Rhino Counter Poaching Unit Volunteers
Rhino Counter Poaching Unit Volunteers
Wildlife across Southern Africa is under threat due to increased poaching and criminal activities. The International Coalition of Rhino Protection (ICORP) is a NOT-FOR-PROFIT counter-poaching organization working in partnership with K9 Conservation and local communities in South Africa.
Our common goal is to disrupt and deter all poaching activities within the reserve we operate in and by default, its surrounding area. ICORP participates in this coalition through the provision of an experienced and well-equipped Counter-Poaching Unit.
ICORP community engagement initiatives seek to improve the lives of local communities and provide them with access to skills development and conservation initiatives.
All together, our aim is to help raise awareness of the plight facing Africa’s flora and fauna.
The CPU Operation:
ICORP (International Coalition of Rhino Protection) is dedicated to the protection of wildlife. The team operates its own Counter-Poaching Unit (CPU) within the larger Mopani region of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. We work in close proximity to the Kruger National Park (KNP), however, due to the sensitivity of wildlife protection, we cannot disclose the exact location of our operations.
Under the leadership of Marc McDonald, CORP employs, trains and equips rangers to assist with on the ground counter-poaching measures, intelligence gathering / communication and arrests when necessary.
Candidates with a passion for wildlife conservation can take an active role in supporting our Counter Poaching Unit for a minimum of 2 weeks. Our programme allows each volunteer to participate in tasks alongside the CPU team.
ICORP volunteers are expected to participate in the following:
- Motorised or on foot field patrols within the armed unit
- Ground reconnaissance patrols inside the reserve
- Tracking and observing black and white rhino with the aid of telemetry
- Essential camp maintenance
- Food preparation and cooking
- Snare patrols
- Ambush assistance and logistics (skills-based).
- Observation posts and early detection (skills-based).
A positive attitude, enthusiasm and flexibility are key, and reflect the ethos of our ICORP family.
Please let us know if you have any special skills that could be utilised to enhance your experience, and the operational capability of our CPU.
As a volunteer, you will be working alongside trained rangers who carry firearms. The legislation in South Africa does not allow non-nationals to operate with firearms, therefore, only non-lethal alternatives are allowed.
According to your skills, you will assist with patrols, follow-ups, arrests, patrol configuration and ambush set-up. You will be thoroughly briefed on these operational procedures upon arrival.
You will live with the CPU in a field base in the bush under austere conditions (sleeping in a tent, using field latrines, field kitchen, etc.)
All volunteers perform daily base camp duties.
The minimum stay is 2 weeks, however to maximise a volunteers contribution to ICORP’s wildlife protection and CPU function, a period of 1-3 months is ideal.
Some volunteers apply for 6-12 month tours.
*There is a 2 week probation period within which either party can cancel their agreement without claims.
There is mobile phone coverage in the area of operation, with roaming possibilities. We can assist you with procuring a local mobile service sim card if required.
Wi-fi could be available.
Phones are required to have their geotracker turned off!
CPU Volunteer Fees:
- 3 months – USD 1500
- 2 months – USD 1000
- 1 month – USD 500
2 weeks – USD 300
Each month after 3 months – USD 400
A 25% deposit is due a minimum of 30 days before the start of your stay. The balance is payable before arrival.
Deposit: Full payment if less than 30 days – 50% with anything prior.
The fee includes:
• All transfer costs from Phalaborwa to the base and return to Phalaborwa.
• Fuel, park entrance fees and a Kruger Day Visit.
• Rations. These will be identical to the Rangers’ normal daily meals.
Vegan/vegetarian options are available.
• Your travel to and from Phalaborwa to or from home. (SAA Airlink from JHB)
• A First Aid qualification equivalent to a workplace first aid in your country.
• Any personal foodstuffs and items of a personal nature.
Please ensure you have sufficient health/medical/travel insurance – this is compulsory.
- sleeping bag and mat
- eating items (plate, cup, cutlery)
- canteen/water bottle/camelback
- field uniforms (at least 2)
- field shoes – comfortable worn in boots
- field gloves
- cold weather gear in the winter (nights can go down to 10°C / 50°F or colder)
- field knife
- flashlight and/or head torch with spare batteries
- small backpack (15-20 L / 900-1200 in3)
- insect/mosquito repellent (non-scented if possible)
- personal medication
- bath towel
- tooth brush and toothpaste
- non-scented glycerin soap
- personal cash (min ZAR 500 for incidentals)
- non-camo / civilian clothes
- mosquito net
- expandable baton
- personal first aid kit
- solar charger (there is often limited electricity at the field camp and only to recharge the mission critical equipment)