Volunteering

at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

“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.”

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.

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1. Location

Along the Route 62 halfway between Cape Town & Port Elizabeth is the town of Oudtshoorn (Ostrich Capital of the world). It is a Malaria free area and one of the most famous tourist destinations in South Africa. Buffelsdrift game Lodge is situated only 6.5 km from Oudtshoorn on route to the world famous Cango Caves.

2. About Buffelsdrift

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge opened its doors in October 2005 and we have really made our mark nationally and internationally. In this short space of time we have already been voted the top Game Lodge in the Southern Cape by the Professional Management Review and by the AA Awards as one of the top three in South Africa.

We have a Restaurant for 120 people, international standard conference facility for 120 people, wedding chapel and 34 super luxury air-conditioned units all situated alongside a 5 ha waterhole filled with hippo. We also offer bush safaris (game drives), meerkat safaris, weddings with the elephants, elephant feeding and elephant walk excursions.

3. Program

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, is performed by our dedicated volunteers. You will also be part of vital research on wild meerkat families.

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.

The programme is therefore flexible and it might include the following:

Wildlife Activities

  • Monitoring, cleaning and maintenance of lion and elephant enclosure
  • Preparing food for elephants and lions
  • Electric fence and enclosure patrolling
  • Relocating/trans-locating wild-life
  • Mitigating human/animal conflict
  • 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

Wildlife Activities

  • Free Roaming Cheetah
  • Meerkat Families
  • Game Sensus (22 Game Species)
  • Camera “Traps”
  • Habitat Conservation (Spekboom)

4. Who can apply

Programs are suitable for persons 18 years and older who want to be exposed first hand to wild animals in their natural environment.

Language requirement: We understand English and Afrikaans, pointing and hand gestures will be used where language barriers occur.

Documents Required: Holiday Visa is required to enter South Africa and travel insurance for participating in this program.

5. Dates

This project can only be joined on Tuesdays any time of the year. You may extend for any length of time (minimum of two weeks)

6. 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
  • Skydiving
  • Kayaking
  • Abseiling
  • Nature walks
  • Ostrich farm
  • Zip lining
  • Stargazing
  • Horse riding
  • Hiking
  • 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)

7. Accommodation

Accommodation is large newly built tent with up to four people (same gender) sharing each room. The rooms and tents are basic but our single beds are comfortable with bedding provided (duvets and pillows). Showers and toilet facilities are on-suite and hot water is supplied by gas geysers. Power sockets for electrical items are available in each tent and in the communal area. Three meals are provided by the volunteers with assistants of a staff member.

8. Closest Airport

Only 45 minutes drive from Buffelsdrift we find George Airport along the Garden Route. There are many connecting flights to George from Johannesburg and Cape Town.

9. Time & Duration

The volunteer program runs all year round and kicks off every Tuesday.  The volunteer program runs mainly for two weeks, but you can extend or shorten your stay through prior arrangement.

10. Rates

(All rates quoted in South African Rand)
Please contact us directly for updated rates.
Rates include accommodation, all meals and transport to and from George Airport. Volunteers must arrange their own flights to and from George Airport.

Volunteer Program Accommodation at Buffelsdrift: