Volunteer at Samara – for an unforgettable African experience
Samara Private Game Reserve is situated on the vast mystical plains of the Great Karoo in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The reserve boasts spectacular topography; from vast open plains, to densely vegetated valleys and rocky escarpments. Restoration of the natural wildlife that roamed the Great Karoo prior to European settlement, 200 years ago, is the mission that we at Samara Private Game Reserve strive towards. The volunteer program at Samara gives you the opportunity to experience the incredible and unique landscape of the Great Karoo and contribute to the conservation of this land and the numerous plants and animals it supports.
The wildlife volunteer program is run by South African ecologists and wildlife enthusiasts Carli le Roux and Ed Rice. They ensure that you experience life on a game reserve in all its glory. As a volunteer you will work on ongoing wildlife research and management projects, as well as assist with community development and environmental education programs. The volunteer program gives you the great combination of experiencing, learning and personally contributing to conservation. You will get the opportunity of close personal encounters with some of Africa’s most majestic animals and discover what managing a game reserve is all about. Volunteers learn to use radio telemetry equipment to track animals for research purposes. You can also spend time in the field with a Master Tracker, one of only two in South Africa, who teaches at the Tracker Academy located in the reserve. He will show you the ancient art of tracking animals using animal spoor and droppings.
The program has been designed with a strong focus on hands-on involvement in the field. Volunteers leave their mark on Samara by getting their hands dirty, while they enjoy the amazing experience in the African bush. As a volunteer you will assist in clearing invasive plant species as part of our Alien Plant Management Plan. You will learn soil erosion control techniques, such as building gabions and silt traps, brush packing and planting trees, as part of our land rehabilitation project. You will also have the opportunity to assist in scientific data collection which contributes to recognised scientific research. All fieldwork and projects will be preceded by a background talk ensuring you have a better understanding of the significance and importance of the work you are doing. Volunteers are taught to be competent in all required field techniques, meaning the data collected can be used by management and affiliated organizations. You will leave Samara with a deeper understanding of the bush, as well as useful skills and techniques used in current scientific research, conservation and wildlife management. We also hope you will leave energized by the unforgettable experience of living so close to nature.
During your stay you will be living in our volunteer camp. The rooms are comfortable and there is a communal kitchen, dining area and lounge. Volunteers and coordinators take turns cooking and all eat together. It is a homely atmosphere giving volunteers a chance to relax and socialize after a day in the field. We make the most of the evenings and much time is spent preparing delicious meals on a South African-style braai or sitting around the camp fire sharing stories.
Apart from field work there are many exciting recreational activities. Volunteers get the opportunity to hike the mountains throughout the reserve. You can explore the caves that have San and Khoisan paintings that date back thousands of years. Go on game drives and see the wonderful selection of animals that Samara has to offer and learn how to identify plants, animals and birds.
For more information on our volunteer program:
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Visit our Website: www.samara.co.za/volunteer.htm
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Tel. +2749 892 3275 or +2749 891 0880