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Shamwari Conservation Experience

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Lightning over the Shamwari Game Reserve

Shamwari Conservation Experience

Contact +44 (0)1280 44 22 40 queries@afrecotours.com

Weekly price per person
2017: R7,000
2018: R7,700

Enquire about Shamwari here

The Shamwari Conservation Experience

Shamwari, meaning “my friend” in Shona, is the pinnacle of private game reserves and home to the coveted Big Five on one of  the largest conservation initiatives in Southern Africa, some 25 000 hectares in extent.

The Shamwari Conservation Experience takes place in the malaria-free Shamwari Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa.

The Shamwari Conservation Experience takes place within Shamwari Private Game Reserve.

The Shamwari Conservation Experience takes place in the world renowned and award-winning Shamwari Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape area of South Africa. It is a 25,000 hectare wildlife haven that is home to Africa’s “Big 5”.

It offers you the amazing opportunity to get involved in the conservation “behind the scenes” aspect of running and maintaining a private game reserve in modern Africa. Shamwari is one of Africa’s big success stories in modern conservation – re-stocked with native wildlife that had originally roamed this land it has been transformed back into a wildlife haven within the native sub-tropical thicket that grows in this region.

This re-introduced native wildlife needs to be carefully looked after and this project will offer first-hand experience of what it takes to do just that – showing you first-hand how the conservation of wildlife, fauna and flora can be achieved through Eco Tourism. Without the assistance from participants underpinning this world-leading conservation effort, the past, present and future achievements would simply not be sustainable and viable. This is an opportunity to assist with something amazing and to work alongside a dedicated team of individuals who are passionate about nature and all it has to offer. You will leave with the satisfaction that you have made a difference and contributed to the longevity of this unique part of South Africa’s heritage. It is hands-on but also wide and varied involving wildlife research and monitoring, game reserve maintenance and repair and much more.

The reality of today’s South Africa is that its wildlife must be managed within controlled, fenced areas. Within these fenced areas wildlife numbers must be carefully monitored, fences and roads have to be maintained and alien vegetation has to be controlled or removed (as well as many other important aspects of conservation). This is what you will get to experience and assist with during your time on Shamwari.

Shamwari has hosted behind-the-scenes operations and experiences for volunteers, gap-year, adult sabbatical and adventure seeking travelers for several years developing specialised skills and knowledge in conservation, with a key focus on the conservation of wildlife, ecological and community work.

Enquire about Shamwari here

What will I do? 

Your time on Shamwari will depend on what needs to be done at the time you are with us. Your experience and volunteering activities will be very broad and cover a wide spectrum of conservation related duties for the reserve. It is difficult to list everything although here are a few of the activities you can expect to partake in. Full details are provided in the information documents.

  • Game Monitoring
  • Game Count
  • Telemetry Tracking
  • Restoration & Rehabilitation of Reserve Landscapes 
  • Management of Breeding Center
  • Research Projects
  • Alien Plant Control
  • Plus many others including some fun activities on occasions such as bush sleep-outs.

Possible Talks & Presentations:

  • Introduction to Wildlife Conservation in SA
  • Wildlife Monitoring
  • Understanding the Principles of Eco-Systems
  • Animal Population Dynamics
  • Capture Techniques and Relocation of Wildlife
  • Stress Factors in Handling and Containment
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Veterinarian’s Role in Conservation
  • Conservation of Flagship Species of Africa
  • Biomes of the Eastern Cape
  • Control of Alien Invasive Vegetation
  • Medicinal Plants and Trees
  • Wildlife Tracks and Signs
  • Basic Wildlife Conservation, Ecology and Management Principles
  • Astronomy
  • Parasites and Disease in Nature
  • Facilities and Drugs to Reduce Stress
  • Introduction to Game Ranging
  • Darting Techniques
  • Animal Welfare in Relation to Capture and Containment
  • Hand Rearing of Orphaned Animals
  • Anti-Poaching Methods

I would highly recommend this experience for anyone with a passion for helping others and learning about African Wildlife, meeting new people from around the world. Second time around this was another amazing month and hope that I will have another opportunity to take part and return to a place I love.” Melissa Sault

Where will I stay?

Accommodation for a volunteer project is excellent. Rooms are clean & very comfortable with twin beds in each, some cupboard space, a desk, side tables and an en-suite with shower, toilet and basin.  Rooms are situated side-by-side with a corridor through the center of the building. Each room has its own small veranda with a table & two chairs where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. The views are spectacular!

Enquire about Shamwari here

Location within South Africa

Enquire about Shamwari here

So why chose the Shamwari Conservation Experience?

  • The Shamwari team has been recognized globally for its efforts in conservation;
    • The World Travel Awards: Shamwari voted the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve since 1998 and World’s Leading Conservation Company in 2012
  • The reserve is vast & MALARIA-FREE, restored 25,000 hectares (around 25,000 football pitches) of South-east African bush.
  • It is a window into the once widespread ecosystem that covered this part of African before settlers arrived representing five of the seven biomes (fauna and flora habitats).
  • Shamwari has its own dedicated Wildlife and Conservation Department that includes:
  1. a wildlife veterinarian and ecologists
  2. a wildlife breeding center
  3. animal rehabilitation center (ARC)
  4. rhino awareness center
  5. Facilities also include an animal hospital and an anti-poaching unit.
  • Shamwari is the host to the Born Free Foundations Big Cat Rescue and Education Center for lions and leopards.
  • You will be hosted by Shamwari’s coordinators who are a team of qualified and experienced conservationists trained in various conservation-related fields – this will maximize your experience.
  • The Shamwari Conservation Experience offers volunteers a diverse experience. You will be exposed to real and often challenging conservation issues and tasks, offering you the chance to make a sustainable difference through your participation.
  • Whether a safari tourist/visitor or a conservation volunteer – Shamwari is easy to get to! It is only a one hour drive from Port Elizabeth Airport.
  • It is near the famous Garden Route – a stunning stretch of coastline that runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Activities along the garden route include surfing, canoeing, horse riding, and bungee jumping to name only a few!
Enquire about Shamwari here

Total Payment Protection (topp) Policy cover:


Total Payment Protection (topp) Policy cover:

In compliance with the UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 an insurance policy has been arranged with Travel & General Insurance Services Limited (t&g), to protect customers’ prepayments in the unlikely event of our financial failure and paid in respect of
• non-flight inclusive packages commencing and returning to the UK
• the ground handling aspects of packages where the customer is responsible for arranging travel to the destination
offered in this brochure/literature/document/on this website (subject to the terms of the insurance policy), for:
• a refund of such prepayments if customers have not yet travelled, or
• making arrangements to enable the holiday to continue if customers have already travelled

Customers’ prepayments are protected by a topp policy.

In the unlikely event of financial failure please contact the claims helpline on 0870 0137 965. A copy of the policy is available on request.

This policy is provided by Travel & General Insurance Services Limited (t&g), registered number 02527363 and underwritten by Hiscox Insurance Company Limited (Hiscox), registered number 00070234. t&g and Hiscox are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (number 113849)

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