South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary
Live among some of Africa's spectacular wildlife while working on a team expedition to complete projects that better life on the sanctuary. See the immediate benefits of your volunteer work while getting up close and personal with the zebras, cheetahs, elephants, and many more animals that have found a safe haven at the sanctuary.
|Location of Project||Hartebeespoort, South Africa|
|Project Length||Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks (Minimum stay is technically 16 days - 2 day orientation + 2 weeks volunteering)|
|Arrival Airport||Johannesburg International Airport|
|Volunteer Work||Construction, wildlife care, maintenance|
|Age||18 - 60|
|Program Schedule||2-day orientation is Wed-Fri; Volunteer work begins on Mon.|
|Accommodation||Shared room in volunteer house|
|Food||Three meals a day|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Included on arrival and departure day|
|Activities||Tours, game drives, elephant walks, hiking excursions are offered at an additional cost|
|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
The Wildlife Sanctuary is approximately 45 minutes from Johannesburg in the Hartebeespoort area. The small town is situated between the Magaliesberg Mountains and Hartebeespoort Dam, providing a breathtaking mountainous landscape. Hartebeespoort is situated close to the sanctuary and is a great place to explore with a fantastic selection of adventure and activities. Johannesburg itself is a vibrant metropolis, known for its unique street entrepreneurial culture.
About the Project
The sanctuary serves as a safe haven for orphaned or injured animals that would otherwise not be able to survive on their own. They take in a variety of animals, including elephants, lions, tigers, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, white lions, and hippos, as well as free-range game, such as giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, warthogs, impalas, waterbucks, and the red hartebeest. Though the goal is to rehabilitate the animals for re-release into the wild, this is not always possible.
Arrival and Orientation
Prior to your volunteering, you'll participate in a two-day orientation in Johannesburg. This orientation is a time for volunteers to meet and get acquainted with each other and the project staff prior to going to their projects. You'll also be taken on a tour of the city that includes sites like the Nelson Mandela Bridge, Telkum Tower, and Constitutional Hill.
Please note that the tour is flexible and may change according to the group’s interests for the day. This is your personal tour of the city with our local guide and aims to show you the best sites and places for the day.
Note: The orientation is required and is not a part of the 2 weeks designated for volunteer work. Therefore, the minimum stay is 16 days for the 2 week option, 24 days for 3 weeks, and so on. All prices include orientation.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
As a volunteer, you will split your time between ongoing construction and maintenance projects, and hands-on care for the animals at the sanctuary. Some of the ongoing projects you may be involved in include:
Fire Breaks: Many species such as the tortoises, dung beetles, and chameleons, become victims of fires that break out on the sanctuary's land. Firebreaks are put in place to protect the sanctuary and control fire spread.
Enclosure Construction: Help renovate, maintain, or construct new enclosures.
General Maintenance: You'll be assisting with anti-poaching fence patrols that involve guided walks along the perimeter of the park to ensure that the fencing in intact. You'll also get a chance to help clear alien vegetation, assist with anti-erosion control, and other maintenance projects on the sanctuary grounds.
Accommodations: You will stay at the volunteer house on the sanctuary grounds where you will share a room with 4 to 10 other volunteers. There is a common kitchen, lounge, and a great patio for relaxing and watching the wildlife roam right outside the front door.
An upgrade to a single room is available for an additional fee.
Food: You will receive three meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are self-serve and include cereals, fruit, yogurts, toast, spreads, breads, and deli meat. A hot meal is served every night and is often a traditional South African BBQ (braai), a stew, or a casserole, along with fresh vegetables and meat.
Laundry: Laundry services are available for a small fee.
Internet: WiFi is available for a small fee.
South Africa is a beautiful country with plenty to offer tourists. Kruger National Park is a must-see for every visitor, while the beaches of the Wild Coast offer plenty of peace and serenity. You're also free to explore the busy beaches of Cape Town, its townships and lively nightlife. Elephant lovers shouldn’t miss a trip to Addo Elephant National Park and wine enthusiasts should consider driving along the wine route to experience some amazing wineries.
- Basic English
- Good physical fitness
- Motivation to work with animals
"I did not think I was going to get to get up close and personal with so many of the beautiful creatures. There was definitely a lot of manual labor involved in this volunteer project such as cleaning up after the animals, building a new enclosure for the tiger cubs, and picking up trash around the farm. Although it was a lot of work it was such a rewarding feeling knowing you are helping better the lives of such fascinating animals."
|Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog|
"The tigers are a new experience for me, they weren’t there last year. It was amazing to get to work with them, never thought I’d do that! The three lionesses are now 18 months old and substantially bigger than when I last saw them. My biggest surprise came when we fed the animals and got to see Sheba’s cubs again. They were a month old when I left them last year; I’d actually sat with them and looked after them for some time. Now, they look like full grown lions! What a difference a year makes in the life of a lion."
|Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog|
"Monday was called "Sh*t Day." This means that the whole day you were cleaning animal enclosures and after lunch you removed all the poop/shit of the week to another place. The other days were always a surprise. Sometimes you had to work but sometimes you did cool activities like a game drive or go to the training camp."
|Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!|
"Every day here at Wildlife Sanctuary was different but each day was just as exciting as the next because there can always be surprises. For example, one night in the middle of the night it started to rain. I did not think anything about until I got woken up suddenly and was asked to help put the baby ostriches in the bar. As it turns out, baby ostriches do not handle cold temperature."
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!
"The animals in the park were amazing, I’ve never seen so many friendly ‘wild’ animals in my life. Jack the zebra loves attention as well as the two mongoose and two cervals. There’s also four hippos you have to keep an eye out for and a few giraffes you’ll see wandering past every now and again. I’m not even saying the half of it either! The elephants were my favourite, so beautifully friendly and but also so amazing to watch when going on the elephant walks."
Read the rest of his story on the GoEco blog!