Wildlife Volunteer Tourism: Scientific and Educational Contributions in South Africa





wildlife volunteer tourism, voluntourism


Wildlife volunteer tourism has evolved into a popular form of sustainable tourism in South Africa. This form of tourism can exhibit both positive and negative impacts on a host destination. However, limited research has examined the potential contributions of wildlife volunteer tourism in South Africa. This paper focuses on filling this theoretical gap by investigating the scientific and educational contributions of wildlife volunteer tourism in South Africa. An exploratory qualitative approach was followed, where seven managers of volunteer tourism organisations were interviewed in August and September 2022. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. From the results, it is clear that wildlife volunteer tourism makes significant scientific and educational contributions. However, funding remains a challenge. The results provided an increased understanding of wildlife volunteer tourism in South Africa, and is valuable to managers, and contributes to the current discourse on volunteer tourism as an emerging market segment.

Author Biographies

Uwe P Hermann, Tshwane University of Technology

Associate Professor, Centre for Sustainable Tourism

Charmaine D De Klerk , Tshwane University of Technology

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Tourism