Wildlife Rehabilitation & Veterinary experience

Volunteer Int. Adventures
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Coordinator | Sharon
Coordinator | Sharon
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Be surrounded by lions, leopard, servals, caracal, African wild cats, meerkats, water mongoose, a variety of indigenous birds and a resident warthog! Hear the lions roar at night
Marine animals are treated too. Periodic releases of rescued and rehabilitated penguins take place throughout the year at the local beach. In season a large amount of baby turtles are treated too
Great for students or those interested in studying conservation, zoology and veterinary medicine! Also suitable for gappers, career breakers, families, post-retirement gappers and animal lovers
Learn first hand from professionals on the care, treatment, rehabilitation and eventual release of various rescued species from wild cats, birds, antelope, primates and others
Jam packed weekends filled with extreme sports, whale & dolphin watching, wine tasting, beach & forest walks, wildlife safaris & animal sanctuaries
Help with wildlife awareness and life-saving care, feeding, treatment and rehabilitation of rescued injured, sick and orphaned animals at a rehabilitation centre This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

The nature of the work includes partly veterinary and rehabilitation and partly care work with animals. There are two main sections to this project

  1. The Wildlife and Wild Cat Awareness centre
  2. The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Clinic

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 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) as no breeding takes place.

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

  • Assisting with vaccinations and inoculations of ambassador animals
  • Assisting the animal keepers with animal enrichments
  • Cleaning enclosures
  • Preparing food and feeding animals
  • Monitoring animals’ behaviour and general animal husbandry

Animals include lions, leopard, servals, caracal, African wild cats, meerkats, water mongoose, a variety of indigenous birds and a resident warthog! Many of the resident animals are ex-pets that have been confiscated due to a lack of paperwork and are too human habituated to be released into the wild.

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 which includes a pellagric bird and animal section as there are often rescued turtles and penguins that are brought in by the public.

Your duties could involve the following:

  • Check the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in the mornings
  • Administrating medications and hydration
  • Food preparations and feeding, which can involve various methods like handfeeding 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.
  • Assisting with the wildlife veterinary doctor when he is treating the wildlife at the centre
  • Assisting with periodic penguin releases

You’ll work 6 days on and 1 day off per week, however, although additional days off can be requested if necessary. Please let us know if you have any specific skills

The project work is with some of the most unpredictable factors around animals, nature, weather and people. In fact the best saying around here is “the most predictable thing about our work is its unpredictability…”   Because of this it is very difficult to get an exact outline of a day in the life of a volunteer.

Typical day

We put the animals and their needs first but as a “Guideline” we can say a day might look something like this…

07:20am – The day starts. Everyone meet up at the Rehabilitation center for the daily briefing and go through what needs to be done for the day.

7:30 – 9:00am – Start with animal feeding and enclosure cleaning in the morning. This means you will be assisting the staff to feed various animals between the awareness center and the rehabilitation facility. Exactly what animals will depend on, what is in for treatment and the schedule of the in-house animals in the awareness center.

9:00am – Tea and coffee break

9:30am – Food Preparation and General duties which are usually any issues noticed in the morning that need attention. If there is nothing urgent then the list from the previous day is referred too 

12:30 – 2:00pm – Break for lunch

2:00 – 16:30pm – General duties: Any tasks that need addressing – these could be things like fixing a small hole in an enclosure fence, removing a tree that’s fallen over, painting an enclosure, working on long term projects and general stuff that happens around the project. There may be animals that need medication or new rescued animals brought in throughout the day that need housing or attention.

Lastly the afternoon feed then its time to lock up all the gates and say goodnight to all the animals.

16:30pm – Time to relax around the fire, catch up with the family or take an afternoon walk through the forest. Remember that things change constantly and the first focus is on the animals but we also want you to be comfortable and ENJOY the experience, make some memories, friends and lasting ethical practices for the future.

Free-time activities

There is plenty to do in the area from elephant sanctuaries, bird  sanctuaries, primate sanctuaries, the world’s highest bridge bungee jump is not too far away,  wine farms to taste the wines endemic to the area and of course the beautiful beaches of nearby Plettenberg Bay are some of the most beautiful in the world where you can swim with seals and go boat-based whale and dolphin watching. A nature and wildlife lovers paradise! For sports lovers there are several golf courses, paint ball, hiking, kloofing, ziplining and various water sports including surfing! enjoy 
Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Sports
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

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
If you are studying veterinary medicine, conservation, zoology or a related field, this project is perfect for you! If not, we still have plenty for you to help with!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 07:30 - 16:30

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures
The cost of the project includes a vegetarian food pack, accommodation, meeting you at the nearest airport, airport transfers on arrival and return, weekly shopping trip, a weekend day excursion,  pre-departure support, in-country staff, 24-emergency help and a t-shirt
Airport Pickup at George Airport
You will need to fly into George Airport for your collection and departure and our representative will collect you at the arrivals area where we start the 2 hour drive to the project. This area of the Western Cape province is referred to as the “Garden Route” with lovely long stretches of beautiful beaches and unique flora indigenous to the area so the slightly long drive goes by quickly. On completion of your project, you will be collected and returned to George airport for your departure flight. Those that would prefer to arrive via a coach from Cape Town, can be collected at either the depot in the towns of Knysna or Plettenberg Bay
Accommodation

The onsite volunteer accommodation is very comfortable and beautifully furnished in a scenic setting beside a dam. Depending on the volunteer numbers, rooms are shared or single ensuite with a little outside patio to relax and read a book. The dining room and TV area is shared with permanent staff as is the kitchen. There is also an outside patio with a pizza over, boma (firepit) and braai (BBQ) facilities. At night one can hear the nearby lion roar which is an experience on its own

Private and couples rooms are available but there might be a surcharge depending on volunteer numbers

Laundry, Wi-Fi and satellite TV are included.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages
A vegetarian food pack is provided. Meals are self-service and volunteers often assist preparing meals in the communal kitchen and help washing up afterwards. Occasionally volunteers and staff will enjoy a typical South African braai (BBQ) together which is always a great way to end the day. Volunteers can help themselves to tea and coffee all day. Once a week volunteers will be taken to the local grocery store for an additional food and meat purchase they may need
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

All year around, Monday to Friday
Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,310
3 weeks
$1,769
4 weeks
$2,227
5 weeks
$2,686
6 weeks
$3,144
7 weeks
$3,603
8 weeks
$4,061
9 weeks
$4,520
10 weeks
$4,978
11 weeks
$5,437
12 weeks (max. stay)
$5,895
Average fees
$573 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Volunteer Int. Adventures 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 Volunteer Int. Adventures 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
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Volunteer Int. Adventures 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 Volunteer Int. Adventures.

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Wildlife Rehabilitation & Veterinary experience

Help with wildlife awareness and life-saving care, feeding, treatment and rehabilitation of rescued injured, sick and orphaned animals at a rehabilitation centre

$438/week

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