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SOUTH AFRICA

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT A WILDLIFE REHABILITATION AND RELEASE CENTRE IN KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA

The best cage is an empty cage! Work in a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre that provides life-saving care and treatment to wild animals in distress. You will assist the centre’s staff with feeding and caring for its wildlife patients on a daily basis, as well as assisting them with rescues and releases.

Much of your work involves understanding the principles of wildlife rehabilitation and contributing towards giving animals that have been orphaned or injured, the best chance of getting back out into the wild where they belong. You’ll contribute to an extremely valuable conservation effort that provides medical care, rehabilitation and also releases wild animals back into their natural environment.

YOUR HELP MATTERS!

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL RESCUE
Casey, a 7 week old large spotted genet, arrived at the Centre during the first week of August. Casey is one of a litter of three. After the tree they were living in got cut down, her mom managed to move her two siblings, but Casey was left behind. With the help of Monkey Helpline, she arrived safely at the Centre. After 2 weeks of tender, love and care, Casey is happily eating and drinking.

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL RELEASE - LOLA THE NYALA RETURNS TO THE WILD!

Over the past month, the Centre has returned over 100 animals back into their natural habitats. A recent highlight was ... Read more...

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £1,395 (approx. US$1,750) for 2 weeks
£200 (approx. US$250) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 4 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates and Availability: All year round - programme arrival dates are on the 1st and 15th of each month.
Requirements: Minimum age 17. No qualifications needed, just a big heart and a love of animals and their conservation. Please note, you will need to be able to carry out physical tasks on a daily basis as part of your placement.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, 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. Good if you want to learn about rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and doing animal-related voluntary work, projects abroad or study abroad. Also available as a summer placement in South Africa or a short break activity.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping injured, orphaned and displaced animals to return them to their natural environment and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA info@travellersworldwide.com

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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

The best cage is an empty cage! Run by a small, yet highly dedicated and experienced team of staff and local and international volunteers, the Rehabilitation Centre assists over 3000 injured, orphaned and displaced animals every year. From mongoose, genets and monkeys to raptors, reptiles and antelope, the Centre represents a second chance at a free, safe and sustainable life for all wild animals in distress. This excellent project is based in a beautiful Rehabilitation Centre.

The centre cares for anywhere between 200 - 400 different animals at any given time! The number and variety of animals can vary depending on the time of year.

Much of your work involves understanding the principles of wildlife rehabilitation and contributing towards giving animals that have been orphaned or injured, the best chance of getting back out into the wild where they belong. You’ll contribute to an extremely valuable conservation effort that provides medical care, rehabilitation and also releases wild animals back into their natural environment.

This is a superb project. Your work with the animals has the direct result of improving their quality of life, of "rescuing" them from death or a life of misery.

  • Assisting with preparing the animals’ food and ensuring all their nutritional needs are met during their rehabilitation through enrichment activities
  • Assisting with the care, treatment and monitoring of each animal’s recovery and progress.
  • Assisting with the cleaning of the animals’ enclosures and ensuring their environment meets all their physical needs.
  • Assisting with the cleaning, repair and maintenance of the centre’s facilities and animal enclosures.
  • Assisting with centre’s trained staff with wildlife rescues and releases out in the field.
  • They also have a very busy Educational Program, so if education 'is your thing', you may be able to assist with school tours and edutainment events at the Education Centre, if available at the time that you’re there.

The longer you're on this project, the more you'll and the more you'll be able to do more in-depth and responsible elements of the work required.

The Rehabilitation Centre strives to release all its wildlife patients back into their natural habitat in the wild. This is a particularly satisfying time!

SEASONS:
The rehabilitation centre is never ending with volunteers needed all year round. The focus of that work is closely related to meeting the needs of their wildlife patients which do change from season to season depending where each animal is in their individual recovery and rehabilitation. South Africa’s season are as follows:

  • Spring: September – November
  • Summer: December – February
  • Autumn: March – May
  • Winter: June - August

During spring and summer those animals that have suitably recovered and been rehabilitated (weaned from their dependence on their human caregivers) are released back into the wild.. In addition to caring for new arrivals and those animals that are not suitably recovered yet, you are therefore likely to participate over this period in the release and monitoring of animals that are being returned into the wild.

Spring and summer is KwaZulu-Natal’s rainy season and therefore releases are done at this time to give the animals a chance to adapt to their new environment, establish a territory, find the best food sources and water, etc before the cold winter months set in and adequate access to food and shelter become essential to their survival.

Those animals that are not ready to be released during this period remain in the Centre during autumn and require ongoing care throughout the winter. This is also the time that the Centre readies itself for the next influx of injured and orphaned babies that usually start coming into the centre from early spring.

Preparation of food, feeding and caring for those animals that have remained in the Centre is ongoing, but there is also a strong focus at this time to repair and improve the clinic, enclosures, transport boxes and other equipment used to rescue and release wildlife.

Rescues are ongoing throughout the year and you may go out with the staff to help capture and secure injured animals that need to be brought back to the Centre for medical attention and care.

Duties throughout the year may also include painting and construction, landscaping and removal of alien vegetation, as well as enriching the enclosures with natural structure and foliage to keep the animals stimulated and ensure they can recover in as natural and stress-free environment as possible.

ACCOMMODATION

There is a fully furnished volunteer house that accommodates up to 10 volunteers at a time. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with volunteers sharing rooms and communal living areas. The house is on the grounds of the rehabilitation centre with the volunteer manager and other staff also living in separate accommodation right next door to the volunteer house.

The house also has an outside patio area with a fire pit and braai facilities. Wherever possible, couples or related volunteers who would like to stay together in the volunteer house are given their own room, but this is obviously dependant on how many volunteers there are in the house at the time.

The volunteer house is cleaned once a week, but volunteers are responsible for keeping the house clean and tidy on a daily basis and a roster is in place for things like cooking duties and washing dishes. Laundry facilities are available in the house too so volunteers can do their own washing.

A safe is available in the centre’s clinic should you wish to lock away your passport, money or any valuables. Mobile phones do operate with full reception on-site.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There is no Wi-Fi available on site, but you can use facilities in the nearby shops.

FOOD:
Food is provided on this project. Volunteers are encouraged to cook and eat their meals together in the volunteer house as this is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and learn a little about their nationalities and cultures. A weekly grocery shop to provide volunteers with 3 meals per day is done by staff and volunteers. Any special dietary requirements e.g. vegetarians are met within reason, however luxury food items are at your own expense.

There is a small shopping centre with a grocery store and take away outlets located within walking distance of the rehabilitation centre.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

THE REWARDS OF DOING THIS PROJECT:
This placement is definitely for wildlife and conservation enthusiasts who are willing to work hard and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but the rewards are well worth it:

  • You'll get a wonderful and varied experience with many different species of animals.
  • You'll have a memorable and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work closely with an experienced and dedicated team of professional wildlife rehabilitators.
  • You'll leave feeling very proud of yourself for having helped to give injured and orphaned wildlife a second chance.
  • You'll learn much more than you can imagine, particularly about different wildlife species, the fascinating and complex field of wildlife rehabilitation and conservation and hopefully you'll help to raise awareness by talking to friends and colleagues on your return home.
  • This project will be an excellent entry on your CV, demonstrating your initiative, commitment, unique working experience and your concern for nature.

To give you a feel of the fulfilment that you can get from the project, here's an excerpt from Mabel, our Volunteer Liaison at the Project, from her report about what the volunteers have been doing recently:

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL RELEASE - LOLA THE NYALA RETURNS TO THE WILD!

Over the past month, the Centre has returned over 100 animals back into their natural habitats. A recent highlight was one of their antelope patients, Lola the Nyala that was released after a long haul of specialised rehabilitation.

Lola was admitted late last year after being found abandoned near St Lucia. For their first few months of life, baby antelope are entirely reliant on their mothers, leaving little Lola with a slim chance of survival. Once transferred to the centre, she was put in an intensive rehabilitation programme.

Over the next 11 months Lola was reared into a strong, young antelope capable of finding and foraging for food naturally in the wild. A few weeks ago, in an emotional whirlwind of a day, Estie and her team finally saw Lola take her first steps as a free animal. Initial feedback from the release has been hugely positive. Over the coming months, Lola will be closely monitored to ensure she adjusts well and will be able to sustain herself in the wild.

Everyone is sad to see Helen leave. She really did an outstanding job here and was loved by all. Olivia went with Dr Fitchat to set up the cage for the monkey release on the 7th January at Pakamisa Private Game farm. She work very hard in the sun all day and never once complained about the heat. Early on Monday morning all the clinic staff, assisted by the volunteers, caught and packed the monkeys to be transported to Pongola. It was very wet but all the volunteers did what they could to help make this go fast.

Rebecca went with Estie and Medi to Pongola to release the monkeys. They stayed on the farm for 2 nights and the monkeys were released on the Wednesday morning very early. Olivia and Rebecca had a wonderful time seeing the monkeys run for freedom. When they returned, they couldn't stop talking about what they had seen and how happy they were to see the little ones free and not in a cage.

We had a mother monkey with a baby come in that was bitten by dogs. Baby was fine but mother had some very bad head and arm injuries. Rachel and Bethan took it on themselves to make sure the baby got fed and was not too stressed because the mother was not well at all. The girls really did a good job with the baby. Mother and baby are doing well now and we hope that we could put them back with the troop soon.

The girls are looking after the baby buck every day and do all the bottle feeds. Rachel and Miranda are going with me today to take a young Blesbuck to a bigger facility. Rachel, Beth and Miranda went on a tour to Sani Pass in Lesotho. They said it was the best day ever. They had a lot of fun and enjoyed all the stuff they did. They're also going on a 2-day safari to Hluhluwe Game Reserve on Saturday and Sunday. Other than that, the volunteers are kept busy and they enjoy every day. Mabel.

The Rehabilitation Centre itself is a lovely and a very safe environment. This is truly a wonderful project that is both rewarding and unforgettable.

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.

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive you will be met at the airport and driven to the project site. There you'll be welcomed by a member of the Project Team 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.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA info@travellersworldwide.com DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

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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: £120, includes breakfast/lunch and return transfer from Cape Town.

Getting into the cage with the sharks around is truly breath-taking and gets the adrenaline going! When feeding actively around the boat, the sharks may occasionally brush their tail against the cage, but they NEVER attack the cage. They are curious and often come close-up to the cage to look at the diver. You’ll usually see at least two or more members of the Marine Big Five - sharks, dolphins, whales, seals and penguins.

You’ll be collected from your arranged accommodation in Cape Town between 3.00 and 5.00 am) and driven to Gansbaai, the shark capital of South Africa. Enjoy a light breakfast while the safety briefing and other formalities are concluded, including sizing you for a wetsuit. After an exhilarating 20 minute boat trip, it anchors in or nearby “Shark Alley”. The shark diving then commences and lasts around 2 hours, sometimes longer.

On return to the harbour, you’ll receive a light hot lunch while viewing the video of the day. A copy of your own personal experience is available on DVD after the tour (optional extra).

Duration: Total duration from meeting point until departure is about 5 hours with around 3 hours at sea. Please note: Due to tides and collection schedules, exact collection times from Cape Town will only be confirmed after 16h00 the day prior to your tour.

Included:
• Hot tea / coffee and light breakfast, plus snacks, drinks and sweets on-board the boat
• A hot light lunch upon return (beef lasagne, rolls and Greek salad)
• Educational information and safety briefing
• Diving equipment and wet-suits available at no additional cost
• Scuba diving in the cage for experienced divers (conditions allowing)
• Assisted snorkeling in cage for inexperienced divers
• View Cape Fur Seals from the boat (conditions allowing), plus enjoy land-based whale watching in Hermanus (July – Dec)

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Penguins at Boulders in Cape Town

1-DAY CAPE PENINSULA & WINE TOUR:
Price: £59.

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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Bungee jump

3-DAY WEEKEND WILDLIFE SAFARI & BUNGEE ADVENTURE:
Price: £220, includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Leaves Cape Town every Friday and returns to Cape Town on the Sunday afternoon.

Jump on this 3 day rip-roaring adventure through the Garden Route where we fit as much as we possibly can into 3 awesome days. On this trip you can experience a Game Drive, enjoy some treetop ziplining, visit a local farmers market, an elephant and a monkey sanctuary, the Cango Caves AND The World’s highest Bungy Jump!

Day 1 Friday ǀ Overberg, Garden Route, Myoli Beach: We leave Cape Town, heading past Swellendam, to a Private Game Reserve on the Garden Route. Here we go on a safari where you can see Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Cheetah and Giraffe in their natural habitat. After lunch we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. Next we carry on our way to Sedgefield.
Included Highlight: Game Drive Safari
Optional Activities: Treetop Adventure & Zipline

Day 2 Saturday ǀ Garden Route, Knysna, Tsitsikamma: After a morning visit to a popular local farmers and craft market in Sedgefield village, we make our way to the Crags where you have a two 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.

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! From here it’s back to Myoli beach to carry on with the festivities.
Included Highlight: Local craft and farmers market
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungy jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 3 Sunday ǀ Little Karoo, Oudtshoorn, return to Cape Town via Route 62. We head to the Town of Oudtshoorn, the “Ostrich Capital of the world”. 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 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!
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.

Included Highlight: Cango Caves (Adventure or Standard Tour) OR Cango Wildlife Ranch
Optional Activities: Pet a cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles.

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3-day Garden Route Safari in South Africa

3-DAY ELEPHANTS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI
(One-way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth or Knysna):

Price: £230. Leaves Cape Town every Monday morning (early).

The 4 Day tour is ideal for volunteers to use to get to 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. Here you can choose between:
The Cango Caves: 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 smaller gaps, you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
A guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch: you can 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 for 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 two 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.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you can 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 then explore the town's many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson.
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 has the Big 5 and also the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Please note: This is where the 3 Day One Way to PE/ J-Bay/ Knysna will end.
• Volunteers destined for our Wildlife Sanctuary placement are dropped off at the project.
• Volunteers destined for the Knysna projects will be dropped off at our accommodation.

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Caves, Elephants Safari

4-DAY ELEPHANTS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI:
Price: £250, 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.

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 OR 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: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide.
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Day 4 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass. After breakfast we start our journey back to Cape Town. For our first stop we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. We then visit an Aloe factory, where you can purchase a variety of Aloe Ferox products. Finally, enjoy a wonderful scenic drive back to Cape Town, arriving early Thursday afternoon.
Included Highlight: Visit to an aloe factory.
Optional Activities: Treetop Adventure and Zipline.

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5-day sharks and wildlife safari

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

Price: £325. Includes Accommodation and Food. Leaves Cape Town every Saturday morning (early).

This is the ideal tour for volunteers to use to get to our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town AND you take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities.

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

We then 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). Accommodation is along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere. This day is a relaxing one for you to get to know your fellow travellers.
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: After breakfast we drive inland towards the famed Garden Route! After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers, 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 drive over the stunning Outeniqua mountains into the semi desert Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn. The ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is situated in a beautiful valley between mountains. The Cango Caves is our first stop with 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 smaller gaps, you can also 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 can 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, which you can do - optional. Finally, 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 then explore the town's 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. Addo has the Big 5 game animals and the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

A relaxed drive back towards Sedgefield for the night. Time permitting, we'll 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

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7-day extreme advanture safari in South Africa

6-DAY WILDLIFE, SHARKS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI:
Price: £360. Leaves Cape Town on a Saturday morning and returns to Cape Town the following Thursday afternoon.

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 along 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 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.

We then 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 the cruise we take a walk back to the accommodation along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere.
Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus / Shopping. Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
Optional Activities: Shark cage diving (MUST be pre-booked in advance).

Day 2 – Sunday ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike: After breakfast we drive 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, 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, 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 smaller gaps, 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 two 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.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you can experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, 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 OR 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 then explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson.
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 has the Big 5 and also the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Day 6 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass: After breakfast we start our journey back to Cape Town. For our first stop we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. We then visit an Aloe factory, where you can purchase a variety of Aloe Ferox products. Finally, enjoy a wonderful scenic drive back to Cape Town, arriving early Thursday afternoon.

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4-day Kruger  National Park Wildlife Game Safari Tour in South Africa

4-DAY KRUGER NATIONAL PARK SAFARI:
Price: £520 per person, includes game drives, tented accommodation, breakfasts and dinners. Leaves Johannesburg daily at 7:00.
Join this 4 day tour to the majestic Kruger National Park, one of the top wilderness reserves in the world and home to the highest concentration of lions in Africa. You'll stay at a private game reserve with permanent safari tents.

Day 1 Sunset Drive, Kruger National Park: We collect you from your hostel or Johannesburg Airport and travel via Dullstroom or Nelspruit to the lodge in a Big Five Game Reserve. Transfer to an open-top game vehicle for a Sunset Drive. After dark, spotlights are used to locate nocturnal animals. Dinner in the open Boma and overnight in air-conditioned chalets.

Day 2 Bush Walk, Kruger National Park:
Awaken at sunrise for an exhilarating day of unforgettable bush life. Drive to a remote part of the Balule Game Reserve, where you enjoy a 4h Bush Walk. Your experienced field guide will lead you through the bush. The thrill of following Africa’s large animals until you can take a photo will remain with you forever. Adrenalin surges will be acute, notwithstanding the presence of your armed ranger. Return for brunch. At around 14h30 we go on an afternoon game drive. Transfer to Marc’s Camp where accommodation is in tents equipped with beds and bedding, soap and towels, electric light and fan. Dinner and overnight at in the camp.

Day 3 Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park:
After breakfast you travel on the open-sided Gameviewer to the Orpen Gate of Kruger. The added elevation and absence of windows allow for excellent viewing and photographic opportunities. Your qualified guide will show you various animals, large and small, that frequent this outstanding wildlife paradise. The zone of Kruger you visit has the highest percentage population of giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and impala that attract numerous lions and other predators. Dinner and overnight at Marc’s Camp.

Day 4 Bush walk at Kruger National Park, Johannesburg
We enjoy an early morning Bush Walk accompanied by an armed ranger. You will be shown various interesting details of the bush, including insects, spoor and scats. You have an excellent chance of encountering Buffalo, Nyala and other game on foot. After breakfast, we drive to the Three Rondawels of the Blyde River Canyon. We return you to your hostel or airport at around 17h00.

Includes:
• Return transfers from Johannesburg
• 3 hour Sunset Big 5 game drive in Big 5 reserve
• 4 hour Big 5 walk with armed ranger
• 2 hour afternoon game drive on Balule Game Reserve
• Full Day Kruger Park on open vehicle
• Breakfasts, Dinners, Accommodation and bedding
• Sunrise bush walk with armed ranger
• Blyde River canyon and Three Rondawels

Excludes: Lunches, Transfers, Drinks & Laundry

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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: Yellowwood Park, Durban, South Africa:
The Rehabilitation Centre is located on the east coast in a suburb of Durban, called Yellowwood Park. It lies close to a small protected reserve of 253 hectares which offers coastal forest and grassland habitats and includes species such as zebra, bushbuck, reedbuck, impala, blue, red and grey duiker, vervet monkeys, rock hyrax, slender mongoose, bushbaby, Egyptian mongoose, banded mongoose, water monitor and genet. The reserve also has an interesting variety of indigenous flora and over 200 bird species.

Because the Centre is close to the Reserve and the fact that food is always available at the Centre, you'll see lots of birdlife scavenging food from the enclosures - and wild Monkeys are also regular visitors.

The Bluff is a gigantic headland that forms the southeastern 'arm' of Durban Harbour and has a string of safe and protected beaches. Brighton Beach, Cave Rock Beach, Anstey's Beach and Garvies Beach are all very popular, with interesting walks through coastal bush that end almost at the water's edge.

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!

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

ANGELA SPENCER
British
Wildlife Rehabilitation Programme in KwaZulu-Natal

I am 57 years old and last year I worked as a volunteer with elephants in Sri Lanka. This year I chose South Africa. I am not a student, I am not doing this because I want to be a vet, I am doing this because I have always loved animals and I now have the money and the time to spend my holidays volunteering. South Africa was a country I had always been interested in so this year I chose the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in KwaZuluNatal, Durban.

I knew it would be hard work, but I was prepared for it. I was not wrong, It was incredibly hard, manual work but I loved every minute. Cleaning out cages and feeding the animals in their care. The people who work there are so dedicated, they are permanently on the go, either rescuing or releasing the animals they have saved and reared. Some are too badly injured and have to be put down, but they do this with such care and gentleness. I cannot speak too highly of these wonderful human beings.

I had so many positive and interesting cases it is difficult to choose just one. Do I choose the story of Goofy and her mate (Hardidar's) who fell in love with my red work boots, so much so that they used to go out of their way to find me and peck and bite me and my boots. They used to dive bomb me when I was feeding other animals and I nicked named them "She Devils".

Or about the Egyptian Geese and their goslings I helped rescue from a tower block. They are now in one of Crows large caged areas with their own pool and 2 meals a day with added "greens". They will be taken further north and released by a huge lake.

I think one of my most touching and favourite memories will be Kiley (a young Baboon). There were three in their own large cage within a compound of larger Baboons so they could be introduced into the troupe safely. I was trying to feed Tank the baby of the bunch his milk when Kiley sat on my knee holding on to my body, I stroked her as I was feeding a very mischievous Tank and when I finally gave up I noticed that Kiley had fallen asleep.

It was also a very rewarding moment when the Baboons came and turned their backs to me, presenting me their bottoms. I found this amusing and mentioned it to one of the nursing staff who informed me that I was being accepted as a friend and they were offering themselves to me to preen and groom.

Feeding the Mongoose was always a laugh as I tried to place their trays of food in their Pen while they were scenting my boots (this is where they rub their back ends and bodies over something they want to leave their smell on). I often ended up trying to walk with three mongoose attached to each foot.

I could go on for ever, this has been such an amazing time. I will never forget this experience and I miss them all terribly.

I loved every minute but it was very hard work, which I expected, but I think some placements go with the idea that they are just going to pet the animals - it certainly wasn't like that.

KATIE DAVIES
British
Wildlife Rehabilitation Programme in KwaZulu-Natal

I have been here now for 4 weeks. I travelled from England on my own and was a bit nervous about coming this far from home on my own…. But I have had the most amazing time here. Everyone here is amazing, they have all been really nice and let me help out with the animals. Mabel has been especially brilliant she has looked after us so well and has been a pleasure to get to know and I am going to miss her a lot.

While you are here you must go on the Zulu tour to the Valley of 1000 hills, it was an amazing cultural experience and also do the 2-day Safari to Hluhluwe/Umfolozi game parks. Also try and get to Ushaka Marine World and do the ocean walk there, its is cheap and really bizarre.

I am feeling really sad to be leaving, I have made some friends for life here and will definitely be coming back soon for another stint at helping out. I am going to miss chopping veg, the 7’o clock starts, and the day old chicks!!!

SHERAN LEE
British
(1) Wildlife Rehabilitation Programme in KwaZulu-Natal
(2) Vervet Monkey Care and Rehabilitation Project
(3) Lion Breeding and Release Programme in Zimbabwe

Hi Sharon, Lovely to hear from you, I'm having the most incredible time! I visited Knysna while on the Garden Route - beautiful town, had a boat ride then a superb meal of chilli and garlic prawns (Mmmmm) watching the world go by!

The Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release Centre in KwaZulu-Natal was just fantastic, the staff, volunteers and of course the animals! I was very fortunate to be the foster-mum for a baby grey duiker as well as for the baby vervet monkeys - adorable!!! The most amazing, amazing place. :-)

Then onto the Monkey Rehabilitation project in KZN, nowhere near as busy, but to be involved once again with vervet monkeys was beautiful, and to have the opportunity to go out with Bruce & Sandi monitoring was a great experience.

Now I'm here at Tembe Elephant Park, stunning scenery, monitoring the Wild Dogs, it's been great as there was already females here but then released 3 males, so we were monitoring both packs and a couple of days ago the females and males met up.

Two days later we saw them and they were mating - no long courtships here!! Also been monitoring the elephants, then last night it was lion monitoring! Wow!!! Just love it all, the high you get when you hear a beep on the telemetry is indescribable!

I've only seen hyena at Mpila when I went for a weekend with Bruce & Sandi, just finished cooking a braai, female hyena walked up and started licking it - thankfully we'd just taken the meat inside!! She was huge - took my breath away!!!

As you know I'm then off to Hluhluwe, Mkuze and then iMfolozi - really looking forward to iMfolozi as I have recently met Antoine, the new Monitor, and apparently I'll be the first volunteer at this new camp - excited already!

Then Zimbabwe - hoping not to get nibbled by the lions!!!! And finally the Cheetahs in Limpopo! The past 7 months have passed in a flash! Just so grateful to be able to enjoy and be part of this fantastic conservation experience in a truly beautiful country!!! :-) :-)

Many thanks for your support and it's lovely to know that you're around if I need you.

SOME HAPPY ENDINGS :-)

One Paw out of the Door
Emotions ran high among the Centre team following the transfer of four Side-striped Jackals patients into their pre-release boma in the Hluhluwe area.

The four jackals, Piper, Page, Hulk and Griffin were discovered by cane cutters on a local farm in the Empangeni area late last year. The workers alerted the farmer who noticed that the pups burrow had caved in and collapsed. Not wanting to interfere with nature and wanting to ensure the pups were in need of rescue, the farmer then waited a few days to see if their mother would return. Sadly, the mother didn’t return and the Centre team were contacted. After receiving the all-clear from Dr Geoffrey Fourie at Empangeni Veterinary Hospital, the pups were transferred to the Centres facility for rehabilitation.

From day one the jackals were under the watchful eye and expert care of Nurse Sue-Ann Shutte: “The pups were tiny, weighing in at a mere 200 grams on admission. As much as much as one would be tempted to treat them like a domestic species, I knew I had to keep my distance and ensure the pups learned to rely on each other rather than people. Jackal are notorious for becoming easily habituated to people. We do our utmost to ensure all our patients retain their natural fear of people by keeping human contact to a minimum. This goes a long way in ensuring their successful integration back into the wild!”

Following a year of intensive rehabilitation, the jackals have just been transferred to a pre-release boma in the Hluhluwe area where they will spend the next 8 weeks adjusting to their new environment before being released. For research and further developments the jackals were fitted with tracking collars and will be tracked for between 18 months and 2 years.

Terra the Pelican gets his Wings Back
Terra, the Great White Pelican, was released in August, after a period of rehabilitation at the Centre. He was brought in at 4 weeks old from the Hluluwe area and quickly earned a place in everyone's hearts. We suspect Terra may have fallen from his nest and, as a result of the fall, he sustained multiple muscle and tendon injuries to his wings. This led to mobility issues for the young pelican.

After a brief period in Centre's ICU , Terra was transferred to a larger outside enclosure where he could spread his wings and begin his recovery process. Terra took a lot longer to recover than we had initially hoped which caused a lot of worry for the team and our consulting vets. Fortunately for Terra, his will to pull through was outweighed by his initial injuries and in the later winter months of this year he starting showing strength in his wings.

The team recently released Terra at one of our regular release sites in the Albert Falls area, where he will be able to be monitored over the next few months.

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This Blue Duiker was recently released onto a reserve in the North Coast after narrowly escaping the clutches of a poacher.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release Project in KwaZulu-Natal