Wildlife Research in South Africa Expedition

Join an international team conducting vital wildlife and conservation research in the South Africa bushveld.

Durations: 1 - 12 weeks
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Critical science

Critical science

You'll contribute to vital conservation research targeted at protecting the earth's most valuable ecosystems.
Ethical engagement

Ethical engagement

Using the UN's SDGs as a framework, we've made a commitment to positive, constructive and sustainable impact.
Beautiful adventures

Beautiful adventures

You'll spend your days exploring some of the world's most breathtaking, exhilarating and remote wildernesses.

Program information

Travel to a private reserve in South Africa, home to lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino, and live alongside an international research team assisting in critical wildlife conservation work.

Join a conservation internship and get an exclusive offer

Book by 31 October 2022
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Overview
Dates & Prices
Life On Base
Covid-19 Response
publications
What's It like?
ExperiencesNew
Arrivals
Your Impact
Our Ethics
Flights
Testimonials
MEET THE TEAM
Program ethics
Qualifications & Training
Free time
Cultural Immersion
Parent Info
Support & Safety
What's Included
Live Updates

Program overview

Witness nature unfiltered, from a lion taking down its prey, to newborn cheetah cubs playing for the first time, or even a stand-off between two massive elephant bulls. Experience the African savannah landscape on safari. Unlike a conventional safari trip, this program allows you to play an active and meaningful role in the research and long term conservation of South Africa’s natural resources.

No special skills or qualifications are required to join this program, as all training will be provided by our experienced team in the field. Learn how to track and identify  predators, like lions and cheetahs, and megaherbivores, like elephants and rhinos. This data is used by reserve authorities and conservation organisations to develop an accurate picture of predator impact on prey populations, determine the spatial movement, behaviour, social structure and genetics of specific species. This information helps authorities maintain a healthy balance of natural resources in the reserve, helps conservation organisations further their objectives, and ultimately assists with conserving important African species and habitats. You will also have the opportunity to participant in our environmental conservation program which we run in the local community.

Please note you can spend up to 12 hours a day collecting data which can be tiring, in the heat of the African sun. This program offers durations up to 24 weeks. Speak to an Enrolment Manager for more details of extending your stay in-country.

Highlights

  • Go on a wildlife safari adventure in a private South African nature reserve while contributing directly to conservation efforts.
  • Listen to the quiet hush of the wild open spaces, waking each morning to a chorus of savannah birds and drifting off to the nighttime hum of endemic frogs and crickets.
  • Learn to identify predators, like lions, cheetahs, and leopards, as well as megaherbivores like elephants and rhinos.
  • Master radio telemetry techniques and learning how to track and record animal movements.  
  • In your free time, visit the famous Kruger National Park, only an hour away from where the GVI base is located or visit the nearby Drakensberg Mountains where awe-inspiring vistas are afforded over the Blyde River Canyon.
  • Live and work alongside Field Guide Association of South Africa, FGASA, qualified guides, growing personally and professionally by learning from their experiences.
  • Sleep under the star-filled Southern night sky, its beauty enhanced by the lack of light pollution, and wake to a golden African dawn.

Program details

Program type
Volunteering
Group
program
Location
GVI Africa, South Africa, Limpopo
Focus
Wildlife Conservation

Dates and prices

Select a start date:

Exclusive offer. Book before the end of the month and receive up to 0 off this program.
COVID-19 flexibility. If COVID-19 prevents you from travelling, change your location and dates free of charge.
Payment plans. Flexible payment plans allow you to pay in instalments.

What happens next?

Once you apply, a personal Enrollment Manager will be assigned to walk you through the rest of the process.

Life On Base

Live in the heart of the South African savannah, sharing a renovated farmhouse with qualified guides from the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, other GVI staff, and participants from around the world. The base is incredibly remote, and tourists are unable to visit. Completely open to the bush and close to a dam, animals frequently visit the property, including elephants, buffalo, impala and leopards. 

Boasting more than 20 thousand acres of open savannah, Karongwe features some of the best wildlife viewing of any private South African wildlife reserve. It’s home to all of the Big Five, including the elusive leopard, as well as cheetahs and spotted hyenas.

Rise each morning to the sound of African birdsong at dawn, before heading out in an open-topped safari vehicle to conduct research vital for the conservation of key predator species, like cheetahs and lions. Heading back to camp when the sun is at its height, you’ll input data, study, assist with cooking or tidying, or relax with the team in our shared outdoor social space. In the early afternoon, when the sun starts to set over the Drakensberg mountain range, you’ll head out again to conduct further research. Returning when the stars are at their brightest, you’ll share a meal and the day’s stories with your team. In your free time, visit  Kruger National Park, an hour’s drive from your accommodation, or travel to the scenic Panorama Route, which takes you through the magnificent Blyde River Canyon.

With one of most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, and home to many of the most threatened African wildlife species, South Africa is a nature, wildlife, and adventure lover’s paradise.

Accommodation

Lodgings consist of large dorm-style rooms with shared bathrooms. The base is solar-powered to ensure less impact on the environment. When it’s time to relax, there are hammocks...

Transportation

Transport to conduct field research is provided by our vehicles and drivers. We have one 15-seater taxi for organised transfers, which includes weekly trips into town, fortnight...

Communication

Our base has good connection to local cell phone towers, and participants with unlocked mobile devices can purchase local SIM cards during weekly trips into town. There is Wi-Fi...

Meals

Participants make their own breakfast, which is continental style, including bread and spreads. For lunch, it’s usually sandwiches and salads. Dinner might be anything from a tr...

Climate

Limpopo is well-known for its warm climate. Sunny days and low rainfall are the norm on most days throughout the year. Summer, starting in October and ending around March, coinc...

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

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Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Covid-19 Response

Health and Hygiene

For over 20 years, GVI has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GVI has created the GVI health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet or exceed international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of GVI’s participants, staff and communities around the world. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.

The work GVI is contributing to across the globe remains important and the following measures allow our participants to continue to join GVI’s programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. The following changes to our existing protocols have been made by the GVI health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities.

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Read up on our COVID-19 protocols

Publications

The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research.

Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies.

We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.

Cap Ternay Newsletter, Last Quarter 2019

Newsletter

2019

Reef Conservation UK 13th Annual Meeting, Zoological Society of London

Author(s)

Patsy Theresine1, Christophe Mason-Parker2, April Burt3, Pierre-Andre Adam4, Anna Koester2, Jennifer Appoo5, Nicholas Graham6, Shaun Wilson7, Rodney Quatre1, Isabelle Ravinia1, Dainise Quatre1, Mariliana Leotta2, Joanna Blumel4, Elke Talma8, Arjan de Groene5, Aurelie Duhec4, Richard Jeanne4, Jan Robinson9, Phillip Haupt3, Savi Leblond10, Josep Nogues11, Ariadna Fernandez11, Christopher Narty11, Jude Bijoux12

‘The Current Status of Coral Reefs along the North West Coast of Mahe, Seychelles Following the 1998 Mass Bleaching Event’

Newsletter

2019

Reef Conservation UK 13th Annual Meeting, Zoological Society of London

Author(s)

Patsy Theresine1

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Get a first-hand perspective

Meet us

GVI experiences

We want you to make the most of the chance to live in – and contribute towards –  the most diverse and unique wildernesses and communities on earth. Introducing GVI Experiences – immersive adventure, cultural and wellness activities exclusive to GVI that have been specially designed in collaboration with our local partners to support and stimulate sustainable economic development. 

Enhance your impact. Expand your adventure. Explore your world.

Exclusive local GVI experiences
Learn to make a potjiekos
Learn to make a potjiekos
One-pot wonder...
Develop your wildlife photography skills
Develop your wildlife photography skills
Picture perfect...
Discover the medicinal uses of indigenous plants
Discover the medicinal uses of indigenous plants
Herbal remedies...
Master basic bush survival skills
Master basic bush survival skills
Into the wild...
Watch a magical sunset at a watering hole
Watch a magical sunset at a watering hole
Golden hour...
 Enjoy a night sky safari
Enjoy a night sky safari
Written in the stars...
Walk through a prehistoric cycad forest
Walk through a prehistoric cycad forest
Dinosaurs of the plant world...
Sleep in the open bushveld
Sleep in the open bushveld
Under African skies...

Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.

As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.

COVID-19 safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

Your Impact

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the UN SDGs. Then once you arrive on base, you’ll learn about the specific goals we have in this particular location, our various objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to be an active global citizen after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Many of Africa’s wildlife species are under threat. Private reserves, like Karongwe, where we run our conservation project, are a haven for at-risk species. Karongwe is located within the UNESCO protected Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve. This biosphere represents only 1.4% of South Africa’s land, but contains 55% of the total natural life found here.

Karongwe Private Game Reserve

Karongwe Private Game Reserve was once made up of individual farms. In 1998 the landowners banded together and created an 8,500 hectare wildlife reserve. In 2001 GVI was brought onto Karongwe to assist the Karongwe Ecological Research Institute (KERI) in their monitoring of the large predators and herbivores on the reserve. In 2006, GVI Limpopo took over this role. This helps reserve management understand the impact of predators on the prey species, and maintain a healthy ecosystem by ensuring a balance of natural resources. Predators are often tracked using telemetry, or monitored using camera trapping. Through this we learn how they use the space within the reserve, what their feeding behaviour is like, how they interact with one another and other predators. Herbivores might be counted, their numbers, age, and sex listed, and their impact on vegetation noted. This data is presented to Karongwe management and landowners on a weekly, half-yearly and yearly basis.  We also assist with anti-poaching efforts by monitoring and recording the movements of individual rhino on the reserve through the use of our ID kits. Sometimes we assist with the upkeep of the reserve’s fences and roads. We also assist with removing old farm infrastructure and invasive alien plant species, and work on soil rehabilitation to help with habitat recovery.

Cheetah Research and Conservation

Our cheetah research is conducted in conjunction with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, a conservation organisation who currently manage SA’s cheetah metapopulation. Cheetahs are a species listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species. They are a rather fragile species as they naturally have a low genetic diversity and are not able to compete well with other larger, stronger predators like lions and hyenas. One aspect of our study focuses on how cheetahs make use of their kill, as well as prey preference. When possible, we set up camera traps to see how much time the cheetahs spend on their fresh kill and what potentially encourages them to leave. This helps to know how they are dealing with competition with other predators. We also collect data on breeding success and interactions with other predators.

Elephant Vegetation Impact Mitigation

With assistance from and collaboration with Elephants Alive, who have been actively involved in elephant conservation for the past 20 years, we conduct surveys of the impact elephants have on the local vegetation. Due to their destructive feeding habit of pushing over large trees to eat the top leaves and roots, a large population of elephants can have a negative impact on a small environment, especially for species like the marula tree. Surveys might involve monitoring sensitive areas of the reserve and the movements of elephant groups, developing elephant identification kits, and analysing the impact of elephants feeding habits on the vegetation. We conduct transect surveys to determine the level of destruction to tree species and their level of recovery. This can help us determine which areas and tree species on the reserve are particularly vulnerable and might benefit from mitigation measures.

Bird Research and Conservation

We also contribute to the South African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2), one of the most important bird monitoring projects in Southern Africa –and its largest citizen science database. Because they are popular and well-studied, birds are appropriate indicators of ecosystem health. The availability of significant, long-term datasets in South Africa makes birds a good choice for an early-warning system for climate change impacts and other systematic, ecosystem-wide threats to broader biodiversity. The number of critically endangered birds in South Africa has increased from 5 in 2000 to 13 in 2017. One group in particular features particularly dramatic statistics: 22 of the 79 raptors occurring in the North-Eastern region of the country are now considered threatened. Of concern are the low numbers of scavenging raptors. Most of South Africa’s vulture species, as well as the tawny eagle and the bateleur (two obligate scavengers), are listed as endangered or critically endangered. In December 2016, SABAP2 featured 9 million records across 17,339 pentads, 5 minutes of latitude by 5 minutes of longitude, squares with sides of roughly 9 kilometres, in South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini. The selection of sites and habitats critical to bird conservation rely on this data. All other conservation initiatives depend on the results of the bird atlas, to a greater or lesser extent. One cannot determine the conservation status of a species unless you know its range and how this is changing.

Environmental Education

We also conduct environmental education programs at one primary school and one day care centre in the area. We make ourselves available for conservation-focused mini-projects. This might include documenting bird of prey nesting sites or the creation of lists for microfauna species in the reserve. In the past we have partnered with a range of conservation organisations like Panthera, as well as academic institutions like the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria, and Bournemouth University. Exact project details are also always subject to change due to weather conditions, time of year, and animal movements.

As the requirements of our partners change over time, so do the details of our projects. 

The specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) we work on in Limpopo is Goal 15: Life On Land.

Over the past 21 years, GVI Limpopo has:

1. Presented at over 70 land owner meetings

2. Assisted more than 1,200 children in learning about the environment and wildlife (since 2014)

3. Constructed 3 day care centres (since 2015)

4. Recruited 17 national scholarship students (since 2013)

5. Taken more than 300 learners on game drives

6. Supported over 20 partner organisations

7. Published 17 peer-reviewed papers

8. Presented at and attended 4 Endangered Wildlife Trust cheetah cluster meetings (since 2015)

9. Placed tracking devices on 25 individual animals, including cheetahs, lions, hyenas, leopards and wild dogs

10. Monitored 375 individual animals and rare game

11. Assisted with over 25 rhino dehorning events

12. Raised over £46,000

13. Hundreds of participants have passed through our doors, and many have gone on to have careers in wildlife conservation (or another aspect of the natural environment), due to the experience gained with us.

Our partners

Project objectives

 

GVI Karongwe’s Long-term Objectives:

1. Provide long-term and consistent data for Karongwe Reserve management to assist reserve management in making decisions based on scientific data.

2. Increase local awareness of GVI’s purpose and impact on Karongwe PGR.

3. Increase scientific output.

4. Contribute to three large-scale reserve management projects alongside the warden in accordance with the reserve’s management plan.

5. Increase our in-country capacity by providing environmental and conservation education and training, and through community upliftment projects.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.

 

We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.

Our 10 ethical commitments

01

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.

02

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.

03

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.

04

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.

05

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.

06

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that every participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.

07

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.

08

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.

09

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.

10

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

Flights

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Testimonials

Angelo Poupard

11 Oct, 2018

My name is Angelo, I am 24 years old and I am studying Zoology and Bioscience in Glasgow, Scotland. I am french but I choose to move to Glasgow a few years ago in order to improve ...

Thomas Lowe

11 Oct, 2018

Before I started the project I had preconceived ideas of what to expect and can happily say that everyone of those was exceeded. GVI gave me so many great experiences and opportuni ...

Susan Miller

11 Oct, 2018

While volunteering for GVI on the South African Wildlife Expedition I learnt many skills that have proved useful over the years in my new career in wildlife biology: the science (a ...

Shareef Haq

11 Oct, 2018

I chose to volunteer Karongwe, South Africa program for a month this past September. I found it quite exciting as well as educational. The experience made my passion for wildlife c ...

Peter Haygarth

11 Oct, 2018

Peter Haygarth spent four weeks at Zimanga Game Reserve volunteering on the Wildlife Research Expedition. He is an ex-policeman who has taken up photography in his retirement, prod ...

Emilie Todd

11 Oct, 2018

I took a short career break from work and decided to do a 2 month community and wildlife internship at the Karongwe base in South Africa. I had an incredible time with GVI learning ...

Daniel Sturgess

11 Oct, 2018

I spent three months in Limpopo Africa with GVI doing the South African Wildlife Research Expedition. The long wait between me booking the trip and actually being able to go on it ...

Charmaine Mohlala

15 Aug, 2018

My name is Charmaine Mohlala from South Africa, an ex volunteer at GVI (Global Vision International) at the Karongwe Private Game Reserve base in South Africa, which is under manag ...

Danielle Tischler

15 Aug, 2018

I have finally settled in back home and it's just not the same. I truly do miss being back in Karongwe with all the gang. I was only there for a short time, a mere two weeks, but i ...

Meet the team

Get acquainted with the GVI Africa, South Africa, Limpopo family

Zoe Biggs

Program Manager

Pleased to introduce you to Zoe, who is the Program Manager at our base in Limpopo. Her journey started out with a six month internship with GVI back in 2016. Prio ...

Sophie

Assistant Program Manager

This is Sophie, she is our Assistant Program Manager at GVI Limpopo here in South Africa. Originally from Northern Ireland, Sophie’s journey with GVI started after attendi ...

Program ethics

No orphanage programs

We don’t support or allow participants to work in institutional residential care facilities, also known as orphanages. We partner with ReThink Orphanages and Freedom United.

Learn more
Child and vulnerable adult protection policy

Our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy requires all our staff and participants to complete a criminal background check and to learn why you shouldn’t reveal a child’s identifying factors in photographs. We support the ChildSafe Movement.

Learn more
No medical volunteering

We don’t offer any programs where our participants engage in medical treatment. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country. Our participants only assist with public health programs.

Learn more
No disability support programs

We don’t offer any programs where our participants work directly with people with disabilities. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country.

Learn more
Aligned to local objectives

Each one of our initiatives is aligned to objectives set by a local organisation or professional. Our staff and participants work to support these local actors in achieving their specific goals.

Local employees remain employed

Our participants don’t replace the staff employed by local organisations. Rather, they support currently employed staff with achieving their objectives. Our goal is always to increase local capacity to address local problems.

Local employees remain focused

Participants require training and support to ensure that they carry out tasks correctly. Our staff provide this training and support so that local staff can focus on what is truly important to their organisation at the time.

No entertainment-based activities

We don’t support the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes. This includes riding animals, having them perform tricks, feeding or bathing them or getting close to them to take photos

No orphaned animal sanctuaries

We don’t encourage, support or allow the rearing of “orphaned” wild baby animals kept at a “sanctuary”. The conservation value of these types of programs is negligent and would only ethically be used in extremely rare cases

Guidelines for touching or movement restriction

When wild animals are restricted for conservation purposes we follow the guidelines of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Animal welfare guidelines

We ensure that the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare are followed. These include the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from distress, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear, pain, injury or disease.

Local community empowerment

We ensure that conservation efforts are also always locally led, that community needs are front-and centre of any conservation effort and that our participants, projects and partners work to increase local community engagement in local conservation efforts.

Learn more
No veterinary programs

We don’t offer any veterinary programs or animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. We don’t allow participants to do any work they would not be able to do in their home country.

Learn more

Training

A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.

For all GVI participants

Orientation: Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Learn about COVID-19 pre-departure guidelines, base expectations, personal and area hygiene practices and what we are doing to keep you safe.

Orientation: Travelling Responsibly and Ethically

Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.

Orientation: UN Sustainable Development Goals

Introduction to the history and evolution of sustainable development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and how these related to your project work.

Orientation: Further Opportunities for Impact

Learn about our country locations and further opportunities available to you during or after your program.

For all participants at Limpopo

Community: Women’s Empowerment

Learn about gender equality, skills development and examples of income generating activities.

Community: Human Empowerment

Learn about our empowerment principles.

Conservation: Survey Techniques and Logistics

An introduction to different survey techniques and best practice guidelines for surveys; introduction to different types of data and how to record information via a datasheet.

Conservation: Biodiversity & Target Species Identification

Learn about biodiversity and how biodiversity is measured, and classifying different species and how to identify species that indicate the health of the habitat.

Emergency First Response Training

Learn how to apply first aid protocols and carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR. This is only offered for participants staying for two weeks or longer.

Teaching Training

Learn different teaching techniques and develop your confidence teaching students in a range of age groups. 

GPS Data Recording

GPS, global positioning system, coordinations are a popular means of recording locational data important for conservation work. It is used to determine a specified area, record distances between points of interest and locate previously recorded points, animal sighting data. Participants receive training on how to use GSP systems to record this data.

VHF Telemetry

Learn how to monitor the movement of animals using VHF, Very High Frequency, telemetry.

Bird identification

Learn about the many birds in Southern Africa and specifically those that are found in Karongwe Private Game Reserve. Find out how to identify key bird species.

Sustainability awareness

Using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, learn how small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference to the planet’s resources.

Conservation awareness

Learn about measures South Africa, and other countries, are taking to preserve their iconic natural habitats and wildlife as well as how you can contribute. This includes exploring about the importance of wildlife and wilderness for the wellbeing of generations of humanity.

Data Handling

Data is collected daily and recorded by an allocated data person under the supervision of a staff member. This is to ensure that the data is kept as accurate and consistent as possible. We use numerous data sheets and participants will learn how to complete each of these during the training week.

Bio-surveying Techniques

 Learn about best practices for conducting a biological survey in any environment.

Reptile Identification

Learn about the many reptiles in Southern Africa, and how to identify the main ones of importance in Karongwe Nature and Wildlife Reserve. This is only offered for participants staying for two weeks or longer.

Mammal Identification

Most of the research we carry out in Karongwe is on mammalian species. Learn