About Us

The Umkhondo project started with the vision to create a broader spectrum to environmental awareness

Our Vision

Along with the short term, more immediate goals to rehabilitate agricultural land and local community uplifting, the Umkhondo project aims to develop a long term self-sustaining natural environment, create community awareness, expand the existing reserve, continue our successful free roaming cheetah breeding and research and most importantly... TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! This immersive wildlife project offers you close encounters from the safety of a vehicle with some of the most charismatic mammals in Africa. During the night you will hear the roar of lions, and wake to the early morning calls of the Hadeda birds. Volunteers take part and run all research on various wildlife species in the reserve. We have numerous research projects running and all data is collected and compiled into a detailed monthly report. We make sure that the volunteers get training in all the fields of work they will be involved in from tracking courses to approaching animals on foot. Hard work is also part of a normal day with projects like alien clearing and erosion control.

Meet the Umkhondo Team...

Hein Schoeman​

– Founder of Umkhondo

Hein will join you during your stay to do specific training & courses!

He has 15 years experience in wildlife & conservation, & gladly shares his knowledge & experience!

Hein is also the lecturer for the Veterinary course and will be present the whole duration of the VetX Course! 

The all rounder when it comes to Wildlife.

Kim Schoeman

​ – Director of Umkhondo

Kim managed the program from the start in 2009 to 2016 and has handed over her title as mother of the house to Madre. Kim is a qualified nurse, as well as a trained field guide, and does wildlife infant rearing when needed.

Kim also still deals with enquiries, bookings and pre-departure support, develops and maintains work standards.

Madre du Plessis

– Director of Umkhondo

A very close friend to Hein & Kim for more than 10 years! Working at the Garden Route Game Lodge.

Her organizing & problem solving skills are amazing as is her attention to detail. She is the mother of the house & will make sure it becomes your home away from home! She will also provide healthy and nutritious meals!


Kobus Crous SNR

Owner Of  Mosselbay Helicopters

Kobus is one of the best & most experienced pilots in SA with over 40 years of experience. His career started in the 70’s when he flew for the Air Force.

Lizelle Crous

Kobus’s Boss

She runs the reserve and capture operations. Always busy and always on her phone.

Lizelle has many years of experience in wildlife capture and care.

The all rounder when it comes to Wildlife.

DW du Plooy

The Go-To-Guy

He does everything… everywhere… 

The right hand of the reserve.

He is also a qualified Net-gunner from the Helicopter.

Accommodation & facilities & meals

About the house:

We have 2 dorm rooms (sleeps 4 each), as well as a cottage (sleeps 6). We always keep boys & girls in different dorms!!! 

There is one inside bathroom equipped with a bath, shower, basin & toilet. We also have 3 outside bathrooms with toilets, basins and showers, and 1 outside shower all with hot water!

Laundry will be done every Thursday, unless otherwise specified! Please use the laundry bags provided & place it in the laundry area we have shown you!

Everyone is free to use this area as they wish! We also have selected books, board games & cards at the bookshelf.

We encourage all to have fun whilst visiting us! So please make use of the front garden where the dogs are to relax, read a book or play with the pups! They love attention! The inside garden is where we will have our bonfires, braais and have lots of fun! There is a dart board as well as a pool table! You are welcome to use it! If you would like to explore the other outside areas of the house, please let us know! Do not wander off into the bush, as it’s not safe to do so! If you want to go for a jog, ask us which route to take for your own safety!

This is our HONESTY BAR! Please use the book to write your name and whatever you take from the bar!

About the Meals:

Three meals are provided on a daily basis, with a refreshment break between work in the morning. Meals will either be served at the facility itself or taken as a pre-packed serving, depending on planned or as result of unscheduled activities. Vegetarians and other dietary requirements can be catered for, if notified in advance. Meals will also be available if you want to stay in over weekends (self preparation)!

There are no facilities to service Kosher or Halaal requirements but the supply of such meals can be serviced at extra cost, request and availability.

We strive to make traditional South African dishes for you!


Example of meals:
Breakfast – continental breakfast (toast & preserves, cereals & muesli, yogurt & juice, fresh seasonal fruit, coffee & tea

Lunch – sandwiches, wraps, salads, quiche and pasta salad, hotdogs
Dinner – bobotie with rice & salad, pies & vegetables, traditional meals like braai and potjie (local type of meal similar to stew)