Manage the day-to-day marketing tasks across all platforms including social media, the website and specific umbrella organizations.
Manage the outreach projects including the twice-weekly Eco-Clubs, planning, teaching lessons and daily administration tasks, provide career guidance.
Our volunteering program is designed to give you the opportunity to teach local children, care for injured wildlife, and get fully immersed in the South African bush.
The mission of DAKTARI is to educate and inspire local children to value their environment and stimulate community development.
OUR STORY: A LOVE STORY THAT BECAME DAKTARI
Ian and Michele Merrifield officially opened DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage in 2006 but it was a long road to make it happen. Ian and Michele met while Ian was working as a game ranger at Tshukudu Game Lodge and Michele was volunteering there as well. While hand-raising injured zebras, wildebeest, and warthogs, Ian and Michele fell in love.
Michele had long dreamed about living in Africa and taking care of the wildlife. When she met Ian, she was able to realise that dream. They left Tshukudu after getting married and opened a restaurant in Hoedspruit to start raising capital for their own wildlife orphanage. While there, Ian and Michele helped raise a local boy from the village named Thabo. He had almost no knowledge or understanding of his native wildlife and environment, so Ian and Michele began using the animals in their care to teach him. Thabo's understanding of conservation was typical of children in Limpopo and the idea of adding a bush school was born.
So where did the name DAKTARI come from? Michele says, "When we were younger, there was a TV program called Daktari. It was about a family in Africa, who looked after and raised many different types of orphaned wild animals. As kids we loved it and we remember getting deeply emotionally attached to the different animals." Sounds familiar right? Michele and Ian adopted the name and so DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage was born.
The Mission of DAKTARI is to educate and inspire local children to value their environment and stimulate community development.
Through the combination of the bush school and the wildlife orphanage, DAKTARI has developed an immersive educational experience for local children to learn about the wildlife around them, the environment, anti-poaching, and a wide variety of other issues, right in the middle of the bush. Our work extends into their communities through Eco Clubs at the secondary schools, career guidance for the youth, and community development projects.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
DAKTARI has three main areas of focus: the teaching program with children at the camp, our wildlife orphanage, and our work in the community surrounding DAKTARI.
Through DAKTARI's programs, we have reached more than 4,000 children in 10 years, cared for hundreds of animals, and helped dozens of youth get employed. If you want to become involved with DAKTARI's work, consider becoming a volunteer or donating!