Meerkat pup with friendship bracelet - Laura Meldrum

Attention: Deadline 20-Nov-2017 for Volunteer positions starting Jan – May 2018! Read more below.


The Kalahari Meerkat Projects offers positions for research volunteers. During their time at the project volunteers learn a range of valuable skills and field techniques including observation, radiotracking, research design, and some data handling and analysis. They also have the opportunity to carry out a supervised project of their own.

Volunteers usually have a degree or diploma in Biology, Ecology, Psychology or a related subject, and many go on to post-graduate training in a related field.


Weighing VivianOn average the project employs nine to twelve volunteers per year, each of which spend twelve months in South Africa monitoring and collecting detailed data on our study population. Due to the nature of the work we have a volunteer starting about every month.

Accommodation for volunteers is provided, and volunteers are paid a monthly allowance to cover their food and a contribution to their travel costs (at the end of their stay). Since it takes several weeks to acquire the necessary field skills, we only take volunteers who are prepared to stay for at least 12 months.

Volunteers should be prepared to work hard! The typical day of a meerkat volunteer is split into a morning observation session starting at sunrise and continuing for about 4 hours into the heat of the day, and an afternoon session lasting of 2-3 hrs and ending at sunset. Volunteers process their data at the end of each session, and are encouraged to become involved in additional duties. Initial training will be provided, and volunteers usually work alone or in small groups. You may also work with visitors to the project.


VUK1201 pup Sky LisaIn general, volunteers will have a degree in Biology, Zoology, Conservation biology, Psychology, or a related subject. Volunteers must be physically fit and able to commit to 12 months of field work in demanding conditions in the southern Kalahari. Volunteers must have a driving license.

Volunteers of any nationality are welcome to apply, but applicants should have a good command of English.

How to Apply

The application deadline is 20th November 2017, for volunteer positions starting between January and May 2018 (read advert here). The next deadline will be around April/May 2018, please check back on this site for the date.

Applications can be submitted anytime during the year via the process described below, but interviews will only take place shortly after the application deadline, either in person in Zurich, Switzerland, or via video Skype. Accepted volunteers will have a period of several weeks to apply for a South African VISA before their start date.

Please read our FAQ information before making your application – click here.

When you are ready to apply, please send a cover letter, CV and contact details for two references as a single PDF document to: meerkat . volunteers @ gmail . com (please remove all spaces from the email address, this is to prevent automated spam emails) with ‘volunteer application’ as the email subject.

For informal pre-application enquiries concerning questions not covered in our FAQ information, please contact us via the form below.

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