- Experience the lovely, beach-filled town of Port Elizabeth
- Contribute to a non-profit where 24 different seabird species are rehabilitated each year
- Work hands-on for the rehabilitation and conservation of African penguins
- Assist with releases when possible
- Organized group excursions every Friday afternoon
Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum four-week commitment):
Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Port Elizabeth International Airport (PLZ). You will be picked up by the local team and taken to settle in to the accommodations. If there is time, volunteers will embark on a city tour of Port Elizabeth. Volunteers will receive an introduction before dinner.
Days 1-3, Tuesday-Thursday: Rewarding volunteer work. Volunteers will work at the sanctuary 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Volunteers on this project will be involved in a wide array of tasks, from direct care of the animals to assisting with daily tasks around the sanctuary itself. Volunteers may be involved in office work, such as administrative tasks; physical tasks such as cleaning and feeding the animals and even hospitality work such as assisting with group tours and educating visitors.
Day 4, Friday: Volunteers will work in the morning, and have the afternoon free. Group excursions will be arranged Participation is highly recommended, but not mandatory.
Days 5-6, Saturday-Sunday: Weekends are free for volunteers to relax or explore.
Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Thursday, volunteering only in the morning on Fridays and having Saturdays and Sundays free.
Click to see additional volunteering projects in South Africa
What's not Included
The Algoa Bay area is home to 20,000 of the remaining 25,000 breeding pairs of African penguins left in the world. The African penguins are in danger from climate change as well as boat tourism affecting the Bay. The oil spills from boats and changing water temperatures and currents have put this species at risk, which is why this organization was created and built the sanctuary. The sanctuary needs the help of volunteers to care for the injured marine birds that have washed onto the shore of Algoa Bay in order to conserve the population.
Volunteers will work at the sanctuary 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Volunteers on this project will be involved in a wide array of tasks, from direct care of the animals to assisting with daily tasks around the sanctuary itself. Volunteers may be involved in office work, such as administrative tasks; physical tasks such as cleaning and feeding the animals and even hospitality work such as assisting with group tours and educating visitors.
Some of your tasks may include:
- Helping the sanctuary run with day-to-day office duties
- Guiding and teaching visitors and school children about the sanctuary’s conservation efforts
- Cleaning the bird hospital facilities
- Preparing food and feeding the animals
- Cleaning and caring for the birds
- Preparing medication
- Assisting staff during releases, when possible
A typical week: Volunteers will work Monday - Thursday from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Volunteer work ends at noon on Fridays, and volunteers may take part in a group excursion. Excursions are usually free, but there is no obligation to participate. Volunteers have weekends free to spend as they wish.
Holidays: Please note that this program will not be running from December 20, 2019-January 5, 2020. Volunteers who join before December 20th can travel for two weeks and then resume their volunteering on Monday, January 6th.
- Minimum age of 18
- Basic level of English
- Love of animals
Addo Elephant National Park
This park is home to thousands of free-roaming elephants, lions and black rhinos and offers games drives, horse trails, four-by-four trails as well as marine eco trails.
Tsitsikamma National Park
This park is a famous destination, part of the larger Garden Route National Park. There is a marine reserve, a bird sanctuary and plenty of trails to explore.
This established museum contains an oceanarium, snake park and displays that includes a dinosaur section, promising to keep our animal enthusiasts entertained for a while during free time!
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
For the artsy volunteer, there is the art gallery named after Nelson Mandela which should not be missed!
Add on our eight-day Garden Route Road Trip to enhance your South Africa experience!