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South Africa Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Project

Run by a super passionate internationally recognised conservationist this project focuses on rescue, rehabilitation of wildlife as well the education of humans to try and reduce the human wildlife conflict. 

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Wherever possible, rehabilitated birds and animals are returned to the wild and those who are not so fortunate due to the nature and extent of their injuries are used for educational purposes to the many people who visit the project each year both from South Africa and overseas. Interaction between the animals, birds and visitors is permitted under controlled conditions.

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The project is run by a team of highly dedicated conservationists committed in preserving Africa’s wildlife and they are also extremely passionate in sharing their intimate knowledge. The project is internationally recognised rehabilitation centre for injured, poisoned and orphaned animals. 

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Project Overview Including Ethical Stand

Members of the public are able to get an ‘up close and personal’ experience of these incredible ambassador creatures, so they then have the unique opportunity to practically demonstrate to the public the problems that wildlife is facing as well as being able to share information about each animal. They believe that education is the greatest tool in the fight to save the South African Wildlife. 

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The project receives 1000 school children and adults on average per month. They visit the Rehabilitation Centre where they attend a guided tour during which they hear about these problems and the challenges associated with conservation and habitat protection.

The sanctuary is often faced with the difficult decision of what to do with an injured or poisoned animal which will not be able to be released back into the wild. As a result, they have a number of ‘permanent residents’ that reside at the sanctuary without funding and are used as ‘ambassadors’ for their species. 

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This occurred as their injuries made them unsuitable for survival in the wild or loss of habitat restricted their release. Opportunity for assistance in the education sector arose so they were kept rather than euthanised.

The project often receives calls which require them to go out and rescue animals such as babies that have been abandoned by their mothers, or leopards, cheetah and hyena that have been hit by cars, caught in snares or poisoned. 

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The costs involved in caring for these animals are absorbed by the project in an attempt to convey the message that it is not necessary to shoot such animals, but that they can, in fact, recover after treatment and be relocated at no inconvenience to the inhabitants of the area.

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The main aim of the project's efforts is to raise awareness regarding the dying environment, not only in South Africa but worldwide. A variety of animals are brought to the project that are either orphaned, injured or poisoned and in need of help. 

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  • The plight of Africa’s animals and the natural system has always been the main concern at the project and the philosophy is that awareness must be spread if we are to save our wildlife. 
  • The project is also actively involved in ‘problem animal’ control on farms and in tribal areas. 
  • The animals are removed from the area where they are unwanted and relocated to an area where they are welcome. 
  • This too is done at the project's expense and is primarily done to save them from an often painful and gruesome demise.

This amazing project has been featured in many TV programmes and series, such as ‘Wild Orphans’, which have been screened far and wide including on the National Geographic Channel.

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Volunteers are highly valued

Each and every volunteer is a valued contributor to the daily running of the centre. The project values the time they have to help educate and inspire volunteers from around the world.  Volunteers are involved in all aspects including call outs, rescues and releases. When animals are admitted the volunteers are involved with the nursing team with care, and if a veterinarian is consulted, they are involved with that when possible too. 

Animals

The centre is currently home to over 100 animals including eagles, vultures, servals, honey badgers, wild dogs, to lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas. 

Activities

  • Volunteers work hard and it involves long hours and sometimes unsociable hours, you should be prepared for labour, cleaning and will need a degree of physical fitness and stamina. 
  • Volunteers are involved in all aspects of care from enclosure cleaning to food preparation. 
  • Animal emergencies are not glamorous. 

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Caring for sick animals will delay your meals and rob you of your sleep. Please be prepared. You will normally have from 12-4pm off and are free to spend that time with the animals as many choose to. 

Baby (orphans) season can start from November and run through to the end of February. While there is no guarantee that there will be babies this is the time of year for them. 

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Volunteers may be asked to care for a baby which is a big responsibility but very rewarding. 

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Typical Day

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Accommodation and Meals

  • Accommodation is provided within the grounds of the rehab project. It is dormitory style with 2 – 4 beds with females and males being homed separately. Female dorms have en-suite bathrooms while the males have an toilet block next door. Daily housekeeping is done by staff but personal hygiene is expected from participants. 
  • Basic bed linen is provided however personal toiletries and towels are to be brought with. Open plan kitchen and dining area is available for communal use. Hooks for mosquito nets are available above the beds however nets are not provided.
  • Free laundry service however there is also a washing machine available for more personal items. 
  • Wi-Fi is available at R10/hour. Subject to change.
  • Buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Special dietary requirements need to be placed when booking this program.
  • Thursday evenings you have the opportunity to visit a local restaurant however this is at your expense. If unable to go a takeaway dinner will be arranged for you.

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Additional activities available: 

  • Conservation talks
  • Bush walks
  • Cheetah run / feeding
  • Hippo feeding
  • Night drives
  • Flying birds of prey to the glove

(subject to change)

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Requirements & what to bring

  • Work pants [must cover knees]
  • Work shirts [participants are provided 2 work shirts with branding. These are to be worn during the day
    and when on excursions]
  • Clothing for personal time off. Please be respectful of the multicultural environment.
  • Closed work shoes
  • Personal First Aid Kit and any medication for illness – they do have first aid kid but you must bring
    medication you are taking and this is to be specified on your application form so they know what they are
    dealing with.
  • Hat, towel, sun cream and water bottle
  • Insect repellent
  • Towels x 2
  • Binoculars, Camera for enthusiasts

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Important Information

  1. No smoking environment around accommodation and animal enclosures. Only on the veranda.
  2. Alcohol and narcotics are strictly prohibited within the rehabilitation facility.
  3. Never enter an enclosure unsupervised. These are dangerous animals and can be temperamental.
  4. Accommodation is separated for reason. Mingling can be done in the communal / social areas.
  5. Snake and scorpion territory – please ensure closed shoes and be vigilant at all times.
  6. Low risk malaria zone. 
  7. Volunteers will be asked to sign an indemnity form due to the nature of work the project involves

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Fill out the form below to arrange a free consultation with our OE Advisor to find out more and talk about what project might best suit your passion and budget

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