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WORTHWHILE VOLUNTEERING ABROAD
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas since 1994.

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Hands-on work with injured or abandoned animals of all types. The sanctuary receives many abandoned, abused, injured or orphaned animals that all need love and attention to prepare them for life back in the wild, if possible, or a safe life in the Sanctuary.

You'll assist in a Sanctuary set in a small private game reserve in the Eastern Cape. You'll help in hand-rearing, feeding and generally looking after many different animal species, including over 250 different species of birds. Many animals breed there, so there are often young animals to care for that need regular feeding and attention.

Price:
Please see the Prices Page. Prices for all projects are listed and you can choose which currency you'd like to see them in. Prices exclude flights.
Duration:
From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates:
All year round - you choose your start and finish dates. This is a popular programme so we advise you book early to ensure you get the dates that you want.
Requirements:
Minimum age 16, if unaccompanied by parent.
Minimum age 14 if accompanied by parent.
What's included:
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Payment Protection insurance
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Personalised online project portal where you'll access all information your programme, health & safety and country advice.
  • Your own dedicated Project Co-ordinator to help you throughout the pre-departure process
  • Meeting you at the nearest Airport
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Daily transport to and from your project
  • Full safety, support and back up from our local in-country team.
  • Project orientation & induction on your arrival.
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return to the airport (but we can arrange this for you).
Who can do this Programme?
All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in animal welfare, animal care, wildlife, conservation.

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PROJECT CONTENT

You'll 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.

The Sanctuary 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 that's 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.

As the Park is rather large, there is always a very wide variety of activities that you will be involved in. All volunteers are expected to “muck in” together, making the work fun and rewarding. 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 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.

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ACCOMMODATION

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.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There is no Wi-Fi available on site.

FOOD:

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 magical place to have them!

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REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK

Zoe Trevett (British):
"I am so pleased I did the placement and wish I was still there!! Thank you so much for arranging everything, it all seemed to go very smoothly. I feel I have gained a better understanding of how animals function in the wild and how nature affects the balance. I have learnt how to care for animals but also when to and when not to fear them. I have learnt how to adapt to situations and to fit in with systems but also how to make suggestions of improvements where appropriate.

The best thing was definitely the people that I met, both in terms of the volunteers and the hosts. Sandy and Percy were so hospitable and make us feel so welcome and a part of the family. The care and attention to the animals is excellent and they work so hard to make sure the enclosures are the best they can be given with the funds available. I was pleased with the amount of contact there was with the animals, aside from the obvious ones which you couldn't interact with. There was a good balance between work and play and a good variety of activities.

I would definitely recommend this placement to others, I absolutely loved my time there and was extremely sad to leave again. I would definitely go back myself. I think it would suit someone who loves all types of animals and is interested in their welfare. Someone who is perhaps worried about being away from home, as the wildlife sanctuary is basically a home from home. I feel as if I have an extended family now!"

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