Africa’s Big 5 and Wilderness Conservation in Botswana

Live in a remote part of the Southern African bushveld and join our conservation efforts to protect Africa’s Big Five and other African wildlife

At a glance

  • You’ll primarily be working with elephants although you’re bound to see leopards, lions, and more.
  • Supervised by our conservation experts, you'll help us achieve our mission to create a space where animals can roam freely and thrive.
  • You’ll live on a reserve by the Limpopo River. After a good day's work, you can relax beside the pool and in the evenings you can share stories with other volunteers around the fire pit.

Start Dates: 

July and August

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

One Week


16 or over

Is wildlife conservation volunteering in Botswana right for me?

This wildlife conservation volunteer opportunity in Botswana is open to all ages. It’s especially suited to anyone with a passion for the great outdoors and preserving African wildlife.  

If you’ve been craving a break from constant connection and city or suburban life, this off the beaten track adventure is just what you need. 

Pursuing a career in conservation? This environmental conservation project offers a perfect balance between research and doing hands-on work. You will also be learning from conservation experts, giving you a good all-round experience to add to your CV. You can use this experience in interviews and talk about what you learned and the challenges you faced while working with wild animals.

Your work will be divided into four main categories:

Help us conduct elephant research

The Tuli region is home to a large elephant population, which is one of the most exciting things about the area. However, these gentle giants do have quite an impact on the environment with their 12 - 18 hour-a-day feeding habit.  

For this reason, it’s important for us to keep track of their population growth and movement. As an environmental volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity help us do this by taking part in elephant research. For example, you'll help identify and record individual elephants and their family groups. You'll also learn how to spot and record movement patterns.

Anti-poaching patrols

Illegal poaching of bush meat is a major challenge to wildlife conservation in Botswana. As a conservation volunteer, you will help reduce poaching in the Tuli area. You will mainly do this by joining local staff members in removing snares around the wildlife reserve. 

In 2017, our Conservation volunteers removed over 1,500 snares in Botswana. We've seen a decrease in the number of snares as well as an increase in the amount of wildlife in the past years.  We hope that this might indicate a decrease in poaching activity, but we need you to help us continue these efforts. 

You will never be expected to take part in any anti-poaching activities that could risk confrontation with poachers. 

Water conservation

Water is scarce in Southern Africa, so we have to work to conserve it.

As a wildlife Conservation volunteer, you will help us construct and repair waterholes, boreholes and rainwater tanks. This will ensure that water is caught up during the wet season and that there is lots of fresh water during the dry season. 


Keeping tabs on the movements of wild animals is no easy feat, but we manage to do a pretty good job with our ongoing surveys. During your time in Botswana, you may help us with a bird census, a crocodile census, spoor identification or compiling an inventory of all the mammal species in the reserve.

We’re currently conducting a survey of all the baobab trees in the reserve and doing a thorough vegetation mapping project. 

By doing these surveys, you will help us prove this area of Botswana is unique, wild and an essential area for protecting biodiversity in Southern Africa. In turn, this helps us achieve the longer-term aim of establishing a legally binding conservancy for the central Tuli area.

Who are our project partners?

We partner with a reserve in Botswana. 

The reserve is owned by Dr Helena Fitchat and Mrs Judi Gounaris, two unique women who share a spirit of adventure and undying passion for the magic of the African Wilderness and its wildlife.

Where in Botswana will I be working?

The Tuli Block

During your time doing conservation volunteer work in Botswana, you will be based at a Projects Abroad reserve, which is close to the border of South Africa. 

Located on the banks of the mighty Limpopo River you will find yourself in the very heart of the bush. With a large elephant population, crocodiles lazing happily in the warm river sand and a nightly lullaby of hyena giggles and lion roars, Tuli is truly a wild place. 

The camp where you will be staying has a rustic, safari feel to it. You can spend starry evenings exchanging stories about the Big Five animals next to the campfire with other volunteers and local staff members, and hot afternoons cooling down in the pristine pool. 

We encourage you to fully immerse yourself in the experience. However, while the project is thoroughly risk assessed and supervised, please do remember there will be wild animals around. Therefore, our policy is that you must never leave camp without a qualified staff member.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Botswana Arrival Procedures page.

A typical volunteering day in Botswana

As a Conservation volunteer in Botswana, you can expect to work five or six hours a day. Your workload will be divided as follows:

  • Four hours of hard work during the cool morning hours
  • Two hours of less demanding tasks in the late afternoon

In the mornings, you will typically help our local staff members do things like dig water holes, join an anti-poaching patrol to remove snares and do some spoor identification. 

Because mid-afternoon can be incredibly hot, you’ll use these hours to eat, sleep, swim, relax, and read.

Late afternoons and early evenings are the perfect times to conduct surveys, as animals and birds emerge from their midday slumber to quench their thirst at waterholes. You may also join rangers on another anti-poaching patrol. 

Since you will be sharing accommodation with your fellow volunteers, you will be able to spend your evenings and weekends getting to know each other better. Share knowledge and go on memorable excursions, such as bush walks or game drives in the African wildlife reserve. 

Volunteers from Projects Abroad are seen helping with landscaping jobs as part of their wildlife conservation work oppurtunity in Botswana.

Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.

Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll share a tent with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay at our base camp in the Tuli Block. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and share the experience of living in the heart of the bushveld together. There are shared bathrooms with hot, running water. There is no electricity, but we have charging stations running on solar power so we have light at night.


The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.


Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

Volunteering in Botswana with us is a chance to experience a completely different way of life. By living and working in a wildlife reserve, you’ll be able to connect with nature and experience the beauty of Africa.

You’ll spend most of your time in the reserve. You can spend your free time connecting with like-minded volunteers who are passionate about making a difference. 

Quiet afternoons are perfect for enjoying a good book or relaxing under the shade of an acacia tree. In the evenings, you can roast marshmallows around a campfire or play board games together.

You’ll also spend a lot of your time going on safaris, spotting the majestic African wildlife like rhinos, elephants, and leopards.

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

When you apply you only pay $495, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options and fundraising advice available.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 08 7130 3970 to see if we can offer a discount.

Please choose a Duration and Start Date to continue.

Enquire Now

Fields marked with * are compulsory!

Our accreditations