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This project takes place in Stanford, a riverside village located in the Western Cape of South Africa. Stanford is a place of breathtaking beauty, from the Klein River to the grand mountains that overlook the sanctuary. It is located 16 kilometers east of the seaside town of Hermanus, which is famous for whale watching. Stanford is home to 200 species of birds and is one of the most-preserved villages in the Western Cape.
The goal of this project is to aid the sanctuary’s efforts in raising awareness about the ethical and holistic animal treatment while simultaneously caring for the rescued cats. The sanctuary has been home to rescued lions, leopards, tigers, caracals, servals and jackals, and also hosts educational visits aimed at teaching visitors about the different species of magnificent large cats that live there.
As a volunteer on this project, you will be involved in an array of activities. Volunteer work ranges from enrichment activities, such as toy-making, to farm work in educating those who come to visit the sanctuary about large cats and conservation efforts. Volunteers will also directly care for the cats by preparing food and/or feeding the cats as well as maintaining their living spaces. Each day begins with a preparatory meeting where coordinators will go over the day’s plan with volunteers prior to beginning work.
Some of your tasks may include:
A typical day: Your day will begin around 6:00 or 7:00 AM, when you will prepare your breakfast before heading to the morning meeting around 8:00 AM. The morning project will begin around 8:15 AM and run until lunch, which will be provided around noon. The afternoon volunteer work will begin around 2:00 or 3:00 PM and you will work until 6:00 PM. During summer and warm days, the morning meeting will start one hour earlier.
Thursdays will not be work days, but volunteers will go on a group excursion and be able to purchase food for the week at the grocery store. Saturdays and Sundays are free days.
Internet: WiFi is available at the accommodations for a small fee.
Laundry: Washing machines are available for use on-site.
Accommodations: As a volunteer, you will stay in a modern, cozy home which is a 8 minutes’ drive, or 25 minutes’ beautiful walk, from the sanctuary. The house comprises 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a dining room. Volunteers can cook and enjoy dinners together. There is a cozy living room with a fireplace for film evenings, game nights, or just relaxing. Outside you will see mountain views, and we have a traditional South African braai (BBQ) area. There is a lovely dam and extensive garden with room to play games or sunbathe. While sitting outside, you may just hear our pride of lions roaring in the distance.
Food: Lunch will be provided every day except for non-work days when you are not on site at the sanctuary. Groceries to make breakfast are provided. Dinner is not included, and volunteers will have to buy groceries on Sunday and on weekly shopping trip (Thursday) to prepare their own evening meal.
Please note of this project’s minimum requirements:
Every Thursday, the volunteer group will decide amongst themselves where to go on excursion within the Overberg area. Saturdays and Sundays are free days for volunteers to get out and explore on their own. Please note that these activities are at volunteers’ own cost. Some optional destinations and opportunities include:
Shark Cage Diving
For the fearless volunteers, we suggest the popular tourist activity of cage diving with great white sharks!
For marine life lovers, South Africa has several areas that are popular for whale watching, either onboard or from land.
Walker Bay Nature Reserve
Walker Bay is a coastal nature reserve famous for its on-land whale watching and amazing views. Klipgat Cave was home to Middle Stone Age people, and is easily accessible for exploration through the nature reserve. The Reserve stretches 17 kilometers from the Klein River to the white, sandy beach of Die Platt.
Aside from these popular tourist attractions, the Overberg area is home to many other exciting activities. These include, but are not limited to, shark cage diving, zip lining, Klein River cruises, whale watching and even paint balling. There is an option for everyone!