Wildlife Rescue, Rehab and Veterinary Clinic

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.


Assist with preparing the sick, injured and orphaned rescued animals food to ensure all their nutritional needs are met. Learn how to provide animal enrichments to alleviate boredom while in care.
Have the opportunity of giving a second chance of life to a diverse range of indigenous animals for example, birds, antelope, wild cats, genet, monkeys, baboons, mongoose, meerkats and more
Help with the care, treatment and monitoring of each animal’s recovery and progress and ensure their enclosures are clean and maintained for the best environment for their physical needs
Those studying veterinary medicine or qualified, may assist the veterinary nurse in the onsite clinic and a private practise veterinary doctor can sign off if needed for university practicals
Immense fun in your free time from golden beaches with warm waters for swimming to wildlife reserves for Big 5 viewing or even a boat trip on lake St Lucia. Durban is a multicultural experience!
Volunteer with an amazing team of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation experts that are dedicated to giving sick, injured and orphaned wildlife a second chance. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

This project benefits the animals enormously. You will need to be prepared to muck in with all jobs, such as maintenance of the centre, cleaning out cages as well as feeding and caring for the animals. There is also quite a lot of manual work that you will get involved with such as digging, building, and cleaning. A perfect project for animals physio or veterinary medicine students and professionals too that are looking to expand into wildlife.

Because we are working with nature, it is extremely difficult to predict each day’s tasks.  A flexible approach is therefore required, as some tasks may be routine, while others will change day by day.  Please remember that we are unable to control nature and cannot promise that there will be “exciting” tasks each and every day. It is important to remember that every little task performed is one step closer to getting the wildlife back into their natural environment.

Volunteer duties are varied so there is something for everyone, from feeds to grounds work and the building of suitable enclosures to assisting in rescues and releases. These releases can take place on various game reserves a few hours’ drive away from the centre. 

You may also have the opportunity to assist in creating items for the wildlife enclosure enrichment programme. You will have to be imaginative as well as creative, as each day the previous day’s item must be removed and replaced by a new one. Volunteers have really enjoyed this aspect of their daily tasks and have had a lot of fun designing tools and toys for the animals to investigate and either eat from or play with.

Those volunteers qualified or studying veterinary medicine, nursing or animal physio, may assist the full-time veterinary nurses in the onsite veterinary clinic. Please let us know if you would need practical credits for your studies as it is possible that this can be used as a veterinary nursing internship. For those studying veterinary medicine, this project can be used towards your university degrees practical credits as there is a local private practise veterinary doctor who also attends to any wildlife that needs more diagnosis, care and specialised treatment not available in the onsite veterinary clinic.

On arrival at the centre in the morning, there will be a list of duties that need to be done will be written up on the whiteboard in the reception area daily – please refer to that and ask if you are uncertain about anything. 

The duties will include:

  • All cages need to be checked for the animal’s previous night’s food and water consumption.
  • All cages in the clinic and in the outside quadrant need to be given fresh newspaper/bedding, fresh water, and food of food for the outside feeds and the delivery.
  • Kitchen to be cleaned after food preparation has been completed.
  • Animal enrichment – you will use your imagination to create entertainment tools for the animals on a daily basis. This alleviates the boredom the animals sometimes feel, and you will be so rewarded at the delight displayed when they investigate their new “toys”. Certain animals, such as the Egyptian Geese, need to be walked/ exercised daily.
  • Tortoise Checks – The health of the tortoises under our care must be examined daily. You will need to check the health and well-being of all the tortoises each morning.
  • General cleaning – Volunteers are also required to assist in the cleaning of the cages, enclosures, carrier boxes and linen used in caring for and rescuing the animals in our care.
  • The following duties also need to be completed daily:
  • Stacking of dishes in the food prep kitchen
  • The sorting of newspapers
  • Preparing the nest boxes for the baby room.
  • Collect and put new branches into all the bird cages in the clinic and the quad.
  • Check that all the cages are stacked and packed away into the storage area and all dry laundry is folded and stored in the clinic alcove.
  • All fridges to be cleaned.

Note on food preparation:  The centre accommodates a wide range of animals including carnivores which need to be fed protein/meat.  Vegetarian volunteers need to be aware that food preparation will include the cutting up of meat and poultry for these animals

We need volunteers who understand and respect the principles of wildlife rehabilitation and want to contribute towards giving the animals the best chance of getting back out into the wild where they belong. Therefore, please understand that with some of the wildlife, human contact is kept to an absolute minimum to ensure a successful release. The essential thing to realise here is that you are contributing to an extremely valuable conservation effort that provides medical care (where required), temporarily homes, and releases wild animals back into their natural environment. It’s therefor important that these animals are not ‘humanised’ during their stay at the project for their own safety when released back into the wild.

Typical day

The description given is of a typical day (EXAMPLE) but as with working with wildlife, this can change

07:00: Report for duty

07 to 07.15: Morning meeting with staff and volunteers to plan the day ahead

07.15 to 9.00: Morning feeding & cleaning session (Preparing food for all animals and assisting Clinic Nurses with feeding the animals and cleaning out their enclosures) Assisting with rescues and releases as needed.

09 to 09.15: Tea break

09.15 to 12.00: Assist Clinic Nurses with catching animals that are going to be released, prepping empty enclosures for new arrivals, any ad hoc repair and maintenance tasks. Assist with daily animal enrichment activities such as gathering natural greens, berries and bugs to supplement animals' diets & making a variety of natural treats and stimulating "toys" for the animals from natural materials. Assisting with rescues and releases as needed or any other duties you may need to be required to assist with

12.00 to 13.00: Break for lunch

13.00 to 15.00: Afternoon feeding & cleaning session (Preparing food for all animals and assisting Clinic Nurses with feeding the animals and cleaning out enclosures) Assisting with rescues and releases as needed.

15.00 to 17.00: Relax, read a book or catch a quick power nap

17.00 onwards: Time to prepare dinner and catch up on how your day was

Free-time activities

The province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN) is renowned for its Wildlife Reserves and traditional Zulu Culture : The attractions range from vibrant cities to rolling hills, from long stretches of beaches to outstanding Big 5 Wildlife Parks and Nature Reserves. These are just some of the sites you shouldn’t miss:

  • Big Five Wildlife Reserves for unbelievable wildlife viewing. Nothing better than seeing animals in their natural habitat by vehicle
  • Beautiful St Lucia with its hippos and crocodiles…take a boat trip to view them even closer
  • Hike one of the smaller nature reserves
  • uShaka Marine centre has a wealth of fantastic activities and marine species viewing plus plenty eateries...make a whole day of it
  • Fantastic golden beaches with warm waters thanks to the Indian ocean perfect for swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling and scuba-diving.
  • Try your hand at a surfing lesson…hang 10! Or just hit one of the beautiful beaches on the Golden Mile. Umhlanga beach is a favourite! 
  • Incredible food with a spicy flavour influenced by the large population of South Africans with Indian ancestry….try a traditional “bunny chow” – no it is not made with bunnies
  • Spend a little time shopping at Gateways shopping centre and pop into the local Sharks Board for an educational tour
  • The incredible culture of the Zulu nation. Take a tour to experience their craft, food, dance and music

Private tours can be arranged with a local tour company that we have used for many years. 

Water Sports


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
Veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, animal physiotherapy, animal husbandry, animal behaviour, zoology etc students would be a bonus
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 - 15:00

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures

Food for our three meals, shared volunteer accommodation, meeting you at the airport, airport collection and drop-off, pre-departure support and admin, in-country staff, 24- emergency help and a virtual adoption as a wildlife warrior for one of the animals at the project, in your name.

Discounts available on longer stays or group bookings

Airport Pickup at King Shaka International Airport

When you arrive, you will be welcomed at King Shaka International airport in Durban at Arrivals. Your name will be on a board. You will then be taken to your project by your driver. At the end of your project, you will be collected at your project, and returned to the same airport, in time for your flight. Please book arrival flights in daylight hours before 15:00 and NOT at night. Please do not book flights until you have booked your project and we have confirmed your dates. 


There is a fully furnished volunteer house that accommodates up to 10 volunteers sharing, at a time. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms and living areas with an outside patio, fire pit and a braai (South African BBQ). The house is on the grounds of the rehabilitation centre and clinic with other staff also living in separate accommodation right next door to the volunteer house.

Where possible, couples, friends or family 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.

The volunteer house is cleaned once a week by a staff member, but volunteers are responsible for keeping the house clean and tidy on a daily basis and a roster is in place for things like cooking duties and washing dishes. A washing machine is available in the house too so volunteers can do their own laundry. Bedding is provided.

A safe is available in the house with 10 individual safes should you wish to lock away your passport, money or any valuables. Mobile phones do operate with full reception on-site and there is WiFi

Bedroom (Double) Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
Food is provided on this project. Volunteers cook and eat their meals together in the volunteer house as this is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and learn a little about their nationalities and cultures. A weekly grocery shop to provide volunteers with 3 meals per day is done by staff and volunteers. 

Any special dietary requirements e.g. vegetarians, vegans are met within reason, however luxury food items are at your own expense.
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 King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban. 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.
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


Details on arrival

This project is available all year around with arrivals from Mondays to Fridays and you choose your dates. You would fly into Durban's King Shaka International Airport before 15:00 to be collected by your driver with your name on a board. Space is limited so please try book early. 

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

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$418 /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

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We refund your fees if Volunteer Int. Adventures cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Volunteer Int. Adventures.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Wildlife Rescue, Rehab and Veterinary Clinic

Volunteer with an amazing team of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation experts that are dedicated to giving sick, injured and orphaned wildlife a second chance.


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