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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.



$1,400

 

Fast Facts

Location of ProjectHartebeespoort
Project LengthMinimum 2 weeks - Maximum 12 weeks
Arrival AirportO.R. Tambo International Airport
Volunteer WorkConstruction, wildlife care, maintenance
Number of Participantsup to 30 international volunteers
Age18 - 40
Special offer Volunteers that start before Oct 1st 2014 will enjoy the lower fee of US$1,250 for 2 weeks and US$400 for each extra week

What's Included

AccommodationVolunteer house on the sanctuary
Food3 meals a day
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded
Activities Tours, game drives, elephant walks
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, and visa
 

Location

The Wildlife Sanctuary is located around 40 min from Johannesburg in the Hartebeespoort area. The small town is situated between the Magaliesberg Mountains and Hartebeespoort Dam, providing a breathtaking mountainous landscape. The town 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 to provide a safe haven for orphaned or injured animals that would otherwise not face a future of survival. Most of the animals in the park have been tamed and because of this cannot be part of a reintroduction program. This allows volunteers to get up close and personal with the animals, providing a unique hands-on experience. The park uses its film department to raise money to further improve the quality of life for the animals as well as increase future possible conservation efforts. The sanctuary is host to numerous characters to spend your time getting acquainted with from Roxy the Hyena or Jack the Zebra to one of the fantastic elephant trainers; participants in this project will live and learn amongst some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife. 

 

Volunteer Work and Contribution

The project requires an all around commitment from volunteers. Volunteers will split their time between working to complete ongoing construction and maintenance projects, while also getting one-on-one interaction in caring for the animals on the sanctuary. There is the option for volunteers to focus on a particular species or move around between the spectacular wildlife that inhabits the refuge. Volunteers will consistently work alongside staff to gain hands-on experience with the animals, including elephant walks or bonding sessions with the cheetah. This is a rewarding experience as volunteers will get the opportunity to challenge themselves physically while also being innovative with new ways to contribute to the sanctuary. Ongoing projects may include the following: 

Vulture Kitchen: vultures are becoming extinct due the poisonous meat being left out by farmers and game reserves trying to deter other animals. Providing a vulture feeding area with safe meat will dramatically decrease the growing number of vulture deaths. This is a construction project where volunteers will build a viewing point so that visitors may view the feeding area while being educated on these amazing creatures; it will also create a fantastic vantage point for research and data collection. 

Fire Breaks: many species such as the tortoise, dung beetle, and chameleon are eliminated during fires that can tear across the acres of land at the sanctuary. Firebreaks are put in place to protect the sanctuary and control fire spread.

Enclosure Construction:  help renovate, maintain, or construct new enclosures. Past volunteer expeditions have built a new hyena bath, a swimming pool for the cheetahs, and so on. This allows volunteers to contribute something special to the animals’ habitat. 

General Maintenance: anti-poaching fence patrols that involve guided walks along the perimeter of the park to ensure that the fencing in intact, alien plant control and bush clearing, anti-erosion control, and general projects aimed at improving the well being of the animals and the sanctuary grounds. 

 

Living Arrangements

Accommodations: the volunteer house is located on the sanctuary. It sleeps up to 8 volunteers with 2 per room. There is a common kitchen, lounge, and great patio for relaxing and viewing the wildlife that roam right outside the front door. 

Upgarde to a single room is availabe for an additional fee.

Food: volunteers receive three meals a day. Self-catered breakfast is provided, as well as a staff lunch and a daily budget for the lodge restaurant. 

Laundry: laundry facilities provided onsite at a small fee (about $2.50 per load).

Internet: there is wireless Internet at the wildlife sanctuary for a small fee. 

 

Travel Highlights

Volunteers will participate in elephant walks and game drives through the park. In their spare time, volunteers can explore the town of Harteebeespoort, including the Magaliesberg Mountains and Hartebeespoort Dam, or can visit the metropolitan city of Johannesburg, just a 40 min drive away.   

 

Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age 18, maximum age 40
  • Basic English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Motivation to work with animals
  • Full travel and medical insurance

 

 

Here's an excerpt of Jens's experience:

  "How should I begin telling my story? Well, when I arrived I didn’t even know the name of the place where I was going to stay for the next 16 days, so I was pretty excited and curious. The first two pictures I took where from a gorgeous area in the sanctuary and a stunning sunset, which was not a bad way to start! The following days where full of once in a lifetime experiences, great people and unique animals. I worked (or played?) with lion cubs, fed a lot of different animals, walked with lions and elephants..."
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

 

Here's an excerpt of Reanna's experience:

  "At this project you will get up close and personal with most of the African mega-fauna. These are beautiful, enchanting animals. I remember blowing into the mother elephant’s trunk so that she would remember me – they say that an elephant will never forget your scent... I remember being in awe of the might of the grown lions as they growled over haunches of meat!"

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Check out our other cool volunteer stories on the GoEco Blog!

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