I want to Apply
Are you ready to volunteer with LEO Africa? Want to participate in conservation volunteer work and monitor wildlife in one of Africa's wildlife heavens? We can't wait to have you join us!
If you would like to have more information on our project, please download our 2020 brochure for a complete guide on everything you need to know on volunteering with LEO Africa or write us an email at . We look forward to assist you with any questions you may have.
As of 2020 we will be operating a no smoking policy to support our conservation efforts.
Booking your trip to LEO Africa is easy. Please follow the steps below and choose your best option to get in touch with us and book your stay at LEO Africa. We highly recommend to book in advance to avoid disappointment! However last minute bookings, if space is available, is welcome!
Send us an email at to equire about available dates or for more information. We kindly ask you to add our email address to your contacts and mark it as "safe" to avoid correspondence ending up in the spam folder; moreover, if you could add a cell phone number to the email it will be great; we will use it only if we have the suspect that the email has not been delivered.
Download the application form and email the completed form to us at . Please remember that our weeks go from Tuesday to Tuesday.
If you have any problems with the downloading the application form or the brochure, please contact us and we will send them to you straight away!
In order to volunteer at LEO Africa, you do not need to have a previous experience in this sector; however there are some requirements and guidelines that are important to follow to ensure you safely can have the best experience with us:
Getting on and off a 4x4 vehicle unattended
Walk 1km unattended
Have travel/medical insurance: see below
18+ years old
Medium/Good level of English (the language in which the program runs) to understand the guides and the other volunteers (however some guides can assist with Italian, French and Dutch).
Flexible to life in the bush which may not always run on schedule.
Able to be out for 10-12 hours in the field every day, sometimes with extreme heat (up to 40 degrees Celsius).
Able to live and work in a group with international people with different backgrounds
Open-minded and willing to contribute to wildlife monitoring, conservation and sustainability
PRICES AND DURATION
LEO Africa provides a free service to the reserve where we operate and for this reason also the financial support from the volunteers is required, as well as their help in the field and at base.
LEO Africa does not receive any funding from the government, the reserve or any other institutions and are solely reliant on the contribution from our volunteers and donors.
The prices paid from the volunteers are used for their food, accommodation and for expenses incurred in running the programme, such as: vehicles, fuel, maintenance of the vehicles and house, salaries, research equipment, camera traps, batteries, laptops and anything needed to run and improve the programme’s quality and level of performances. We are very conscious of our impact on the environment so we try our best to recycle and do not change items or buy new items until the ones we have are no longer usable.
Part of the income has also been used to purchase two electric scooters who are charged with solar energy and to build a solar vehicle that we use to service our camera traps and for fence patrol. This allows us to be even more eco-friendly reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Once your booking has been confirmed, we kindly ask that you please to pay a 50% deposit to secure your booking. The remaining payment should be processed no later than 30 days prior arrival please, with a bank transfer in South African Rand (ZAR).
All past volunteers will benefit from a 10% discount!
Flight and Visa information
Our weeks run from Tuesday to Tuesday. The LEO transfer pick-up and drop off time at Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo) airport is at 11:00am on Tuesdays. You are kindly asked to book an inbound flight that lands before 10:00am (as it takes some time to get through security) and a return flight that leaves after 14.00 (as most international flights require you to arrive 3 hours prior).
One of our staff members will come to pick you up from Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport at 11:00am at the international arrivals info point. The time of the drop off is also at 11:00am (the departure from LEO Base is at 7:00am).
Please remember that before booking any flight, your reservation must be confirmed by us to avoid disappointment.
If you have the need of arriving and departing in dates different than Tuesday, please contact us. We might be able to assist you, based on the availability.
No visa is required for passport holders of most European and North American countries for a stay in South Africa of less than 90 days. Please double check with the South African embassy of your country if you need a visa. This is your responsibility as laws and agreements between countries might change any time. Please remember that your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months from the date you land in South Africa and will need to have three free pages. If you need a visa, please contact us and we will assist you with the documentation needed.
The price of the transfer is not included in the volunteer fee and costs R1500 each way for arrivals and departures on a Tuesday. For transfers requested on different day than Tuesday, the cost is of R2500 each way.
- The volunteer programme runs throughout the year and has a limit of 10-11 volunteers per week.
The minimum volunteer duration is 2 weeks and the maximum is 12 weeks.
A private room with ensuite bathroom is available on request and at a small extra cost per week.
If you would like to carbon offset your flight and contribute to a more environmental way of living, please visit Climate Care.
Please note if you choose to self drive:
If you have hired a car for your travels in South Africa, you have the option to drive to LEO Africa. As our weeks start on Tuesday, we kindly ask that you arrive Tuesday afternoon.
We look forward to welcoming you on your once is a lifetime African adventure!
Pre/Post leo Africa accommodation
Our starting and departure days at LEO are every Tuesday. If you need to arrive on Monday/depart on Wednesday, you can book an overnight stay in Johannesburg.
We recommend these two guesthouses to stay in which are located in Johannesburg near OR Tambo airport and have been previously booked by volunteers.
Sunrock Guesthouse, a lodge with all its charm and hospitality, run by owners Arthur and Ina Johnson assisted by a well-trained, professional team. Their home has a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere, full of books, music, good wine and home-cooked meals. The guesthouse is 4 km from O. R. Tambo International airport, and there is a complimentary pick up and drop off service to and from the Airport. Free WiFi and breakfast are included in the price.
Blue Mango Lodge, your home away from home. Owners Stevie and Daisy have created a continuing tradition of warm and hospitable service with stunning luxury accommodation. carefully laid out rooms to make you feel at home so that you can just relax, and enjoy the beautiful gardens. Blue Mango lodge is approximately a 10 minutes drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport. There is a complimentary pick up and drop off service to and from the Airport. Free WiFi and breakfast are included in the price
Please remember that in order to come to LEO you need to have travel insurance!
World Nomads is a well-respected travel insurance provider set up by experienced travelers to meet the needs of people who may travel away from the beaten path. They are the first choice for many of the world's leading travel brands such as Lonely Planet and National Geographic Adventure.
By choosing World Nomads as your travel insurance provider, not only do you get their first class service, but also a percentage commission is paid to LEO which we use to fund the anti-poaching team and other conservation initiatives on the Marataba section of the Marakele National Park.
You can choose between two different options (standard or explorer) based on your needs.
In order to get a quote or to purchase the insurance, please use the box on the right.
Thank you for choosing World Nomads and further support our project
health and safety
LEO Base is located just outside the park, in a small reserve section. This ensures a better level of security for the volunteers as they are not directly located in the Park.
In our daily field work, our volunteers might have the opportunity to experience close encounters with wild animals in their natural environment on board of a 4x4 vehicle. Among the animals that you may encounter while on drive are some of Africa's most fearsome wildlife, including lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, buffalos, snakes, scorpions etc.. but don't worry, you will always be accompanied by one our our experienced guides!
To ensure your safety, our staff and field guides are all trained, qualified and experienced in dealing with dangerous wildlife and follow strict health and safety regulations.
All volunteers must sign a detailed risk assessment upon arrival and are provided with a full account of potential dangers - and of course, how to avoid them. If you have any concerns before applying or heading to South Africa, please get in contact with us.
Travel and medical insurance for the duration of your volunteer work are mandatory and all volunteers and staff are linked to ER24, a wilderness medical service that provides emergency medical support for us while we work in the bush.
Andrea Pozzi 1
Corrado Buzzini 1 (1)
Riccardo Negroni 2
Antonio Sementa 2 (1)
Andrea Pozzi 2