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Volunteer in South Africa at a Big Cat rescue sanctuary to enrich the lives of these majestic animals! This Big Cat rescue sanctuary serves as a haven for cats that have been rescued from breeding facilities that took them away from their mothers to be raised by humans for profit. These cats cannot return to the wild, as they would not survive due to their captive upbringing. This rescue sanctuary adopts these cats to give them care and love while making the best life possible for them outside of the wild. The sanctuary has 98 acres with trees and a natural spring that emulates a natural habitat.

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Location of the Project:  Stanford, South Africa
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Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
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Volunteer Work:  Animal care, food preparation, farm work
Age:  18-70
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 6 international volunteers
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Important Note:  *Lunch is not provided on Wednesdays as volunteers will be off-site on a planned excursion

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in an on-site volunteer house
Food:  Lunch is provided as well as food for volunteers to prepare their own breakfast
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Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, cost of groceries for dinners and lunch on Wednesday (budget approx $30-50 per week), personal expenses.
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 km 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 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 a wide array of activities. Volunteer work ranges from enrichment activities, such as toy-making, to farm work to 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:
  • Caring for the big cats
  • Supporting the enrichment program
  • Preparation of food and feeding
  • Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
  • General farm work
  • Educating visitors
A typical day: Your day will begin around 6:00 or 7:00 AM, when you will prepare yourself 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 summertime and warm days, the morning meeting will start 1 hour earlier. 
 
Wednesdays will not be work days, but rather volunteers will go on a group excursion and be able to purchase food for the week at the grocery store. Sundays are free days.
Internet
Internet:  Wifi is available at the accommodations for a small fee
Laundry
Laundry:  Washing machines are available for use on-site
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will be staying in shared, same-gender rooms in the volunteer house. Each shared room will accommodate up to 3 volunteers.
Food:  Lunch will be provided every day except for Wednesday when volunteers will be on an excursion. Groceries to make breakfast are provided. Dinner is not included, and volunteers will have to buy groceries on Sunday and Wednesday to prepare their own evening meal.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Volunteers must be able to prepare their own meals
  • Volunteer must be in good physical condition
  • Volunteers must have a love and passion for animals
Every Wednesday the volunteer group will decide amongst themselves where to go on excursion within the Overberg area. Sundays are free days for volunteers to get out and explore on their own. Please note that these activities are at at volunteers’ own cost. Some optional destinations and opportunities include the following:

Shark Cage Diving
For the fearless volunteers, we suggest the popular tourist activity of cage diving with greak white sharks! 

Whale Watching
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.
 
 
Others:
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, ziplining, Klein River cruises, whale watching and even paintballing. There is an option for everyone!
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