Working with Rhinos
The Australian Rhino Project supports a range of rhino conservation initiatives in South Africa. Here is a list of our trusted and recommended volunteer programmes to get involved with:
Care for Wild
Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary NPC was founded by Petronel Nieuwoudt in 2001, with the goal of providing rescue, care and rehabilitation to a wide range of animals. Due to the drastic increase of rhino poaching in the surrounding areas Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary has become the biggest rhino orphanage and sanctuary in the world.
The volunteer programme is a paid for experience and the money is used for milk, food, fencing and rangers for security. Duties include preparing and distributing food and milk, creating enrichments for the animals, constructing, repairing and cleaning enclosures and more. Educational lectures are also offered.
For more information: www.careforwild.co.za/volunteer
HESC(Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre)
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre has established itself as one of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in South Africa.
HESC offers people the opportunity to care for cheetahs, learn about rescued rhinos at HESC and attend informal lectures on topics such as conservation, animal identification, plants and ecology, survival etc.
Volunteers will also have the opportunity to visit numerous places of interest and attractions in the area, including the Kruger National Park. This is a paid for experience.
For more information: www.hesc.co.za/how-you-can-help/volunteer/
Wild Heart Conservation
Wild Heart Conservation and their flagship project, Mutogomeli (which means ‘Guardian’ in the Venda language), was established in 2014 by Francois Meyer and Niall Beddy. Mutogomeli is a rhino guardian project based in the Limpopo Province.
Volunteers stay at base-camp in the ‘Baobab village’ that consists of two Rondawel Huts, a Lapa dining area and kitchen completely open to the bush. There is a swimming pool at camp and a Boma fire-pit area where volunteers and coordinators can enjoy a braai together. Base camp is fully equipped with hot water and electricity.
Volunteers, along with the team, are expected to wake early every day to head out into the remote bushveld and complete the objective of tracking, monitoring and protecting a small population of Wild Rhino, reporting their whereabouts and safety.
Field expeditions include:
- Students will be part of a day/night monitoring and tracking team.
- Monitoring rhino behaviour and interactions.
- Learn to track using Radio-telemetry and GPS technology
- Learn to recognise priority specie individuals through their tracks and signs.
- Animal condition assessment.
- Assist and learn about anti-poaching protection procedures.
- Learn about management planning and population structures through information collected.
This is a paid for volunteer programme and proceeds go towards funding the conservation of rhinos.
For more information: www.whconservation.co.za/index.php/volunteer/volunteer
Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation
Imire wildlife sanctuary was founded in 1952 by Norman and Gilly Travers. Originally cattle ranchers and farmers, the Travers also had a great passion for wildlife and conservation, which led to the establishment of Imire as a wildlife sanctuary.
In 1987 Imire was granted custodianship of seven orphaned black rhino calves during a surge in rhino poaching in the Zambezi Valley. These black rhino were the start of their world-renowned black rhino-breeding programme, in which Imire has successfully reintroduced 11 rhino back into the wild.
Imire’s hands on rhino and elephant conservation programme is a unique opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at day-to-day life at Imire, and be involved with the conservation of Zimbabwe’s endangered black rhino.
This programme is focused on the protection and care of five black and two white rhino and four elephants. Volunteers undertake hands-on work with these amazing animals and gain experience in game park management, anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring. Volunteers also get involved with community development and education projects, teaching local communities and children about the importance of preserving wildlife and the environment.
This is a paid for volunteer programme in which the proceeds go towards the conservation and community projects.
For more information: http://www.imirevolunteers.org/