Exclusive African Big Five Research Learnership


Assist in vital research and practical conservation in big five game reserves.

The conservation programme conducts research on private big 5 game reserves in the Western Cape, focusing on ethical practices, non-invasive research, and education around conservation needs.

Contribute towards meaningful and vital conservation research in the heart of South Africa's Garden Route! Project dates in 2020 and 2021!


Four unique promises underpin our services to give you total peace of mind.


Ready to yourself and learn?


A wildlife conservation programme that focuses on ethical practices, non-invasive research, and education around conservation needs. The organisation conducts research on private big 5 game reserves in the Western Cape. The main goals of the organisation are to; facilitate ethical and non-invasive behavioural research on free-roaming wildlife, encourage and support sustainable wildlife management in Southern Africa, conduct meaningful research that contributes to the protection of the species, support, and partner with organisations that share the similar values and ethos. Some current research projects include; the study of Southern white rhinoceros to better understand their social behaviour, Road Ecology - the threat that vehicles pose to wildlife and how strategic planning can lead to a lesser impact on wildlife safety, movement, and habitat fragmentation, and how wildlife viewing impacts the vigilance levels of different species. The research is used to further knowledge of wildlife, support ecosystem services, mitigate (negative) human-wildlife interactions, develop strategies to better manage current populations, as well as protect and aid the longevity of sustainable ecosystems and their components. 

Role & Responsibilities

Interns will have the opportunity to be involved with various initiatives and projects including:

  • White Rhino Social Behaviour
  • Human-Animal Conflict
  • Wildlife Condition Reports
  • Wildlife Monitoring
  • Tracking
  • Predator Monitoring
  • Elephant Utilization of Fynbos
  • Dangerous Game Approach Methods
  • Non-Field Duties and Activities
  • Non-field work activities such as 
  • Data Entry  
  • Short Reports
  • Remote camera data management
  • Wildlife Ethics Workshop 
  • Animal Behaviour Workshop

Please note that the above activities are subject to monthly quotas, animal corporation, and weather conditions. None of the activities will allow for hands-on wildlife encounters. 

Location and Accommodation

Arrivals are on the 1st of each month, dates are both in 2020 and 2021. You will be met at George Airport and brought back to your accommodation and the next day you will receive a full induction at your accommodation. The day following induction will be your first field day (Monday- Friday).


Interns live in a comfortable and friendly self-catering apartment which is part of a four star accomodation facility in the charming seaside town of Hertenbos, which is 7km from Mossel Bay. The accommodation is a few minutes walk to the beach as well as nearby shops. 

At the accommodation you can enjoy; free Wifi, a swimming pool, a TV lounge, a well equipped self-catering kitchen, daily housekeeping, and a communal braai area. The accommodation has good security with restricted keycode access and 24/7 security personnel.

Hartenbos is situated in the heart of South Africa’s garden route, so there are many beautiful locations to visit and fun activities to try on the weekends, including;

  • Visit the local seal island via boat.
  • Whale watch in winter months.
  • Visit Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world and home to the Cango Caves.
  • Visit South Africa’s Great Karoo and the Karoo National Park.
  • Discover some of the beautiful seaside stops along the garden route including Knysna, Wilderness, and Cape L’Agulhas (Africa’s southernmost point). 
  • Take a road trip along the route to the beautiful and historic city of Cape Town. 
  • The Overberg region boasts an endless list of amazing things to do and has become one of the most popular backpacking journeys in the world. 

Example Schedule

7 am: Breakfast

8 am: Field Work

1 pm: Field Lunch

2 pm: Field Work

5 pm: Data (not a daily activity)

Programme Requirements
  • You must be at least 18 years of age with no maximum age limitations for this conservation programme.
  • The program is run in English so you need to be able to communicate effectively in English and understand health and safety briefings which are taught in English.
  • You should be relatively physically fit as a large part of the program involves walking.
  • You should have enthusiasm, passion for wildlife conservation, and the ability to learn as you go.
  • Any participants must be willing to comply with the organisations code of conduct, health and safety policies, and ethical policies

What's included in your learnership programme?


You can enjoy breakfast every day at your accommodation and the cost is included in your programme fee. A packed lunch will be provided from Monday to Friday so you don’t need to think about food whilst you’re out on project. 


You will be staying in a 4 star shared accommodation with great facilities. Free reliable WiFi so you can easily chat with your friends and family back home, as well as daily housekeeping to make life that little bit easier!


On the 1st of each month, you will be met at George Airport and brought back to your accommodation; daily commutes form your accommodation to the conservation programme site are also included.

Unforgettable experience

You will have the opportunity to be involved with meaningful conservation fieldwork and research and make a valuable contribution to an important cause. Develop key fieldwork and research skills and learn from a dedicated local team whilst experiencing the beauty of the Western Cape in your daily work.


You’ll receive a comprehensive orientation when you arrive which includes health and safety training and detailed briefings on the current conservation projects. You’ll also receive field supervision, training, and guidance from the experienced team.

Career Development

Along with practical field experience, you will also learn and benefit from conservation workshops.


Why Bridging Gaps?

Three ways we stand out from other internship programme providers

Totally customised

Our programmes are tailored to meet your specific interests and goals and we provide a wide range of opportunities in many different inspiring local organisations.


Holistic and immersive

We are committed to providing each of our participants with a personal and holistic experience of the vibrant Mother City, and ensuring that your adventure runs as smoothly as possible.

Suitable for all

Bridging Gaps Programmes are suitable for people looking for Gap Year opportunities abroad, professional placements to supplement their studies, post-graduate international work experience and meaningful career breaks.


Programme Costs

2 Weeks:
R 17,500
3 Weeks:
R 26,250
4 Weeks:
R 35,000
5 Weeks:
R 43,750
6 Weeks:
R 52,500

Custom: All IMMERSE learnerships are customisable. We will design a programme to suit you and work with your host organisation to accommodate your requirements as far as possible. Please follow the normal enquiry process and we will talk you through your options.

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Fees are calculated in South African Rand.
All of our programmes deposits are 100% refundable and backed by industry leading guarantees.