South Africa, Wildlife Sanctuary

Company : Budget Volunteering
Activities: Animal Volunteer Projects / Conservation Volunteer Projects
Location : KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Duration: 1 week to 1 year
Approx Costs: 500 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Work in a Sanctuary set in a small private game reserve in the Eastern Cape. You'll assist in feeding and generally looking after many different animal species, including over 250 different species of birds.

Work Description

The Park is large, so there is always a very wide variety of activities that you will be involved in. Work ranges from hands-on with the animals, to helping and guiding visitors or assisting in the restaurant and bar. Some of your work will also include general chores in the Park itself. Briefly, your responsibilities will include some or all of the following:

  • Food preparation for all the animals and birds. You'll learn which animals eat what food, how to prepare it and and how much to give them.
  • Nearly all the baby animals in the sanctuary are orphans that have been rescued from elsewhere and brought to the sanctuary for safety and, where possible, to be released back into their natural habitat in the wild. These animals need lots of care and attention.
  • Mucking out and tidying enclosures, and, when necessary, helping to expand existing enclosures or constructing new ones.
  • Collecting data on wildlife within the game reserve section of the park. This will include, for example, monitoring the movements of wildlife and occasionally doing game counts.

Besides spending time with the animals and birds, there are other areas of the Sanctuary and Wildlife Park needing attention as well:

  • Helping around the sanctuary. You'll learn a lot about the animals so that you can convey this information to visitors or school groups that visit the Sanctuary.
  • Assisting with general duties in the restaurant, bar and kitchen, possibly even helping with the preparation of meals.
  • Helping unload supplies when they arrive.
  • Some admin work may be required while you're there.
  • General clearing of the Park to eliminate alien vegetation, for example. This makes a more "user-friendly" and safer environment for the free-roaming animals (and is in line with government policy of limiting alien vegetation wherever possible).
  • Also checking for and clearing any rubbish on the property, because litter can cause serious injuries to the animals
  • Bush clearing and road construction (with tractors)
  • Assisting the small permanent staff with any project or maintenance work (i.e. painting fences, repairing etc) that may be needed while you're there.


Working Hours

The average working hours are from 07h30 until 16h00 and you'll work 5 days a week.

Two days can be taken off in a weekly rotation system. Some volunteers utilize this time to stay out overnight to enjoy the nightlife in Port Elizabeth or Jeffrey’s Bay, or they stay on the grounds and relax with a good book, or go for walks and explore the enormous park



The accommodation is on the Game farm less than a 5 minute walk to the sanctuary itself. It is split into various sized rooms from single rooms to twin rooms and a 4 and 8 sleeper dorm. It has 2 bathrooms (one for the girls and one for the boys) with 2 toilets and 3 showers in each. A small kitchen with microwave, gas hob, kettle, fridge and washroom.

The restaurant is closed after work hours but a separate entertainment unit has just been completed in the Sanctuary rest room with DSTV, a dvd player and basic facilities for volunteers to make drinks and snacks.




Food is provided and consists of a home-cooked meal every evening - this is the time that the owners and volunteers all sit down together and discuss the day and their various experiences. Breakfast and lunch and dinner are prepared for you although sometimes volunteers do help with this.

You will also have plenty of real South African braais (barbeques) - and what a magic place to have them!

Start Dates

All year round - flexible start dates

Costs / Benefits

Costs vary depending on length of placement, but starts at £695 for two weeks. You may be able to participate for up to one year, subject to visa requirements.
Included is full support from the moment of booking and throughout your placement to your return home. There are support staff 24/7 in all our destinations worldwide and a 24 hour emergency international telephone line direct to the Head Office. All meals are provided, unless otherwise stated. Accommodation is provided (whether a rented house, a hotel/hostel, homestay, apartment or flat).
You’ll be met at the nearest airport on your arrival by our in-country manager who will take you to your accommodation and give you a full induction into the area. He/she will also be on call 24/7 and you’ll see them frequently.
Pre-departure you’ll receive an information pack about your placement and necessary preparations, ranging from what to pack, to what to do on your weekend travel in the country. Your safety, well being and happiness throughout your placement are our primary concerns and we will keep in touch with you throughout. International flights not included.


No qualifications or previous experience are necessary, just a good dose of enthusiasm! Everyone is welcome on a BVOL programme, whether gap year, undergraduate, on a career break - or even retired! From 17 years old upwards, and all nationalities. This placement would suit anyone who wants to make a real difference, wants first-hand experience of a different culture and has initiative.

Booking / Enquiry

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