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Animal Care with Wildlife in SOuth Africa


Category: Volunteering, gap year and career break in South Africa

Volunteer in a Sanctuary set in a small private game reserve in the Eastern Cape. You'll assist in feeding and generally looking after many different animal species, including over 250 different species of birds.

Ths voluntary project receives many abandoned, abused, injured or orphaned animals that all need love and attention to help prepare them for life back in the wild, if possible, or a safe life in the Sanctuary. Many animals breed there, so there are often young animals to care for that need regular feeding and attention.


PRICES Please see the Table of Prices at the bottom of this page
Start Dates All year round - you choose your start and finish dates! Subject to school holidays.
Duration From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer (subject to visa requirements)
Requirements No qualifications needed, just a big heard and a love of animals.
Minimum age 16, if unaccompanied by parent.
Minimum age 14 if accompanied by parent.
What's included
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Payment Protection Insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Local in-country team support and backup
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cost of Visas (if a visa is required)
  • Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.

Animal Care with Wildlife in SOuth Africa

PRICES 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 5 Weeks 6 Weeks 7 Weeks 8 Weeks 9 Weeks 10 Weeks 11 Weeks 12 Weeks Extra Weeks
GBP £ £800 £960 £1,120 £1,280 £1,440 £1,600 £1,760 £1,920 £2,080 £2,240 £2,400 £2,560 £160
US $ $1,160 $1,392 $1,624 $1,856 $2,088 $2,320 $2,552 $2,784 $3,016 $3,248 $3,480 $3,712 $232
Canada $ $1,480 $1,776 $2,072 $2,368 $2,664 $2,960 $3,256 $3,552 $3,848 $4,144 $4,440 $4,736 $296
Australia $ $1,600 $1,920 $2,240 $2,560 $2,880 $3,200 $3,520 $3,840 $4,160 $4,480 $4,800 $5,120 $320
Euro € €1,048 €1,258 €1,467 €1,677 €1,886 €2,096 €2,306 €2,515 €2,725 €2,934 €3,144 €3,354 €210

Deposit: The deposit payable to secure your programme is £99 (or the equivalent in your currency), which is fully refundable if we can't place you. Please see our Booking Terms & Conditions.
Exchange Rates: Our placements are priced in Sterling.. The prices given above in the different currencies are a guide and may alter down or up according to exchange rates at the time of payment.


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The Park is large, so there is always a very wide variety of activities that you will be involved in. Work ranges from hands-on with the animals, to helping and guiding the tourists or assisting in the restaurant and bar. Some of your work will also include general chores in the Park itself. Briefly, your responsibilities will include some or all of the following:

  • Food preparation for all the animals and birds. You'll learn which animals eat what food, how to prepare it and and how much to give them.
  • Nearly all the baby animals in the sanctuary are orphans that have been rescued from elsewhere and brought to the sanctuary for safety and, where possible, to be released back into their natural habitat in the wild. These animals need lots of care and attention.
  • Mucking out and tidying enclosures, and, when necessary, helping to expand existing enclosures or constructing new ones.
  • Collecting data on wildlife within the game reserve section of the park. This will include, for example, monitoring the movements of wildlife and occasionally doing game counts.

Besides spending time with the animals and birds, there are other areas of the Sanctuary and Wildlife Park needing attention as well:

  • Helping with tours around the sanctuary. You'll learn a lot about the animals so that you can convey this information to tourists or school groups that visit the Sanctuary.
  • Assisting with general duties in the restaurant, bar and kitchen, possibly even helping with the preparation of meals.
  • Helping unload supplies when they arrive.
  • Some admin work may be required while you're there.
  • General clearing of the Park to eliminate alien vegetation, for example. This makes a more "user-friendly" and safer environment for the free-roaming animals (and is in line with government policy of limiting alien vegetation wherever possible).
  • Also checking for and clearing any rubbish on the property, because litter can cause serious injuries to the animals
  • Bush clearing and road construction (with tractors)
  • Assisting the small permanent staff with any project or maintenance work (i.e. painting fences, repairing etc) that may be needed while you're there.

Hours of duty and Work Schedule
The average working hours are from 07h30 until 16h00 and you'll work 5 days a week.

Two days can be taken off in a weekly rotation system. Some volunteers utilize this time to stay out overnight to enjoy the nightlife in Port Elizabeth or Jeffrey’s Bay, or they stay on the grounds and relax with a good book, or go for walks and explore the enormous park.

The Rewards:
This placement is definitely for nature loving enthusiasts who are willing to work hard and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but the rewards are well worth it. There are usually some small scrapes and scratches that go with the job, but nothing serious. The park itself is a lovely and a very safe place to go walking after work - it has beautiful indigenous forests of yellowwoods and milkwoods, and small savannah grassland.

"I got lots of different experiences and so many different impressions about life and work in an organisation which works with people and cares for animals ... I can recommend this project to all people who love nature and animals and who enjoy working with people. ... I promise you, you'll have a great time!"

"It's a great Sanctuary and everybody tries to care for you as good as possible. I feel a bit like at home now and I'm really glad that I have chosen this project. Thank you for the perfect organisation, it enabled me a to start my project without any problems in a foreign country."  Julia Liebmann - Germany

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The accommodation is on the Game farm less than a 5 minute walk to the sanctuary itself. It is split into various sized rooms from single rooms to twin rooms and a 4 and 8 sleeper dorm. It has 2 bathrooms (one for the girls and one for the boys) with 2 toilets and 3 showers in each. A small kitchen with microwave, gas hob, kettle, fridge and washroom.

The restaurant is closed after work hours but a separate entertainment unit has just been completed in the Sanctuary rest room with DSTV, a dvd player and basic facilities for volunteers to make drinks and snacks.

Internet facilities are not available. You will be able to go to Jeffrey's Bay where you'll find Internet Cafes. A coin and card operated phone is available at the sanctuary for local calls and phone cards can be purchased at the local shop for international calls.

Food is provided and consists of a home-cooked meal every evening - this is the time that the owners and volunteers all sit down together and discuss the day and their various experiences. Breakfast and lunch and dinner are prepared for you although sometimes volunteers do help with this.

You will also have plenty of real South African braais (barbeques) - and what a magic place to have them!

Animal Care with Wildlife in SOuth Africa

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The best advice you'll get from us is to try to see some of the country while you're in South Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up there :-)  KwaZulu-Natal comes a very close second, albeit very different. Knysna is where South Africans go on holiday, which gives you some idea of how lovely the region is.

You'll also have the opportunity to visit the Addo Elephant Park plus other game parks in the region. A popular trip with our volunteers is to go in Jeffrey's Bay (a big surfing centre in South Africa) and visit the Billabong factory.


Given the title of the Friendly City by locals, Port Elizabeth (or simply PE) is a major tourist attraction. Lying alongside Algoa Bay on the south eastern coast, PE has a stunning shoreline and longer hours of sunshine than anywhere else in South Africa.

With water sports galore, PE is a beach lover's paradise!


Did you know?

  • South Africa is regularly voted one of the Top Three Tourist Destinations in the world!
  • South Africa is ranked as the third most biologically diverse country in the world
  • South Africa has the oldest wine industry outside of Europe and the Mediterranean
  • South Africa's history extends back to around 40,000BC
  • South Africa is amongst the world's top 25 diamond producing nations
  • South Africa has 11 official languages

Northern South Africa has some of the most famous Game Reserves, including Kruger National Park, and vibrant cities like Johannesburg. With its gold mines and history, it's very different to the rest of the country.

KwaZulu Natal is renowned for its Game Reserves and traditional Zulu Culture : The attractions in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) range from vibrant cities to the gorgeous Land of a Thousand Hills, from tranquil beaches to outstanding Game Parks and Nature Reserves.

Adrenaline Activities -
Enjoy exciting and “real” adventures with an adrenaline twist!

  • Abseiling
  • Sandboarding
  • ‘Kloofing’ (insanely jumping off very high cliffs into pools of water!)
  • Paragliding
  • Helicopter flips
  • Bungee jumping
  • Deep-sea Angling
  • And a LOT more!

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