DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

Would you like to get hands-on experience with injured and orphaned wild animals whilst educating local underprivileged children, perhaps giving both of them a brighter future? At Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage, this is exactly what you can do!

Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage is a registered non profit organisation located in the Limpopo Province, near the Kruger Park in South Africa. It is set in a beautiful nature reserve with granite hills and the most stunning views. It hasn’t got the Big Five, but leopard and hyena do roam around next to the general plains game like impala, kudu, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe.

You will mostly work in and around the camp with the children, but if you want to and where possible, the project leaders will also take you for walks and drives in the reserve. The game tends to be shy, but the scenery in itself is more than worthwhile already. Besides, it’s a great opportunity to pick one of the project leaders’ brains and learn from his vast knowledge on the bush and wildlife! 

The mission of Daktari is to educate local underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage. Every Monday Daktari welcomes a new group of 8 local under-privileged children for a week. As a volunteer your main tasks will be teaching the children and working with the animals.

You will give the children the opportunity to discover, learn and become passionate about wildlife and conservation, their heritage. You will also supplement their school curriculum in very basic English, maths, sciences, geography, life skills, educational games and social issues.

No specific skills are required. We need your enthusiasm and dynamism.

It is a two way street. The children will give you back what you put in. Maybe sometimes you think it doesn’t work, but at the end of the week you will see the difference. The best advice we can give is for you to really enjoy your placement and make it into a two way learning experience. We want you to leave with the feeling that you have achieved something positive for the future of the children and the environment, but also for yourself

Whether you are away from home for the first time or are an experienced traveller, you will love the family atmosphere that is created at Daktari and their excellent food. Your help will make a huge difference in aiding conservation and animal welfare, teaching local underprivileged children and building bridges between local and international people. All in all you will be participating to a worthy cause and having a fantastic experience in one!

To achieve our goals in terms of education for the children and care for the orphaned animals, we need the help of volunteers. You can join us for an experience of a life time, an internship, a Gap year, or just a holiday! The volunteer period starts from Saturday and you can stay from one week to three months and even longer if you want. On arrival you will be shown your room and the facilities. On Sunday we have a late breakfast and a general briefing to help you in your confidence and ability to enjoy your experience.

During your stay, you will help us with:

  • Teaching basic subjects to children
  • 6 underprivileged children are collected from their school on Monday and they stay with us at Daktari until Friday. A different group is collected each week.

The children are all aged between 13 and 15 years and are the grade 8 class. They are in a class of 160 children at the school and many of them have not even learnt their “times tables” yet. We try to enforce the basics in education and to adjust our teaching methods to the level of each child. Our methods are not always conventional but are fun for the children. Many of them do not understand even basic English and their standards are at a very low level. We welcome your diversity, knowledge and innovative ideas. No experience is necessary.

Other learning activities include:

  • Team building games
  • “Thinking games” (eg. Card games)
  • Bead work incorporating mathematics and self expression
  • General etiquette and good manners are enforced by role play
  • General education including life skills, and construction projects.

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