The LEO Africa Volunteer Project originally began in 2005 as a research program to assist a private reserve near the Kruger National 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.
Between 2016 and 2020, LEO Africa provided its valuable services in a Big 5 game reserve in the Thabazimbi area, becoming even more specialized and focused on ID kits creation, reporting, game capture and conservation work.
Since June 2022, LEO Africa is operating on Abelana Game Reserve, a pristine game reserve located close to Phalaborwa and the Kruger National Park.
LEO Africa is responsible for the monitoring of the key species of the reserve (Big 5, hyenas and cheetahs), conducting conservation work and educating our volunteers and communities about 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 has!
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 in one of the most beautiful reserves of South Africa.
LEO Africa collaborates closely with the Reserve 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 wildlife in the long term.
All the animals living in the reserve 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 rhinos and endangered species within the reserve. We have many camera traps placed in the bush that are used both for ID purposes but also for security reasons, detecting any unusual activities. LEO Africa also reports on suspicious tracks, low flying helicopters and airplanes.
Conducting sleep out, field observation, bush walks, microlight flights and traveling around the reserve 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 prepare monthly reports for the Reserve Management, which aids in the decision making process concerning the management of the ecosystems.