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South Africa - Tiger, Lion, and Wildlife Park

Volunteer with rare species of tigers and lions in this beautiful region of South Africa. Learn about conservation of Africa's large cats and have a great time with an international team of up to 32 volunteers.



Fast Facts

Location of Project20 minutes from Port Elizabeth
Project LengthMin 2 weeks – Max 10 weeks
Arrival AirportPLZ in Port Elizabeth. Connection available from Johannesburg.
Volunteer WorkHands-on care of tigers, lions and other animals, general maintenance of the park, conservation education
Number of ParticipantsUp to 32 international volunteers
Age18 - 40

What's Included

AccommodationIncludes housing in wooden cabins (inside the park!)
Food3 meals a day
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersFrom the Port Elizabeth airport
Laundry Laundry will be done for you by the staff
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, visa


This project is located in the outskirts of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province.  The region features hills overlooking the sea and the city below, and is at the end of the famous Garden Road.  Known as “The Friendly City,” Port Elizabeth is a quaint yet modern town offering everything from local pubs to The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World where you’ll find hotels, restaurants, shops and more.  Port Elizabeth is also considered the watersports hub of South Africa, offering scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, kite-boarding and more.  If you’re in town during certain times of the year, you can expect to see humpback whales, Southern right whales or Bryde’s whales while sitting on the shore.  


About the Project

This incredible predator project was founded 16 years ago by couple that chose to dedicate themselves to the preservation of African wildlife. Whenever possible, the park works to rehabilitate any animal that can be released and survive in the wild on its own.  However, for animals that were kept as house pets or domesticated at some point, the park provides a permanent sanctuary in which the animal is well cared for and kept healthy.  These days, the park mainly operates as an educational park by introducing a variety of wildlife and predators in order to raise awareness, especially for young children who hopefully will become conservationists when they grow up.      


Volunteer Work and Contribution

Most of the work that you will do revolves around the care of all the animals in the sanctuary & nursery. This can include but is not limited to:

  • Food preparation and feeding of cubs (includes cutting raw meat)
  • Taking animals out for walks around the reserve so they can experience larger environments
  • Cleaning enclosures and the maintenance or building of new enclosures
  • Data collection on the wildlife
  • Building enrichment areas for the animals
  • Environmental education for tourists and school groups
  • Rehabilitation programs for orphaned or injured animals 
  • Checking for snares and alien plant removal
  • Helping out in the park restaurant during busy periods or events
  • Weekly bush walks which will include tracking, animal behavior, etc.

A typical day: You will start work around 7-8am so that the animals can be fed and their enclosures cleaned before the park opens to the public at 9am.  You will then have breakfast and work on that day’s project until lunch at 1pm.  After lunch you will have about 2.5- 3 hours of free time in which you can spend time with the park animals in their enclosures (the animals that are under your group’s care for the day).  In the late afternoon you will need to prepare food for some of the animals and make sure that their enclosures are clean. 

*Please note that activities and schedules can change at any time based on the needs of the park.   

Days off: As a guideline, you are allocated one day off a week but that is not written in stone and a short talk to the volunteer host can assure your requests and needs are met.


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: During your time at the project, you will be housed in cabins on the park grounds. Each cabin is shared with up to 3 other volunteers and includes a bathroom with hot water and electricity. There is a main lodge with a common room, living room with an entertainment system and a fully equipped kitchen. The lawns outside the cabins host a picnic and BBQ area. Special arrangements can be made for couples or groups.

Food: The program includes 3 meals a day. Breakfast and lunch will be prepared for you by the kitchen staff and dinner is self-catered; 

Laundry: Laundry will be done for you by the staff 5 days a week.

Internet: WIFI is available at the park for a one-time fee of about $15 and can be used for the duration of your stay.


Travel Highlights

The park is located about 20 minutes from Port Elizabeth, a beautiful and charming town with a gorgeous boardwalk, antiques, an artist market on Sundays and many shopping malls.  Just an hour drive from the park is the world famous Addo Elephant National Park or for those who prefer to relax in a beach town, Jeffery’s Bay is only a 30 minute drive in the opposite direction.  Daredevils may want to test themselves at the world’s highest bungee jump (2 hours away) or explore on of the other parks in the area.  Many people also enjoy travelling the Wine Route or checking out the bustling city of Cape Town which offers plenty of attractions. Activities can be done through the park for an additional cost or at your own capacity in which case staff will gladly assist with routes and recommendations.


Minimum Requirements

  • Age 18 - 40
  • Good level of English
  • High level of independence and flexibility
  • Skype interview possible based on application
  • Full travel & medical insurance.
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)



Here's an excerpt of Jenna's experience:


"The interaction we had with the animals was unbelievable. We got to go in the enclosures with all the animals, including the lions, tigers, hyenas, black leopard, meerkats, servals, and many more. We got to sit, play, feed, and walk most of them which created this special bond. Everyone had a particular animal they bonded closely with. Mine was the hyenas."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Gabriella's experience:

  "By spending time with the animals, I learned the behavior of lions, tigers and the other wild animals in the park and how they differentiate themselves from one another... All these incredible memories are imprinted in my mind and my heart. I will never forget this fantastic journey!"

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Ashleigh's experience:

  "It was like nothing I could have imagined, South Africa really opened up my eyes to what the world has to offer. One of my favorite experiences was going in with the older tigers – Shushu and Fei, they are huge and absolutely magnificent. It was unlike anything I could have imagined, and they came up to me and greeted me with a lick and a nudge as they calmly stayed around for photos and hugs!"

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Timna's experience:

  "When I first arrived, I was dazzled by all the new kinds of (wild!) animals I got to see here, the amazing ocean view and all the interesting people I met from all over the world. I got to stroke a full grown lion and Or, a big female Bengal tiger, jumped on my back and hugged me (no claws or teeth!). . . One time I went for a run and met a giraffe on my way. I stopped while she just hovered over me, staring, until she turned and walked away."
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Camila's experience:

  "From day one, we were already learning and starting our routine schedule. This included meat and bottles preparation, feeding, cleaning enclosures, project activities, animal quality time, helping with the visitors, and having a lot of fun. Helping take care of the animals with the schedule was already great and amazing, but what I didn’t expect was the magic I discovered behind the daily basic activities..."
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Jennifer's experience:

  "Volunteering in South Africa at the Tiger and Lion Park was the most rewarding experience of my life. It was amazing to interact with the beautiful animals on a day to day basis and get to know their individual personalities and observe their behavior with one another. I knew when I signed up that the animals alone were reason enough for going, but what I did not expect was the time spent with the other volunteers to impact me so greatly."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Shimon's experience:

  "I volunteered for two months in the South African Tiger and Lion Park in March, 2011. The park specializes in the rehabilitation and breeding of different endangered wildlife species. The park focuses most of its efforts on expanding the White Lion population... What you see in the video is the welcome I received from the lions when I returned from Capetown. Enjoy"

Read the rest of his story on the GoEco blog!


Check out our Volunteer Blog  at blog.goeco.org 


"Volunteering at the park has been one of the best experiences of my life, which is why I've returned so often! Not only is it incredibly interesting to learn how to care for the animals and their behaviour, but also lions and tigers give the best hugs! Every day is enjoyable and you can't help falling in love with each and every cub. I have also been blessed to work with such lovely staff and fellow volunteers; I have made friends for life. I simply cannot wait to get back out to the park."

Chloe, United Kingdom, Past Tiger and Lion Park Volunteer





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