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SOUTH AFRICA

LION AND BIG CAT CONSERVATION IN A LION SANCTUARY NEAR BETHLEHEM IN SOUTH AFRICA

Volunteer with Lions and other big cats in a highly-regarded sanctuary for mistreated lions. The sanctuary, run by an international animal welfare charity, is the largest of its type in South Africa. It offers a new home to big cats that have been abused, kept in cramped conditions or confiscated from hunters.

The interaction between lions and humans can be absorbing and as such, being close (but safe) to lions can be a moving experience. You will get to know the animals as individuals and assisting with research into their behaviour can be very rewarding.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: 1,395 for 4 weeks
£215 for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
Duration: From 4 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates and Availability: All year round, except during during Christmas and New Year. Arrival day is a Monday.
Requirements: You will need to have a keen interest in animal welfare, either studying a relevant subject or with hands-on experience with animals. Minimum age 18.”
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your on-site accommodation
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, Food, Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for 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. 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 South Africa and its diverse cultures.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of different cultures, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • 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!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA info@travellersworldwide.com

ANY QUESTIONS?

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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

The sanctuary is home to Lions and other big cats, as well as a rich variety of game species. These include Zebra, Wildebeest, Impala, Springbok, and many more. Many of the big cats have been rescued from canned hunting and from awful conditions in zoos. In 2013 several lions and tigers were rescued from a zoo in Romania.

As well as contributing to some valuable rescue and rehabilitation work you'll also carry out research into the behaviour and interactions of lions within a group, and between neighbouring lion groups. You'll witness and be involved in the extraordinary and complex work for animal welfare and appreciate the experience of learning how highly sensitive big cats are.

You'll also enjoy some of the best countryside South Africa has to offer. The Sanctuary is situated against a backdrop of magnificent mountains, with spectacular views of the Eastern Free State Plains below. In your time off, you can visit local towns, Bethlehem and Clarens, or go further afield to the Golden Gate National Park and the stunning Drakensberg Mountains.

Work at the sanctuary involves caring for the lions and other big cats, monitoring their progress and behaviour, helping with visitor education and refreshments, administration and maintenance work. Typical tasks include:

  • feeding the lions and cleaning their enclosures
  • observing the behaviour of the lions and the progress of any new arrivals
  • helping with any medical treatments required
  • building new structures for enclosures and helping with maintenance work
  • helping with game drives and guided horseback tours for guests
  • getting involved with the other activities at the lodge, such as the reservation departments, presentation, accommodation, conferences, weddings, hiking trails and more
  • marketing activity, like brochure distribution to local towns and the surrounding area
  • guiding school children as part of their education program

This project is a great opportunity for someone who has a keen interest in big cats, enjoys being part of a team and is prepared to get involved in all aspects of conservation work.

What sort of interaction is there with the big cats?
The Project operates a “hands off” policy with the big cats in its care. They will never encourage handling of baby lions. This practice is at the heart of canned hunting, which Vier Pfoten is actively trying to extinguish from Africa. Cubs are rarely brought to the sanctuary, although in 2013 baby tiger cubs were brought into their care.

One of the most moving and important aspects of volunteering at the Sanctuary is the fact that you are actively improving the lives of lions that have been rescued from canned hunting or life in tiny enclosures in a zoo. Many of the lions will have become used to humans, and the main aim of the project is to rehabilitate them as much as possible. Because of this, contact with humans is not encouraged as it slows down their rehabilitation.

There are cases where interaction at a distance is encouraged. Some of the lions and tigers have been so accustomed to human interaction as cubs that they actually suffer if they are deprived of it later in life. These lions and tigers will be identified to you on arrival and you are actively encouraged to spend some time with them. Physical contact is not allowed.

What is a typical day like?
You will be set a timetable that is generally Monday-Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm. This does, however, vary depending on the weather and animal activity. A typical day starts with 2 hours of animal monitoring. You will either monitor the social interactions of a group or the interaction between two groups to see if they can be placed together in the future.

Depending on the day of the week, you will then help with the feeding of the predators. This is when you recognize that, despite being in captivity, these are still wild animals! Feeding provides a real sense of what your role is - to create the most natural environment possible for these remarkable animals.

Afternoons are spent building and/or implementing enrichment activities to enhance the lions’ life at the Sanctuary. You will quickly find that (like humans) each lion has its own personality, and what may work with one may not work with another. It’s a fascinating process.

You might also find yourself assisting with school visits and tourist activities at the lodge. These have educational benefits and also help provide the funds necessary for the long term success of the Sanctuary.

ACHIEVEMENTS, AND WHY THE WORK IS IMPORTANT
Last year, the greatest project achievements and highlights included:

  • The rescue of eight tigers (including two cubs) and four lions from a zoo in Romania
  • The growing enrichment programme, allowing the big cats to develop the senses that they would otherwise have in the wild
  • The development of extra enclosures to provide a home for more big cats in a place as close to the wild as possible
  • The schools education programme has reached many youngsters in the surrounding area

How have volunteers helped to achieve these goals?
The time and effort invested by volunteers means that full time staff can continue to care for and protect these big cats. Through the careful monitoring, research and enrichments carried out by the volunteers, the big cats’ other needs can be catered for.

What are the project goals for this coming year?
More big cats do need to be rescued, and therefore more enclosures developed. We also hope to continue the education programme to teach the local community about the importance of animal welfare.

ACCOMMODATION

Volunteer accommodation is in an excellent location on the grounds of the sanctuary. The bedroom windows overlook one of the lion enclosures, so it is not uncommon to open your curtains in the morning to see a lion basking in the sunshine. The accommodation is brand new and really very good. Up to four people can be accommodated at any one time in two bedrooms. The accommodation comprises a large open plan kitchen/dining/living room.

Food is not included in the project, but there is a kitchen at the accommodation where you can prepare your own meals. Alternatively, you can also eat at the restaurant within the Sanctuary.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Got any questions? Please email us: info@travellersworldwide.com

TRAVEL:

You'll fly into Johannesburg airport, were you'll be met by a driver who will take you up to the Sanctuary.. The trip is about a three-hour drive.

HOW SAFE WILL I BE?
The sanctuary is located 20 minutes from the local town of Bethlehem. Because of the nature of the sanctuary it is built to the highest security standards to keep the big cats safe and on the correct side of the fences. This means that it is a very safe place to live too!

Your accommodation is located inside the sanctuary and has locks on all doors. There is access to a safe in the accommodation as well. You will receive full health and safety briefings on how to work around big cats prior to beginning your role. The local town of Bethlehem is small and quaint, with a good shopping mall and some lovely places to eat.

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Cage Dive with Sharks in South Africa

CAGE DIVE WITH SHARKS:
Price: £123, includes transfer from Cape Town to the project at Gansbaai and back again, but excludes food.

The Cage Dive is provided by our MMP Marine Conservation Project, which is a multi-awarded Ecotourism and Conservation Enterprise pioneering the Shark Cage Diving industry in Gansbaai. The 20 - 25 minute boat trip to where the activity is to take place, is by itself an exhilarating adventure. We also usually see at least two or more members of the Marine Big Five - sharks, dolphins, whales, seals and penguins, as well as several bird species. Here is a brief breakdown of what to expect:

  • You'll start with breakfast or lunch and then register your wetsuit size
  • Guests receive a pre-trip safety briefing about what to expect during the trip and a biological background on great white sharks
  • Then down to the boat and out to Dyer Island. The trip is approximately 20 minutes, with the shallows being a short 10 minute ride (where we anchor depends on where the sharks are). On average, we anchor for 2 hours, but this depends on shark activity, conditions, as well as number of divers
  • Weather permitting, we take a quick trip through the infamous Shark Alley
  • Lastly, a debrief and a celebratory beverage to toast the occasion!

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1-Week Multi-Marine Conservation Add-On

1-WEEK WHALES, SHARKS & DOLPHINS EXPERIENCE:
Price: £595, includes accommodation, transfer from Cape Town to the project, but excludes food.

Expand your existing Travellers Programme and your exploration of South Africa by volunteering for a week on our Whale, Shark & Dolphin Project. This is an exciting project in a beautiful location, surrounded by white beaches and blue ocean. And two hours from the world's third favourite city - Cape Town. What more could anyone want?

You'll get hands-on experience working closely with the White Shark in its own world. You'll also learn some seamanship by performing crewing duties daily and giving tourists an amazing opportunity to understand and observe one of the world's most magnificent Apex Predators. Assist in collating data on the sharks with the Marine biologist via dorsal fin ID photography, observational and geographical data logging. You'll get the chance to enter the white shark's world by slipping down into the five-man shark cage and the videographer can film the whole unforgettable experience for you to take home!

You'll see the 18m long Southern Right Whales. These graceful giants occupy the water of Gansbaai from June to December and are definitely not to be missed.

This Optional add-On is also available as a full project, for details please go to Multi-Marine Conservation Project

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1-Week Rehabilitation of Wildlife

1-WEEK WILDLIFE REHABILITATION:
Price: £325, includes accommodation and food, plus transfer to and from Durban Airport. Does not include transfers from elsewhere in the country.

Spend a fantastic week working hands-on with abused, abandoned and orphaned animals - a time you will never, ever forget! You can do this placement either before starting your main project or afterwards.

You'll work with over 400 different animals and birds, and lots of monkeys! Your responsibilities can include feeding the animals, grounds work, cage enrichment and assisting in the construction and improvement of enclosures to raise the quality of the daily lives of the animals.

This Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is glorious. The grounds are beautiful and tranquil and the location is superb. It's also a wildlife hospital that cares for injured and orphaned wild animals and birds, and is the only centre of its kind in the Province. Any wild animal, (not domestic or agricultural), that has been injured, rescued or abandoned, is admitted free of charge. Almost 90% of animals admitted to the Centre, have sustained injuries due to human negligence.

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Penguins at Boulders in Cape Town

1-DAY CAPE PENINSULA & WINE TOUR:
Price: £49.

ITINERARY: We begin the morning with a leisurely stroll along the cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses of the Bokaap while sampling some of the local traditional snacks before heading through the exclusive seaside suburbs of Clifton and Campsbay where we have a short photo stop.

We then carry on along Victoria drive, through Houtbay and along the scenic Chapmans Peak Drive eventually arriving at The Cape of Good hope Nature Reserve where we have the option of doing a 40 minute hike from the most south west tip of Africa, Cape of Good Hope to the Cape Point Light House.

We then start driving north to Boulder Beach Penguin colony, where on a nice day you can actually swim with these sea birds! By this stage you would have built up quite an appetite. We stop for a traditional Cape lunch of fish ‘n chips in the old Kalk Bay harbour where the local fishing community goes back generations.

After everyone has had their fill, we stop briefly at the Shark Spotter, entrusted by the local surfers of Muizenberg to look out for Great White Sharks. From here we travel through the lush Constantia Valley to one of the oldest wine farms outside of Europe for a relaxing end of the day wine tasting experience, where we also learn about the history of farming in the Cape in beautiful surroundings.

Included Highlights: Lunch and refreshments in Kalk Bay, Cape of Good Hope Entrance Fee & Boulders Beach Entry Fee to see penguins, Wine Tasting in the Constantia Wine Valley, Walking tour of Bo-Kaap.

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Table Mountain in vCape Town

1-DAY HIKING (TABLE MOUNTAIN), ABSEILING, SANDBOARDING & SURFING COMBO:
Price: £49.

Have you ever wanted to hike up the legendary Table Mountain? Speed down a steep sand dune? Or how about cruise down the open face of a wave? You start the day off with a 2 hour hike up the front of Table Mountain and you then the slightly insane have the option of doing a 112m abseil from the top!

You then take the cable car down the mountain where you will take the scenic route to Houtbay, stopping in Camps Bay along the route for a photo opportunity. Once in Houtbay your guide will teach you the basic sandboarding techniques before letting you experience the speed and thrill of sandboarding yourself!

From here you will cross over Constantia Neck to the False Bay coast where you will climb into you wetsuits, jump on your surf board and hit the waves for a surf lesson. Once back on dry land you will head back to your hotel. I am sure you will be talking about this action packed day for a long time!

Included Highlights: Light snacks and refreshments, fish and chips lunch, hiking sandboarding & surfing.

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Bungee jump

3-DAY WILDLIFE SAFARI & BUNGEE ADVENTURE:
Price: £190, includes accommodation and food. Leaves Cape Town every Friday and returns to Cape Town on the Sunday afternoon.

Experience a Game Drive, a walk with Lions, an elephant and a monkey sanctuary, the Cango caves AND The World’s highest Bungee!!!

Day 1 ǀ Friday: Overberg, Garden Route, Sedgefield: We leave Cape Town and head east along the N2 past Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa to a Private Game Reserve on the edge of the Garden Route. On safari, where you can see Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Cheetah and Giraffe in their natural habitat.

After lunch we stop at another private game reserve where you can take a photographic walk with lions! Walk side by side and even stroke them. On to Sedgefield where we stay at a beautiful private Cape to Addo backpacker’s house.
Included Highlight: Big 5 Game Drive Safari
Optional Activities: Cat Walk – Walking with Lions

Day 2 ǀ Saturday: Garden Route, Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Bungee: We begin with a visit to a popular local farmers and craft market in the village. Then on to an Elephant Sanctuary for orphaned elephants where you learn about, and interact with them before having lunch at a Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area. Our next stop is always one of the highlights of the tour . . . the Bloukrans River Bridge, home to the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters! Back to Sedgefield for dinner and to carry on with the festivities.
Included Highlight: Local craft and farmers market
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking.

Day 3 ǀ Sunday: Little Karoo, Oudtshoorn, return to Cape Town via Route 62: We head over the Outeniqua Mountains to the Town of Oudtshoorn, known as the “Ostrich Capital of the world”. Here we visit the Cango Caves to go on either an adventure or standard tour through some very large chambers with spectacular limestone formations that are millions of years old. If you chose the adventure tour, be prepared to start squeezing through some very tight spaces. If caves are not for you, then visit the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch where you can stroke a cheetah or even go cage diving with crocodiles! Then we head home along the scenic Route 62 through the Klein Karoo.
Included Highlight: Cango Caves Adventure or Standard tour or Cango Wildlife ranch entrance

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3-day Garden Route Safari in South Africa

3-DAY GARDEN ROUTE SAFARI ADVENTURE
(One-way to Port Elizabeth or Knysna):

Price: £180. Leaves Cape Town every Monday morning (early).

The 4 Day tour is ideal for volunteers wanting to arrive at our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town and get to take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities. The tour bus will drop you off at either project destination mentioned above on Day 3.

Day 1 – Monday ǀ Cape Town to Oudtshoorn Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ranch: We head into the semi-arid Little Karoo along the scenic Route 62 driving to the town of Oudtshoorn, known as the ostrich capital of the world, it is situated in a beautiful, fertile valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. Here you can choose between:
The Cango Caves where we will embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. Or if you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
Go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

We then head over the Outeniqua Mountains to the lush coastal region known as the Garden Route where we will head to the beach town of Sedgefield where we spend our first night. If time allows we will also head to the beach for a swim in the Indian Ocean.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves OR Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 2 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park. This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
3. Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest.
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 3 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s bay). There are 2 options to choose from this morning:
1. Sleep in and take some time in the morning to explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Included Highlight: Storms River/Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo & Knysna Heads.
Optional Activities: Black Water Tubing, Canopy Tour, Surf Lessons, Shopping, Addo Elephant NP tour (morning)

Please note:
• Volunteers destined for our Wildlife Sanctuary placement, can get dropped off at the project or choose to be fetched in Jeffrey’s Bay after the activities.
• Volunteers destined for the Knysna projects will be dropped off at our accommodation.

Day 4 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass. After breakfast overlooking the ocean in Sedgefield, we start our journey back to Cape Town. Our first stop is a once in a lifetime experience, walking with lions! This informative walk allows you to get some amazing photos while getting up close and personal with these amazing creatures We then visit an Aloe factory in Albertinia and enjoy a wonderful scenic drive via Swellendam and Sir Lowry’s Pass. We arrive in Cape Town late Thursday afternoon.
Included Highlight: Lion Walk.

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Caves, Elephants and Lions Safari

4-DAY CAVES, ELEPHANTS & LIONS ADVENTURE SAFARI:
Price: £195, includes accommodation and food. Leaves Cape Town every Monday morning (early), returning to Cape Town on Thursdays.

Day 1 – Monday ǀ Cape Town to Oudtshoorn Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ranch: We leave the Mother City behind and head into the semi-arid Little Karoo along the scenic Route 62 driving to the town of Oudtshoorn, known as the ostrich capital of the world, it is situated in a beautiful, fertile valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. Here you can choose between:
1. The Cango Caves where we will embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. Or if you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
2. Go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

We then head over the Outeniqua Mountains to the lush coastal region known as the Garden Route where we will head to the beach town of Sedgefield where we spend our first night. If time allows we will also head to the beach for a swim in the Indian Ocean.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves OR Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 2 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park. This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
3. Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest.
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour

Day 3 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s Bay). There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in and take some time in the morning to explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Included Highlight: Storms River/Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo & Knysna Heads.
Optional Activities: Black Water Tubing, Canopy Tour, Surf Lessons, Shopping, Addo Elephant NP tour (morning)

Day 4 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass. After breakfast overlooking the ocean in Sedgefield, we start our journey back to Cape Town. Our first stop is a once in a lifetime experience, walking with lions! This informative walk allows you to get some amazing photos while getting up close and personal with these amazing creatures We then visit an Aloe factory in Albertinia and enjoy a wonderful scenic drive via Swellendam and Sir Lowry’s Pass. We arrive in Cape Town late Thursday afternoon.
Included Highlight: Lion Walk.

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5-day sharks and wildlife safari

5-DAY SHARKS, ADVENTURE & WILDLIFE SAFARI
(One-way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth or Knysna):

Price: £265. Includes Accommodation and Food. Leaves Cape Town every Saturday morning (early).

This is the ideal tour for volunteers wanting to arrive at our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town and get to take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities. The tour bus will drop you off at any of the destinations listed above on Day 5.

Day 1 – Saturday ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai: Overberg, Whale Route, Cape Agulhus: Departing Cape Town at 8:30 am and Stellenbosch at 9:30 am, our exciting journey begins today as we join the world famous whale route in Gordons Bay for a stunning drive along the picturesque R44 mountain pass overlooking False Bay to the vibrant coastal town of Hermanus. After an opportunity to take some photographs and a picnic lunch on the seafront, we continue to Birkenhead Brewery to sample some fine beers before moving on to the southernmost tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas National Park.

After a visit to the lookout point we make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November). After our cruise we take a walk back to our accommodation along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere. This day is designed to be a relaxing one for you to get to know your fellow travellers, to get used to travelling in our vehicle and to settle into the comfortable routine of life on tour.
Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus/Shopping Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
Optional Activities: Shark cage diving.

Day 2 – Sunday ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike: Starting with a relaxing breakfast we then start driving inland again, this time towards the famed Garden Route! After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers in the area, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall. We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.
Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall.

Day 3 – Monday ǀ Oudtshoorn day trip: Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Ostrich Farm, Wildlife Ranch: We begin the day with a drive over the picturesque Outeniqua mountain range into the semi desert region of the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn. Known as the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. The Cango Caves will be the first stop and here we’ll embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!

Next is an option to view and ride ostriches on a working ostrich farm, or go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view many rare and endangered animal species.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves Optional Activities: Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction applies to riders). Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 4 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay: Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park: This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
3. Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 5 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping. There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in and take some time in the morning to explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

We then take a relaxed drive back towards Sedgefield for the night. If there is time available we will visit the famous Knysna Heads for some absolutely amazing pictures where the ocean meets the inlet to the Knysna Lagoon.
Included Highlight: Storms River/Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo & Knysna Heads
Optional Activities: Black Water Tubing, Canopy Tour, Surf Lessons, Shopping, Addo Elephant NP tour (morning)

Please note:
• Volunteers destined for our Wildlife Sanctuary placement, can get dropped off at the project or choose to be fetched in Jeffrey’s Bay after the activities.
• Volunteers destined for the Knysna projects will be dropped off at our accommodation

Book Now

7-day extreme advanture safari in Souith Africa

6-DAY EXTREME ADVENTURE & WILDLIFE SAFARI:
Price: £295. Leaves Cape Town on a Saturday morning and returns to Cape Town the following Thursday afternoon.

The Full Monty! Perfect for everyone at the start or end of your placement in South Africa! Each tour is professionally organised, driven and guided by an experienced African tour leader and the itineraries are jam-packed full of unique African experiences and exciting discoveries.

Day 1 – Saturday ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai: Overberg, Whale Route, Cape Agulhus: Departing Cape Town at 8:30 am and Stellenbosch at 9:30 am, our exciting journey begins today as we join the world famous whale route in Gordons Bay for a stunning drive along the picturesque R44 mountain pass overlooking False Bay to the vibrant coastal town of Hermanus. After an opportunity to take some photographs and a picnic lunch on the seafront, we continue to Birkenhead Brewery to sample some fine beers before moving on to the southernmost tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas National Park.

After a visit to the lookout point we make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November). After our cruise we take a walk back to our accommodation along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere. This day is designed to be a relaxing one for you to get to know your fellow travellers, to get used to travelling in our vehicle and to settle into the comfortable routine of life on tour.
Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus / Shopping. Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
Optional Activities: Shark cage diving.

Day 2 – Sunday ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike: Starting with a relaxing breakfast we then start driving inland again, this time towards the famed Garden Route! After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers in the area, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall. We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.
Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall

Day 3 – Monday ǀ Oudtshoorn day trip: Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Ostrich Farm, Wildlife Ranch: We begin the day with a drive over the picturesque Outeniqua mountain range into the semi desert region of the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn. Known as the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. The Cango Caves will be the first stop and here we’ll embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!

Next is an option to view and ride ostriches on a working ostrich farm, or go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view many rare and endangered animal species.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves
Optional Activities: Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction apply to riders). Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 4 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay: Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park: This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
3. Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 5 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping. There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in and take some time in the morning to explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

We then take a relaxed drive back towards Sedgefield for the night. If there is time available we will visit the famous Knysna Heads for some absolutely amazing pictures where the ocean meets the inlet to the Knysna Lagoon.
Included Highlight: Storms River/Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo & Knysna Heads
Optional Activities: Black Water Tubing, Canopy Tour, Surf Lessons, Shopping, Addo Elephant NP tour (morning)

Day 6 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass: After breakfast overlooking the ocean in Sedgefield, we start our journey back to Cape Town. Our first stop is a once in a lifetime experience, walking with lions! This informative walk allows you to get some amazing photos while getting up close and personal with these amazing creatures We then visit an Aloe factory in Albertinia and enjoy a wonderful scenic drive via Swellendam and Sir Lowry’s Pass. We arrive in Cape Town Thursday afternoon.
Optional Activities: Lion Walk

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SAFARI TOURS: OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES RATES:
Please note that these rates are subject to change without prior notice as per the service providers.
NB: The Shark Cage Dive MUST be booked in advance when making your Add-On booking. The shark operator company will fetch you from your Cape Town accommodation very early in the morning and the tour bus will meet up with you in the afternoon (after your dive) to continue the safari tour.
Activity Prices:

  • Shark Cage Diving R1750
  • Elephant walking and feeding R360
  • Elephant walking and feeding plus riding R480
  • Monkeyland R150
  • Bloukrans Bungee Jump R790
  • Bloukrans Bridge walking tour R120
  • Black Water Tubing R450
  • Black Water Tubing R450
  • Surfboard & wetsuit rental per hour R50
  • Surfing Lessons (2 hours) R200
  • Lion Walk R380
  • Cango Ostrich Farm R75
  • Cheetah Petting R200
  • Cub encounter R330
  • Crocodile Cage Diving R330
  • Lemur encounter R170
  • Reptile encounter R95

Please see www.xe.com to convert the SA Rand prices to your local currency.

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Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.

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LOCATION | 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.

LOCATION: BETHLEHEM IN THE FREE STATE:
There are many things to do in the Free State. Bethlehem has a shopping mall and also provides nightlife with restaurants and bars. There are also numerous banks and cash machines, pharmacies, dentists and medical care.

Another town, Clarens, is renowned for its arts and crafts and has a good collection of restaurants and bars. It also borders the Golden Gate National Park which is well worth a visit. Entry is free and there are walks and wildlife to be seen as well as a traditional Basoto Village Museum which costs just 50 Rand.

For those wishing to be more adventurous, there is the opportunity to go quad biking at Lionsrock or white water rafting from Clarens.

EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
KwaZulu Natal (KZN) is renowned for its Game Reserves and traditional Zulu Culture : The attractions in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) range from vibrant cities to the gorgeous Land of a Thousand Hills, from tranquil beaches to outstanding Game Parks and Nature Reserves. These are just some of the sites you shouldn't miss:

  • Big Five Game Reserves (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino - and lots more, of course) and Travellers volunteers are able to work in many of them, including Tembe and Mkhuze.
  • Beautiful St Lucia Wetlands with its Crocodile Centre and Wetlands
  • Numerous nature parks,
  • Fantastic beaches for swimming and diving. The beaches are truly golden.
  • Lively Durban where South Africans go to have fun,
  • The San Art Park for a collection of astounding rock paintings,
  • ... And much, much more!

DURBAN (Tekweni in Zulu) is the ancestral home of the Nguni people. Africa's bewitching seaside playground in the sun with radiant golden sands and lush sub-tropical greenery. The city has balmy weather all year round, making it a perfect holiday paradise. Durban International Airport is only a 10 minute drive from the City. Sophisticated and cosmopolitan, Durban Metro after dark buzzes with elegant lounges, funky taverns and cozy inns, distinctive local theatre and live music, and trendy clubs, pubs and discos. This is nightlife in a modern, authentic African metropolis!