The Kingdom is a wildlife filming and tourism facility set on a 1400h game farm run by Kevin Richardson (also known as “The Lion Whisperer”). Richardson/ Kevin and his creatures are often seen on television and YouTube interacting with each other and for the purposes of educating everyone about the nature of African wildlife. Volunteers have the exciting opportunity to work closely with a variety of predators and indigenous game. The park is home to lion including the rare white lion, black leopard, and a variety of antelope species including blue wildebeest, giraffe, impala, blesbok and nyala. Helping with the general maintenance of the animals and the farm as well as helping out behind the scenes on filming work when necessary – you’ll be bound to come away with memories for a lifetime. After many year of preparation and development the Dinokeng Big 5 Reserve is now open and when buffalo are introduced during this year, it will be the first free-roaming big five game reserve in Gauteng. Dinokeng Kingdom project is situated on a 1400 ha game farm known as ‘Welgedacht’, which lies within the perimeters of Dinokeng Big 5 Reserve; situated in the Gauteng Province in South Africa. Dinokeng Big 5 Reserve is an initiative of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development that aims to grow the economy of Gauteng by encouraging the development of tourism and attracting private sector investment in the area. It is hoped that tourism will become the key sector for economic growth in the area. As most of the reserve was previous farm land, there are many challenges in returning the land to it ideal condition. Volunteers will help play an integral part in restoring the area to its former glory. Not only will the volunteers be involved in the restoration and maintenance of the Dinokeng Big 5 Reserve, but they will also help in maintaining the sanctuary set up by Kevin Richardson for the animals in his care. The farm (totalling currently 18000 hectares) and the many animals that call it home all require maintenance, care and management. The new location gives volunteers a wider scope of work as they will not only work in our reserve with the predators and few herbivores we currently house but in a much larger reserve which stocks the big five and being a new initiative has programs in place to monitor big five populations (recently introduced), get involved and sponsor through their fees collaring and monitor rhino a particularly topical animal due to the massive poaching problem we are facing. They will also get involved at the guest lodge and then still work with the predators at the sanctuary.
The Volunteer Camp is situated at “The Old Trading Post” nestled in the heart of the Welgedacht Game Reserve. Welgedacht is situated on the South Eastern boundary of the Dinokeng Big Five Game Reserve. At any time you could potentially see any of the big five right where you are living. The camp is enclosed by a fence to keep unwanted visitors out but still leaves you with a true bush experience. The accommodation is outsourced to Welgedacht Game Reserve owners run by Gerald Howell whose attention to detail and warm South African hospitality ensures every volunteer has a comfortable and memorable stay. There are four African contemporary farm style rooms which each have four single beds with en suite showers and toilets. Facilities are as follows: • A central living area with lounge, cooking and dining facilities • Fans • Hairdryer • TV & DVD Player • Serviced a minimum of twice a week • Washing Machine • Swimming Pool • Braai Facilities
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Johannesburg - O.R. Tambo International Airport
2 Weeks or 4 Weeks (14 Nights / 28 Nights)
• 14n or 28n Accommodation on a self catering basis • Airport pick up on arrival • Airport Drop off on departure • Private tour with Kevin Richardson better known as “The Lion Whisperer”. • Two T-Shirts for volunteers to wear during their stay • Development project will include one tour to a local tourist attraction at either the Cullinan Diamond mine or a Shabeen and Market Tour while staying at the Dinokeng project
• Flights • Visas • Travel Insurance • Meals • Transport to other destinations during the stay at the project • Optional activities
Volunteers will be collected at OR Tambo International and transferred to Welgedacht Bush Camp situated in Dinokeng Big Five Reserve. On route you will stop at a grocery store to pick up your supplies for the week. After a brief orientation, you will be given free time to freshen up and relax. The remainder of the day is at your own leisure.
After breakfast you will be collected by one of our team members and transferred to the game farm where you will be given an orientation on your duties you will be performing while at the project followed by a tour of the facilities. Volunteers will be split into work teams and rosters given for your weekly work schedule.
Volunteers will follow the work roster that will be drawn up based on the needs at that particular time. Duties will include things like animal welfare (food preparation, fly traps and animal enrichment); Game Counts; Anti Poaching; Animal Enrichment (taking animals on drives/walks, shifting them between enclosures); River Clean ups; Office Work on rainy days (Data Capturing, filing); General Cleaning and Maintenance (Bush-cutting, Weeding, Fence Repairs, Enclosure cleaning, washing game vehicles, occasional paint or building work); Anti Poaching patrols for snares; Fence Checks and where necessary erecting of new fences or repair of existing fence; Monitoring and protection of Rhino from poachers; New roads and continuing road maintenance; Creation of walking trails and other look out points for game; General Cleaning and Maintenance (Bush-cutting, Weeding and removal of invader plants); Creation and Maintenance of Fire breaks; Removal of old cattle fences to create open plains for game traversing; River crossings and crossings through wetlands to create access for management purposes. Days off are structured based on the needs of the park at the time but one day will be given off this week and volunteers will be given a choice of two tourist destinations to visit on this day. Work hours are from 08h00 to 17h30 excluding the travel time to and from work each day. Being an animal facility we do have unexpected events which can occur and may require longer work hours.
Volunteers will be given a choice of two tourist destinations to visit on this day after this they will be taken shopping for the next week food and beverage supplies
Volunteers will follow the work roster that will be drawn up based on the needs at that particular time. Duties will include activities as listed in Day 3 – 7 of the itinerary. A Welgedacht Game Reserve representative will do an educational talk and tour of the Welgedacht Game Reserve during this time.
Sadly you have come to the end of your stay. After breakfast you will be at your leisure to pack up your belongings and prepare to be transported back to OR Tambo International for your flight. Transfer will leave Welgedacht Game Reserve Bush Camp at roughly 14h00.
The 2 week itinerary will continue if you are staying for 4 weeks. You will get to know the staff and animals much better and benefit much more from a longer duration.
An average physical fitness and willingness to get ones hands dirty is required