||All year round - you choose your start and finish
dates. This project is not available between mid
December and mid January.
2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
||No qualifications or experience required, just a
passion for animals.
Minimum age 16, if unaccompanied by
Minimum age 14 if accompanied by parent.
Full Price List / Other
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
►Meeting you at the nearest airport
►Transfer to your accommodation
►Transport to and from your project
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return
transfer to airport.
Who can do
This project is open to all nationalities and all ages
gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers,
career breakers, anyone interested in conservation and
caring for animals and working with wildlife overseas.
This is an excellent placement if you want to learn
about rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and doing
animal-related voluntary work, projects abroad or study
Also available as a summer placement in South Africa or
a short break activity.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many
diverse cultures in South Africa
The enormous satisfaction of helping animals and
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market.
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
"I spend a great time here. It's a great Sanctuary and everybody
tries to care for you as good as possible. I feel a bit like at home now
and I'm really glad that I have chosen this project. Thank you for the
perfect organisation, it enabled me to start my project without any
problems in a foreign country." Julia Liebmann
One baby duiker (buck) had an unusual foster parent - a
friendly pigeon who took a shine to him and wasted no time in
becoming his guardian! Even now, aged 7 months, the duiker and
pigeon remain best friends.
As the Park is rather large,
there is always a very wide variety of activities that you will be
involved in. All volunteers are expected to “muck in” together, making
the work fun and rewarding. Work ranges from hands-on with the animals,
to helping and guiding the tourists or assisting in the restaurant and
bar. Some of your work will also include general chores in the Park
itself. Briefly, your responsibilities will include some or all of the
- Food preparation for all
the animals and birds. You'll learn
which animals eat what food, how to prepare it and how much to give them.
- Nearly all
the baby animals in the sanctuary are orphans that have been rescued from
elsewhere and brought to the sanctuary for safety and, where possible, to be
released back into their natural habitat in the wild. These animals need lots
of care and attention.
out and tidying enclosures,
and, when necessary, helping to expand existing enclosures or constructing new
- Collecting data
on wildlife within the game reserve section of the park.
This will include, for example, monitoring the
movements of wildlife and
occasionally doing game counts.
Besides spending time with the animals and birds, there are other areas of
the Sanctuary and Wildlife Park needing attention as
helping in the construction of enclosures.)
- Helping with tours around
the sanctuary. You'll learn a lot about the animals so that
you can convey this information to tourists or school groups that visit the
- Assisting with general
duties in the restaurant, bar and kitchen, possibly even
helping with the preparation of meals.
- Helping unload supplies
when they arrive.
admin work may be required while you're there.
- General clearing of
the Park to eliminate alien
vegetation, for example.
This makes a more "user-friendly" and safer environment for the free-roaming
animals (and is in line with government policy of limiting alien vegetation
checking for and
clearing any rubbish on the property, because litter can cause serious
injuries to the animals
- Bush clearing and road
construction (with tractors)
- Assisting the
small permanent staff with any project or
maintenance work (i.e. painting fences, repairing etc) that
may be needed while you're there. (See
Hours of duty and Work Schedule
The average working hours are from 07h30 until 16h00
and you'll work 5 days a week.
can be taken off in a weekly rotation system. Some volunteers utilize this time
to stay out overnight to enjoy the nightlife in Port Elizabeth
or Jeffrey’s Bay, or they stay on the grounds
and relax with a good book, or go for walks
and explore the enormous park.
This placement is definitely for nature loving enthusiasts who are willing to
work hard and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but the rewards are
well worth it. There are usually some small scrapes and scratches that go with
the job, but nothing serious. The park itself is a lovely and a very safe place
to go walking after work - it has beautiful indigenous
forests of yellowwoods and milkwoods, and small
"I got lots of different experiences and so many different
impressions about life and work in an organisation which works with people and
cares for animals ... I can recommend this project to all people who love nature
and animals and who enjoy working with people. ... I promise you, you'll have
a great time!"
Whilst volunteering is rewarding in itself, time spent at a project
such as this is an excellent springboard for travelling around South
Africa. Meeting other volunteers from around the world, and listening to
their stories and recommendations can give you the confidence to travel
and experience more.
You'll also have the opportunity to visit the Addo Elephant Park plus
other game parks in the region. A popular trip with our volunteers is to
go in Jeffrey's Bay (a big surfing centre in South Africa) and visit the
definitely recommend this placement to anyone who has a passion for wildlife and
caring for animals and who does not mind hard work and getting dirty. I would
also recommend this placement to anyone who wishes to have a work experience
that is very manual and has many opportunities to work outside." Timothy Fulfitt
A Volunteer looking after an
orphaned animal that was rescued and brought to the Sanctuary
The accommodation is
on the Game farm less than a 5 minute walk to the sanctuary itself.
It is split into various sized rooms from single rooms to twin rooms and a 4
and 8 sleeper dorm.
It has 2 bathrooms (one for the girls and one for the boys) with 2 toilets
and 3 showers in each. A small kitchen with microwave, gas hob, kettle,
fridge and washroom.
The restaurant is closed after work hours but a separate entertainment unit
has just been completed in the Sanctuary rest room with DSTV, a dvd player
and basic facilities for volunteers to make drinks and snacks.
Food is provided and consists of a home-cooked meal every evening - this
is the time that the owners and volunteers all sit down together and discuss
the day and their various experiences. Breakfast and lunch and dinner are
prepared for you although sometimes volunteers do help with this.
You will also have plenty of real South African braais (barbeques) - and
what a magic place to have them!.
Got any questions? Please email us:
ANIMALS IN THE SANCTUARY:The
sanctuary currently accommodates a variety of different animals here are
just some of them - Over 250 species of Birds, Cheetahs, Servals,
Variety Hawks, variety Owls, Black Eagle Cape Vulture, Blue and Crowned
Cranes, Macaws, African Greys, Cockatoos, Amazons plus lots of other
parrots, Ground squirrels, Squirrel monkeys, Marmoset monkeys, Meerkats,
Grysbok, Blue and common Duiker, Bush buck, Kudus, Ostrich, Emus, Goats,
Giraffe, Zebra, Blesbok, Impala, Nyala, Waterbuck, wallabies, crocodile.
The owner has seven dogs and 2 cats that have the run of the property.
The park has purchased cheetahs who
have reached maturity. They are between 6 and 8. They had their first
cheetah cubs born and are keeping 3 of the hand reared kittens, Bertha, Kiera
Some animals are able to be returned to the wild, like some of the buck,
raptors and birds, but unfortunately most will need to stay in the
Sanctuary for the rest of their lives. When animals have been in the
care of humans for too long, they are no longer able to survive in the
wild. In the Sanctuary, though, they have a safe haven for the rest of
their lives! Birds in particular are often put down if their injuries
are such that they would have difficulty surviving in the wild. However,
in the Park they're cared for and continue to live in safety.
correct at time of writing)
Tourism and Education: Percy found that the cost of feeding and
caring for such huge numbers was enormous. In order to financially
support the animals, he opened the Sanctuary to the public as an
education centre and tourism destination. All funds raised from the
tourists go back into the Sanctuary to take care of the animals and
expand the animals' natural living habitats.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our South African staff who
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
"The area is beautiful and travelling is easy. The house we stay in is lovely
and the Travellers workers are such kind, loving people which really makes it
feel like a home away from home. What with all the other volunteers and the
Travellers staff, it really does feel like our own little family ... well, our
own very big family, I suppose!!"
SOUTH AFRICA ON THE WEB
Volunteers at the new animal clinic at the Wildlife Sanctuary
Educating a school trip on caring
and conserving animals
Animal food preparation area
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The best advice you'll get from us
is to try to see some of the country while you're in South
Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting
and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably
the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up
there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes a very
close second, albeit very different. Knysna is
where South Africans go on holiday, which gives you some idea of
how lovely the region is. When you lie on the beach and watch
dolphins jumping the waves, you'll think you're in Paradise.
The Sanctuary and Wildlife Park is situated 50 km south west of the city
centre of Port Elizabeth, on the Eastern Cape’s sunshine coast, in a
malaria-free area. It's set on 1,000 hectares of superb bush and
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.