The Thrill of the Chase

Cheetah Conservation and Research Project in South Africa

Contribute to the preservation of the threatened cheetah species in the South African savannah.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Discover wild South Africa when you join an international team of volunteers assisting in the research of the world’s fastest land mammal, the cheetah. Develop an in-depth understanding of this fascinating, near-endangered species and contribute valuable data to ensure its longevity.

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undefined 30 June 2022
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Program overview

Journey to wildest Africa and volunteer to preserve the vulnerable cheetah species in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust whilst also contributing to ongoing conservation efforts in South Africa.

The cheetah is classified as a near threatened species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, red list. Subject to the same human-related threats as other species, including, habitat loss and poaching, cheetahs are at a higher risk due a lack of ability to successfully compete with other savannah predators, like lions and hyenas, as well as naturally weak genetics.

The main focus of your work will concern cheetah kill behaviour, which is related to their interaction with other predators on the reserve. You will work with a group of researchers and participants from all over the world to track cheetahs through the savannah using telemetry equipment and safari vehicles. Once spotted you will note their feeding behaviour and set up camera traps to determine how much of the kill they consume, when they leave, and what exactly scares them off. In some cases, it will be possible to view cheetah on foot if it is safe to do so.

Please note you can spend up to 12 hours a day collecting data which can be tiring, in the heat of the African sun.

Highlights

  • Contribute to the preservation of the at-risk cheetah species while observing them first-hand in the wild.
  • Go on a wildlife safari adventure in a private South African nature reserve.
  • Listen to the quiet hush of the wild open spaces, waking each morning to a chorus of savannah birds and drifting off to the nighttime hum of endemic frogs and crickets.
  • Learn to identify predators, like lions, cheetahs, and leopards, as well as megaherbivores like elephants and rhinos.
  • Master radio telemetry techniques and learning how to track and record animal movements.  
  • In your free time, visit the famous Kruger National Park, only an hour away from where we are based or visit the nearby Drakensberg Mountains where awe-inspiring vistas are afforded over the Blyde River Canyon.
  • Live and work alongside Field Guide Association of South Africa, FGASA, qualified guides, growing personally and professionally by learning from their experiences.
  • Sleep under the star-filled Southern night sky, its beauty enhanced by the lack of light pollution, and wake to a golden African dawn.

Program details

Program type
Volunteering
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