South Africa Game Ranger Internship

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1. In Brief

Visit South Africa, a Rainbow Nation that combines sophisticated modern culture with an ancient landscape that is simply breathtaking. South Africa has evolved over thousands of years to become the biologically and culturally diverse nation that it is today. The country welcomes millions of visitors a year attracted by its wide, sandy beaches, foaming surf, cosmopolitan cities, world famous national parks and game reserves and of course its monumental and dramatic natural landscapes including Table Mountain.

Rolling hills, extensive grasslands, lush savannah woodlands and historical frontier architecture will greet you at this exclusive game reserve. The unspoiled bushveld and crystal clear blue skies combine to offer a magnificent setting for you to explore and track the Big Five wildlife and to discover the intriguing history of this African paradise.



  • Gain your FGASA accredited qualification
  • Discover the Rainbow Nation
  • Make lifelong friends


Location Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Activities 14 FGASA modules
Rehabilitation work
Fence patrols
Game capture (in season)
Eradication of invasive plant species
Transport Airport pick-up
Accommodation Purpose-built dormitories


Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food (5 days/week)
Airport pick-up
In-country transfers
Local orientation and project training 
FGASA accredited field guide training
Course materials
Registration costs and examination fees
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up



A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


On the Frontier Marine Conservation Group Projects, we will train you to PADI Advanced Open Water before you begin undertaking important biological surveys. Depending on how long you spend on the project, you may also have the option to take further courses up to Divemaster!

Please see the "Dates and Costs" tab for dive qualification prices or ask your volunteer advisor for more information.

Find out more about PADI qualifications.

2. The project


You will be working within the reserve five days a week from Monday to Friday. The game reserve is home to all of Africa's Big Five animals (the lion, the African Elephant, the Cape Buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros) as well as many others, and you may get to help out with the reserve's animal rehabilitation work. The reserve has been successful in breeding Bengal Tigers with a new cub born in the reserve! Other work may include checking up on the lions and their cubs or feeding and cleaning the elephants in the on-site elephant sanctuary.

During your stay, you will follow a fully accredited FGASA field guide training course, led by qualified and experienced assessors. The FGASA field guide course is an entry-level qualification, involving a theoretical and a practical component. Your successful completion of this course will qualify you for a FGASA Level 1 certificate and First Aid Certificate.

The course objective is to train and qualify highly competent and skilled nature guides in all aspects of field guiding and to provide an experience for all participants to develop a greater appreciation of our natural environment and be able to effectively communicate that knowledge.

Your work will be hugely varied and may include such tasks as vegetation rehabilitation and the eradication of invasive plant species – invaluable for maintaining the local flora and fauna. Fence patrolling also needs to be carried out to check for wear and tear and to ensure the safety of the animals. Those joining in the month of February may get to assist with the annual game capture programme. Remember though, you are also here to study!

Within the reserve you can visit the historic English frontier town of Sidbury, noted for its contribution to the development of agriculture in South Africa and home to the oldest cricket grounds in the country. Here you will find a post office and a modern convenience store.

Excursions to Port Elizabeth, South Africa's second oldest city, are arranged every other weekend. Here you can enjoy sunbathing, surfing and swimming at the beautiful blue flag beaches such as George's and Humewood beach. In the evenings you can explore the exciting bars, clubs and restaurants of this vibrant city.

3. What to expect


You will fly into Port Elizabeth airport which is a short flight from Cape Town international airport. Please ensure you arrive before 4pm on the project start date. From here, depending on what time you arrive, you will be collected by one of the project staff who will escort you on a tour of Port Elizabeth to help you acclimatise and to give you an idea of the leisure activities available for you to enjoy on your weekend excursions. You will then be transported to the project location, 85 km from Port Elizabeth.


The project operates within an exclusive game reserve of 6,000 hectares. You will be living in one of two newly built, clean and comfortable, single sex, 16 bed dormitories. The reserve offers a fantastic array of leisure facilities including a swimming pool, TV, tennis court, barbecue, and kitchen area and internet access. There is mobile phone coverage in the area and you will be able to purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM for a small price in the shops, which you can then top up and use as much as you like.


You will enjoy a delicious combination of African and Asian food cooked by the skilled local catering staff. You may also enjoy authentic South African braais in the evening whilst discussing the day's events with friends whilst listening to the night sounds made by the countless birds and animals nearby. Please note that food will not be included at weekends when you are not taking part on the course.

4. The reviews

South Africa has so much diversity  | 22 Dec 2013
YOU WILL HAVE SUCH AN AWESOME TIME!! For me it was a bit different as I had been to South Afr...

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I arrived at the game reserve to start my Field Guide Course to become certified as a South Afric...

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What an amazing place!  | 3 Feb 2013
What an amazing place! I arrived in Port Elizabeth last Sunday evening, exhausted from a 24 hour ...

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The greatest experience of my life  | 25 Aug 2012
This was one, if not THE, greatest experience of my life. Being involved in something you are pas...

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Harry's Wildlife Experience in South Africa  | 6 Jul 2009
Introduction These are some of the main highlights I experienced through doing volunteer wor...

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6. Extras


If you have the inclination and the energy to pack in even more, there are loads of extra activities to try on your free weekends or after your trip. About an hour's drive south west of Port Elizabeth is the surf village of J-Bay, one of the hottest surf spots on the planet and definitely not to be missed. If culture is more your thing then perhaps you might like to visit Grahamstown, Africa's festival capital, where the national Arts Festival takes place with over 50,000 people flocking to the city for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment with more than 500 shows from opera, cabaret, drama and jazz to stand-up comics and folk music. Check the festival dates to make sure they coincide with your itinerary. There are also many hiking trails which you could join along the Garden Route or perhaps you might like to plan a trip to see Table Mountain, visit Cape Town or experience the world famous Kruger National Park.

7. Dates and Costs


8 weeks US$5,495

Extra week US$645


Please confirm all project start dates with your Frontier Coordinator prior to booking your flights as some courses can be dependent upon student numbers.

The current course start dates are as follows:


25 January 2016

28 March 2016

6 June 2016

8 August 2016

10 October 2016



8 weeks


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Food (5 days/week)
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up
  • In-country transfers
  • Local orientation
  • FGASA accredited field guide training
  • Course materials
  • Registration costs & examination fees
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Port Elizabeth (PLZ)



Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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