Limpokwena Volunteer Activities
Limpokwena Volunteers are offered the chance to experience what running a reserve in South Africa entails. We have created a program that incorporates the daily management of a pristine, untouched piece of wilderness as well as the hospitality aspect of running a lodge. The opportunities we offer can assist in students who are unsure of their career prospects and have an interest in conservation and wildlife management, or hospitality.
Experiences include camera trap surveys, predator call-ups and a great introduction into birding for anyone keen to start out. A safe,homely environment, with a limited number of volunteers, makes this experience focused with lots of hands on experience.
Tourism & Hospitality
There is quite a bit of behind-the-scenes administration, marketing and sales that takes place to ensure our guests have a great experience with us; from the minute they enquire with us, to the day they depart.
As part of the volunteer experience, we will incorporate our volunteers into every aspect of our guests’ experience.
- Reservations and Enquiries
- Guests arrival and check-in
- Room Checks and Housekeeping
- Guest Activities and planning
- Catering, meal prep and menu planning
This is a great opportunity for anyone with a passion for hospitality and guest satisfaction to learn more and gain experience in the industry.
Often, besides the day to day running of a reserve, there are other exciting projects that take place:
- Species ID Kits:
Because we’re open to the Thuli Game Reserve in Botswana, we often get a variety of game animals that move through. Recently, we have had an exciting variety of species that are listed as either vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. These are the Leopard (vulnerable), African wild dog (endangered) and Elephant (vulnerable). Where possible, our aim would be to put an ID kit together for these species and be able to recognise individuals who move through. The data can then be shared with the relevant departments to add to the South African databases. Currently, our wild dog and leopard data is shared with the relevant departments as there are some wild dog packs which have moved through in the past, that were undocumented. As wild dogs are critically endangered in South Africa, it is very important to document their population, distribution and ensure that human conflict is avoided.
- Predator Population Surveys:
Volunteers are able to contribute their time and gain experience researching the predator population numbers that may inhabit the reserve. This research is done via camera trap surveys, kill site investigations, and spoor count transects throughout the property. Focal research points include preferred prey species, predator distribution and overlap, and permanent resident’s vs traversing species.
- Bird Point-Counts:
“Point-count monitoring is a common way to monitor bird populations. It is characterized by tallying all birds observed at a fixed location during specific, repeated observation periods. It provides the relative abundance of all bird species and, over time, can detect trends in the abundance with a relatively small amount of work compared to other methods.” Our volunteers will have the opportunity to conduct bird Point-counts at GPS locations throughout the reserve, identifying as many calls and sightings of birds in a limited time frame. This is an ongoing project and is conducted at various times throughout the year to yield a wide variety of data in consistent field methods. Limpokwena is fortunate enough to list a remarkable species of birds, some of which are lifers such as the Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-billed Stork. Keen birders would benefit greatly from this opportunity.
Individual Research Opportunities
We have found that often students or volunteers have a research project in mind, but do not have a location or the support to undertake the research projects. We would like to offer volunteers the opportunity at Limpokwena to use the reserve and the species diversity as a location for the subject of the proposed research. Students are invited to submit their research proposals to Limpokwena for review and if we are able to offer the required support and subject matter, students are welcome to register as a volunteer to conduct their research at Limpokwena.
Ever wondered what it takes to become a Reserve Manager? One of the best jobs in the world!
Limpokwena Volunteers are able to experience “a day in the life” of a reserve manager and everything that goes on to ensure that the reserve is running smoothly.
- Fence checks and repairs & maintenance
- Road repairs and clearing (The elephants ensure that there are always roads to be cleared!)
- Water holes – pumping water and general maintenance
- Veld management and brush-packing
This aspect of the program allows our volunteers to get their hands dirty, and fall asleep satisfied at the end of each Day, working in the shadow of a reserve manager.
Community Interaction and Clean-ups
Part of our responsibility to the surrounding communities is to ensure that our local communities are kept clean and we engage in responsible tourism by leading by example. Limpokwena Volunteers and staff will partake in clean-ups amongst communities that, due to poverty do not have access to appropriate garbage and refuse disposal. Our goal is to fill as many refuse bags as possible along with members of the community for a day.
The refuse is sorted and separated before we transport it to the appropriate landfill sites. Limpokwena has also supported rural schools in the area with funding and our hope is to be able to contribute again in the future with support from our volunteers.
“Best of Both” Volunteering Experience
Limpokwena Nature Reserve is the smaller sister reserve to Zingela Nature Reserves. Zingela is a larger reserve, with a diverse landscape and operates various game breeding projects. In order for our volunteers to get the most out of their experience, we would also like to offer a “best of both” package, where we offer 2 weeks stay at each reserve. This package is a month is duration, and we will offer a transfer between projects. Volunteers will be able to take part in a selection of activities offered on the reserves, making the most out of your time while with us.
Get in touch with us to find out more!
Enjoy a relaxing stay with us
WHAT OUR VOLUNTEERS SAY
I volunteered at Limpokwena for 4 weeks, and my biggest regret was not making that 4 months- I had the best time of my life thanks to the excellent hospitality provided by Syanne and Riley, and the friendly staff who I also worked with.
Syanne and Riley made me feel safe and secure, welcoming me in to make me feel a part of their lovely family for the duration of my stay. I learnt new and exciting stuff every day, and they really went the extra mile to make this happen- contacting friends at the Endangered Wildlife Trust to experience ‘a day in the life’ there, organising events which enabled me to meet other volunteers at the town nearby (Alldays) and just generally making sure I got the most out of my trip. I was lucky enough to see 4 out of the big 5, and the highlight of my trip had to be the hyena call- up at night time in the Bush. I got to experience first- hand the practicalities of game reserve management, and the difficulties that come with it- burst pipes, broken fences and wrapping trees to avoid damage from the elephants. I also had the perfect amount of free time to relax and top up my tan! I will definitely be returning as soon as I can, and I could not recommend Limpokwena more. Thanks again
Fin Maguire - 2019