Wildlife Awareness, Rehabilitation and Veterinary

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
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founded in 1994
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Coordinator | Jennifer
Coordinator | Jennifer

High­lights

An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand. Plus lots of adventure activities to do in your free time.
You'll learn a lot from top experts. You'll gain new skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
You're making a difference! The enormous satisfaction of knowing that your work is contributing to wildlife conservation. This is an extremely rewarding project
You'll make friends for life, plus you'll expand your global network of contacts. And you'll have a huge boost for your CV or Résumé !
You're in South Africa! Top of many people's Bucket List! An amazing culture and vibrant sights - a colorful country packed with exciting experiences waiting for you!
Lions, Leopards, Wild Cats! Provide life-saving care to rehabilitating wildlife. Also suitable for veterinary students. Feeding, enclosure enrichment, and much more! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 21+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

The nature of the work includes partly veterinary and partly care work with animals. There are two main sections to this project that you’ll be rotated on weekly.

  1. The Wildlife and wild cat awareness centre (for the public); and
  2. The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Clinic (not for the public).

Assisting in the Awareness Centre
To fund the rehabilitation work and to raise awareness of the conservation issues in South Africa, the centre offers small group programs throughout the day with a focus on providing a conservation-based, informative tour.

The awareness centre homes captive bred ‘ambassador’ animals where a few select animals are bred and used for education and awareness purposes, which is vital to conservation efforts. Note: This should not be confused with a ‘breeding centre’ (which has no conservation value).

The work you’ll be involved with at the Awareness Centre could include …

  • Assisting with vaccinations and inoculations of ambassador animals
  • Assisting with giving the cheetah its diabetes medication
  • Assisting the animal keepers and the veterinary nurse with animal enrichments
  • Cleaning enclosures
  • Preparing food and feeding animals
  • Monitoring animals’ behaviour and general animal husbandry

Assisting in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and Clinic
This area of the rehabilitation centre is not open to the public. Here you’ll be able to assist with much needed care for the animals in the unit, such as:

  • Check the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in the mornings
  • Administrating medications and hydration
  • Food preparations and feeding, which can involve various methods like hand-feeding through tubes, cropping etc. This would be twice a day or more depending on the animal in the clinic
  • New admissions assessments
  • Relocating animals to other enclosures onsite
  • Assisting with hard releases into the wild
  • Assisting with animals in soft release enclosures
  • Helping to administer Physiotherapy to animals that are injured and need it
  • Checking incubators
  • Assessing the animals’ behaviour and monitoring them while they're in the hospital and clinic.

You’ll work 6 days on and 1 day off per week, however, although additional days off can be requested if necessary.

Typical day

On this project there are no "typical" days, because with the variety of animals and types of work, a substantial part of every day is different.


You'll work with Lions, Serval cats, African Wildcats, Cheetahs, Caracals, African Leopard, Meerkats, Water Mongoose, Honey Badger, penguins, various birds like Blue Cranes and Marabou storks ... and more.

Between 250 and 450 animals and birds are treated annually at the Centre, with roughly 4 new admissions a week and up to 30 in care at one specific time. Besides terrestrial animals and birds, they also treat marine animals (penguins and sea-birds) and are the only recognized penguin rehabilitation facility in the area.

In 2016, the centre treated over 200 penguins, 25 seals, 14 turtles and 100’s of pelagical birds, like albatross and gannets, and even flamingos. They also treat a lot of raptors.

So your experiences there will be varied and exciting. You'll wake up each day impatient to see what the new day will bring!

Free-time activities

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!). There are lots of activities you can do in the region where you'll be based. Water activities, such as dolphin watching, whale watching, swimming, diving and surfing, plus animal reserves, like the Elephant Park and Monkeyland. This is South Africa's playground, so there is a HUGE amount to do!


We've arranged a selection of optional activities you can do before or after your placement. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-) 

Activities you an do include safari tours up the Garden Route, or one-day sightseeing activities.

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Riding

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 21 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)
Education Requirements
You should either be studying veterinary medicine or a related field, or have some experience in a related field. at level
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You should either be studying veterinary medicine or a related field, or have some experience in a related field.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

What's Included

Services by Travellers Worldwide

The fees include:


Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food
Meeting you at George Airport
Transfer to your project site, plus return transfer to Knysna at the end of your placement
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion

Airport Pickup at George Airport
When you arrive you will be welcomed by our South Africa Manager who will drive you to the project site, which is some 90 kilometres from the Airport and about 30 kilometres from Knysna where our Manager is based.

When you reach the project site, she'll introduce you to everyone and ensure that you're well settled in. 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.
Accommodation

The accommodation is in a beautiful and very comfortable house on the project grounds. The rooms are same-sex dorms with maximum of 5 people sharing. Wherever possible, couples or related volunteers who would like to stay together in the volunteer house are given their own room, but this is obviously dependant on how many volunteers there are in the house at the time.

Laundry, Wi-Fi and satellite TV are included!

The house also has an outside patio area with a fire pit and braai (BBQ) facilities.

Dorm Room Bungalow
Food & Beverages

Food is included in the project and consists of the following:

  • Breakfast – Help yourself to breakfast; cereals, fruit, yoghurts, toast and spreads.
  • Lunch – A packed lunch on excursion days or help yourself to lunch – with breads, fruits, cold meats, salad of the day and spreads.
  • Dinner – A hot meal will be served every night such as traditional BBQ (Braai), stews (known as Potjies), casseroles, fresh vegetables and meats being the order of the day.
  • Tea and coffee are available throughout the day.

You’ll assist in the preparation of meals and to help clean up after meals.

Any special dietary requirements (vegetarians/food allergies) are met within reason

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 George Airport (GRJ) in George. 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

This Wildlife Awareness, Rehabilitation and Veterinary project is available all year round, so you can choose dates that are convenient to you. Arrivals (and departures) take place on Mondays to Fridays (not weekends). 


On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive at the airport, you'll be welcomed by our South Africa Manager who will drive you to the project site, which is some 90 kilometres from the Airport and about 30 kilometres from Knysna where our Manager is based. When you reach the project site, she'll introduce you to everyone and ensure that you're well settled in. 

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.

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 programme (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.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in GBP (USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
£1,595 ($2,121)
3 weeks
£1,945 ($2,587)
4 weeks
£2,295 ($3,052)
5 weeks
£2,645 ($3,518)
6 weeks
£2,995 ($3,983)
7 weeks
£3,345 ($4,449)
12 weeks (max. stay)
£5,095 ($6,776)
Average fees
£611 ($813) /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Travellers Worldwide 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 Travellers Worldwide 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 Travellers Worldwide cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Travellers Worldwide.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Plettenberg Bay, Forest Hall Road

Wildlife Awareness, Rehabilitation and Veterinary

Lions, Leopards, Wild Cats! Provide life-saving care to rehabilitating wildlife. Also suitable for veterinary students. Feeding, enclosure enrichment, and much more!

$611/week

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