Spend a fantastic week working hands-on with abused,
abandoned and orphaned animals - a time you will never, ever forget! You
can do this placement either before starting your main project or
afterwards. While you're in the region, you might also want to do other
additional activities, like surfing or paragliding, or go on our new
1-Week Culture Tour in St. Lucia.
your week at this Rehabilitation Center in KwaZulu-Natal, you'll work
with over 400 different animals and birds, and lots of monkeys! Much of your work
usually involves hands-on caring and nursing of injured
or baby animals, for example bottle-feeding them or cleaning wounds.
You'll mother it and care for it until it is recovered or old enough.
Then you'll teach it to survive on its own so that it can be released
back into the wild! An infinitely satisfying and very, very worthwhile project!!
The best cage is an empty cage!
Price: $536 for Travellers Volunteers,
Non Travellers Volunteers
Duration: 1 Week, as an 'optional add on' concurrent with another Travellers project
What's included: Food and Accommodation and transfer to the
project from the Airport.
What's not included: Transfer to KwaZulu-Natal from elsewhere in
the country, but we will arrange your transfer for you.
This Add-On would suit: Anyone, because no qualifications are
required. If you don't want to work with animals, there is plenty of
maintenance, DIY or handyman work you can help with.
This Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is glorious. The grounds are
beautiful and tranquil and the location is superb. It's also a wildlife hospital that cares for injured and orphaned wild animals and
birds, and is the only center of its kind in the Province.
Any wild animal, (not domestic or
agricultural), that has been injured, rescued or abandoned, is admitted free
of charge. Almost 90% of animals admitted to the Center, have sustained
injuries due to human negligence.
It takes time and dedication to
rehabilitate these animals and to prepare them to be re-introduced in
their natural environment.
Animals that come into the center are cared for and helped to recover.
During this recovery time they are given a lot of hands-on attention,
but once they are better, time has to be spent dehumanising them so that
they can be successfully reintroduced into their natural environment and
fend for themselves. The Center also has a public education program
that serves to spread awareness of these animals' plight.
Your responsibilities can include feeding and caring for the animals, assisting nurses in the clinic,
grounds work, cage enrichment
and assisting in the construction and improvement of enclosures to
raise the quality of the daily lives of the animals. You may also go out
on rescues and releases and you'll monitor the released animals to
ensure that they cope with their first week back in the bush.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into
Africa and the many diverse cultures in South Africa
The enormous satisfaction of helping abused, orphaned or threatened
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
This is a superb project. Here 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. You'll assist in preparing food and feeding, assisting the clinic
staff with injuries and generally looking after the many species in the
Center, as well as assisting with the maintenance and improvement of the
grounds and enclosures.
There are times of the year when
your work could be hands-on and other times when you may not get
hands-on contact with the animals. Working with the different types of
animals varies throughout the year ... as with any Sanctuary and
Rehabilitation Center, no-one can predict when or if certain types of
animals have been rescued and are in their care.
There are approximately 300 - 400 animals
under the Center's care at any given time, all of which are wildlife indigenous
to KwaZulu Natal (called KZN for short). Animals range from birds and mammals to
raptors and reptiles, and many many monkeys. They also have a very busy Educational Program, so if
education 'is your thing', you will be able to assist with school tours and
edutainment events at the education center.
Whenever possible, animals who can survive in their natural
habitat are released. This is a particularly satisfying time!
See photos and write-ups of a recent vervet monkey release, a
mongoose release and
a pelican release - events enjoyed by everyone at the Center!
LATEST ANIMAL CHATTER:
"With the help of our volunteers,
we have just released a troop of Vervet monkeys that need
monitoring for the next 3 months on a game reserve. It was a
very satisfying experience to see them run free. We have a bush
pig that is roaming in the surrounding forest and we are trying
to trap it. Once it is caught, which will be in the middle of
the night probably, it will immediately need to be taken to a
Click here to see the photo gallery
We've had our first baby monkey and a baby new-born springbok
recently (so cute!) and we also have some of the most
interesting birds at the moment, including a spotted eagle owl,
lots of baby hadeda’s, a baby spoonbill and lots of smaller
funny babies birds like a hoepoe."
Baby Animal Season
From around September to March every year the center experiences a large influx of
baby animals. These range from mongoose, antelope like little duikers, to
newly hatched birds. Some years, there seem to be a larger number of baby
monkeys and other animals than others. You may or may not therefore be at the center during a
baby boom year.
The babies need to be fed frequently and, as with a human baby, all feeds are
essential to ensure that these “children” are safe and don’t go hungry.
There may be times when we have more volunteers than babies, and in such
situations please abide by the decision of your supervisor at the center as to
who gets to "mother" the baby, or whether one baby can have two volunteer
"mothers". If you are not chosen to mother a baby, please accept it gracefully.
In situations like this where we work with orphaned animals, we have to deal
with the demand nature throws at us, which neither Travellers nor the center can
control. What we can say is that you will have some hands-on care of wild
animals that need to be rehabilitated, and your efforts will be of direct
benefit to the animals.
We have 2 types of
We have a fully furnished volunteer house that accommodates up to 10 volunteers
at a time. There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Volunteers share rooms.
The house is within the security of the sanctuary and surrounded by an electric
For couples or groups of volunteers who would like some extra privacy, we have a
log cabin situated next to the main volunteer house, nestled under huge
indigenous thorn and fig trees. It comfortable sleeps 4 volunteers in two
bedrooms and has a veranda, small kitchenette and sitting room. Ablutions
consist of a shower, toilet and hand basin. Meals will still be cooked with the
rest of the volunteers in the main house. Allocation to this accommodation will
be made at the discretion of the Project.
Sufficient food is purchased for the house on a weekly basis to provide 3 meals
per day. Volunteers advise Mabel, the volunteer coordinator, of any special
requirements i.e. vegetarian, and these are met within reason. Volunteers cook
their own meals out of the food provided. In addition to the stove in the house,
there is also a braai (barbeque) area to cook outdoor meals.
A safe is available at the main office should you wish to lock away your
passport, money or any valuables. Mobile phones do operate with full reception
on-site and it is recommended that you bring one with you.
THE REWARDS OF DOING THIS PROJECT:
This placement is definitely for nature loving 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 get to experience
the headiness of looking after animals that are totally helpless and reliant
on you take care of them.
- You'll leave feeling very
proud of yourself for having contributed to the quality of life and well-being
of previously abused and battered animals.
- You'll learn much more
than you can imagine, particularly about the importance of conserving
wildlife, 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, adaptability, your
unique working experience and your concern for nature.
The Rehabilitation Center itself is
a lovely and a very safe environment. This is truly a wonderful project that
both rewarding and unforgettable.
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
"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 everyday 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 "
New born baby springbok - During a
recent game capture effort a mother gave birth and left her baby behind. It came
to us with the umbilical cord still attached.
Got any questions? Please
A Kitten with Mabel the Monkey
Snag Bainsfield Genet
Got any questions? Please