South Africa – Rhino Orphan Sanctuary – Images

Volunteer for the biggest orphan rhino sanctuary in the world. Be part of a local professional team that rescues, rehabilitates, re-wilds, releases and protects rhinos.

This program is now recruiting volunteers, schedule a phone interview to be considered:  


Program Highlights:

  • Learn about African wildlife conservation from leading experts.
  • Help care for and feed orphaned Rhinos.
  • Join game drives, night drives and bush walks
  • Live and work with volunteers from around the world
  • You don’t need experience, just a strong work ethic and motivation.


Sample of weekly schedule: 

Day 1, Tue: Airport pickup and transfer to the sanctuary. Upon arrival, you will settle in your accommodation, get a welcome orientation, and will learn about the week’s activities.

Weekly activities (Mon – Fri): You will join exciting and hands-on volunteer work. There are usually three shifts a day from 06:00 AM – 16:00 PM with breakfast and lunch in between. After Dinner, you may enjoy activities such as bonfires, night drives and more.

Weekend activities (Sat – Sun): You will help with the rhinos, take part in other activities and relax. Departure is on a Monday.



Location icon Location of the Project: For security reasons to protect the rhinos, we cannot state the location. We are near the Kruger National Park, between Nelspruit and Barberton.

Project length Project length: Minimum 2 weeks – Maximum 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Kruger Mpumulanga International Airport (KMIA)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Preparing food, maintenance work, hand rearing and rehabilitating baby orphaned rhinos.

Age Age:  Minimum 18 years old

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Minimum 6 – Maximum 18


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Wooden cabin, with a minimum of 2-4 single beds, on-suite bathroom. Glamping experience and private rooms are available for an extra fee.

Food Food: Three cooked meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). There is an extra fee for special dietary requirements or food intolerance (extra fee 184 ZAR per day) .

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport pick-up and transfer on arrival and departure day is included

Orientation Orientation: Volunteer program orientation is provided on-site

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visa (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, special diets (Extra 184 ZAR per day) and Wi-Fi (R100 per 500mb).

The sanctuary is based near Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa. The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains the world’s oldest and most diverse sequence of known volcanic and sedimentary rocks. This validates the area as having outstanding universal value for all humanity. The Rhino Sanctuary is also home to many animal and plant species. Volunteers will be learning about wildlife care from leading conservationists.

Once rhinos were being hunted at a large scale in South Africa to meet the demand for fake medicines made from rhino horn. This illegal trade brought the White Rhino to ‘Near Threatened’ and the Black Rhino to ‘Critically Endangered’.

Most of these poaching events left behind defenceless orphaned calves. As the effects of the mounting poaching crisis became clear, also did the need for a specialised care facility that could support the efforts to save this iconic species from extinction. Founded by Petronel Nieuwoudt, the Rhino Sanctuary holds an official MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with South African National Parks in our joint effort to safeguard the future of the species and South Africa’s heritage.

We offer volunteers an experience that few people will ever have; the opportunity to get involved in the fight against rhino poaching and help save this beautiful species from extinction. You will learn the ropes of wildlife rehabilitation by experiencing practical, hands-on work, under the supervision of highly trained and knowledgeable Wildlife Professionals. Volunteers do not need any previous experience, but they need a good level of physical fitness and a ‘willing and able’ attitude. Please note that Care for Wild is a rehabilitation centre; it is of utmost importance that visitors understand that the animals’ health and safety come first.

Volunteer activities include the following (subject to change):

  • Feeding of orphaned rhinos
  • General running of the center (repairs and maintenance)
  • Cleaning cages and bomas
  • Preparing food for the animals
  • Monitoring rhino behavior and socialization patterns
  • Updating animal data records
  • Ensuring food is stocked and in supply
  • Community work

Morning activities include:

  • Preparing food for animals
  • Feeding animals
  • Cleaning bomas
  • Grooming of horses and dogs
  • K9 river walks
  • And many more

Afternoon activities include:

  • Farm maintenance
  • Rhino feeds
  • Game drives/bush walks
  • Swimming
  • K9 walks
  • And many more

Evening activities include:

  • Braai
  • Bonfire
  • Scorpion presentation and hunt
  • Night drives
  • And many more

Internet icon Internet: Wi-Fi is available, yet not very strong, as the location is in the middle of the bush. Wi-Fi is charged at R100 per 500mb

Laundry icon Laundry:Laundry is available for no extra fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Wooden cabin, with a minimum of 2 single beds, on-suite bathroom. Glamping experience and private rooms are available for an extra fee.

Food icon Food: Three cooked meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). There is an extra fee for special dietary requirements or food intolerance.

  • Good level of English
  • Motivation to work with animals
  • Vaccinations – please consult a doctor before departure
  • Flexible attitude and hard-working

COVID-19 Requirments

  • Present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours before the date of arrival to ensure that you are negative.
  • We will screen you before entry onto the farm.
  • Facial masks must be worn.
  • Temperatures, as well as medical screening, will be done daily.

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?