Volunteer with Elephants
Travel to Africa to volunteer with elephants, and help protect the land giants of our planet. African elephants are the largest animals walking on earth, but face threats of various kinds. During the 20th century, elephant numbers around the world decreased drastically due mainly to poaching for trade in ivory. Today, poaching for the illegal trade in ivory remains a threat, but the list of threats has grown.
Habitat loss is possibly the biggest threat to elephants today, and is caused mainly by:
- Growing human populations
- City expansion
- New human settlements
- Construction of infrastructure such as roads
- Agricultural development
Human-elephant conflict has caused elephants today to live in smaller areas of land than ever before.
Why elephants are important and need conservation volunteers
Elephants are crucial in maintaining balance to ecosystems in nature, those of which are often extremely delicate. Plant, tree, and other animal species numbers are directly influenced by elephant presence in an area. Hundreds of plant and tree species rely on elephants for their seeds to spread, and elephants also consume necessary amounts of vegetation to maintain an ecological balance.
Our African Bushveld Conservation Project in South Africa is our flagship volunteer project to work with elephants. Although we refer to South Africa in the project’s name, the majority of your time as a volunteer is spent in the neighboring country, Botswana, which is home to the largest population of elephants on private land in the world. As a volunteer, you will be based at a private reserve called Wild at Tuli, a 5,000 hectare area of wild bushveld.
The major focus of the project is to conserve bushveld ecosystems, and an important way this can be achieved is to protect elephants. Your work will spread across various areas of conservation, and will not be limited to working with elephants. The work you will do relating to elephants will include research to study population dynamics. You will spend time observing elephant numbers and movements. You will also take part in anti-poaching patrols.
Animal Safety and Well-being while volunteering
We are fully committed to the well-being of all the animals that we work with on our projects. Because of this, we have specific conditions and policies in place to ensure that none of our projects are connected to animal cruelty in any form, and that there are long-term and sustainable goals for each project.
We are strongly against the practice of exploiting animals for recreational or amusement activities, such as riding on elephant back. Our projects with elephants strive to have elephants thrive in their natural habitat, as do all other projects where you can volunteer with animals.
Visit our Animal Safety and Well-being While Volunteering page to read more about our policies.