South Africa Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteers
2-8 weeks from £419
- Feed and care for injured and orphaned animals & birds
- Stay in the grounds of an amazing wildlife sanctuary
- Build on practical skills and knowledge of maintenance and landscape preservation
- Work with a brilliant team of conservationists and make a real difference as a project volunteer
- Discover South Africa’s amazing Eastern Cape during weekend travels and your own excursions
- Explore the coast and learn to surf at laidback Jeffreys Bay or vibrant Port Elizabeth
Do something amazing and become a wildlife volunteer at a beautiful animal & bird sanctuary in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Staying on site at the sanctuary, located close to Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay, you’ll get to work with a dedicated team of animal carers and conservation staff to help feed, care for, and rehabilitate young and injured animals and birds. You’ll also help the team maintain and preserve the landscape, ensuring the animals’ enclosures are safe and primed to aid their recovery, as well as best suit their needs and resemble their natural habitat. You’ll meet a group of likeminded people and get to go out to the surrounding towns in your own time to take in the sights and take part in a whole host of brilliant activities. This is a fantastic trip to combine your travels whilst giving your time and support to a really deserving cause and making a whole bunch of new friends.
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
What to expect at the project
The animal sanctuary homes and nurses young and injured animals, and aims to educate its visitors on the amazing biodiversity of Africa’s wildlife and the importance of preserving natural habitats. As a volunteer you’ll be playing a vital role in the daily running and general upkeep of the sanctuary, helping to feed and monitor the animals, observing veterinary procedures, cleaning animal enclosures, and helping to take care of and maintain the land.
You’ll be met at Port Elizabeth Airport on the first day of your programme start date and taken to the sanctuary to get settled in and meet the rest of the team. On day two you’ll be given a full orientation to help you find your feet, learn more about African culture, find out what sorts of activities you’ll be involved with on the project, and get to ask any questions you might have. Once you’re settled, you’ll get to undertake the tasks the team have set for you with your fellow volunteers.
- Airport transfer on arrival
- All accommodation
- Use of communal areas, including TV lounge, picnic areas, and braais (African BBQs)
- All meals
- In-country orientation
- Support from experienced animal handlers
- 24/7 emergency support
- Return airport transfer (we can help arrange this)
- Local transport and optional activities
Your accommodation will be in the form of our onsite backpackers’ wooden cabins, set within the beautiful grounds of the sanctuary. These are very basic, dorm-style rooms that you will be sharing with members of the same sex from your volunteer group. Please note that due to the remote location of the sanctuary, there isn’t access to a mains water supply, and although hot and cold water is available, we ask that you’re mindful of the water you use and make sure you turn taps off. The cabins have electricity, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag with you in the colder months (March-September), and possibly during the rest of the year, too. There is also a TV lounge with African satellite, a number of different DVDs and chill out areas – feel free to bring a handful of your own films with you if you like.
You’ll receive three meals a day at the sanctuary, but you are welcome to bring any of your own food, or buy food from the local town to take on a picnic in the park, or to cook on one of the park’s braais (African BBQ). There is also a restaurant onsite as well as a small curio shop that you can buy food and snacks from. Please note alcohol consumption is not allowed at the sanctuary.
Your flight to South Africa should arrive at Port Elizabeth airport (PLZ) between 9am and 5pm on your programme start date.We will arrange a transfer for you from the airport, where you’ll be taken to the sanctuary to meet the team and other volunteers. You will need to make your own arrangements for transport back to the airport, which our team can help you with.
If you are not able to arrive during the specified times, please contact us for further details.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.
Minimum age for this trip is 18.
Nationals of the EU, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand don't require a visa to enter South Africa, though South African Immigration does ask that you have two completely blank consecutive pages in your passport. As long as you hold a valid passport (and a valid return ticket) you will be granted a temporary visitor's permit on arrival, allowing visitors to stay in South Africa for up to three months (90 days). You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return.
What Types Of Animal Can I Expect To Be Working With?
The wildlife sanctuary is home to a huge range of animals, both indigenous to Africa as well as foreign species. You can expect to be working with meerkats, monkeys, squirrels, bucks, marmosets, caracals, servals, wallabies, crocodiles, cheetahs, and over 250 different species of bird in the sanctuary’s huge aviary – the largest in the Eastern Cape.
How Many Hours Will I Be Working For Each Day?
You’ll work five days a week, although not necessarily Monday to Friday, so work out with the team which days suit you best. Your days will be broken down into four time slots: 7:30am-8am, then break for breakfast, 8:30am-1pm, then break for lunch, 2pm-4pm for the animals’ final feeds, and then 4pm-5pm before downing tools for the day.
Will I Need Inoculations Before I Travel?
As we aren’t qualified to give you medical advice, it’s best for you to visit your GP or travel clinic at least six to eight weeks before travelling to discuss any medication or injections you might need before and during your trip.
Do I Need To Pack A Sleeping Bag?
Yes! You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag with you if you’re travelling during winter months (March to September) as it gets quite cold at night, but it’s also worth bringing one with you during other times of the year for extra comfort.