Acting for the conservation and preservation of reptiles

  • South Africa
  • Minimum age 18, or 16 and over if accompanied by an adult
  • Language: English (intermediate level)
  • Two weeks minimum, all year round
  • From €850

The mission with reptiles, in South Africa, takes place in a center that conserves around sixty species and is open to the public. Volunteers take part in all aspects of the center's life, working to protect species that are often little known to the public. All missions in a wildlife refuge

The study and protection of reptiles in South Africa

The Reptiles Center is located in the Limpopo region, near the town of Hoedspruit. Not far from the Kruger Park. South Africa is home to many reptiles, including a large number of snake species. The reptile center is having a positive impact on the conservation of these species, thanks in particular to its educational work. Reptiles, and snakes in particular, are often poorly known by the local population. And yet, knowledge of a species encourages its protection.

The reptile center is open to the public

The center is open to the public all year round, and its reputation and seriousness mean that it welcomes almost a million visitors every year. At the reptile center, you'll find various species of snakes (Boomslang, black mamba, cobra, for example) as well as lizards, iguanas, frogs, scorpions, spiders, crocodiles and turtles!

The center does not sell any of its species. It has a breeding program for the most endangered species. Its mission focuses on 3 main areas:

  • Species conservation through education and research
  • Relocating rare and endangered species
  • Educating the local population about the importance of reptiles in local biodiversity

Ecovolunteers play a key role at the center

As well as having the opportunity to work with a wide range of species, you'll play a key role in the center's work. The volunteer participates in the various tasks of the center. They also play an important role in educating both tourists and the local population. Mainly, the volunteer feeds the animals, cleans the cages and enclosures.

More broadly, the eco-volunteer's work includes :

  • Cleaning reptile cages;
  • Species identification ;
  • Participation in orientation courses;
  • Education on venoms, symptoms and treatment;
  • Rescue, rehabilitation and release of rescued species;
  • Participation in veterinary care ;
  • Working in the laboratory ;
  • Public education. 
  • Help with various maintenance tasks in the park.

Volunteers are regularly taken to one of the Drakensberg's many valleys to observe reptile activity.

The mission welcomes volunteers all year round
The minimum duration is 2 weeks and the maximum is 6 weeks.
It is possible to arrive any day of the week, but it is preferable to arrive on a Saturday or Sunday to better fit in with the program.

  • 2 weeks: €850
  • 3 weeks: €1,230
  • 4 weeks: €1,580
  • 6 weeks: €2,350

Included in the price

3 meals a day
Accommodation & linen
Return transfer from local airport or Hoedspruit town
Internet access (Wifi)
Several return trips to the town per week
Project T-shirt

Not included in the price

  • International flight and transfer from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit
  • Additional drinks and personal expenses 
  • Assistance - repatriation - medical expenses - cancellation - baggage insurance
  • The laundry

Conditions of participation

  • Mission open all year round
  • No specific experience required to participate.
  • Minimum age 18, or 16 and over if accompanied by an adult
  • Language: English (intermediate level)


All volunteers are accommodated in the Volunteer House, located just behind the Reptile Center. There are 4 bedrooms with 2 beds each, a fully-equipped kitchen, a bathroom and a living room with TV and pool table.

  • Internet access is available in the house, 24/7. A cleaning lady cleans every week or twice a week.
  • Food shopping is done by the support team, and the volunteers themselves prepare the meals.
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About the partner agency

VolonTerre Africa was created by Nathalie, a Frenchwoman who set up her agency in 2015, after several years' volunteering experience with an association in South Africa. She offers several eco-volunteering missions for the preservation of endangered species, as well as support for rural communities. Our partner agency specializes in missions in South Africa.