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South Africa Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Project

Are you hard working, and really want to make a valuable difference to the lives of injured and sick animals? Yes? Well this volunteer project could be the one for you. Run by a super passionate, internationally recognised conservationist,  this project focuses on rescue, rehabilitation and education of animals humans to try and reduce the human- wildlife conflict that is prevalent in South Africa. There’s also a vet clinic set up there!

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At a glance:

Volunteering: Helping care for severely injured animals

Accommodation: Single sex shared rooms in volunteer house

Meals: Buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Dates: 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month

Minimum stay: 14 days plus orientation of 3 days

What animals will I look after? 

The project is an internationally recognised rehabilitation centre and sanctuary for injured, poisoned and orphaned animals.

The centre is currently home to over 100 animals including Eagles, Vultures, Servals, Honey badgers, Wild dogs, to Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, and Hyenas. 

They often receive 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.
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.

The centre 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.

About the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre

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. 

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.

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 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.

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.

There is also a vet clinic set up here which is great if you are interested in or studying veterinary science.

What will I be doing at The Rescue and Rehab Project?

Each and every volunteer is a valued contributor to the daily running of the centre.

Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the work 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.

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.

Typical activities include:

  • All aspects of care including food preparation and enclosure cleaning
  • Animal emergencies, which can be disturbing
  • Caring for sick animals, which may interrupt your lunch, break times or your sleep if an emergency is admitted
  • You may be asked to care for a sick baby animal, which is a big responsibility, but is very rewarding. Baby (orphans) season can start from November and run through to the end of February. However there is no guarantee that there will be babies at the centre.

Typical Day




  • Accommodation is provided within the grounds of the rehab project. 
  • It is a single sex dormitory style with 2 – 4 beds in each room. 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 you. 
  • 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.
  • There is a 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.


  • A buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the centre.
  • Open plan kitchen and dining area is available for communal use.  
  • Special dietary requirements need to be placed when booking this program.

Weekend Activities

  • You will normally have from 12-4pm off and are free to spend that time with the animals as many choose to. 
  • On Thursday evenings you have the opportunity to visit a local restaurant; however this is at your own expense. If you are unable to go a takeaway dinner will be arranged for you.

There are plenty if additional add-on activities available at your own expense, including: Additional activities available: 

  • Conservation talks
  • Bush walks
  • Cheetah run / feeding
  • Hippo feeding
  • Night drives
  • Flying birds of prey to the glove (subject to change)
What you'll need
  • 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 a first aid kit 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, sunscreensun cream and water bottle
  • Insect repellent
  • Towels x 2
  • Binoculars
  • Camera for taking photos of the surrounding wildlife


Things to consider

  • There is a no smoking environment around accommodation and animal enclosures. This is only prohibitedOnly on the veranda.
  • Alcohol and narcotics are strictly prohibited within the rehabilitation facility.
  • Never enter an enclosure unsupervised. These are dangerous animals and can be temperamental.
  • Accommodation is separated for a reason. Mingling can be done in the communal / social areas.
  • Snake and scorpion territory – please ensure you wear closed shoes and be vigilant at all times.
  • It is a low risk malaria zone. 
  • Volunteers will be asked to sign an indemnity form due to the nature of work the project involves


Check out the prices and project lengths


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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