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Animal Volunteer Work in South Africa

lion king

Most folks don’t know anything more about South Africa other than that the locals have awesome accents (or maybe that’s just my observation…) and you know, that’s where Simba was born (Lion King, duh!). But it turns out it also happens to be a great hub for conservation projects and animal rescue programs for the many fascinating safari creatures of Africa.

Cheetah Outreach

” Cheetah Outreach is an education and community-based programme created to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival.”

Volunteers with Cheetah Outreach work 5 days a week from 10am to 5 or 6pm. Volunteer tasks intitially involve maintance, shop work, giving tours to 3347978472_1424021d01_z guests, fixing enclosures, preparing food for the cheetahs and cleaning up the facility. After the initial training period of 2 weeks or more you may be working more directly with the cheetahs in their enclosures. Volunteer accommodation is available in dormitory style housing and all meals are provided.


Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary

“Monkeyland….aims to create awareness about the plight of the world’s wildlife and to show that with a greater understanding for wildlife and nature we can all live in harmony.”

Volunteers Monkey_and_Banana_by_splgum at Monkeyland may apply for several different positions including: multilingual guides, handymen, photography/filming, marketing or veterinarian depending on your experience and schooling. Accommodation is provided in either the volunteer houses (meals are not provided) or in a local home stay, which includes meals.


The Knysna Elephant Park

“When you visit the Knysna Elephant Park, you are not only experiencing elephants at close range, you are also supporting a number of elephants at our orphanage…. This is our primary purpose for being – to provide a home to elephants in need”

Baby_African_Elephant_says_Hello Volunteers at Knysna Elephant park have the chance to do a variety of work with or for the elephants. You may be preparing food, bottle feeding baby orphan elephants, giving daily tours with the guides, assisting with veterinary care and environmental education, and general facility maintenance. Volunteers may also go out and perform field research and behavior and social studies  to further the African elephant conservation movement.



“APES is unique throughout the rehabilitation world as we rescue orphaned and injured Vervet monkeys (from a matter of hours old) and with care and correct management release them when they have healed or reached maturity, back into their known territory or on site.”

Volunteers with APES are asked to stay a minimum of four weeks and make a 960$ donation per 4 week period. Volunteer tasks will vary but include preparing food for monkeys, cats, dogs and chickens, bottle feeding infant monkeys, cleaning enclosures, performing facility maintenance and making runs into town for supplies.


 Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife

“CROW is the Centre For Rehabilitation Of Wildlife situated in Yellowwood Park, Durban. It is a wildlife hospital that cares for the injured and orphaned wild animals and birds in Kwazulu Natal. CROW has 12 depots in and around the Province and is considered to be one of the leading rehabilitation Centers in South Africa.”

This center houses between 300-400 various animals at a time; different flickr-109583880-hd monkeys, birds, small mammals and reptiles abound! The Volunteer Program at CROW provides volunteers with dorm style accommodation and 3 solid meals a day. In return volunteers assist in various tasks around the center including performing daily feedings, assisting in the clinic, grounds work or helping with rescue and releases.



Stay tuned for Part 2 of Animal Volunteer Work in South Africa!


The Rough Guide to South Africa (Paperback)

By (author): Tony Pinchuck, Donald Reid, Barbara McCrea

Full-colour throughout, "The Rough Guide to South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland" is the ultimate travel guide to these spectacular countries. With 30 years experience and our trademark 'tell it like it is' writing style, "Rough Guides" cover all the basics with practical, on-the-ground details, as well as unmissable alternatives to the usual must-see sights. At the top of your to-pack list, and guaranteed to get you value for money, each guide also reviews the best accommodation and restaurants in all price brackets. We know there are times for saving, and times for splashing out. "The Rough Guide to South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland" features: over 50 colour-coded maps featuring every listing; area-by-area chapter highlights; Top 5 boxes; and, things not to miss section. Make the most of your trip with "The Rough Guide to South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland".
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