Panthera Africa

Big Cats Sanctuary

Stanford, South Africa show on map

When being a volunteer at Panthera Africa we will offer you the unique opportunity to be involved behind the scenes and you can learn what it takes to run a sanctuary.

Our Unique Volunteer Program

Panthera Africa is an environmentally friendly sanctuary for any captive bred big cats, where they will be protected and prosper for the rest of their lives. We have found our 40 hectare paradise with a beautiful home for the animals, the owners and the many volunteers visiting. The land is filled with lots of large trees, a natural spring and an amazing 180 degree mountain view. Panthera Africa believes in the connection between both environmental and wildlife conservation, and aims to become the first "green" big cat sanctuary in South Africa, and run solely on solar energy.

One of Panthera Africa's main purposes is to be an educational platform where we create awareness about conditions big cats face in captivity, and how animal welfare and enrichment play a vital role in giving them the best captive life possible. We are a true sanctuary where no cub petting, breeding or trading takes place. We are a blue print of how a non-profit sanctuary, focusing on animal welfare, can become self-sufficient, and we aim to change all breeding facilities into sustainable ethical programs. 

We believe in the equal importance of both humans and animals, and we will do our absolute best to give you the experience of a lifetime. We know from personal experience that this includes both quality time with animals, as well as with staff and the other volunteers. Hearing a lion roar up close, getting love and recognition from a leopard, hearing the chuffing of a tiger, or seeing them appreciate and love the toys you make to enrich their lives = BLISS.

In addition to the indescribable bonds you will form with the animals, friendships will be formed and together at the end of the day we all can share stories, hopes and dreams around the bonfire with a cold drink watching the famous African sunset.

The international volunteer program will offer you the unique opportunity to be involved behind the scenes - daily tasks will include:

  • Caring for the amazing big cats
  • Enrichment program
  • Preparation of food and feeding
  • Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
  • General farm work
  • Educating visitors

You will work together with our staff throughout the day, who will guide and supervise you so that you will learn as much as possible from their experience.


Our Pride

Our pride consists of 18 big cats and jackals, namely:

  • Sheeba (Leopard)
  • Pardus  (Black Leopard)
  • Arabella and Raise (Tigers)
  • Oliver, Obi, Jubatus, Neptune, Elsa, Zakara, Lei-ah, Jade, Achilles, Chaka, Baguira (Lions)
  • Jampa and Pema (Cheetahs)
  • Cody, Lucy and Maya (Jackals)
  • Amy, Max and Jack (Caracals)

(Plus our little house pride consisting of our dogs Scorgo, Kira and Leo and our cats Tarzan and Neo).

All of our animals have been rescued from breeding facilities, and most of them have been taken away from their mothers to be hand-raised by humans for the profit of money. The whole Panthera Africa pride is now living the rest of their days with us given love, respect and the best life possible in captivity.”


Home Sweet Home

During your stay you will enjoy our modern, yet cozy home. The house consists of 4 bedrooms with 4 bathrooms, a spacious and fully equipped kitchen for everyone to cook, a big living and dining room area where we enjoy dinners together, games nights, film evening or just relaxing with a nice book. Outside we have a traditional South African braai (BBQ) area, and a lovely pool with a garden to sunbath for the hot summer days!

So can we start to look forward to meeting you in beautiful Stanford? Are you ready for that life changing experience? We can promise you a lot of fun and magical moments – both with animals and your new friends from all around the world! 

Being situated close to many of South Africa's top tourist attractions - Cape Town with its Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Point to mention some, Hermanus with its unbelievable whale watching cove and wine tasting, Gansbaai with its spectacular white shark diving, and some of the world's most amazing beaches on your door step, we and our passionate staff will do our upmost best to make this experience the best holiday of your life!


Bookings

We request bookings to be made at least 30 days before the intended arrival date, although due to the popularity of the project, we recommend further in advance. However, should you have an immediate booking request, please just send us your wish and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

We would recommend that your stay will be a minimum of 2 weeks to ensure a full experience. Shorter or longer stays can be arranged and price varies accordingly.

Our start- and end dates are on Saturdays, so please arrive and depart at Cape Town International airport between 10am and 2pm on the specific date.  Should you, however, like to make alternative arrangements with us, we will do our best to accommodate you. We can either arrange pick-up and drop-off in Cape Town at an additional cost of R 350 per trip, or on alternative days at an additional cost of R 1500 per trip. 


Typical day

Please find below a general outline of your days with us. We believe in not having a fixed schedule for everything, and have also learnt that plans can change every day, so the days with us are varied. There will be a difference between summer and winter months due to temperature and hours of light during the day. 

We have a morning meeting where we go through every day's schedule so everything will be planned and set up for you. There will be plenty of breaks during the different tasks, and flexibility for off sight activities, so you can expect a good variety of work and relaxation! 

Daily Schedule

6/7:00 Breakfast – Make your own with food provided

7/8:00 Morning Meeting

7/8:15 Morning Tasks

12-2/3:00 Lunch – Meal provided by Panthera Africa

2/3:00 Afternoon Tasks

6:00 Dinner – Make and purchase your own food for meal, then leisure time!

Sundays and Tuesdays are normally your days off. Tuesdays are your activity days, where you might do some small work on the farm, but most of the days you will be enjoying the amazing Overberg area together with the other volunteers􏰀. 

Details on Arrival

Our start- and end dates are on Saturdays, so please arrive and depart at Cape Town International airport between 10am and 2pm on the specific date. Should you, however, like to make alternative arrangements with us, we will do our best to accommodate you. We can either arrange pick-up and drop-off in Cape Town at an additional cost of R 350 per trip, or on alternative days at an additional cost of R 1500 per trip.

Free-time activities

Being situated close to many of South Africa's top tourist attractions - Cape Town with its Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Point to mention some, Hermanus with its unbelievable whale watching cove and wine tasting, Gansbaai with its spectacular white shark diving, and some of the world's most amazing beaches on your door step, makes this experience a perfect volunteer stay.


Water Sports
Diving/Snorkling
Shopping/Souvenirs
Hiking
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Program 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
The main requirement we have is that there is a love for animals!
We also require a good physical and mental health as much of the work entail outside work that requires a lot of consentration and focus.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

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
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Refund Guarantee
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Resolution Support
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Panthera Africa.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Panthera Africa (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Panthera Africa

  • Transfers to and from Cape Town International Airport for arrival and departure
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Weekly transport to grocery shop
  • One social activity per week


Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

Our start- and end dates are on Saturdays, so please arrive and depart at Cape Town International airport between 10am and 2pm on the specific date.  Should you, however, like to make alternative arrangements with us, we will do our best to accommodate you. We can either arrange pick-up and drop-off in Cape Town at an additional cost of R 350 per trip, or on alternative days at an additional cost of R 1500 per trip.Once you booked your flights, please communicate your flight details with us.

Accommodation

During your stay you will enjoy our modern, yet cozy home. The house consists of 4 bedrooms with twin beds and 4 bathrooms, a spacious and fully equipped kitchen for everyone to cook, a big living and dining room area where we enjoy dinners together, games nights, film evening or just relaxing with a nice book.  

Outside we have a traditional South African braai (BBQ) area, and a lovely pool with a garden to sunbath for the hot summer days! 

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages
Shopping takes place once a week to buy food for dinners and snacks, and we will take you on a small shopping trip on the way to the farm on the pick-up day so you can fill up a little bit. Please let us know at your convenience if there are any special requirements with regards to food or medical conditions so we can make arrangement should there be any.

Internet Access
Limited 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 Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,200.00
3 weeks
$1,700.00
4 weeks
$2,100.00
5 weeks
$2,400.00
6 weeks
$2,700.00
7 weeks
$3,000.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$5,300.00
Average fees
$521.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Stanford/South Africa between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Panthera Africa will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
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 {project.name} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Reservation

The social project site is open in Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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