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This project takes place in Port Elizabeth, which is on the Eastern Cape of South Africa on Algoa Bay. This port city is filled with historical landmarks, bustling beaches and excitement. There are hilltop parks to hike through, museum to wander in and plenty of water sports to be enjoyed while here. Dolphins, whales and other marine life can often be spotted just off the shore.
The Algoa Bay area is home to 20,000 of the remaining 25,000 breeding pairs of African penguins left in the world. Climate change and boat tourism are threatening the African penguins. 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 an 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:
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 take part. Volunteers have weekends free to spend as they wish.
Internet: Wi-Fi is available for use at the accommodations.
Laundry: Laundry service is available for an extra fee.
Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in single-gender, shared rooms in a volunteer house. The Lodge comprises various spaces, living areas, bathrooms and bedrooms with other rooms optional for couples and older volunteers. The house has a nice entertainment area with barbecue (braai) facilities, a comfortable lounge with fireplace and a sparkling pool you can happily dive into on a hot day. A sizeable area to socialize with your fellow volunteers from all over the world. The interior of the Lodge is laid back and cosy with an African feel.
Food: You will get 3 meals a day during the program. There is free coffee and tea available. For breakfast, you will have toast, fruit yoghurt, cereal and/or eggs. For lunch, you can have sandwiches with cheese, marmalade or other spreads.
There will be variety in the dinners, since all the volunteers have different preferences and will be expected to cook as well. We can accommodate as well vegan requirements or food allergies.
Weekends are free for volunteers to spend as they wish. Aside from the weekly Friday excursions, volunteers venture around the area as they please, at their own expense. A few suggested travel highlights can be found below:
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 and 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!
Click to see additional volunteering projects in South Africa