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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
Age Exceptions This project accepts volunteers who are 16 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.

What's Included

AccommodationShared room in a fully furnished house in Observatory, South Africa
Food3 meals a day (excluding weekends)
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersAirport pickup upon arrival
Transportation Daily transfers between accommodations and project site
Laundry Weekly laundry service
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be 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, meals on the weekend, 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 official languages, and an equally diverse population. 

Voted one of the world's top tourist destinations Cape Town boasts an incredibly wide range of attractions. In addition to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, which is within view of this project site, the area hosts several other unique cultural and heritage sites, such as Robben Island, Table Mountains, and the V&A Waterfront. As a city alive with creativity, color, sounds and tastes, Cape Town also offers an abundance of outdoor activites, from hiking, to surfing, to water skiiing. 


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 provides both physical and emotional care for animals in need until a safe and loving home is found. 

The shelter has both an on-site clinic that services nearby neighborhoods, as well as a mobile clinic to provide veterinary services to a wider range of communities throughout the region. These clinics provide primary care, such as vaccinations, sterilization, de-worming, and parasite control, while also carrying out community outreach initiatives to educate the public on proper care 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 their quality of life, contributes to their recovery, 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
  • Helping rescue animals other than cats and dogs, including otters, porcupines, snakes, sea birds, and owls
  • 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

A typical day: Your day will begin at 7:00 am with a healthy breakfast before you head out to your morning project at 8:30 am. After lunch at 12:30 pm, it's time to resume your afternoon tasks. Your work day will end at 4:30 pm, at which point you will return to the volunteer house for a debriefing and to discuss the schedule for the next day. Dinner is served at 6:00 pm, followed by free time to relax, watch a movie, go to trivia nights, or head off to one of the local pubs, coffee shops, restaurants.


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in a fully furnished, comfortable house in the charming, Bohemian suburb of Observatory, close to the Cape Town city center. Volunteers will share a room with 2-6 other volunteers and bathrooms are communal. The house is staffed with both a housekeeper and cook, and volunteers have access to a locked safe to store their valuables. 

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 purchase and prepare their own food. 

InternetWIFI available for a small fee.

Laundry: Weekly laundry service is provided. 


Project Orientation

On arrival at the Cape Town project, you will receive a comprehensive orientation, including:

  • Introduction to the beautiful Cape Peninsula
  • Overview of the Cape Town project and the communities in which you will be working
  • Introduction to all project staff
  • Familiarization of the surrounding neighbourhood where you will be living

Travel Highlights

Most volunteers spend their free time out and about exploring the assortment of exciting opportunities in Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The program provides optional trips for an additional cost to the world-famous Table Mountain, Boulders Beach, and the Cape Point Peninsula. For volunteers looking to try something new, the program organizes surfing lessons, sky diving and shark cage diving for an additional fee.


Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age 17
  • Basic English
  • Compassion for animals
  • Desire to make an impact on local communities and animals
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
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