amazing opportunities with a service second to none - thus Amanzi Travel was born.

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