Volunteering in South Africa – Incredible

Posted by: Diana

I recently volunteered at the Wildlife Sanctuary project in Hartebeespoort, South Africa. I went in the middle of August, which resulted in beautiful, warm weather during the days and cooler weather at night. The volunteer work was to help the sanctuary by maintaining the animal enclosures. We did this mostly by painting them and cleaning them. They needed to be in a presentable condition for guests and tourists, and mostly for the animals.

The volunteer work is also mixed in with fun activities to do such as going on hikes, getting to see one of the cheetahs  and on Thursdays and Sundays are activity days, where you get to choose from a list of activities for a chance to experience other reserves, or tourist type of activities outside of the area. Volunteering in South Africa was an amazing experience that I will never forget!

But the best part of every day was taking care of the animals. Every morning the volunteers would wake up and our first task would be to clean the elephant house or clean the horse stables and feed the animals. Sometimes we would also take a walk around the perimeter of the sanctuary to make sure there were no holes in the fence which poachers use to steal the animals. One of the best things was to join the elephants on a morning hike. During this time is it was cool to watch them eat and  of course take lots of pictures next to them.

You can also sign up to go horseback riding for an small fee in the morning or afternoon around the sanctuary. The most special thing about volunteering at this project is that you get to bewith the cheetahs, lions, leopard, tigers and hyena, all of whom call this place home. We got to visit three adorable lion cubs a few times a week, which was unforgettable! Giraffes, zebras, donkeys, and an ostrich are always roaming around free without any barriers between you and them, which is truly amazing.