About The Volunteer Program

Working with elephants is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience. As a volunteer you will contribute to all aspects of elephant research, education, husbandry and conservation. We ask all our volunteers to be enthusiastic, dedicated, willing, able and keen to get involved with anything and have a genuine love of wildlife.

The participation of dedicated and hard-working volunteers is integral to AERU’s success and their contribution is invaluable – we could not do the research we do without them! AERU welcomes volunteers from all over the world. There are no prior qualifications to volunteer other than a love of animals and a desire to help. Through this programme, our volunteers are directly involved in elephant research and aid in providing information that relates directly to the welfare and management of captive elephants in South Africa.

Please Note: It is important to know that the Knysna Elephant Park is open to the public for feeding interactions and elephant walks (sunrise & sunset). Volunteers are representing the research unit in front of the public so must be respectful of tourists and Knysna Elephant Park staff.

One of the most important contributions that volunteers help us with is monitoring these interactions through research, and consequently improving elephant welfare and how to maintain a positive and responsible balance with the ongoing tourism activities.