Elephant Care and Research in South Africa

Location: South Africa: Rural Areas

Program Duration: 9-12 Weeks, 5-8 Weeks, 2-4 Weeks, 1-2 Weeks

Dates: Year Round

Pod Volunteer


3 Crescent Terrace Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 3PE England

Call Us

Phone: + 44 (0) 1242 241 181


A fantastic opportunity to work hands on with elephants as well as helping an active research team. The project introduces you to the magnificent African elephant; you will be caring for these animals as well as researching them creating the elephant experience of a lifetime!

Volunteers staying 1 week focus on caring for and learning about the elephants, while those staying 3 weeks+ receive additional training and familiarisation on the techniques needed to observe and study the elephants, allowing them to get more involved in their research and welfare.

All volunteers receive elephant information and talks and are involved in a range of tasks, including:
*Helping look after the elephants - preparing their food, changing their sawdust bedding, and mucking out their living areas
*Field observations of the elephants - during the day and at night
*Walking with the elephants
*Data entry
*Making elephant enrichments to encourage wild foraging behaviour
*General maintenance - cleaning of elephant pens, water troughs and other areas, maintenance and painting
*Making elephant dung paper to sell to raise funds for the project


* Join an active team researching African elephants
* Work hands on with the elephants providing care and enrichment
* Collect data to guide best practice management of captive elephants worldwide
* Live on the Garden Route; ideally located to explore South Africa

Volunteers help the park staff to feed and care for nine elephants which is no small task! Volunteers are an incredibly important part of the park and its research unit. They enable the park to include more individual elephants in their studies and to study these animals for longer periods of time, which allows for greater insight and understanding of this fascinating species.

Having volunteers to assist with the research has allowed the park to include additional projects into their schedule. The knowledge gained from this research adds to the advice they are able to provide for the optimal care and management of captive elephants. This is crucial for the wellbeing of captive elephants around the world.

Volunteers act as ambassadors for the park and its elephants by helping to spread the word about elephants and their research, welfare and conservation issues.


There are no qualifications required for this project.

  • English

Cost in US$:

Contact Provider for Cost Details

Cost Include Description:

* A comprehensive information booklet and pre-departure support
* Travel advice and assistance
* Being met on arrival at George Airport
* Accommodation (shared room)
* Return transfer to George Airport at the end of your stay
* Ongoing support, help and advice from our local team

Credit Available


Volunteer Types
  • Animal Welfare
  • Wildlife
  • Conservation
  • Business
Age Range
This Program is open to

Asian, Worldwide, Kiwi, South African, Australian, Canadian, European, American Participant. This Program is also open to Couples and Individuals.

Typical Living Arrangements
  • Dormitory

Participants Travel to South Africa


Application Process Involves
  • Written Application
Year Founded