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|
|Project Length||Minimum 2 weeks - Maximum 12 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||O.R. Tambo International Airport|
|Volunteer Work||Construction, wildlife care, maintenance|
|Number of Participants||up to 30 international volunteers|
|Age||18 - 40|
|Accommodation||Volunteer house on the sanctuary|
|Food||3 meals a day|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|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|
|Travel Insurance||Comprehensive travel & health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage|
What's Not Included
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.
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.
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.
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 age 18, maximum age 40
- Basic English
- Good physical fitness
- Motivation to work with animals
- Full travel and medical insurance
Check out our other cool volunteer stories on the GoEco Blog!