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Conservation Jobs in Africa

Working to Sustain Wildlife in Africa


Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania.
Anup Shah/Stone/Getty Images
This article will help you find a conservation job in Africa and covers both volunteer and paid opportunities. Going on safari is one of the highlights of a trip to sub-Saharan Africa. The reason wildlife still abounds in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa is because of the sheer hard work and determination by conservationists. When you're on safari you can't help feeling inspired by the dedication of your trackers and guides to preserving wildlife in their natural habitat. The sheer beauty of the wildlife parks and reserves in Africa are also a big draw for people wanting to stay and work there.

Paid Conservation Jobs in Africa

In order to get a paid job in Africa you will have to be highly qualified. You should also be motivated to help train local people in your job so that when you leave, your work will be sustainable.

  • African Conservation Foundation lists many conservation jobs throughout Africa, many are paid but some are also volunteer.

  • United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) offers several positions at the management and policy level of environmental projects. Most of the paid positions offered in Africa are based in Nairobi (Kenya).

  • Frontier is a British based organization that specializes in conservation and development jobs.

  • Blue Ventures work in Madagascar and offer various jobs in the field which will at least cover your flights and expenses once you're there. Blue Ventures concentrates on marine conservation and most jobs require diving experience and certification.

  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sponsors and runs many projects throughout Africa. The jobs listed are based throughout the world, so browse through to find any jobs available in Africa.

  • The Jane Goodall Institute has positions available in Africa to further the survival chances of chimpanzees.

Volunteer Conservation Jobs

Most of the volunteer jobs below require the participant to pay program fees as well as travel costs. What these programs give you is a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the world.

  • Conservation Travel Africa offers a range of wildlife conservation and community outreach volunteer programmes across Zimbabwe with a vision to contribute to the restoration of Zimbabwe's wilderness areas.

  • Conservation Africa is a British based organization that offers conservation volunteer projects throughout Southern Africa. As well as offering many opportunities to get involved with major wildlife reserves in Southern Africa, there's also a compelling 2 week game ranger course. Other projects include hands-on animal care, wildlife veterinary work, field research or marine conservation.

  • Ecovolunteer.org offers volunteer opportunities in Cameroon to work with elephants, in Zimbabwe to work with wild dogs and Swaziland to work with rhinos. You pay for flights and program fees.

  • The Earthwatch Institute offers expeditions all over Africa to help scientists and conservationists with their research. You can help survey the coastal ecology of the Seychelles; work with cheetahs and their race against extinction in Namibia; Find out how the Samburu people of Kenya traditionally use plants as medicine; and much more.

  • Enkosini organizes conservation work on wildlife projects throughout Southern Africa. You can work with sharks, penguins, rhinos and more at established sanctuaries and game reserves.

  • Imire Volunteer program is focused on a breeding and release program for black rhino, based in Zimbabwe. Offers volunteer programs from 2-8 weeks.

  • African Conservation Foundation lists many conservation jobs throughout Africa, many are paid but some are also volunteer.

  • Blue Ventures offers volunteers the chance to spend 6 weeks surveying the coral reefs and helping conserve marine life off the coast of Madagascar.

  • Mokolodi Game reserve in Botswana offers volunteers the chance to spend 2 weeks, 3 months or 6 months working alongside professional park rangers and conservationists.

  • Safari Field Guide in South Africa Train for 6 months and then work for 6 months as a safari guide in South Africa. This wonderful opportunity is offered by Bushwise.

  • BUNAC, a popular student work- exchange program, offers both students and non-students over the age of 18 a chance to volunteer in carefully selected wildlife conservation projects in South Africa. Each of the placements has been chosen to ensure that the project is worthwhile and will provide an interesting wildlife volunteer experience for up to 32 days.
For more volunteer opportunities see "Volunteer jobs in Africa" and "Summer (short-term) volunteer opportunities in Africa".

More African Conservation Resources

If you're not interested in volunteering but do wish to see conservation projects in action while on vacation, you should check out this Large Carnivore Conservation tour in Namibia.

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