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2011 has been a sad record year for South Africa: Over 400 rhinos are reported to have been killed by poachers for the sake of their horn. With South Africa being the focal point for trade of rhino horn, home to 70-80% of the global rhino population, their protection is now paramount.

African Conservation Experience are excited to have joined forces with a dedicated team of conservationists to enable international volunteers to assist with the protection of rhinos as part of the Mofemedi Rhino Recovery Initiative. Keen conservationists and wildlife lovers can join this project as a volunteer for a period of 2-12 weeks. They will work alongside rangers, reserve managers and vets to protect the rhino population through monitoring and tracking the rhinos’ movements, as a constant presence has proven to be one of the most effective measures to prevent poaching.

In addition to protecting the rhino population, the volunteers also assist with elephant monitoring, buffalo habituation and a predator study, helping to broaden the knowledge of other charismatic African species.

The project kicks off with several weeks of especially exciting work in April as vets and researchers dart a number of rhinos, elephants and buffalo to fit the tracking collars that will enable the close monitoring throughout the year. This work is vital to the success of the project and also gives volunteers the amazing opportunity to get up close to the wildlife.

Based in the UK and founded in 1999 African Conservation Experience (ACE) arrange volunteering placements for international participants at conservation projects in southern Africa. The company has a strong responsible travel policy and ethos and consists of a small team of Expert team consisting of zoologists, conservationists and travel specialists. The conservation placements are ideal for a unique holiday, honeymoon, gap year, career break and sabbatical or for students of relevant subject areas wishing to gain practical experience and reserach skills.

Ellen Sziede
African Conservation Experience
ellen@conservationafrica.net