Welcome to the White Lion Volunteer Program
Join Our Student / Volunteer Program
Download our 2013 Volunteer PDF Packet that contains all pertinent information regarding the Global White Lion Protect Trust volunteer program. The PDF contains much more detail and instructions than found on this site.
The Global White Lion Protection Trust’s (WLT) primary objective is the ‘world-first’ reintroduction of White Lions back to the wild in their endemic area – the Greater Timbavati region. The WLT operates within a modern conservation paradigm: conservation through sustainable development, with particular emphasis on community participation, education and cultural upliftment.
The WLT offers an exclusive opportunity for suitable candidates to volunteer or do an internship with the Tsau! White Lion Reintroduction Project. Successful candidates are trained as active members of the conservation monitoring and research team, and are not just members of a student / volunteer program. As such interns need to be very dynamic and adaptable to the changing day‐to‐day needs of the project. Candidates have a unique opportunity to gain hands‐on experience while making a valuable contribution to the long term conservation of the white lions. Volunteer / interns may be involved in the following:
- Lion monitoring and tracking.
- Field research and data input.
- Vegetation and habitat management.
- Environmental education program.
- Cultural development program.
Watch a video of one our volunteer’s experience at Tsau White Lion Conservancy .
Participants can come from a variety of backgrounds:
- All participants between the ages of 19 and 90 are welcome!
- Participants in the fields of conservation, environmental science, wildlife management, ecology or wildlife biology, wildlife journalism, wildlife photography, veterinary science, animal behavior studies, or related fields will benefit from the scientific aspects of the project.
- Participants with a genuine interest in sustainable conservation who wish to make a practical contribution to the protection of the White Lions, their habitat and the sustainable living of surrounding communities can participate in related WLT programs. The indigenous cultural aspects and spiritual belief systems relating to the White Lions may be of special interest.
- Participants need flexibility, adaptability and self-sufficiency: as a member of the research team, the volunteer / intern prepares meals together with the team and is responsible for his / her own ‘house-keeping’
- Flights and transport to nearest town of Hoedspruit
TO APPLY SEND YOUR CV TO – VOLUNTEERS@WHITELIONS.ORG
- 2 to 8 weeks. (Longer upon request.)
- R3,500 (ZAR) per week.
- Factor in minimum of R200 per week for communal food.
- 25% deposit to secure a placement (non-refundable).
- Cancellation policy – unless due to valid medical or compassionate reasons, no refunds will be granted.
Please note that all volunteer / internship payments to the Trust are non-refundable once volunteers / interns have entered the programme.
- Accommodation at our volunteer house.
- Training by qualified members of the conservation and management teams.
- Cooking facilities and laundry facilities.
- Once a week trips into town – Hoedspruit – for food and other supplies.
- Internet and email access.
- Travel and medical insurance.
- Transport related to any additional, non-WLT, activities. (ie. anything except the once a week town trips for food, and pickup / drop-off on the days of arrival and departure or scheduled WLT activities.) Independent car hires or shuttles are available in the nearby town of Hoedspruit at the volunteer’s own expense.
The Global White Lion Protection Trust Volunteer Program / Intern Program Schedule
We invite you to be a part of a serious conservation initiative breaking new ground on both scientific and cultural fronts. This project is not a “holiday” camp, but committed individuals have the time of their lives. Students who join our program experience our project as a turning point in their lives in terms of personal growth, understanding of their life’s purpose, a deepening sense of value and values, spiritual growth, and a genuine commitment to making a difference. As a member of our team, you will experience the day to day trials and tribulations of running a leading conservation initiative.
The following activities are what you can expect to do depending on the needs of the Trust at the current time:
- Lion-tracking using telemetry
- Recording lion behavior
- Assistance in supplementary feedings. (*)
- Erosion control
- Gabion construction.
- Alien plant control
- Boma clearing
- Game counts
- Predator / Prey Study
- Data Capturing of Research Information
Community Development and Interaction:
(All activities based on seasonal availability)
- Educational programs such as literacy and numeracy training.
- White Lion Poetry Exploration Project.
- Organic food growth programs.
- Eco-construction of infrastructure.
- Organic gardening.
(These activities are at the volunteer’s / intern’s expense and dependent on scheduling their own car service / shuttle service to get to the activities listed below
- Game drives at neighboring properties.
- Walks or hikes at neighboring properties.
- Day trip to Kruger National Park.
- Day trip to Drakensburg mountains and panorama route and viewpoints such as God’s Window, Three Rondavels, Hazyview, Pilgrim’s Rest.
- Trips to Blyde River Canyon and waterfalls, boat trips, etc.
- Jessica the Hippo.
- Trips to Wild Horses.
- White water rafting or tubing.
- Big Swing in Graskop.
- Local snake parks.
“Join our Volunteer Program”
What To Bring or Buy In Town
- Toiletries – Toilet paper, soap, shampoo, sunblock, mosquito repellent etc.
- Recommended Shoes – hiking boots, sandals, sneakers, etc
- Recommended Pants – Tan cargo pants, jeans, sweatpants, shorts, etc
- Gear – Headlamp, flashlight, mosquito net
Weekly trips to the nearby town of Hoedspruit do give volunteers the opportunity to by all needed supplies. Hoedspruit is equipped with three great supermarkets, hardware stores, kitchen / house-ware store, outdoor outfitter store, and a basic pharmacy. Everything needed to buy most amenities.
The Volunteer Program Will Be Based at our “Mbube Property”
Our MBUBE Volunteer House has the following:
- Shared accommodations – 4 people per room
- Communal bathroom and laundry
- Drinking Water / Hot Water
- Refrigerator & Freezer
- Stove & Oven
- Swimming Pool and tree swing
- Braai Area – for cooking together at times
- Dishes, Utensils, & Cookware
- Cleaning Supplies
What Is Needed for Extending Visas – As of August 2013
Needed documentation and rules for extending visa are subject to change. The below is currently required for visa extensions of 3 to 6 months. It is strongly suggested that planning for extended stay in South Africa be taken care of before coming to South Africa. This can usually be accomplished at the South Africa embassy in your country of origin. The below instructions are mostly for extending your visa after your arrival to South Africa.
- If you plan to stay longer than a year, you must have police clearance from your country of origin.
- All forms need to be filled out in BLACK ink if filling out these forms manually.
- Chest X-ray and Physical within the last 3 months. (Within the last 30 days is suggested.) Typical cost range in South Africa is Xray = R450 / Physical = R300
- 2 Copies of Passport – one copy of your picture page / personal info page and one copy of your entry to South Africa page – where your passport was stamped on entry. Photocopies need to be on separate pages. These need to be notarized. If notarizing in South Africa, this can be done at a police station for free.
- Personal bank statements within the last 3 months which must have an equivalent of $3,000 US dollars. See currency converter website below.
- Copy of return ticket
- A letter from your host here in South Africa which must contain the following – Your host address here in South Africa / Your host contact details including cell phone number / your departure date which must match that of your return ticket. Please verify with the Trust if the letter should contain info about volunteering or not.
- Once the above documentation is obtained, the cost for processing the visa is around R425 if doing this in South Africa. Cash must be taken to the Home Affairs office with all the above documentation if doing this in South Africa.
- Make sure to use your host’s cellphone number here in South Africa since the Home Affairs office sends a confirmation number to the cellphone number you put on your visa extension forms.