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Gain vast experience in animal care as you volunteer at a world renowned wildlife rehabilitation center in South Africa!

Program Highlights: 
  • Gain experience working with various wildlife species, including eagles, vultures, leopards, wild dogs and hyenas
  • Provide care to orphaned animals during baby season, which is November-March (subject to availability)
  • Join in rescue and release efforts of injured and rehabilitated animals when possible
  • Improve the lives of those animals who cannot be released through various enrichment activities

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment): 

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Eastgate Airport (HDS), Hoedspruit. You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your accommodation at the wildlife rehabilitation center. Your accommodation is on the center grounds, so take some time to explore and get settled in before you begin your volunteer work the following day.

Days 1-5, Tuesday-Saturday: Volunteers feed the animals, create enrichment activities, perform health checks and clean and maintain the property in the mornings. Big projects, such as cleaning out predator camps, are completed in the afternoon, before attention is given once again to the animals that you have been allocated to care for that day. The day ends with the cleaning of the clinic, in preparation for any nighttime emergencies.

Day 6, Sunday: Sundays are free for volunteers to relax after some basic chores.
Group excursions are sometimes organized to surrounding areas; however, they are strongly dependent on the present needs of the center. 

Remaining Weeks: Remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Saturday and having Sundays mostly free. Departures are on Monday.
 
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Location of the Project:  33 kilometers from Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province
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Project length:  Minimum 2 weeks - Maximum 8 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Eastgate Airport (HDS), Hoedspruit
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Volunteer Work:  Handling of the animals, daily cleaning, food preparation, feeding and maintenance work
Age:  18-80
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international volunteers
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Important Note:  There is limited availability from June through August. Please inquire before registration.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared rooms.
Food:  Three meals a day are included.
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Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are included 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, personal expenses
Limpopo Province, 33 kilometers from Hoedspruit and nearby to Kruger National Park
This center is a non-profit organization, open to the public and relying entirely on public support. Mission Project Volunteers will be involved in many aspects of conservation and animal care under professional supervision. Wildlife is brought to the center from all corners of South Africa, and once healthy enough, are reintroduced into their natural habitats. Those animals that cannot be returned to the wild due to the nature or extent of their injuries are cared for at the center and become ambassador animals, used to educate the many people who visit us each year, both from across South Africa and abroad. Another important function of the center is breeding. The center has successfully bred and released into the wild the endangered crowned eagle, serval and many others.

Volunteers will be involved in many aspects of conservation and animal care. They will also work and live with volunteers and professional staff from around the world. If a volunteer wants to increase his or her chance to see baby animals, we recommend they come from November-March, which is our baby season.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Hand-nurturing of orphaned animals from cheetah cubs, to birds, to warthogs
  • The care and welfare of the permanent residents who, due to the nature of their injuries, cannot be released back into the wild
  • Daily cleaning of animal enclosures, scrubbing their bed mats and feeding the animals
  • The treatment and care of sick and injured animals
  • Assisting with the upkeep of the center such as road maintenance, removal of alien vegetation, etc.
  • Attending call-outs to capture animals for relocation or to be brought into the center for treatment. This may be by darting or humane trapping.
  • Wildlife veterinary work, which would be mostly observational
  • Game capture and relocation when appropriate
Working hours are usually from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM and volunteers are expected to help whenever necessary.

Please note that, due to the nature of rehabilitation work, nothing is predictable or guaranteed, including which types of animals are at the center at any given time.
Internet
Internet:  There is Internet access at the volunteer house for a small fee.
Laundry
Laundry:  A laundry service is available.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Shared, single-gender accommodations are provided in a comfortable, brick bungalow. Rooms are shared with two to six volunteers. There are shared bathrooms with a hot shower and flushing toilets, as well as a large kitchen and living area. Linens are provided, but please bring your own towel.
Food:  Three meals per day are provided. Lunch is served at the volunteer house. For dinner, volunteers are transferred to and from the lodge, which gives them a chance to see nocturnal animals. Twice a week volunteers go out for dinner, once to the local lodge (no extra charge) and once to a local restaurant, which is not expensive but is at an additional cost. This is optional and if you do not want to join, you can notify the coordinator who will arrange a meal at the lodge.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Motivation to work with animals
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
  • Rabies vaccination is strongly recommended due to the nature of the work at the center
Quiet time is on Sundays, and although volunteers still tend to the feeding of all the animals, there is ample relaxation time. If volunteers want to get active, educational trips can be organized to nearby attractions, including the stunning Kruger National Park for an extra fee.

Add on our eight-day Garden Route Road Trip to enhance your South Africa experience!
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