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Game Ranger

4.7(11 reviews)
Experience
Volunteer
Destination
South Africa
Duration
8 weeks
Ages
18 to 85

Limited spots. Earliest available arrival is currently May 2024, and closing very soon.

Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

How does living amongst wild animals in South Africa – in their territory – while becoming a qualified game ranger sound to you? 

Break out of your day-to-day routine and embark on an adventure that will make the world a better place and help you grow as a person. 

On this all-inclusive volunteer trip, not only do you get to live and volunteer in a 6000-hectare private game reserve while training to become a game ranger. When you go with Global, you get:

  • Volunteer project placement – Guarantee your spot at our screened and vetted project partner in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Start your volunteer journey without spending months searching for a reputable organisation on the other side of the world.
  • Comfortable accommodation on site – Relax in your shared, single-sex camp dorm on the reserve. Don’t let the roaring lions keep you up at night – you’ll want to be up early to experience one of Africa’s legendary sunrises and the ‘dawn chorus’ that comes with it.
  • Three meals a day. Prepared on site by the staff 3 times a day. Enjoy a mix of Western-style favourites and South African delicacies. 
  • FGASA Level 1 – Walk away as a fully qualified game ranger, accredited by the Field Guide Association of South Africa.
  • + way more.

Can you picture it? You’ve been up since sunrise tracking a pride of lions. The rangers suspect they made a kill overnight. And it’ll be a great thing to show the guests on the game drive you’ll be taking them on later. 

This isn’t the first time you’re tracking this pride, either. Some cubs were born recently so you’ve been following the pride to monitor the health of the young cubs. 

For most people, an experience like this costs an arm and a leg. Especially if you’re staying in a tented camp in the reserve like you’ll be doing on this trip. 

Although most people don’t get the chance to experience something like this. Tracking wild African animals in wild spaces – while learning the nuances of tracking wildlife in the African bush – is a truly once in a lifetime experience. 

And when you book with Global, you book with the best. You get the full experience for a fraction of the hassle. Your volunteer placement and accommodation is sorted before you leave, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Inclusions

Tap to expand

Volunteer project placement
FGASA Level 1
Dedicated Trip Coordinator
Pre-Departure Guide
Trip visa guidance
Personal Travel Concierge
Return airport transfer
Comfortable accommodation
Project supplies
Meals
First Aid Course Level 1
Local cultural experiences
Certificate of completion
Ongoing local team support
24/7 Global Emergency Line
gWorld access
Global AcademyNEW
Marketplace dealsNEW
$250 off your next trip

Qualification

To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-85 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

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Meet your very first travel buddy, gWorld

Trip details

Our Game Ranger Course Volunteer trip in South Africa is designed to get you volunteering overseas in a safe and fun environment and with a genuine and rewarding purpose.

Our expert team and local partners take care of everything you need to start making a positive impact, from volunteer placement and meals to accommodation and ongoing support throughout your entire journey.

Whether you’re doing gap year volunteering or taking a volunteering holiday from work, you’ll arrive in South Africa with the confidence that absolutely everything has been pre-arranged for you.

You’ll be able to jump straight into your course and volunteer duties, relax into the African lifestyle and start making new friends with all the logistical details sorted, from airport transfers to accommodation.

Channel all your energy into immersing yourself in your field guide course and volunteer placement, as well as taking time to get to know the local area.

Spend your weekends getting a golden glow on Port Elizabeth’s beaches, roaming through Grahamstown’s trails and trying the local cuisines instead of sweating the logistical stuff - that’s exactly why we’re here.

Feel confident and proud you are contributing much-needed help to a meaningful cause and save yourself the time, money and even the risk of being stranded in a foreign country by having us on your side.

Make your time count on this life-changing opportunity to volunteer in Africa and arrive home as an expert in wildlife conversation that will ensure the inhabitants of the animal kingdom remain for years to come.

Requirements 

To qualify for this trip, you must be able to undertake laborious duties.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, visa, vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs & spending money.

Purpose & impact

At the end of this trip, you should be returning home as an accredited field guide in South Africa. The emphasis of this course is practical exposure. Meaning you’ll spend most of your time out in the bush, learning while doing. 

This data collection and wildlife monitoring are all vital activities for conservation in the area. The more we know, the better we can help. So you’ll be learning a ton while having mind-blowing experiences. But you’ll also be contributing to important wildlife conservation duties while you’re at it. 

There is a theoretical element to the course to test your understanding of the material. The course covers topics such as geology, astronomy, weather and climate, and basic ecology and taxonomy. 

Along with the practical knowledge, a course like this will enrich your time in the bush. Experiencing wildlife at face value is one thing. But the more you know, the richer your experience becomes. 

Knowing why the dung beetle rolls its wares backwards, which cute critter dines on scorpions, and how the leopard got its spots (a legendary isiZulu fable that game lodge guests love) will give you fodder for campfire stories for decades.

Accommodation & meals

Once you touch down at Port Elizabeth Airport you’ll be taken straight to your volunteer accommodation in the reserve. You’ll stay in a single-sex camp dorm with access to a library, tennis court, pool, and outdoor firepit. 

If you’re after a bit more pampering, treat yourself to an accommodation upgrade for the luxury experience.

With your accommodation on the reserve sorted and your volunteer placement in South Africa organised, what will you do about food? 

You’ll be given 3 meals a day prepared fresh by the on-site staff. Enjoy a mix of Western-style favourites and South African delicacies – like fresh venison cooked over an open fire. 

The food at most game reserves across South Africa is excellent. Fresh, local, and seasonal. So you won’t be going hungry on this trip.

Trip itinerary

Before you leave

 Your volunteer placement – including accommodation and 3 meals a day – is confirmed and organised before you leave home. 

Arrival

When you arrive at Port Elizabeth Airport, a driver will be waiting for you. You may be taken to a temporary lodge while you wait for more Global Travellers to arrive. Once everyone’s ready, you’ll be driven directly to your shared, single-sex camp dorm in the reserve.

Week 1

You’ll waste no time getting stuck in! You’ll start by meeting the other volunteers, going over your course outline, and taking part in various volunteer duties.  Your course starts in the first week with an emphasis on practical exposure. Which means you’ll be out in the bush most of the time. Tracking animals, counting herds, helping with game drives, and much more.

Week 2

It’s time to start the theory part of your course with a few lectures. But don’t worry, you’ll still spend plenty of time out in the bush, planting trees, helping at the nursery, counting different species of flora and much more.

Week 3-7

This is where the meat of the course is. You’ll gain most of your knowledge during these 4 weeks through a mix of volunteer duties, lectures on theory, and some self-study modules for you to complete on your own time.

Week 8

Assessment time! Your knowledge will be tested through a series of assessments and exams. And once you've passed, you’ll become a qualified game ranger in South Africa. How many of your friends can say that?!

Ongoing

 During your placement, you’ll have plenty of duties to keep you busy during the week.  While your duties on this trip could hardly be described as ‘work’, you do get weekends off to explore the area on your own terms. Take us up on one of the included activities and excursions. Which may include:  Weekend trip to Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, or a variety of nearby destinations. Accommodation and transport included.  Head to the coast to sample some of the world-class South African surf or dive with the beasts of the deep.  Grahamstown boasts an array of historical sites and amazing hiking trails. Or venture further afield after your placement to experience Cape Town – the cosmopolitan centre of African city life – or a diverse range of locations across the country.  Once your placement is over, you can choose to stay on in South Africa to explore what else it has to offer.  Hop onto gWorld – our social app for Global Travellers – and link up with other travellers to explore South Africa together. You could even join a bucket-list Global Getaway with other Global Travellers. Head north to the subtropical forests of Kwa-Zulu Natal, discover ancient rock art along the Drakensberg mountain range, get lost in the galaxy while you star-gaze from the deserts of the Karoo, or experience city life with an African flavour in Cape Town.  Whatever you choose to do, we can help make it easy.  We’ll be in touch with you throughout your stay. If you ever need advice or support our team is available to answer your questions. And our 24/7 emergency support line will help with urgent matters.  Don’t go alone. Go with Global.

Why choose us

When you travel with the best we take care of pretty much everything so you don’t have to. You’ll arrive in South Africa totally prepared with a plan of action and trusted people helping you along the way. 

Our volunteer trips are designed to help you make a real change in critical causes around the world. All while experiencing off-the-beaten-path locations with passionate locals. Our goal is to save you time, money, and stress while eliminating the risk of returning home early. Here’s how we do it: 

We’re on your side from the moment you get started. 

You’ll be assigned a dedicated Trip Coordinator. They’ll guide you through the next steps and answer all your questions. They’ll also help you with the pesky visa. No guesswork – only the right paperwork, approved the first time, in your hands before you leave. 

Your Personal Travel Concierge will help with flights, insurance, and any add-ons you’d like for your trip. These are real humans too – no robots here. 

We maintain relationships with a huge network of screened and vetted partner organisations all over the world. We know they’re trustworthy and that you’re in good hands because of all the successful trips Global Travellers keep having with our partners. 

Our team is well travelled so you can rely on our experience. We’re with you every step of the way. 

Join 75,000+ travellers – giving us 10,000+ 4 & 5 star reviews – by choosing Global to make your travel dreams come true. 

Most travellers book their trip 6-12 months in advance. Dates are flexible, but spaces are limited. So if you’re serious about volunteering in South Africa, don’t delay. 

With our Book Now, Decide Later feature, you can get started with a small deposit today, and take a full year to choose your dates. 

We’ll take over from there, helping you with visas, flights, accommodation, and setting you up with our partner in South Africa. 

This is the trip for you if you’re after the ultimate volunteering experience in South Africa, complete with everything you need and 24/7 support.

Click the red button to check dates & prices.

Reviews

Georgia Blue A
Oh my goodness Sam was soo helpful and lovely! I am very happy with everything I can't believe my dream from a little girl is coming true thanks Sam for helping me, reassuring me and being apart of this with me! South Africa here I come !!!

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Frequently asked questions

Why go with Global Work & Travel?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we provide a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide. We assist with visas, pre-departure, flights, insurance, and tours. Our cool tech features support you throughout the journey. As a Global Traveller, access gWorld, our personalized app. Keep important documents and trip details handy. Enjoy exclusive Marketplace deals, a social network, language learning, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like all your favorite apps merged into one, but better! Our support doesn't stop there. With a 24/7 emergency team, 90+ staff, and ongoing assistance, we ensure you feel like a local. Join the 80,000+ Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us. We proudly boast the most & best reviews in the biz!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The trip fee covers all the essential trip inclusions that ensure you have a meaningful and safe volunteering experience. It includes comprehensive pre-departure support to assist you throughout your journey. Once you arrive at your destination, the fee covers transportation, accommodation, and in most cases meals and some amazing excursions you'll do alongside other international volunteers. This comprehensive support is essential to provide you with a positive and secure volunteering experience, which is of utmost importance to us. Your trip fee allows us to ensure your well-being while making a meaningful impact, and it contributes to the sustainability and effectiveness of the volunteer projects we support.

Will I receive guidance and support before starting the volunteering trip?

Absolutely! Before starting your volunteer placement, you will receive comprehensive pre-departure support, which includes project-specific information, cultural orientation, and advice on preparing for your journey. Additionally, most trips include on-site training and an orientation to ensure you are well-prepared and confident in your volunteer role.

How do I choose the right volunteer trip for me?

With so many incredible options, we understand that selecting the perfect volunteer trip can be tricky. That's why we recommend booking your favourite one, and your dedicated Trip Coordinator will guide you through the project details. They will consider your interests, skills, desired location, and the impact you want to make. If we find another trip that better suits your preferences, we can easily swap you over to ensure you have the ideal volunteer experience. Rest assured, we're here to help you find the right fit!

How long should I volunteer for?

We offer flexibility in our volunteer trips, allowing you to choose the duration that best suits your schedule and desired experience. While most volunteers join us for 3 or 4 weeks, our trips accommodate durations as short as two weeks or as long as 12 weeks, and even extended stays. The choice is yours!

What ages are most volunteers?

The ages of our volunteers can vary depending on the project, but we have a wide age range. Our volunteers typically range from 18 years old to 85 years old! Our Trip Coordinators ensure that all volunteers are vetted before embarking on their journey. While age may differ, what unites our volunteers is their shared passion for travel and their dedication to making a positive impact in the community or wildlife conservation efforts they are involved in. Regardless of age, anyone with a passion to contribute and explore is welcome to join our volunteer trips.

Is it safe to volunteer overseas?

Safety is our utmost priority, and it drives our thorough trip planning process and comprehensive inclusions. With a successful track record of safely sending tens of thousands of travellers overseas since 2008, we prioritise your well-being throughout the journey. Before you depart, we provide full support, ensuring a smooth and secure experience. Upon arrival, we take care of every detail, including secure airport transfers, comfortable accommodations, usually meals, and dedicated project supervision. Additionally, our 24/7 emergency line ensures immediate assistance whenever needed, providing peace of mind throughout your entire volunteer experience.

Why should I book now?

Covid-19 threw us a curve ball and pretty much halted all travel. This means that we have a backlog of travellers, just like you, who are desperate to get out and explore the world! Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12 months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free. As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better? Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together! But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join. And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I want to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through DealsAway.com, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/7 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support and check-ins. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24/7.

Still have questions?

Why go Global

Flexible trips

The unexpected can happen sometimes. Can't travel right now? Swap your trip, gift it or save it for later with our Lifetime Deposit Guarantee.

Worldwide support

Know that someone is always ready to assist throughout the journey & they’re only a call, tweet, comment, text or double tap away, 24/7.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

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