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South Africa - Animal Rescue and Veterinary Shelter

Volunteer for abandoned and abused cats and dogs in communities surrounding Cape Town. This is a great opportunity to gain experience in veterinary care for both veterinary students and animal-lovers alike.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectCape Town, South Africa
Project LengthMin 2 weeks – Max 12 weeks
Arrival AirportCape Town International Airport
Volunteer WorkWalking, grooming, and feeding animals, community education, veterinary assistance
Number of ParticipantsUp to 15 international volunteers
Age17 - 70

What's Included

AccommodationFully furnished house in Noordhoek
Food3 meals a day
SupportLocal, in-country 24 hour field support and assistance
Airport TransfersAirport pickup upon arrival
Transportation All daily transportation to and from your project site
Laundry Weekly laundry service
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details are sent following registration
Orientation All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, visa (if required)


This project is located on the Southern Peninsula coastline of Cape Town, South Africa. South Africa is a fascinating country with a wide array of landscapes, as many as 11 different official languages, and a population that is just as diverse. 

With the site's stunning view of the Cape Point Nature Reserve, this location will introduce you to the variety of indigenous animals and flowers of the region, all against a breathtaking backdrop of treacherous sea and staggering cliffs. 


About the Project

This project offers the opportunity to gain valuable experience in veterinary care at an animal shelter which aims to rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for lost, abandoned, and abused dogs and cats. The pro-life, non-profit shelter acts as an unofficial pound by emotionally and physically caring for the animals in need until a safe and loving home is found for each and every animal. 

This shelter has established the only functioning veterinary clinic in the area that provides care to animals in disadvantaged communities. They have both an on-site clinic for nearby neighborhoods as well as a mobile clinic to provide their services to a wider range of communities throughout the region. These clinics provide primary care to the animals such as vaccinations, sterilization, de-worming, and parasite control, as well as community outreach initiatives to educate the public on moral and ethical treatment of animals. 


Volunteer Work and Contribution

The attention and care you are able to give the animals at the shelter substantially improves these animals’ qualities of life, contributes to their rehabilitation progress, and allows them to be adopted into a loving home. You will have the opportunity to make an impact by:

  • Feeding, grooming, walking, and socializing the animals
  • Bottle-feeding kittens and puppies
  • Assisting veterinarians with clinical operations in either the on-site clinic or mobile clinic
  • Spreading awareness in local communities on how to responsibly care for animals

The working day begins at 8:30 am and finishes at 5:00 pm, with 1 hour and 30 minutes for a lunch break. You will be working Monday through Friday with a half day on Friday. 

Please keep in mind that the specific tasks are subject to change depending on the programs immediate needs, so a flexible attitude is appreciated. 


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: volunteers will stay in a fully furnished, comfortable house at the foot of Chapman’s peak in the rustic town of Noordhoek, within easy walking distance of a shopping center. Volunteers will share a room with up to 2 other volunteers. The secure and private property is a short drive from the volunteer site, which is arranged for pick up and drop off each day by the program. The house is staffed with both a cleaner and cook, and has access to satellite television as well as a locked safe. Each room is attached to an en-suite bathroom and equipped with bedding but not towels.

Food: three meals a day are provided. Breakfast consists of hot or cold cereal, toast, coffee and tea, and is available on a serve-yourself basis. Lunch and dinner are prepared by the chef at the volunteer house. The chef has the weekends off, and therefore during these days the volunteers will need to prepare their own food with ingredients that are provided. 

Internet: internet is available for an additional fee.

Laundry: weekly laundry service is provided. 


Travel Highlights

There are an assortment of exciting opportunities offered in Cape Town and the surrounding areas that volunteers are welcome to explore. The program provides optional trips to the world famous Table Mountain, as well as Boulders Beach, and Robben Island. Additionally, volunteers often choose to participate in other opportunities throughout the area such as surfing lessons, and for highly adventurous volunteers there are various extreme activities such as sky diving and shark cage diving.


Minimum Requirements

  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Minimum age 17
  • Compassion for animals
  • Desire to make an impact on local communities and in-need animals
  • Immunizations (consult your doctor)

Important Notes

The provided orientation includes an introduction to Cape Town and the communities in which you will be working, as well as an introduction to the various projects in the area to keep you informed on the work going on around you. 

When choosing your dates, please note that the summer months are from December to February and include hot, dry climate, and the winter months of June to August are very wet with moderately cold temperatures. 


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