The Nature’s Valley Trust is a small community driven NPO working at the cutting edge of integrated conservation in South Africa. We operate in four main arenas, namely Conservation, Education, Community and Research. We take a holistic view of people and the environment, and use our four programs to help shape how people live, how they view the world around them, and how they as individuals can contribute to conserving the natural world. Nestled in the magnificent Garden Route, and situated in world renowned Nature’s Valley, we are a passionate group of conservationists that aim to make a practical difference with the work we do.
In December 2000 a group of Nature’s Valley families launched a community initiative whose goal was to engage all stakeholders and contribute to proactively maintaining the environmental integrity of Nature’s Valley and the surrounding area. The current, relatively pristine condition of the area is largely due to the legacy of a few committed individuals, whose commitment we celebrate and dedicate our work to.
Nature’s Valley lies on one of the most sought-after stretches of South Africa’s coastline and development in the area is occurring at an unprecedented rate. The Nature’s Valley community has the potential to play a role in ensuring that proposed development is appropriate and sustainable and that environmental impact is minimized. In order to achieve this, an involved and proactive community is essential, and this is why the Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) was established to focus on environmental issues.
Conservation, Education, Community and Research
Volunteer programme details
As a Conservation Education volunteer you’ll engage with a wide range of stakeholders, from the local community to conservation professionals. Our community programmes are award-winning, with over 5000 participants per year, making them an ideal way to get the inside scoop on conservation education. Typical activities you’ll help with are facilitation of school groups, helping out at events, environmental calendar days, research support for updating environmental education resources, general administration assistance and planning and preparation of outdoor activities for eco clubs and school camps, community projects and events.
As a Research Ecology Volunteer you’ll work alongside acclaimed biologists who are well published professionals with decades of experience doing conservation based research in Africa. You’ll work on the important long term ecological projects we run in the region. Over a relatively short period of time you’ll be exposed to conservation based research in several different biomes and habitat types including beach, estuary, river, fynbos, forest and even urban areas. We work on a range of systems and study plants, insects, mammals and birds, giving volunteers a range of different wildlife experiences.
As a general rule volunteers can normally expect to work from 08.30-16.00, Monday-Friday. However, some projects do require a bit extra now and again or unusual hours (you’ll need to be at our bird ringing sessions at 05.30!).
The volunteer house is situated in Nature’s Valley; a four bedroom wooden property with an open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining room. Rooms are generally shared. There is a garden as well as an outdoor deck, braai (BBQ) facilities and even a dog, Chewy, who often lives up to his name. There is a washing machine and tumble dryer at the house to do laundry when needed.
Why we do it
We are a small, passionate team who love what we do, and love sharing it with others! By volunteering with us you’re helping to keep our work going; we couldn’t do what we do without the help of our amazing, dedicated volunteers. We also recognize that volunteers may have skills in other areas that can help us make even more of an impact whether it’s an SEO guru, an accountant, a teacher or just someone with a lot of passion and energy.
The Expedition Project is a social enterprise! Please use the enquiry form below – by doing so you are supporting both this project and projects nearby at no extra cost. You will also get access to similar projects, accommodation discounts and special offers.
Contact your programme co-ordinator here or via the enquiry form below for a volunteer information pack.
Natures Valley Trust
Donation options here.