The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operation of the Kalahari Research Centre
The ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has brought about several changes in the running of the Kalahari Research Centre. In general, all of these procedures are in place to limit the possibility of the virus reaching the field site.
New applicants and prospective volunteers
We continue to accept applications of those that are already based in South African, and we encourage any interested parties that would like to work on the Meerkat-, Damaraland Mole-rat-, or Cape Ground Squirrel project, to get in touch, using the contact details below. However, in accordance with the rules stipulated by the South African government, we are unable to currently accept volunteers that are based outside of South Africa. We still consider all applications as normal, but until the situation changes – until international flights into South Africa are permitted, VISA offices are open, and cases of coronavirus in South Africa are reduced – international volunteers will not be able to join the project. For all prospective volunteers, we ask that you consult the latest information produced by the South African government for most up to date rules and guidelines in relation to COVID-19 (https://www.gov.za/coronavirus/guidelines). For those volunteers to whom we have previously offered a position, this commitment still stands, and we will endeavour to bring you to the project when it is safe to do so. We also suggest that you monitor your respective VISA application office to see when new VISA applications will be allowed, via VFS global (https://visa.vfsglobal.com/). If you have any questions regarding your start date or if your availability has changed since, please contact the respective project using the contact details at the bottom of this message.
New volunteers arriving on site
If an applicant is offered a position, we will coordinate transport across country to our field station in the Northern Cape. Prior to arrival, we will expect all new volunteers to be free of COVID-19 symptoms (https://sacoronavirus.co.za/), and thereafter, all new arrivals will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks in one of our accommodation units where they will be unable to mix with other project staff. During self-quarantine, we will provide food, internet and other amenities should they be required. After two weeks, new volunteers will be integrated into the main project just as normal.
Our self-quarantine protocol also extends to any current project staff who are required to leave the field site for various reasons (e.g. hospital check-ups, paternity/maternity leave). Our project is extremely remote, so we hope that with limited movement of people into and out of the project, and strict quarantine procedures, we can minimize the likelihood of the virus reaching the reserve. In the unfortunate event that it does, we have contingency plans in place that will allow for appropriate medical treatment to be sought on site, or if necessary, at a nearby medical facility.
Despite the difficulties brought about by the coronavirus, the project continues to function largely as it always has.
With kind regards,
All staff connected to the Kalahari Research Centre
For South African nationals interested in joining one of our projects, please send an email to:
Meerkat Project: firstname.lastname@example.org
Damaraland Mole-rat Project: email@example.com
Cape Ground squirrel Project: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read our FAQ information before making your application – click here.
When you are ready to apply, please send a cover letter and your CV as one PDF document named in the following convention: “Surname_Firstname.pdf”. The cover letter must state whether you would be able to stay for the full 6 months or longer; that you have a driving licence and your driving experience; and when your first possible start date is; and, of course, it should list your relevant experience and motivation for joining a project of KRC.
Send this 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 here.