Assisting Animal Caretaker

Agency
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founded in 2010
Babette
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Coordinator | Babette
Coordinator | Babette
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Volunteer to make unforgettable experiences with the African wildlife
Assist caretakers to give the best care
Show a hands-on mentality and turn your cat enthusiasm into expertism
Form bonds of understanding, love and trust between you and the animals while also interacting with the native people
Benefit as a long-term volunteer from a variety of free time activities
Volunteer with us & have a wonderful time working in our sanctuary with the amazing African species: leopards, cheetahs, servals, caracals, wild- & Black-footed cats! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 19+
Singles
Couples
50+
Wild Cats World Sanctuary, dedicated to give the African native wildcatspecies, big and small, a safe and healthy forever life.
We don't have the "ordinary" volunteering program as we really need serious people, assisting our caretaker team, who preferably stay long-term. (starting from 2 weeks stay).

Project Highlights / What Do Volunteers do?
  • Working and bonding (no hands-on interaction) with our resident wild cats ambassadors: leopards, cheetahs, African wildcats, Black-footed Cats, Caracals and Servals.
  • Learning about the Native South African wild cat species and the environment they live in
  • Being involved in the daily care and activities. It all depends on your own interest and passion to bond with the cats and the people you work with
  • Obtaining info about the other Wild Cats World projects around the world
  • Preparing food for the ambassadors (big and small) and assist feeding them (of course you have to be able to prepare meat)
  • Cleaning enclosures and camps
  • Cleaning of waterholes and feeding stations
  • Maintenance and other farm work
  • Any other animal related tasks
  • Observing the different species in order to get to know them and their specific behaviour
  • Making friends for life and having new experiences
  • Leave your cellphone and daily hassles, and enjoy the time in Africa with the most amazing cats
Participant Requirements

Wild Cats World is interested to meet true die-hard, passionate wild cats enthusiasts, who will enjoy every moment working at our sanctuary with the amazing ambassadors to the fullest. Good mood required. 

No previous knowledge or experience is required. It can be hard work, but it will be incredibly rewarding. Participants must be in good health and able to carry out all duties required of them. It is important to note that you are expected to be fully involved in the preparation of the meat feeding the cats (this includes removing the meat from the bone).

You don’t need any experience to join us, and upon arrival you will receive a comprehensive orientation and will be fully briefed and trained in all areas. You will be shown where everything is and briefed exactly how to use everything. You will not be expected to carry out any duties without the appropriate training and supervision.

The Wild Cats World sanctuary & conservation/awareness centre, is situated in Bela Bela (warmbath).  We are situated on 2 hours drive from Johannesburg airport. We are living in a natural area with lots of wildlife, amazing birds and mammals living freely on the farm and surrounding area. Meet a fantastic herd of elephants at our close neighbours. You are welcome to travel and visit places like the Kruger park or other private game reserves or wildlife sanctuaries in the neighbourhood and our skilled caretakers will help you out during your journey to get the best trip ever. 

There is never a dull moment, volunteering and working with/for the endangered wild cats. There’s always something with which you will be able to assist. You will gain skills and knowledge that are priceless. You will form bonds of understanding, love and trust between you and the animals while interacting with people from all walks of life. Also, we are a project who makes sure you are responsible volunteering. Read the guide lines here, and wherever you start as a volunteer at a wild cats project, keep thinking and asking questions, as welfare of the cats is most important of all to us!

We were based in Kirkwood, Eastern Cape until February 2021, but now we continue the official sanctuary on own property, Bela Bela/Limpopo.

To be really free to visit other projects and places close to our sanctuary, it is best to rent a car. No problem to arrange "chill time" when volunteering with us.

Typical day

Early start (7h00, morning feeding), cleaning camps, nighthouses, checking camps on irregularities, giving water, arranging meat, preparing meat (lots of work with meat, cutting/preparing the right portions for every individual cat), medical treatment if necessary, visits to collect meat/visit to vet (if necessary), keeping meatroom/freezers organised and clean, collecting and cleaning bowls and buckets after every feeding.
End of the day late afternoon (depending on season and temperature) afternoon feeding, cleaning and preparing for next morning.

We are living in a natural area with lots of wildlife, amazing birds and mammals living freely on the farm and surrounding area. Meet a fantastic herd of elephants at our close neighbours. You are welcome to travel and visit places like the Kruger park or other private game reserves or wildlife sanctuaries in the neighbourhood and our skilled caretakers will help you out during your journey to get the best trip ever.  To be really free to visit other projects and places close to our sanctuary, it is best to rent a car. No problem to arrange "chill time" when volunteering with us.

Free-time activities

We are living in a natural area with lots of wildlife, amazing birds and mammals living freely on the farm and surrounding area. Meet a fantastic herd of elephants at our close neighbours. You are welcome to travel and visit places like the Kruger park or other private game reserves or wildlife sanctuaries in the neighbourhood and our skilled caretakers will help you out during your journey to get the best trip ever. 

Everything is to own expense/responsibility of the volunteers. 

Swimming
Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Safari/
Zoo

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 19 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
motivation letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers have to be true die-hards, passionate wild cats enthusiasts.
No previous knowledge or experience is required. It can be hard work, so participants must be in good health and able to carry out all duties required of them. Dealing with meat and preparing meals is essential part of the job.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:00 - 18:00

What's Included

Services by Wild Cats World

In the price is included: pick up and drop off airport, welcome meal, accommodation with breakfast/dinner (soft and strong drinks not included), volunteering opportunity and guidance, transport to nearby town.

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

We organise pick up and drop off at set times.  We will organise this with the volunteers before booking the flight.

Accommodation

Volunteers stay with the caretakers in a house with great look-out, on the property.  Each have a private room (or shared room for couples). Also included in the house:  bathroom,  kitchen, living room, place to have a "braai" (is barbecue), a garden, parking place for few cars.  Our lovely domestic cats are keeping the guests company. Also an Anatolian shepherd is living in/near the house. This is for extra protection.

Bedroom (Double) Bedroom (Single) Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Welcome meal, daily breakfast and dinner, coffee/tea but no soft drinks or alcohol included.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Volunteers can join our program depending on availability during that period.  No specific arrival days and/or time slots. Preferable arrival at Johannesburg airport around noon. You can always stay the night in Johannesburg, as there's many hotels close to the airport, to set a better time for pick up.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$800
5 weeks
$1,350
7 weeks
$2,000
9 weeks
$3,400
24 weeks (max. stay)
$9,600
Average fees
$400 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Wild Cats World will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Wild Cats World during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Wild Cats World cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Wild Cats World.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Assisting Animal Caretaker

Volunteer with us & have a wonderful time working in our sanctuary with the amazing African species: leopards, cheetahs, servals, caracals, wild- & Black-footed cats!

$400/week

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