The role of volunteers at Tembe Elephant Park, South Africa
The Tembe Elephant Park volunteer programme offers motivated and enthusiastic people the opportunity to make a difference…
Filming and webcam monitoring
Tembe has a 24hour webcam that is located at a viewing hide overlooking a watering hole. This webcam provides a live internet feed that is viewed by a wide international audience. During the hours of South African darkness the webcam is replace by a video link. The role of monitoring the webcam and the production of a daily wildlife video traditionally falls to the volunteers. It is an exciting opportunity to take part in the game drives and film the animal activity that is seen each day.
As the park is connected to the internet by satellite you have free internet and email access.
Elephant and lion monitoring
Volunteers can assist field monitors in their daily duties, which include:
A number of our lions are radio collared, so you will learn to track them using telemetry.
Once the lions have been found or a radio signal received you will assist with the following tasks:
Recording GPS locations when the lions are in sight.
Do triangulations when only radio signals are picked up, but the lions are out of view.
Monitor and record the behaviour of the lions and identify individuals.
Record GPS locations of carcasses found from a lion kill and record the species of the carcass.
Tembe has an expanding yet still very elusive leopard population. There are plans for the leopard to be tracked and collared within the very near future.
Teaching and helping at local schools
The park has a number of schools nearby which are under staffed and have limited resources and facilities. The principals and teachers of these schools would welcome meeting you and establishing a programme of interaction based on your skills, interests and local school requirements. This can vary from teaching English, computer science, or extra math’s to taking sport in the afternoons. A previous group of volunteers have already started a pupil exchange with a school in Bolton UK. Take a look at their web site.
Teaching staff English and computer skills
Tembe Lodge is managed and staffed by local people who are always keen to improve their conversational English and computer skills.
Tembe Information area
There is an ongoing Information area that requires regular input. This is a great opportunity to collect and research samples of vegetation, dung, insects, feathers etc. Through this you will quickly increase your knowledge and understanding of the local wildlife and culture. Your Zulu will improve too
Tembe Information area
There is an ongoing Information area that requires regular input. This is a great opportunity to collect and research samples of vegetation, dung, insects, feathers etc. Through this you will quickly increase your knowledge and understanding of the local wildlife and culture. Your Zulu will improve too!
Helping around the Lodge
For volunteers more interested in tourism and hospitality there is an opportunity to become involved behind the scenes at the safari lodge. Whatever your skills the Tembe team will welcome you on board and in return teach you how it is done ‘the African way
Guests staying at Tembe Lodge enjoy daily morning and evening game drives with experience field guides. Volunteers are welcome to participate on these safaris is space allows. These are a wonderful opportunity to interact with guests, film wildlife and assist the field guides.
There are some wonderful additional excursion opportunities in this diverse and rich landscape.
All trips are arranged with the individual locations and the costs are at your own personal expense. Please note that Tembe cannot guarantee transportation to any of these excursions but we will do out best to accommodate your requirements.
Additional information for wildlife volunteers
Cost: the project contribution is ZAR 2450 per week, (approx: 350 US$ / 175 GBP / 260 Euro, per week). Your booking is directly with the Tembe Trust and not through another organisation.
Cost includes all meals, transportation to and from Durban International Airport plus transportation within and around the park.
Cost does not include flights, visas, travel insurance or additional excursions.
Accommodation: Volunteers will stay at the volunteer camp. Accommodation consists of comfortable log cabins that can sleep either one or two people. Toilets and showers are within easy reach of all cabins. A shared kitchen plus lounge area with television and video facilities are provided for volunteer use.
Meals: All food will be provided. Breakfast and lunch are to be self-catered. Dinner will be provided by the Tembe Lodge kitchen. Volunteers will have access to a kitchen with all appliances and food supplies. Please ensure that you inform us of any specific dietary requirements.
Getting here: Volunteers will need to arrange their own flights to Durban International Airport where they will be met.
Durban is a one hour flight from Johannesburg International airport or a two hour flight from Cape Town International Airport. There are daily direct flights from UK, Europe and USA to both Johannesburg and Cape Town.
We ask that wherever possible that you arrive at Durban International Airport on a Thursday morning and arrange for your return flight on a Monday afternoon. This will assist us greatly in arranging airport transfers.
Previous project volunters: upon request we will gladly supply you with email addresses of previous wildlife volunteers.
If you are interested in volunteering at Tembe Elephant Park, please click here to contact us.
For more information about Tembe, visit the following:
The Tembe Trust web site
Tembe web site
Download tourist brochure