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Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer in South Africa

Hands-on experience with exotic furry friends

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Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer in South Africa. Volunteer feeding animal

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Group Size: Max. 30

Trip code: SAWS

Duration: 2 - 8 weeks

Group project volunteer with wildlife
Stay with volunteers on the reserve
Explore Jefferys Bay in your free time!

Animal lovers will be in their element on this amazing South African wildlife volunteering adventure! Volunteer with amazing animals and help to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals at a stunning wildlife sanctuary. Meet big cats, servals, caracels, squirrel monkeys and marmosets and help to feed the animals and support the sanctuary in a volunteer role. In your spare time you can enjoy the nearby surfing hotspot of Jeffrey's Bay. You won't want to miss a moment of this South African wildlife adventure!

Trip Highlights

  • Get incredible experience with animals such as squirrel monkeys and caracels!
  • Help to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife in need and make a difference as a volunteer
  • Encounter a huge variety of both indigenous and foreign species of animals and birds and send your inner naturalist nuts!
  • Get practical as you help construct new enclosures and observe veterinary procedures
  • Surf your way around the surf paradise of Jeffreys Bay, try surf lessons or horse ride along the beach
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  • Arrival transfer from Port Elizabeth Airport (available 9am-5pm only)
  • Volunteer placement at a wonderful wildlife sanctuary in South Africa
  • Feed and care for amazing animals 
  • Hands-on maintainence work at the wildlife sanctuary
  • All accommodation
  • 3 meals per day
  • 24 hour emergency support

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Return airport transfer (we can help arrange this)
  • Optional trips out to local attractions/ entrance fees etc

Expect an itinerary full of plenty of hard work, incredible South African sights, amazing animals, beautiful birds, and unforgettable moments. A day at the sanctuary can be tough but unbelievably rewarding! You'll spend some 'feeding' days caring for the animals and some 'project' days helping out with maintenance and repair duties at the project. A typical day may involve the following:

7:30am - After a quick cup of tea it is time for the animal's breakfast. Volunteers are given a food route which takes around 30 minutes.

8:00am - Now it is feeding time for you! Enjoy a delicious breakfast before getting on with the day.

8:30am-1pm – After breakfast you'll start going through the park's to-do list. Jobs include washing the animal’s dishes, more feeding, checking the fence perimeters for any holes, and cleaning, raking, maintaining and repairing enclosures. Jobs are allocated on a rota, so each day will be varied.

1.00pm-2.00pm – Take a break for some well-earned lunch!

2.00pm-3.30/4.00 – Animal feeding time again. The afternoon is dedicated to food preparation and distribution.

4.00-4.30/5.00pm - Late afternoon jobs often include washing dirty dishes, making sure there are no problems around the park, seeing to any clinical duties, and rounding up calves and other farm animals. After this you’re done for the day and can relax until dinner!

6.00pm – Dinnertime! After a day of hard work you'll probably want to take a shower and scrub up before you eat. The rest of the evenings are usually spent enjoying some chill-out time, and you can watch some TV or a film, go for a walk, sit round the fire and chat, or just catch up on some Zzz’s!

You will generally be interacting with animals such as servals, caracels, marmosets, squirrel monkeys, duikers and a wide variety of birds on a daily basis. Your duties and the animals you work with will vary depending on the needs of the sanctuary at the time of your visit.

Trip reviews

19 reviews
4.5 average rating
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Online booking is unavailable for this trip

Online booking isn't currently available but if you'd like to enquire please use the form below. Alternatively if you'd like to discuss alternate trips or if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Get flight quote

You’ll need to fly into either Johannesburg or Cape Town then take a connecting flight to Port Elizabeth Airport. We will arrange a private transfer for you from the airport, and you will be taken to our stunning sanctuary, where you will meet the team and the other volunteers.

Please note that transfers are only available between 9am and 5pm so you must arrive between these times. Depending on your arrival time, you may have to wait in the airport for other volunteers to arrive, and travel to the sanctuary as a group. If you arrive after 5pm you will need to spend a night in Port Elizabeth and the team will pick you up from Port Elizabeth airport the next day. 

You can depart at any time on your end date. A return transfer is not included, however the local team can help you arrange this locally.


You will be living within the grounds of the sanctuary in our on-site backpackers wooden lodges, in twin-bedded cabins. Please note that, in line with much backpacking accommodation, the lodge only offers a very basic standard of accommodation and facilities, but it does have hot water and electricity. Due to the remote location of the sanctuary, it is not on a mains water supply which means the water supply may be limited. We ask all volunteers if they will please use the water supply sparingly and always turn off taps.

You will need to bring a sleeping bag with you for visits during the winter months (March - September). You may also wish to bring a sleeping bag at other times in the year to make you feel more comfortable at night.

All your meals will be provided, though you can always bring some of your own food to take on picnics round the park, cook on one of our many braai’s, or buy light meals and snacks from our on-site restaurant and curio shop. With regular trips into the local town you will never be too far from anything you might need. Please note that as you will be working alongside the wildlife, alcohol consumption is not permitted during the evenings on site.

As the project is quite remote, there is no wifi available. However it is easy to purchase a local sim card with internet data which you can use. At the accommodation there is a TV lounge with DSTV (African satellite TV) a DVD player, and various chill out areas to relax in after a hard day’s work! As the DVD selection isn't all that huge, you may like to bring a few of your own films along if you plan to stay for a while!

Facilities for volunteers at the park include:

  • Dorm accommodation
  • All your meals included
  • TV lounge with DVD player and DSTV
  • Restaurant serving light meals and a small curio shop selling ice creams, snacks, and drinks
  • Several braai (BBQ) areas and picnic locations around the park so you can take in the scenery

The minimum age to come on this really wild experience is 18. Don’t worry if you haven’t had any previous experience working with animals, as all we require is that you are fit, healthy, and of course have a passion and love for animals!

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. You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after you return.

Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for the most up to date visa information.

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