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About Enkosini

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 Project Map





Lapolosa Wilderness
Makalali Game Reserve
Siyafunda Bush Experience
Kariega Conservation Project
Amakhala Game Reserve
Zingela Endangered Species
Modisa Wildlife Project
Bambelela Wildlife Sanctuary
C.A.R.E. Baboon Sanctuary
Noah's Ark Wildlife Centre
Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary
O.R.C.A. Marine Conservation
Great White Shark Project


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Enkosini Eco Experience

volunteer project:

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(South Africa)

Two great conservation projects, Zingela and Siyafunda, have recently partnered to offer a fantastic experience for individuals who are interested in Rare and Endangered species in Africa.


The 55,000 acre Zingela Game Reserve is based in the Northwestern Limpopo province of South Africa. The project focuses on breeding rare and endangered species and reintroducing them into their natural habitat, as well as managing and balancing the current wildlife populations. Two of the Big Five, buffalo and leopard, are already present on the reserve along with 45 other mammal species, including rarer carnivores such as brown hyena, spotted hyena, bat-eared fox and cheetah. Roan antelope, sable antelope, and disease-free buffalo are currently being bred. Plans to reintroduce lion and elephant are in the making.


Volunteers stay in a typical South African Farm house with large rooms and verandahs to enjoy during the sweltering hot summer days. The Farm house is situated next to a dam which is teeming with animals throughout the day and leopard and hyena are observed regularly at night. The house has permanent electricity supply which is essential for onsite data capture and analysis.


The Zingela experience requires a minimum stay of two weeks, allowing volunteers to truly immerse themselves into project activities and become part of the close team.


During the first week, volunteers will have a thorough introduction into reserve activities and wildlife monitoring protocol, and assist with feeding, observing and monitoring of rare antelope species and buffalo.  Volunteers will also enjoy daily monitoring drives  and water point observations to understand utilization by free roaming species within the reserve.  


In the  second week, volunteers must be prepared to spend 3 nights out on foot hiking and camping (see list of required equipment).  We've found this is the most effective way of recording sightings and other signs/tracks of the rare predator species as well as other species such as leopard, cheetah and hyena.  For the remainder of the week, volunteers will assist with habitat work and reserve maintenance, and visit the local community.


This project is fantastic for a true conservation-minded volunteer who wants to be deeply involved with the establishment of a protected area where endangered species can roam freely and thrive, and eradicated species, such as lion and elephant, can be reintroduced. 


Volunteer Work

Zingela is very hands-on, providing practical experience with conservation management and plenty of staff/volunteer interaction. Daily activities are interesting and varied, including:


Assisting breeding projects of rare species. This entails feeding and locating calves during the calving season, and monitoring the health and behavior of animals such as buffalo, roan, and sable antelope.


Planning the introduction of lion and determining their effect on other predators by monitoring predator movement and behavior, and mapping predator composition.


Planning the introduction of elephant and determining their effect on reserve sustainability through vegetation surveys and mapping.


Maintaining bomas (enclosures where species are kept before reintroduction), look-out points at water holes, and habitats (invasive plant removal, bush encroachment and erosion control).


Developing protocols to monitor and interpret animal movements and distribution, such as vehicle/walking routes for game counts.


Monitoring animal activity through these drives, walks, and waterhole observations.


Monitoring bird species and introduction of Ground Hornbills in partnership with Siyafunda Makalali.


Developing outreach projects for the local communities to help them grow, and to raise awareness for conservation efforts.


Field Conditions

The Farm house sits by a large dam with lovely hill views to the south. The house has 4 large bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a large lounge which opens onto a large veranda that surrounds the house on 2 sides.  The kitchen is typical of old South African farm houses, being large with a walk in pantry.  The kitchen is the focal point of the house and opens to the outside dining area and campfire. There is permanent electricity and hot running water at the house.


Volunteers participate in the creation of menus, the preparation of meals and general upkeep of the Camp on a rotational basis.


Other Activities

Zingela is remote and there is no public transport to town. However, volunteers will have an opportunity to visit the local hamlet of Tolwe approximately once a week and every 2 weeks a larger town in coordination with trips to collect food and pick up/drop off volunteers.


The closest town for pick up of volunteers is Mokopane, which is small but has all the usual amenities, including medical doctors, supermarkets, restaurants and Internet cafs.


The Blouberg Mountains, meaning Blue Mountain in Afrikaans, are a beautiful nearby attraction. The Blouberg is one of the most spectacular rock climbing areas in South Africa, famous for its sheer 350 metre Moonshadow wall.


Training / Qualifications

A reasonable level of fitness is important to fully participate, especially during the hiking component of the program. Training will be given in all aspects of the project on arrival.


Age Requirement

Zingela accepts volunteers of 16+ years of age.  Volunteers under 16 years old are only considered when accompanied by a parent/guardian.  There isn't a maximum age limit, though a reasonable fitness level is necessary.



Volunteer Contribution:

1 week: GB545 / US$795

2 weeks: GB695 / US$1195

3 weeks: GB945 / US$1595

4 weeks: GB1195 / US$1995

Extra weeks: GB245 / US$395 per week


From a location perspective, our Makalali, Siyafunda and Bambelela programs are great add-ons with the Zingela project, and any of these project combinations include a $200 discount.  


Please Note:

Volunteers receive a $100 discount when joining multiple Enkosini programs.

Enkosini uses USD rates as standard due to currency fluctuations. GBP rates are indications of approx recent values. Currency convertor at


Volunteer contributions cover meals, accommodation, activities, transfers from Mokopane to Zingela, and project donation. Flights and travel/medical insurance are NOT included. The only additional spending money required will be for personal purchases, social excursions away from Zingela, and pre/post project travel. We do not have discounted rates for partial weeks.


Please bear in mind that the sooner you apply, the better your chances of securing your placement!



We organize arrivals/departures on Mondays to coincide with weekly town trips for food/supplies/etc. There is no charge for Monday transfers.


Travel Logistics

The closest town to Zingela is MOKOPANE - nearly 250kms from Johannesburg. Mokopane is approximately 180km or 2 hours from Zingela. Buses are available from Johannesburg to Mokopane. Arrangements will be made to collect incoming volunteers from the Mokopane Bus Station. If you need to overnight in Mokopane either before or after your program, the Makalali staff can pick you up or drop you off at the Casa Feliz Guesthouse.


By Bus - Jo'burg to Mokopane

Buses leave from Johannesburg Park Station or Pretoria Bus Station. Translux buses depart every day from Jo'Burg at 09h30 and Pretoria at 10h30, arriving into Mokopane at 13h00. For bus reservations, contact Thandiwe at - email her with your name, dates of travel and where you will be traveling to/from. Volunteers need to arrive at the bus station at least 30 minutes before departure to pay for your bus ticket or the ticket will be forfeited. Try to book your bus ticket at least a month in advance as they definitely fill up!



The Zingela reserves area borders a malarial zone and it is incumbent upon each person to take medical opinion on vaccinations and whether or not to follow a malaria prophylactic programme. There are no formal vaccinations requirements for entering South Africa. See FAQs for complete packing list.




























To contact our South African office:

Enkosini Eco Experience

P.O. Box 1197, Lydenburg 1120, South Africa

E-mail:, Web:


To contact our US office:

Enkosini Eco Experience

4111 East Madison Street, Suite 76, Seattle, WA 98112, USA

Tel: +1.206.604.2664, Fax: +1.310.359.0269

E-mail:, Web:


Copyright The Lion Foundation/Enkosini