from 1,625€

Excellent 4.8rating (63)

Ethical Predator Sanctuary Assistant

location
2 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Excellent 4.8  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Excellent response rate

Highlights

  • A project for the big cat lovers who understand that no breeding, no petting and no trading takes place with truly ethical big cat sanctuaries.
  • Meet the resident non-releasable wild cats and get to know their unique individual characters while helping with their care. The black leopard and white lion are especially unique!
  • The fun part- learn about animal enrichment and how to keep wildlife stimulated in captivity as these wild cats are non-releasable so will live their natural lives at the sanctuary
  • Great for Gappers, career breakers, families, post-retirement gappers, animal lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, volunteers who like to get hands-on, those with DIY skills, conservation students
  • Lots to do in your spare time from diving with sharks, whale & dolphin watching, wine & beer tasting or just visiting the closest city for shopping and a bite to eat

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

About the program

Volunteer at an extremely ethical predator sanctuary with the care of lions, tigers, leopard, caracal, serval and jackal in the beautiful Western Cape

In a rural area surrounded by indigenous fauna and flora you will find this incredible sanctuary which has become the forever home for many rescued big cats and predators providing a safe and stimulating environment and sanctuary for the rest of their natural lives. As the years have gone by the ...

About the program

In a rural area surrounded by indigenous fauna and flora you will find this incredible sanctuary which has become the forever home for many rescued big cats and predators providing a safe and stimulating environment and sanctuary for the rest of their natural lives. As the years have gone by the project has grown from strength to strength with the help of volunteers with more big cats finding sanctuary and enclosures being upgraded and improved to incorporate platforms, water features and even an amazing enrichment enclosure which ensures they have the best possible life in captivity as these are all non-releasable animals that have been saved from some very negative backgrounds.

Volunteer duties may vary and may depend on certain factors such as what’s required at the time, the weather, veterinary treatment or preparing for a new animal arriving. Thursdays are excursion days in the neighbouring area and weekends are for free time so a perfect time to see more of the local area or even take an overnight trip to the coast...or Cape Town.

Volunteer duties

Caring for the amazing big cats

Caring for the animals means anything from spending time with Bella, the tiger, as she loves to go for walks, or Max the caracal who also loves to walk (of course on different sides of the fence), sit outside the animals’ enclosures just being in and feeling their presence, and they feel yours, giving them daily reassurance and distraction from being captive. We often recommend to bring a book or diary or drawing paper – whatever is suitable for the different people. You may also be involved in preparing special medication for the animals that need it. The cats’ condition is also checked daily, which you will be responsible for, and report if anything seems out of the ordinary.

Enrichment program

You, as a volunteer, personally make enrichment for the animals, and it is all about thinking outside the box! You can make big animals out of cardboard boxes, paper mache balls or structures, make structures out of tyres, make sensory enrichment to stimulate the cats’ smells, with anything from herbs, to fruits, peanut butter, honey, etc. You can also make jumping obstacles, rolling toys and create structures where the animals must use their strength to get through/over. The sky is the limit, although everything is monitored and rules do apply with regards to safety for the animals.

Assist with feeding

The feeding runs off a flexible schedule, and not on routine, as this is not in the best interest for the animals as in the wild, there is no routine with the eating habits of big cats. The project believes in making feeds random with both type of meat, size of portions, and times of feeding. Some days they will get a very large portion and not get food for three days, and some days a small portion early morning, small portion next day, medium portion two days later in the evening, etc. They feed as freshly as possible, so when they know a horse/cow/antelope is coming in, they try and feed that day to give them the most nutritious food possible.

Cleaning and maintaining enclosures

Every enclosure is cleaned once to three times a week, depending on the animal and size of enclosure. Water bowls and feeding camps also need daily check-ups and the fences are checked every morning and every afternoon to make sure the electricity is working, and that all the fences are in order. When cleaning the enclosures there are always things needing to be repaired, whether fixing or upgrading the wild cat’s houses, trees, taking out weeds or alien invasive plants, planting new bushes, fixing fences, etc.  

General farm work

At the sanctuary there are many things that need to be kept maintained, so you will help daily with anything from clearing of alien vegetation, fixing of fences, building of structures, planting, making flowerbeds, fixing the tourist area, clearing of fire breaks, fixing roads, painting, making presentations and so forth. Everyone has different wishes and specialities, and we try our best to make it the most fun for you, and also let you put your “signature” on something while you are there!

Educating visitors

Assist staff with educational visits for the public. You’ll also join some tours so that you get a proper understanding of the education they provide on big cats, and understand more about what the sanctuary is about. You may be asked to assist with day events and stalls at markets to raise awareness with the public. During the year fundraisers also take place which you may get involved in. These are normally to raise funds for a specific cause like a veterinary clinic onsite, eye surgery, animal relocation etc


Typical day

To keep things as close to how things are found in the wild especially with feeding, there is no fixed schedule so the daily scheduled is varied. There will be a difference between summer and winter months due to temperature and hours of light during the day. Morning starts with a meeting where the ...

Typical day

To keep things as close to how things are found in the wild especially with feeding, there is no fixed schedule so the daily scheduled is varied. There will be a difference between summer and winter months due to temperature and hours of light during the day. Morning starts with a meeting where the day’s schedule is planned and set up for you. There will be plenty of breaks during the morning and afternoon projects, and flexibility for sightseeing activities in the area too- of which there are plenty of things to do!

07.00 am- Wake up, wash and get ready
07.30 am- Help yourself to breakfast with the food provided
08.00 am- Morning meeting
08.15 am- Staff morning project which could be any of the volunteer duties listed above
12.00 pm- Break for lunch with a meal provided for you
15.00 pm- Afternoon volunteer duties
18.00pm- Make your dinner
19.00pm- Relax, swim, read, contemplate on the meaning of life, listening to the lions roar…

Thursday's are outings days and weekends are off


Free-time activities

You will need to fly into Cape Town International Airport for your collection. This area of the Western Cape province has so much to offer surrounded by wine farms, craft breweries, hiking trails, sea kayaking, river cruises, quad biking, zip lining, paragliding, bird watching, whale & dolphin ...

Free-time activities

You will need to fly into Cape Town International Airport for your collection. This area of the Western Cape province has so much to offer surrounded by wine farms, craft breweries, hiking trails, sea kayaking, river cruises, quad biking, zip lining, paragliding, bird watching, whale & dolphin watching, horse riding, picturesque towns, stretches of untouched coastline, scenic views and even white shark diving. It is also possible to also do a four hour round trip to Cape Agulhas, the ‘Southern Most Tip of Africa’

If wildlife, nature and beaches interest you, it is a perfect part of South Africa to volunteer in.

Saturdays, Sundays and Thursdays are normally your days off, so you can expect a good variety of hard work and relaxation. Thursday is your activity day where you will be enjoying the amazing Overberg area together with the other volunteers and our volunteer coordinator. 


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 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)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

Gappers, career breakers, families, post-retirement gappers, animal lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, volunteers who like to get hands-on, those with DIY skills, conservation students are all welcome

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 08:00 - 17:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures

The volunteer project cost includes pre-departure support and administration, branded t-shirt, in-country staff, 24-hour emergency help, transfers to and from Cape Town International Airport for arrival and departure, shared accommodation with WiFi, vegetarian breakfast (self-made) and lunch (vegetarian) when on-site at the sanctuary, weekly transport to grocery shop and our weekly Thursday activities.

The volunteer project cost does not include flight tickets, travel insurance, dinner each night, food when not on-site at the sanctuary and any activities with a fee. If you require a special diet (e.g. vegan or gluten free), we ask that you provide your own alternatives (milk, bread etc) these are available at the supermarkets. 


Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

Airport collections and  drop offs are scheduled for set Saturday dates ONLY from Cape Town International Airport between 10am and 2pm. On collection you will be met and then taken to your project which is a 2-hour drive away from Cape Town. On the way back from the airport to the volunteer accommodation, you will stop at the supermarket so you can buy your groceries for the week. Your next shopping trip will be Thursday so please buy enough food to keep you going until then. As a reminder, we provide food for your breakfast (DIY) and lunch (a shared meal) whenever you are at work, so you will just need to buy food for weekend lunches, dinners, snacks, alcohol and we also ask that you buy water to drink. The water on the project is safe, but it is more ‘natural’ in colour and taste than most people are used to!  Tea and coffee making facilities, however if you like a particular tea or coffee, we recommend you purchase your own for your stay. If you require dairy or gluten alternatives, these are available to buy at the supermarket.

Accommodation

The volunteer accommodation is in a stunning newly house in the most beautiful with shared natural setting situated an 8-minute drive or 25-minute walk from the sanctuary itself so at night you can hear the roars of the lions. A totally unforgettable sound! The volunteer house consists of 3 shared bedrooms with 3 bathrooms, a spacious and fully equipped modern kitchen and dining room for everyone to cook and enjoy dinners and games nights together, a living room area with a fire for film evenings or relaxing with a good book. Outside you will enjoy beautiful mountain views and indigenous vegetation. There is a traditional South African braai (BBQ) area, and the property is fenced off with a security gate. There is a lovely dam and large garden with space to play games, walk or sunbathe. There are other houses on the small holding where staff members live too so you will always have company. At night you may just hear the lions roaring in the distance. Linen is provided

You will share a bedroom with a maximum of 4 other volunteers.

There is WIFI in the house, so you can easily keep contact with friends and family on mail, social media and Skype. However, the internet connection is very slow, so downloading of movies, music, films, etc is not possible, and ask you to only Skype with voice communication. 

Food & Beverages

Vegetarian breakfasts and lunch's are provided when onsite at the sanctuary. Dinners are for the volunteers own expense as are lunches if away from the sanctuary. Volunteers often assist preparing meals in the communal kitchen and help washing up afterwards. Once a week on a Thursday volunteers will be taken to a nearby town for shopping for extras they might need for their dinners as part of their excursion.  

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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. GET A QUOTE

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. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

2024 dates:

May - 25th 

June - 8th, 22nd

July - 6th, 20th 

Aug - 3rd, 17th, 31st

Sep - 14th, 28th

Oct - 12th, 26th

Nov - 9th, 23rd 

Dec - 7th, 21st 

You will need to fly into Cape Town International Airport between 10am and 2pm for your collection and then will be taken to the project.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 1,625€
3 weeks 2,250€
4 weeks 2,875€
5 weeks 3,500€
6 weeks 4,125€
7 weeks 4,500€
8 weeks 5,000€
9 weeks 5,500€
10 weeks 6,000€
11 weeks 6,625€
12 weeks (max. stay) 7,250€
Average fees 708€/week

Program fees

708€ per week 2 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

2 - 12 weeks

Deposit

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

Your final payment will be agreed with Volunteer Int. Adventures during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

Volunteer Int. Adventures

Excellent 4.8 rating (63 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2020

Verified by Volunteer World

  Excellent response rate

Coordinated by

Sharon

Spoken languages: Afrikaans, English

About the project

We are a small, personal, hands-on volunteer organisation with 15 years experience of working with volunteers in conservation and humanitarian projects on the ground.

Meet your organization

Volunteer International Adventures is dedicated to youth and animal projects, which are areas of great passion for us. We recognize the need for assistance from international volunteers in developing countries and have witnessed the transformative impact of their hands-on involvement on communities and conservation efforts.


Our core priorities are as follows:


1. Culture and Cultural Sensitivity:

We encourage our volunteers to fully immerse themselves in the culture of the country they are volunteering in, understanding that volunteering differs significantly from being a tourist. By working closely with local communities and project partners, our volunteers gain profound insights into the challenges faced by the country. We actively support and facilitate opportunities for volunteers to engage in various activities, interact with locals, and educate themselves about the nation's history, no matter how difficult it may be. Cultural sensitivity is paramount, and we ensure that our approach is collaborative rather than imposing our own ideas. We welcome suggestions and creative ideas from our volunteers, as they often prove to be feasible and enrich the communities we serve.


2. Fulfilling Volunteer Experiences:

We strive to ensure that all our volunteers leave with a sense of accomplishment. Whether it is helping a child grasp mathematics, teaching cricket to school children, providing sewing classes to uplift youth, participating in wildlife conservation efforts such as satellite collaring African wild dogs or rhino relocation, collecting data on great white shark populations, treating sick indigenous wildlife, assisting with animal sterilization in disadvantaged communities, instilling a love for reading in children, or teaching marimba classes—the list is diverse and extensive. We want our volunteers to develop a deep connection with the country they are assisting and forge lifelong friendships that can serve as future ambassadors for their respective nations.


3. Ethical Projects:

We strictly oppose trophy hunting and the breeding of lions for commercial gain. Our wildlife and animal projects take place in free-roaming reserves, registered rehabilitation centers, or sanctuaries where the animals are non-releasable due to injuries, human habituation, or being non-indigenous to the area. We support local and ethical animal sanctuaries and reserves, which our volunteers can visit during their free time. When working with children in teaching, care, or youth development projects, we require a recent paper copy of a background check (CRB check) from volunteers' countries of origin. This precaution ensures the safety and well-being of the children we serve, who often come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and have been let down by adults in the past. We prioritize the protection of innocent animals and children who cannot advocate for themselves.


4. Responsible and Sustainable Approach:

We take pride in implementing responsible and sustainable projects that involve local community members, ensuring the continuity of operations even when volunteer numbers are low. While some projects rely heavily on volunteer support due to limited funds, we strive to strike a balance by involving sufficient local participation.


5. Cost Effectiveness:

Having collaborated with volunteers on projects for nearly 15 years, we recognize that volunteering can come at a significant cost. Therefore, we are committed to making volunteering more accessible, reasonable, and inclusive. Our projects encompass various extras, and we maintain affordability by keeping costs low and encouraging increased hands-on assistance. We offer negotiable family, friends, and group discounts, as volunteering together enables us to further reduce expenses. Loyalty is rewarded, and returning volunteers receive special recognition in our projects. Additionally, our costs include donations to our projects, contributing to their sustainability and impact.


6. Safety:

The safety of our volunteers is of paramount importance. We thoroughly vet and assess all our projects, ensuring adequate safety measures are in place. While certain areas may be off-limits due to potential risks, it is important to note that complete safety guarantees are impossible in any location. We have established channels for reporting incidents and maintain close relationships with in-country support on the ground. Furthermore, we possess liability insurance and require all participants to have personal travel insurance. To provide comprehensive support, we arrange airport collections and drop-offs, ensuring our volunteers are assisted throughout their entire journey. We pride ourselves on delivering a personal touch and remain available 24/7 to address any emergencies.


Please remember to arrange your comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking your trip, as it is an essential aspect of ensuring your well-being and peace of mind.


We sincerely appreciate your interest in Volunteer International Adventures and our commitment to making a positive impact through responsible volunteering. Should you have any further questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

63 reviews · rating4.8

Lynn van den Broecke rating5

2024 at Ethical Predator Sanctuary Assistant

A massive thank you to everyone who was involved in this project! I felt safe and well taken care of. I think about this experience a lot. I would definitely recommend it to everyone! ...
Laurence Genhart rating2

2024 at Vervet Monkey Rescue & Rehabilitation

J'ai été excessivement déçue de mon séjour à Durban. Je m'attendais à être avec d'autres volontaires, partager des expériences, faire des activités communes et me suis retrouvée toute seule, loin de toutes autres activités, avec des passionnées de singes (qui sont néanmoins très ...
I have absolutely loved my experience in South Africa volunteering with Endangered Wildlife Monitoring and Research, and I am sad that I have to leave in a few days. By the time I leave I will have spent six weeks in South Africa, so I've been lucky enough to volunteer at all three of the reserves ...
Giulia Sanders rating4.8

2024 at Whales, Sharks and Penguins Conservation

I had a wonderful time in Kleinbaai. From cage diving with sharks to feeding the African penguins to whale and dolphin watching, everyday brought something new and amazing! I love being on the ocean and seeing the wildlife which this program offered plenty off. We got to assist clients on the trips ...
Karine Bottiglieri rating5

2024 at Whales, Sharks and Penguins Conservation

truly exceptional, Where to start, the warm and sincere welcome. I am French, my English is average, but they made themselves available to me, they took the time to explain to me so that I understood, always with a smile and patience. the whole team goes out of their way to show you the wonders of ...
Anja Jutta Scharer rating4.4

2024 at Vervet Monkey Rescue & Rehabilitation

If you would like to get involved in an animal project and have a love for monkeys, Carol and Steve are the right people for you. They are incredibly experienced, dedicated and care about every single animal life. It is important to know that they can only pursue their passion with many helping ...

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Contact Sharon
  Excellent response rate
Afrikaans, English

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