Do you love lions? Do you have a passion for protecting lions for future generations? This is the project for you.
Experience the true wildlife of the African plains by helping to save the endangered lion. Volunteer at an amazing unspoilt bushveld that boasts a variety of species, including giraffes, zebras, and antelope. Known as "the place of quiet," a lion's roar can be heard from miles around.
The Ukutula Lion Research Project takes place on a fully functional game farm that specializes in lion breeding. This project is focused on researching the genetics of the White Lion, and is administered through Onderstepoort, South Africa's largest veterinary institute. Aside from being a game farm, it is also an environmental education centre focusing on the conservation and preservation of wildlife. The 260 hectares of bushveld also have a variety of antelope species, giraffe, zebra as well as over 130 different bird species. The farm is family owned and operated.
The Lion Research Project is very hands-on, and volunteers will be expected to help with the day-to-day care of the lions and cubs.
Volunteer tasks include:
You'll also go on an amazing Kruger National Park safari! On Day 1 you'll travel with the other project volunteers on an air-conditioned bus to your accommodation for an evening dinner. Bright and early on day 2, you'll see breathtaking landscapes, including Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Berlin Falls, and God's Window before continuing on day 3 to Kruger National Park to see the Big 5 of African wildlife! For those brave souls there is also the chance to go on the Graskop Big Swing (or you can just take in the view while on solid ground). Day 4 will take you back to Johannesburg or the continuation of your volunteer placement, so all transportation is taken care of for you.
Note on program lengths: Want to volunteer more of your time? Our program includes a 2 week volunteer placement, but we can also arrange a 4 week placement if you want to stay in beautiful South Africa even longer. Just contact us for more details and availability.
Get support from the local staff during your placement! They have been hosting foreign participants for years and will make your volunteer placement as comfortable as they can.
There are new 2 sleeper en-suite chalets on the farm that are fully furnished and equipped. There is full laundry service and a snack shop. All meals are prepared on site.
Your placement is located in Ukutula (2 weeks) and the orientation will take place in Johannesburg (3 days).
Being part of the SWAP South Africa Ukutula Lion Research Project is easy! Download the Application Package, read through the information carefully and complete the forms.
When you have your application ready, register online HERE.
Your contribution, like your memories, will last long after you return home and will help protect lions for generations to come.
Canadians ages 18+
Minimum 8 weeks prior to your preferred start date. The program dates can fill up fast, so register as early as possible - dates subject to availability (See program forms for the specific 2017 program dates)
Two weeks + 3-day orientation (and a 4-day Kruger National Park safari)
3 month tourist visa (you can stay in South Africa before/after your program ends)
Orientations start on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, available year-round! Here are the dates for 2017:
SWAP's Ukutula Lion Research Project is only $2600 CAD! That includes a 3-month volunteer visa, 2-week volunteer placement on the Ukutula Lion Research Project, a comprehensive 3-day orientation in Johannesburg, an exciting 4-day safari in Kruger National park, plus full accommodation and meals for the length of your placementTake the 1st step ››
"My favourite part of my trip was meeting other people from all over the world and working with the animals at Ukutula first hand. I was worried about not making any friends because I was going alone, but as soon as I arrived in South Africa, I met so many incredible people. I grew a lot closer than I expected with some girls and still talk to them daily even though I'm home now. This trip has definitely left me with friends who will last a lifetime!"