Wildlife Conservation Communications Internship in South Africa

Use your writing skills to raise awareness for the Ground Hornbill

Combine your love for storytelling and wildlife conservation during a communications internship in South Africa! You’ll join a passionate group of conservationists in their mission to protect the ground hornbill, an iconic African bird that is in danger of going extinct.

As a communications intern, you’ll take an active role in spreading the word to an international audience. This can involve managing and developing social media channels, drafting newsletters and reports, and writing articles for various publications. You’ll also play an active role in gathering the right content in the field, in the form of stories, data, and images, and videos.

You’ll have the good fortune of being based in a stunning game reserve. Not only will you experience the ground hornbill projects in the field, you’ll also be surrounded by other African wildlife, including the Big Five. This wildlife conservation communications internship offers a perfect mix of adventure, impact, and practical work experience.

Learning outcomes of this communications internship;

  • A wealth of practical experience in content gathering, writing for a variety of platforms, managing social media channels, and communications strategy
  • An understanding of digital marketing and fundraising
  • Field-based experience in wildlife conservation
  • Insights into of the day to day running of a nonprofit organization
  • International work experience
Cape Town, South Africa
Environmental NGO
Facilitation, Research, Reporting, Monitoring, Education, Tree planting
8 Weeks


The Ground Hornbill Project is dedicated to ensuring the survival of the ground hornbill, an iconic bird that is classified as ‘endangered’ in South Africa. The threats to this iconic bird are multiple; their habitat is decreasing, they suffer from secondary poisoning, and they get electrocuted by transformer boxes. Moreover, ground hornbills are killed for traditional medicine, and sometimes targeted because of their territorial behavior.

To fight the drastic decline of the ground hornbill populations across Southern and East Africa, the Ground Hornbill Project has taken a multi-faceted approach that includes research, the provision of artificial nests, and the complex rearing and reintroduction of redundant second-hatched chicks that would naturally die of starvation. To fight misconceptions about ground hornbills, and reduce incentives for killing the birds, the nonprofit also runs education campaigns in local communities.

The Ground Hornbill Project is based in Mabula, a game reserve north of Johannesburg, but its work spans across the African continent. It’s the only organization fully dedicated to the preservation of the ground hornbill.


What you’ll do

As a communications intern, your tasks may vary depending on your skills and the needs of the project, but they will likely include some of the following;

  • Social media content creation and strategy
  • Social media community management
  • Content creation for newsletters and reports
  • Creation of articles for external publication
  • Design and management of digital fundraising campaigns
  • Visual content creation (photography and videography), if you have the skills
  • Assistance with communications strategy development
  • Knowledge of social media channels and ideally some experience with managing channels
  • Strong writing skills and an ability to write for various platforms and audiences
  • A passion for storytelling, and raising awareness for a good cause
  • Driver’s license (you will have to do some driving and you have to take a (small) test upon arrival)
  • A flexible attitude, as you’ll be living and working in the bush, where things can be unpredictable
  • A passion for wildlife conservation and the work the Ground Hornbill Project does
  • Some photography and/or videography experience would be a bonus


During this internship, you’ll get to live and work in a game reserve, surrounded by wildlife. You might wake up to elephants roaming past your room, lions roaring in the distance, and monkeys playing on the roof. The nearest town, Bela Bela, is about 45 minutes from the reserve.

Your accommodation is a five minutes drive from the office and you will have your own room, access to the common room, shared kitchen (where you can prepare your meals) and a swimming pool.


Internship start and end dates are flexible and will be discussed with your during the selection process.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

8 weeks USD 2,162
12 weeks USD 2,809
16 weeks USD 3,456
20 weeks USD 4,104
26 weeks USD 5,074

Remote internship: USD 525

What you are paying for:
  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An orientation program with your supervisor.
  • Regular check ins during your internship with you and your supervisor.
  • Your own account on a career development platform that offers content and courses focused on exploring different career opportunities
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Airport transfers, support on the ground and accommodation based on a single room
  • Flights
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities

Optional extra:

Personal Development Sessions
To help you optimise your personal and professional development during your internship, we offer individual monthly sessions with a professional consultant. These 1,5-hour sessions offer opportunities to set goals, reflect on your experience, and ensure your internship will benefit your career as much as possible.
Monthly fee: USD 65
Workshop: Exploring the Nonprofit Landscape
To give you a full understanding of the nonprofit sector in Africa, we offer one-off individual online workshops by a South African digital marketing and fundraising specialist. You’ll learn about the needs of the nonprofit sector, best practices in nonprofit management, and sustainability of fundraising initiatives. You’ll also be given a large amount of useful resources.
Workshop fee: USD 65
Bela-Bela, South Africa OR Remote
Bird Conservation NGO
Social Media, Writing, Digital Marketing, Fundraising 
Min. 8 Weeks
From USD 2,162 (in-person) / USD 525 (remote)

Everyone at the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project is so dedicated to the conservation of the incredible and unique Southern Ground Hornbill, on top of being friendly and welcoming. I had a great time interning at the project and learned a lot. I'm looking forward to visiting again.

Natalie, United States, Bird research & Conservation Internship
  • Gain practical experience in a range of communications areas within a nonprofit context
  • Help raise awareness for the plight of an iconic African bird
  • Get insights into the day to day running of a wildlife conservation project
  • Be part of a passionate and driven team of biologists and conservationists
  • Live and work in the African bush, surrounded by a wealth of wildlife and stunning nature
8 WEEKS USD 2,162
12 WEEKS USD 2,809
16 WEEKS USD 3,456
Remote internship: USD 525

See Detailed Rates



If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:

Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV with us.

We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.

If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.

If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you  all the information you need.

We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit. Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


Wildlife Conservation Photography Workshop feature


Wildlife Conservation Photography Workshop

Wildlife Conservation Photography Workshop

Jun / Jul & Sep 2023

Imire Game Reserve

Wildlife photography

Improve your photography skills & learn about African wildlife conservation

MR_Public health education Internship -teaser

Open for applications

Public Health Education Internship

Public Health Education Internship

8-26 weeks

Harare, Zimbabwe

Public health, Digital marketing, Fundraising, Content creation

Help raise awareness of an ambitious public health initiative in Africa