The LEO Africa Volunteer Project originally began in 2005 as a research program to assist a private reserve near Kruger Park. The aim was to support the management, to re-establish their land as a prime wilderness area and monitor re-introduced wild animals, specifically lions, black and white rhinos.
Since 2016, LEO Africa now operates in the spectacular Marataba Section of the Marakele National Park. The park offers stunning views of the Waterberg Mountains as well as great wildlife and flora diversity.
Compared to the previous location, our work is even more valuable and expanded its range: we are now responsible for the monitoring of the park section key species (Big 5, hyenas and cheetahs), conservation work and education in sustainable living.
The project has a positive impact in the management of ecosystems and wildlife monitoring, which requires an enormous amount of knowledge, passion, dedication and positive attitude, which our team have!
Our experienced field guides and rangers have years of field experience. The work we do links ecology with the practical aspects of running of a nature reserve, providing a rewarding and educational wildlife volunteer experience.
LEO Africa is responsible for all of the wildlife monitoring of the key species present in Marataba, specifically lions, white and black rhinos, elephants, leopard, buffalos, cheetahs, spotted and brown hyenas. We collaborate closely with the Park Management and Veterinary Services (when necessary), establishing priorities for the benefit of fauna and flora. A balanced ecosystem grants a greater quality of life for the wildlife.
All the animals living in the park are wild and completely free roaming. We are privileged to be able to monitor them in the wild, observing their behaviour, spatial movements, interactions, reproduction and food preferences. We have a great respect for wildlife and we do not support any hands on interaction with wildlife kept in captivity especially for touristic purposes.
LEO is very active in anti-poaching activities and the protection of the rhinos within the Park. We have many camera traps placed in the bush that are used both for ID purposes but also for security reasons and detecting any unusual activities. LEO also reports on suspicious tracks, low flying helicopters and airplanes.
Conducting sleep out, field observation, bush walks, microlight flights and traveling around the park in remote areas is also another way we assist with indirect security measures.
All the data recorded in the field and through camera traps is used to compose monthly reports for the Park Manager, which aids in the decision making process concerning the management of the ecosystems within the Park.