Kruger Big 5 Wildlife Conservation Internship

South Africa | Minimum Age - 14 years

An experience that could be life-changing, this amazing adventure (a big hit with our past travellers), allows you to step into the wilderness of the Greater Kruger region in South Africa where you’ll learn about animal tracking and wildlife conservation from one of Africa’s leading Wildlife Conservation organisations. Living in camps in the jungle you will participate in live projects with local experts and volunteers by collaborating with the locals including giving your time at a school. This culturally rich experience will give you the chance to mingle with indigenous people, track animals & birds, & gain a real understanding of the African bush. Most of all, for 9 whole days you’ll live a life that will leave you changed forever, bringing you a step closer to nature.

What can you expect to achieve from this trip
  • Get an introduction to wildlife at the Greater Kruger area and learn to appreciate the fragile balance between ecosystems
  • A great outdoor trip working with an expert research team and an opportunity to learn about animal behaviour
  • Hands-on conservation experience through work in the reptile centre, bush clearing etc
  • Game drives for data collection and animal tracking in the region
  • Overnight camping in a Game Reserve to appreciate nocturnal animals
  • New experiences in a safe, secure environment and an opportunity to acquire skills - independence, interdependence, and personality development
  • A glimpse into many other professions that exist outside big cities
  • Get introduced to new cultures and engage in community work at a local school
  • Get rewarded with an Internship certificate from African Impact and DoTheDifferent

Trip Highlights

Big 5 Conservation
Wildlife Photography
Community Work
One Night Camping
Local Cultures
Discuss, report, present, share

Itinerary - 9 Days

Saturday, Arrival Johannesburg

We meet up at Johannesburg Airport at 6 pm. Your Trip Leader from #DoTheDifferent will introduce you to the rest of the group and you will be transferred to your accommodation in Johannesburg.

Meals: Dinner

Sunday, Arrival & Project Briefing

After breakfast we leave for the Greater Kruger Area. A 5 to 6 hour drive will get you to your lodge which will be your home for the next few days as you work on your conservation project. Later today you’ll get acquainted with rules pertaining to your safety.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Monday, Theory on Data Collection and Research Drive Elephants & Save the Rhino Study

Today, breakfast will be followed by an introduction to your conservation project. We will go over the overall aim of the project and the achievements to date of the local people who run the research and development project. The members of the group are assigned different roles for the week ahead. After lunch you get on your very first Research Drive. Return to the Lodge at dusk in time for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tuesday, Insect, Bird & Big 5 Survey, Camping & Night Observation

We start the day with an insect and bird survey early in the morning. The second half of the morning is spent on an introduction to camera traps and understanding data from the camera traps.

After lunch, we leave for a research drive where you can expect to learn about the behavior of Elephants, Lions, Leopards and Rhinos. We will spend the night camping here with dinner in the open over the braai (South African for barbecue).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wednesday, Klaserie

After an exciting night sleeping out under the stars, we wake up early for a research drive. We return to the make-shift camp in time to pack up and leave for the lodge.

Back at the lodge, we spend the afternoon on project work and putting together all the data that we have collected.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Thursday, Conservation Class at a Community School

We continue our conservation work this morning. After lunch at the Lodge we head to a local school to understand the local education system, the lives of the children who live in this area and the challenges they face. We return to the Lodge in the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Friday, Theory on Data Collection; Reptile Park; Star-Gazing

The morning is spent on conservation work at the lodge. After lunch, we continue with conservation work at the local Reptile Centre. You’ll learn about handling snakes and learn about the importance of reptiles within the Eco System.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Saturday, Project work & departure from the lodge

We begin our day with a morning of project work. With a long drive to Johannesburg ahead of us, we leave the lodge to drive to Nelspruit where we will be spending the night. Enjoy your last night in South Africa and turn in early.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sunday, Johannesburg - Departure

With the experience of a lifetime at an end, we leave early to get to the airport in Johannesburg for the flight back back home.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9

Expert on this trip

Malvika Bhandary

Malvika Bhandary

Malvika’s love for the outdoors comes from the 4-5 weeks a year her family would spend in the wilderness - sleeping in tents, fishing and cooking their own food & even bathing in the Cauvery river. Her most vivid memory from those years is watching a majestic tusker swim across the river! Before setting up her own graphic design firm, she lived in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve managing a resort. She loves elephants, the sound of flowing water, the smell of old books, petrichor and all things creative! Oh, and Frank Sinatra can get her through the toughest of days!

What's Included

Arrival and departure transfers at the destination at specified timings. Our team will help you with the details for your trip.

Safe, secure and fun accommodation at hostels, lodges & camps on shared basis - separate for girls and boys.

All meals. Breakfasts are continental style with cereal, toast, jam, butter. Picnic style lunches and hot dinners with snacks available on most days.

An experienced Internship Leader from the #DoTheDifferent team who travels from India and stays with the group at all times.

Meaningful experiences to introduce you to practical exposure on the subject of your interest.

Certificate for the valuable real experience and knowledge you have gained to boost University Applications & your CV.


  • An extraordinary trip meeting people from all over world in search of big 5 and to come across such incredible bio-diversity was a great experience. My ah-ha moment was seeing a lion in the wild and watching predators eat.

    Anuraaj Srivastava
  • This trip was one of my best experiences ever. Everything was well managed and planned. I had a great time. I really enjoyed going for the reading club at the local school. The camping was AMAZING, and the game drives were fun! Malvika was an amazing guide. She took care of us really really well.Looking forward for a second trip.

    Manan Shah
  • A very educative and breathtaking experience, the game drives were fun and we got to see many interesting animals as well. We saw a leopard mother and her cubs one evening. The guides were very interactive and helpful, imparting their knowledge and skills. They really enhanced the trip experience. I would say simply enjoy and live with whatever you get to see, even if it’s the ordinary Impala.

    Tejas Krishnan
  • This was an amazing trip, I truly enjoyed. Seeing the big 5 and the problems these animals face is a real eye opener. We saw several animals, went to the book club, camped under the stars, saw two leopards in one day. It was really amazing, a new experience with new people, it was a lot of fun. We had a couple of guides, they all were amazing. Everyone were extremely polite, excited at all times and imparted a lot of knowledge.

    Aalya Vora
  • It was an amazing experience and I loved talking with guides and meeting other camp mates!

    Soham Mehta
  • This internship is the best thing that has ever happened to me. On our first day at Dumela we were given a short project briefing. The lodge is brilliant. It's practically in the middle of the bush so it's very common to see giraffe and zebra while walking along the fences. We woke up pretty early on most days and went on game drives, where we would collect data on various species of animals. We also visited a snare garden, a reptile centre and a school, where we helped with the Reading Club. Our nights were spent either watching documentaries and mingling with other volunteers. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I can't wait to go back next year!

    Aprajita Jayaram
  • It was great trip and an even better learning experience. I tried a lot of things that I hadn't done before. Our guide was great. She took care of everything and I never felt unsafe. A great trip for nature lovers.

    Kaveri Sastry
  • The trip and the experience was very enlightening as it gave me something new to learn on a subject that I'm pationate about.

    Ruthvikaa Sudharsan


What flights should I book? Open or Close

Flights are not included in your trip price. Should you like to travel on the same flight as our Trip Leader from India, we suggest the following flights ex-Mumbai:

Saturday EK 501 BOM 04.30 DXB 06.00
Saturday EK 763 DXB 10.05 JNB 16.25
Sunday EK 762 JNB 13.40 DXB 23.59
Sunday EK 504 DXB 03.30 BOM 08.10 (next day)

You are welcome to book other flights if you find them suitable, however please aim to arrive and depart within 1 hour of the above group arrival and departure from Johannesburg to ensure the Trip Leader can personally receive and see you off.

What is the accommodation like? Open or Close

Our stay in Greater Kruger is at a lodge with all facilities including a swimming pool and a tuck-shop. The lodge is also used as the base for the project and stay is on 4 to 6 participants sharing a room. Other than Kruger, we stay at youth hostels.

Will our group be working on the conservation projects exclusively or will we be joining others? Open or Close

All our trips are exclusively designed and operated for our trip participants. However on the Kruger Big 5 Conservation Internship trip, to ensure the best learning, we are part of a larger conservation project and it is likely that there are interns / volunteers from other parts of the world working on the same projects as part of their curriculum. They however do not follow the same program as our group.

Is there any special documentation needed to enter / obtain a visa for South Africa? Open or Close

All Indians entering South Africa need to hold a valid visa. Travellers below 18 years of age travelling as unaccompanied minors require special documentation when applying for the visa. Travellers above the age of 18 also require clearances. You may also may require documentation relating to the person receiving the participants at the destination. DoTheDifferent provides visa assistance though the documentation is the responsibility of the parents / travellers. Visa is granted at the consulates discretion.

Are there any health precautions or special vaccines needed while travelling to South Africa? Open or Close

South Africa does not require Yellow Fever vaccine. Carrying anti-malarial medication is recommended and this is easily available in most large pharmacies. It is imperative that everyone takes every necessary precaution to ensure that they don’t get sick while they are travelling. This includes using hand-sanitizers, applying mosquito-repellents frequently and watching what one eats and drinks. Your Trip Leader will carry a first aid kit and you should be aware of any allergies you have.


Start Date End Date
13 April 2019 21 April 2019
15 June 2019 23 June 2019
20 July 2019 28 July 2019

Why Us

  • Life is an adventure

    Discover, appreciate and understand the world you live in
  • Global Exposure

    An insight into unconventional opportunities
  • Develop New Skills & Interests

    Many that can’t be taught in an ordinary classroom
  • Learn first-hand from the experts

    Get access to specialists and leaders in their field
  • Comprehensive Personality Development

    Independence, Team Building & Leadership
  • Authentic Cultural Exchanges & Community Work

    Meaningful experiences that make a difference
  • Meet like-minded Youth

    From all over India and at times the world
  • 100% Safe Environment

    Self-discovery & Growth in a secure environment
  • Internship & Participation Certificate

    Value Addition to College Applications with the Certificate