Volunteering at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge
If you are looking to make a difference by actively participating in the conservation of African wildlife within a fun, safe, stable and stunning environment, Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is the place for you.
Although this may sound similar to many other proudly South African volunteering projects, our dream for every person we encounter is to have a lifestyle change towards thinking conservation and living conservation. We want your time at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge to not only be the experience of a lifetime but an experience that changes your life! Our aim is to empower ordinary people (people like you!) to protect nature by creating a conservation lifestyle upon your return home.
So, what do we mean by a conservation lifestyle? A lasting change in heart, from selfish consumption towards preserving what has been entrusted to us.
The Buffelsdrift Foundation is a starting point for you to become a conservationist, because with your help there can be a better tomorrow. Our planet and specifically the wildlife that abound in it are a special gift that we have the luxury of experiencing and enjoying. We want to share that experience with you and more importantly, we want future generations to have the opportunity to have similar enriching experiences. This can only be achieved through conscious consideration of our current actions and learning new ways to preserve and conserve our greatest gift.
Our conservation projects could not function without the hard work, dedication and time of our volunteers, officially known by the government here as Voluntourists. By joining us as at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge you are becoming part of a generous group of Voluntourists. By joining us at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge you are becoming part of a generous group of Voluntourists – those who see a country through unique eyes and spend their holiday time and funds assisting conservation around the world. Funds from our volunteering programme are reinvested into conservation, enabling us to grow and become even more successful in achieving our vision.
“At Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, anyone is a potential conservationist. It is our honour and pride to make you part of a generation that lives conservation.”
You will have the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing wildlife species in Africa such as lions, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, cheetah, meerkats, and many other indigenous species. Day-to-day maintenance of the conservation area, as well as food preparation and feeding, are performed by our dedicated volunteers. You will also be part of vital research on wild meerkat families.
The daily schedule may include the following activities:
- Monitoring, cleaning and maintenance of lion and elephant enclosure
- Preparing food for elephants and lions
- Tracking and monitoring free roaming cheetahs
- Researching and observing wild meerkat families
- Performing game counts
- Electric fence and enclosure patrolling
- Setting up camera “traps” for research purposes
- Relocating/trans-locating wild-life
- Mitigating human/animal conflict
- Contributing to habitat conservation, including planting spekboom
- Community upliftment via local projects
- Assisting and support at local farm school
- Farming work such as maintaining water supply, fixing fences, etc.
- Ultimately – learning to become a conservationist
Caring for wildlife and their habitat in Africa is not always easy and there are many challenges along the way, including long hours and hard work. But, it’s one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences you will ever have. We don’t want to romanticize the work we do. Our projects enable you to experience what life is like as a real conservationist. If you are a go-getter who isn’t afraid to “get your hands dirty” with a passion to get things done, then this is the volunteering opportunity for you.
Typical day of a volunteer
Normally the working day starts at 08:00 and ends at 17:00. On Saturdays only, essential activities are on the schedule, followed by fun activities. There are usually four to six activities per day. Volunteers are free on Sundays giving you the opportunity to participate in Buffelsdrift Game Lodge activities or to explore the captivating Klein Karoo or the Garden Route. Activities are based on a rotational system which ensures that everyone has the opportunity to experience all activities.
We are based in an area filled with opportunities for adventure and site seeing. We offer volunteers the opportunity to have a change of scenery and to go and explore our beautiful country and all it offers during their free time on weekends.
Some of the adventures and activities you may join before, during and after your stay are:
- Cango Caves
- Nature walks
- Ostrich farm
- Zip lining
- Horse riding
- Olive and wine tasting
- A day at the beach or surfing (the closest beaches are at Mossel Bay and Victoria Bay – approximately 70 km travel distance)
WHAT SOME OF OUR VOLUNTEERS HAD TO SAY
“The accommodation is very beautiful, because if you are having a shower you can see Oudtshoorn and the mountains.”
“Every day there is another mission to do and that’s what makes the stay at Buffelsdrift so amazing and exciting.”
“I am really glad that I decided to volunteer at Buffelsdrift. All the experiences I made were positive and awesome.”
“My expectations were not only fulfilled but exceeded.”
“The daily work allowed me to learn a lot about the different animals, their needs, their behaviour and their way of life.”
“In sum I just can say, that I really enjoyed everything and hope that I can come back sometime.”
“I definitely come back to Buffelsdrift maybe as a volunteer. I’m thankful for everything and hope a lot of volunteers have the chance to experience the same.”
“The accommodation was again, excellent. Much better than I imagined!”
“I gained so much more experiences than I’ve ever expected!”
“Buffelsdrift will always have a place in my heart!”