Gain hands-on reserve management skills and learn about conservation in game reserves at Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa, home to lions, elephants, leopards, rhino and more.
The Dinokeng Game Reserve serves as a pioneering model for conservation initiatives in South Africa, particularly in areas where animals live in close proximity to humans. Around 170 families live on the 18,500 hectare reserve, which is home to lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, elephant, cheetah, antelope and other game species. Reserve management plays a major role in allowing wildlife and people to co-exist in such a way.
Reserve Management interns work closely with field staff and reserve managers on a range of tasks, including monitoring elephant and lion herds in order to understand habitat utilization and movements around the reserve. Interns also help with animal contraception, behavioral and predator studies, and camera trapping.
Interns can learn about bush ecology, animal behavior, navigation, GPS and GIS mapping techniques. You can help with identifying animals, plants and birds that give feedback on species populations, and learn bush skills such as spoor identification and tracking.
Reserve management is not solely about working with animals, so interns will also get experience in assisting with other general tasks around the reserve. Erosion control, road maintenance, bush clearing and manual labour are all core duties of reserve management that interns can be required to assist with. It is always endeavored to balance exciting wildlife-related activities with everyday work in the bush.
Depending on your skills and the needs of the reserve, interns studying in relevant areas of interest (i.e. conservation and wildlife, environmental and natural sciences, biology and botany, etc) may be assigned to specific tasks related to practical components of your studies. This can be arranged with your supervisor when you’re in South Africa.
Reserve management learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
- Monitoring elephant or lion herds
- Animal contraception
- Behavioral and predator studies
- Camera trapping
- Bush ecology studies
- GPS and GIS mapping
- Spoor identification and tracking
- Population data collection
- Self-driven research in your own field of interest
Professional development opportunities:
- Shadow and assist real reserve managers at an operating reserve
- Get experience monitoring and observing park wildlife
- Learn bush skills and techniques
- Gain a rounded understanding of park management
- Mostly full-time Monday to Friday, depending on weather, season and research requirements. Interns may be required to assist research outside normal work hours or on weekends on arrangement.
- Intern in a game park with some of Africa’s most spectacular animals
- Learn practical reserve management skills across a range of areas
- Get understanding of animal behavior and bush ecology in South Africa
Types of host organizations:
- Dinokeng Game Reserve
|“I chose this specific internship because it aligned perfectly with my particular career goal and path. I learned so much about strategies and practices, and so many valuable skills to address and improve the dilemma of the rise of endangered species and extinction epidemic. The skills I was so grateful to learn and improve on consisted of learning all about savannah ecology, animal behavior, GPS, GIS, and other navigational skills, biodiversity survey techniques, habitat assessments, bird point counts, monitoring the range and activity of wildlife species, and ways in which to mitigate human to wildlife conflict. Everyday started in the early morning just before the sun came up as many of the bird species started to come out and ended just after the sun would set as many of the other native species are crepuscular, mostly active in the cooler temperatures of dawn and dusk. It was truly a beautiful, wild, and wonderful time that I will forever cherish.” - Sarah Leaman, USA. Read more stories here.|
|Internship Duration||Program Fee (USD)|
Please note that program fees for all South Africa Environmental internships include return transportation to the airport. This transportation service is scheduled on specific dates and times. To ensure the schedule works for you, check with your Internships Manager for details before booking your departure flights.
- To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
- All Intern Abroad programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 in addition to the Program Fee.
- All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges. International wire transfer payments attract a minimum fee of US$75.
- * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
- Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
- Souvenirs + tourism/leisure activities during free time.
- Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, and public transportation. Interns generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient.