||All year round - you
choose your start and finish dates.
2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
||No qualifications needed, just a big heart and a
love of animals and their conservation. Minimum age 17.
Full Price List
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
►Meeting you at the nearest airport
►Transfer to your on-site accommodation
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return
transfer to airport.
Who can do
This project is open to all nationalities and all ages
gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers,
career breakers, anyone interested in conservation and
caring for animals and working with wildlife overseas.
This is an excellent placement if you want to learn
about rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and doing
animal-related voluntary work, projects abroad or study
Also available as a summer placement in South Africa or
a short break activity.
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!
The best cage is an empty cage! Run by
a small, yet highly dedicated and experienced team of staff and
local and international volunteers, the Rehabilitation Centre
assists over 3000 injured, orphaned and displaced animals every
year. From mongoose, genets and monkeys to raptors, reptiles and
antelope, the Centre represents a second chance at a free, safe
and sustainable life for all wild animals in distress. This
excellent project is based in a beautiful Rehabilitation Centre.
You'll work with anywhere from 300
- 400 different animals, birds, and monkeys! The number and
variety of animals can vary depending on the time of year.
Much of your work involves
understanding the principles of wildlife rehabilitation and
contributing towards giving animals that have been orphaned or
injured, the best chance of getting back out into the wild where
they belong. You’ll contribute to an extremely valuable
conservation effort that provides medical care, temporarily
homes and also releases wild animals back into their natural
This is a superb project. 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,
Looking after the many
species in the Centre,
Assisting with the
maintenance and improvement of the grounds and enclosures.
There is also quite a lot of manual work that you will get
involved with such as digging, building, cleaning and
generally improving the enclosures for the animals.
They also have a very busy
Educational Program, so if education 'is your thing', you
may be able to assist with school tours and edutainment
events at the Education Centre, if available at the time
that you’re there.
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 Centre! Also see photos of a
recent gosling release
A TYPICAL DAY AT
(Please note that the below is just provided to give you a
general idea. Every day will be different!)
07:00 - Volunteers report for duty
07:00-07:15 - Morning meeting with
staff and volunteers to plan the day ahead
07:15-09:00 - Morning feeding &
cleaning session (Preparing food for all animals and assisting
Clinic Nurses with feeding the animals and cleaning out their
enclosures) Assisting with rescues and releases as needed.
09:00-09:15 - Mid-morning Tea
09:15-10:30 - Assist CROW Clinic
Nurses with catching animals that are going to be released,
prepping empty enclosures for new arrivals, any ad hoc repair
and maintenance tasks. Assisting with rescues and releases as
10:30-12:00 - Assist with daily
animal enrichment activities such as gathering natural greens,
berries and bugs to supplement animals' diets & making a variety
of natural treats and stimulating "toys" for the animals from
natural materials. Assisting with rescues and releases as
12:00-13:00 - Lunch Hour
13:00-15:00 - Afternoon feeding &
cleaning session (Preparing food for all animals and assisting
Clinic Nurses with feeding the animals and cleaning out
enclosures) Assisting with rescues and releases as needed.
Please note: In terms of daily
food preparation: The Centre accommodates a wide range of
animals including carnivores which need to be fed protein/meat.
Vegetarian volunteers need to be aware that food preparation
will include cutting up meat and poultry for these animals.
South African autumn
months are March, April and May which are still quite warm due
to the subtropical climate of most of KZN. The winter is from
June to August.
During the late summer
and autumn those animals that have suitably recovered and been
rehabilitated (weaned from their dependence on their human
caregivers) are reintroduced to the wild. In addition to caring
for those animals and babies that are not suitably recovered
yet, you are likely to participate over this period in the
release and monitoring of animals that are being returned into
the wild. This will involve going out to game reserves and farms
where animals will be allowed to go back into the wild.
This is done specifically
to give the animals a chance to adapt to their new homes,
establish a territory, find the best food sources and water, etc
before the cold winter months set in and adequate access to food
and shelter become essential to their survival. Those animals
that are not ready to be released remain in the
Centre over the winter and require
ongoing care throughout the winter. This is also the time that
the Centre readies itself for the next
influx of babies. Baby buck usually arrive in the early winter
and will be in need of a lot of TLC.
food, feeding and caring for those animals that have
remained in the Centre is ongoing, but there is also a strong
focus at this time to repair and improve the
grounds, Clinic, Education Centre, enclosures, the cages and
Rescues are ongoing
throughout the year and you may go out with the staff to help
capture and secure injured animals that need to be brought back
to the Centre for medical attention and care.
Duties throughout the
year may also include painting and construction, landscaping and
removal of alien vegetation, as well as enriching the cages with
structures and equipment to keep the monkeys entertained and
Young Amy the Bush pig is coming on
in leaps and bounds after surviving a bush fire. She has
recovered from all her wounds and has become quite the little
character. Her natural instincts are kicking in and our clinic
team have to be very careful at feeding time as she’s got a mean
This is Moses, a 10-day old water-mongoose. It was found in
the reeds at a river by someone having sundowners and he was named Moses!
Preparing to release a
rehabilitated buck back into the wilds
At last, back to it's natural
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 fence.
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.
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.
Sufficient food is purchased for the house on a weekly basis to provide 3
meals per day. Volunteers advise Mabel, the Volunteer
Co-ordinator, 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
Savannah and Jazz (Jazz is the male), Lions who were
rescued and subsequently released back into the Wild
Got any questions? Please email us:
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.
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 "
The Rehabilitation Center itself is
a lovely and a very safe environment.
This is truly a wonderful project that
both rewarding and unforgettable.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our South African staff who
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
You will have weekends free and this will also allow some time for travelling
and sight seeing.
Volunteer Kim Underwood teaching
children about animals
An arrival at the Wildlife Center, Mia, the Baby
Black Backed Jackal,
Click here to read more…
Hi Kate, We had a great first day. I fed lots
of babies. Tyler wants to feed the babies too. Mabel has a baby vervet
(sp?). Sooo cute. I was surprised at how tropical it is. I was expecting
bush type landscape. Very beautiful and wonderful weather. The people at
Center are awesome, really nice. The other volunteers are fun.
See Lynn and Tyler’s photos from their placement
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE REHABILITATION CENTRE:
NEWS! This project has been featured in
3 episodes of Wildlife SOS on Animal Planet. As one of our
volunteers said, "Thank
you to all of you for the wonderful work you do and for your
dedication – you make such a difference. The story of Shumba and
Savannah had me in tears – I have never managed to understand the
hunting industry in general, but this canned business is disgusting! And
we humans are meant to be civilised – yeah right! But how wonderful the
cubs look now though! Hopefully, through Animal Planet, many more will
now know of your organisation and here’s also hoping, many more will
assist you with your excellent work!"
The rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and injured wildlife,
and it believes in action and education with regard to the protection of
all natural resources. The Center is committed to conservation and
strives to return all rescued and rehabilitated wildlife to their natural
habitat. The Center has 12 depots in and around the Province and is
considered to be one of the leading rehabilitation Centers in South
Animals that are currently being
rehabilitated are placed in enclosures far away from public activity. As
far as possible, animal enclosures are created that are similar to their
natural environment to give them a "feel" of what their world is like.
Orphaned antelope are often only released in Nature Reserves where there
are no predators, as they don't know what a predator is. These animals are
tended to by staff and volunteers whose love, care and dedication is
unconditional, around the clock.
The Team Leader has extensive experience in the rehabilitation of wildlife
and assists a number of wildlife agencies in drawing up release protocols
for rehabilitated animals.
As the Center is a non-profit organisation with no financial aid from the
government or any large concern, they are solely reliant on fundraising
initiatives and the generosity and goodwill of the public. As the running
costs are approximately £8,000 ($14,500) or more a month, there is very
little funding that can be applied to appointing full time staff.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization, especially during the
spring and summer months when lots of orphan baby animals are brought to
the center for care.
During the late summer and autumn those animals that
have suitably recovered and been rehabilitated (weaned from their
dependence on their human caregivers) are reintroduced to the wild.
Those that are not ready to be released remain in the center over the
winter and require ongoing care. This is also the time that the center
readies itself for the next influx of patients.
“A small reebok that had been raised as a
pet and grown up with dogs, paddles through a pond and comes to stare at
you through the fence….it is being rehabilitated: taught not to think like
a canine, so that it can be returned to it natural habitat in the
Nearby a group of baboons are getting up to
monkey business, each of the individuals have carefully been identified
and chosen to fit into and play a role in this “unnatural” troop. They
will be weaned from a “fast food” diet to a natural one and dehumanised –
once they are ready, they too will be released into the wild."
A new-born baby springbok
It came to us with the umbilical cord still
Enclosures at the Center
Very new baby Vervet Monkey
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The best advice you'll get from us
is to try to see some of the country while you're in South
Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting
and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably
the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up
there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes a very
close second, albeit very different. Knysna is
where South Africans go on vacation, which gives you some idea of
how lovely the region is.
LOCATION: Yellowwood Park, Durban, South Africa
The Rehabilitation Center is located on the east coast in a suburb of Durban, called Yellowwood Park
(between The Bluff and Queensburg on the
It lies close to a small protected reserve of 253 hectares which offers
coastal forest and grassland habitats and includes species such as zebra,
bushbuck, reedbuck, impala, blue, red and grey duiker, vervet monkeys, rock
hyrax, slender mongoose, bushbaby, Egyptian mongoose, banded mongoose, water
monitor and genet. The reserve also has an interesting variety of
indigenous flora and over 200 bird species.
Because the Center is
close to the Reserve and the fact that food is always
available at the Center, you'll see lots of birdlife scavenging food
from the enclosures - and wild Monkeys are also regular visitors.
The Bluff is a gigantic headland that forms the southeastern 'arm' of
Durban Harbour and has a string of safe and protected beaches. Brighton
Beach, Cave Rock Beach, Anstey's Beach and Garvies Beach are all very
popular, with interesting walks through coastal bush that end almost at
the water's edge.
EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
KwaZulu Natal is renowned for its Game Reserves and
traditional Zulu Culture
The attractions in KwaZulu
Natal (KZN) range from vibrant cities to the gorgeous Land of a Thousand
Hills, from tranquil beaches to outstanding Game Parks and Nature
These are just some of the sites you
- Big Five Game Reserves (elephant,
lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino - and lots more, of course) and Travellers
volunteers are able to work in many of them, including Tembe
St Lucia Wetlands
with its Crocodile Center and Wetlands
- Numerous nature parks,
- Fantastic beaches for swimming and
diving. The beaches are truly golden.
- Lively Durban where South Africans
go to have fun,
- The San Art Park for a collection
of astounding rock paintings,
- ... And much, much more!
Durban (Tekweni in Zulu) is the ancestral home of the Nguni people. Africa's
bewitching seaside playground in the sun with radiant golden sands and lush
sub-tropical greenery. The city
balmy weather all year round, making it a perfect vacation paradise.
Durban International Airport is only
a 10 minute drive from the City. Sophisticated and cosmopolitan, Durban Metro after dark
buzzes with elegant lounges, funky taverns and cozy inns, distinctive local
theatre and live music, and trendy clubs, pubs and discos. This is nightlife in
a modern, authentic African metropolis!
Read more about
KwaZulu-Natal and its
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.