What We Offer
Volunteers Gain Experience In The Following 3 Key Aspects Of Conservation:
Volunteers work alongside the experienced conservation team who comprise of scientists, reserve managers, trackers and anti-poaching scouts, enabling them to learn a wide range of invaluable skills.
The Nkombi Volunteer Programme is situated on a 12000 acre reserve. The reserve is home to 2500 large mammals made up of 50 different species. The reserve is extremely picturesque, it is made up of undulating grass lands, interspersed with acacia thickets which makes game viewing rewarding.
Volunteers become part of our small team and assist with all aspects of reserve management and research.
On arrival the volunteers will receive training to ensure that they are prepared to assist with all activities and are equipped with the necessary skills to become part of the team.
Once trained they will take part in the following activities:
Large Mammal Population Monitoring;
Controlled Veld Burns;
Training K9 Unit;
Game Capture (seasonal);
Life skills, changing tyres, building fires, basic first aid and cooking
Nkombi are the Proud Research Partners of the University of Gloucestershire
In January 2020 NVP teamed up with Prof. Adam Hart and Prof Anne Goodenough to collaborate on scientific research. Multiple publications have come from the research undertaken on the reserve. Volunteers will be involved in the following long-term research:
Water bird surveys: what is the optimal survey duration?
Mammal transects: comparing detection curves between walked and driven transects,
Grassland surveying: How many surveys are needed?
Grazing availability: Post-burn recovery and seasonal variation.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to assist university students with research projects in the field. Enabling them to acquire valuable teaching experience.
Mankwe Wildlife Reserve hosts 13 universities from the United Kingdom and 7 Earthwatch teams. Mankwe's small management team does all of the lecturing for the universities but will occasionally need volunteers to help teach students in the field. This presents a great opportunity for volunteers to gain experience in education and is something that they can add to their CV's should they want to go into lecturing. Volunteers will also be able to network with some of the UK's leading scientists.
Volunteers are expected to help prepare the camp before groups arrive, maintain the camp while groups are on the reserve and assist in the cleaning up of camp after groups have left.
Volunteers Can Choose Between One Of These Three Destinations For Their Day Off
Pilanesberg National Park
Pilanesberg National Park is located in the Bojanala Region, within the North West Province and relatively near Johannesburg. With an area of 550km², it is the fourth largest park in South Africa. The volcano crater in which the park is situated erupted 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg was originally owned by 3 of the local tribes.
History was made in 1979 when Sun City was opened in the North West to become the best holiday resort in South Africa, and for good reason.
Home to the Valley of Waves and sprawled along the border of the Pilanesberg National Park, Sun City Resort enjoys the fine distinction of being the only surf-and-safari destination.
Kgaswane National Park
The Kgaswane Mountain Reserve is a place of special beauty, an escape into a mountain range of great natural appeal. Day visitors are welcome to enjoy the self drive route on tarred roads which links a number of picnic sites and view points
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have running water at camp and is it drinkable?
Yes, there is running water at camp that is drinkable.
Is there electricity at camp?
Yes, the camp is powered by solar. The only time that there isn't electricity is when it has been raining.
Is there Wifi at camp?
No there is no wifi at camp. You can however, buy an MTN sim card when you land at the airport and load it with data. Please ensure that your phone has been unlocked from its network. If it hasn’t been unlocked then you will not be able to use your phone while on the reserve.
Will there be a transfer to pick me up from the airport?
We have specific dates that transfers drop off and pick up volunteers from the airport. We will ensure your booking is on those given dates so that you will have a transfer to and from the airport. This will all be included in the fee you pay to volunteer
How far is the reserve from OR Tambo international airport?
The reserve is a two-hour drive from the airport.
How far is the nearest hospital?
There are three world class private hospitals that are only a 45 minutes-drive from the reserve. These hospitals are Life Healthcare Peglerae Hospital, Netcare Ferncrest Hospital, and Rustenbrug Medi-Care center.
Will I need my own travel insurance?
Yes you will need to organize your own travel insurance. You will also need to make sure that if you do go to a private hospital that you are able to pay for your own medical bills either via credit/debit card. You will then be able claim the medical expenses back from the travel insurance company. Please note that the private hospitals will not see you unless you are able to pay them. If you are unable to pay for a private hospital, we will then have to take you to a government hospital. These hospital are not of the highest standards to say the least.
Do I need to have any vaccinations before I come to the reserve?
We are in a malaria free area, therefore there are no vaccinations that are necessary. It is however always a good idea to have an up-to-date tetanus shot and an immune booster such as vitamin B.
Can I do my own research/dissertation on the reserve?
Please speak to one of the Nkombi managers. We will review each request on a case by case basis.
What is included in the price?
The price includes your transfers to and from OR Tambo International Airport, accommodation, three meals a day, entrance for your day off and a Nkombi Volunteer shirt.
Will I have to share a cabin?
Volunteers will either have a cabin to themselves or they will have to share a cabin with one other volunteer. It all depends on cabin occupation at the time of booking. View cabins here.