Cheetah and Wild Dog Breeding Center

The centre’s main mission is to ensure the survival of the cheetah, the African wild dog, and other wild animals.

About the Program

The centre was established in South Africa in 1971. The centre’s mission is to ensure the long term survival of the cheetah, African Wild Dog and other wild animals in general. Today the centre can look back with satisfaction on a job well done in ensuring the survival of Acinonyx jubatus - the cheetah, successfully breeding the king cheetah in captivity for the first time anywhere in the world. While the cheetah breeding project was the base, it soon widened to include other endangered animal species, such as the African wild dog and Vulture

The centre does not receive any government funding and income generated from tours and the adoption programme is used to subsidize these conservation projects.

2 day Volunteer Johannesburg Orientation

Arrive in Joburg or Jozi, as it is known locally, and get shown around by people who know the city well. The Johannesburg Orientation is excellent for first-time visitors to find their feet the local way and meet other volunteers on your project.

• Arty districts of Newtown and Braamfontein
• Constitutional Hill
• Telkom Tower
• Nelson Mandela Bridge
• Jazz Walk of Fame
• Mary Fitzgerald Square
• Traditional South African meal

Day 1
You will be picked up from the airport and taken to the hostel. Here you will be given a chance to settle down before meeting our SAVE volunteer representative.
You will be given a briefing on your volunteer program and then meet other travellers and volunteers for a welcome dinner.

Day 2
After breakfast you will be collected by one of our SAVE crew and shown your way around the sites of Johannesburg like a local. We will start off with a visits to Soweto, South Africa’s biggest Township here you will have the opportunity to take some  photos at the iconic Orlando Towers and Soccer City, home of the World Cup Final. We then head to a local food market where you can have a light lunch, shop for local arts and crafts and listen to some live music. After lunch we head to Constitution Hill, home of our South African Democracy and an integral part of our history. We then end the tour with a walk through the park at Zoo Lake, a pleasant end to the day.

Please note that the tour is flexible and may change according to the group’s interests for the day. This is your personal tour of our lovely city with our local guide to show you the best sites and places for the day.

Day 3
After breakfast we will either take you directly to your projects site, shuttle terminal or airport.


Volunteers will be staying in self-contained chalets which each have lounge, dining room and kitchen. Each chalet has a swimming pool, lapa (thatched covered area with patio set), boma (area for making a fire) and braai (BBQ). The rooms are shared between volunteers and have bathrooms.

Our conservation aims

  • To continue to play a role in conservation and the preservation of the cheetah and wild dog.
  • To support scientific investigations & research into all aspects of these endangered species.
  • To promote conservation through Education and to raise public awareness (particularly amongst the younger generation), of the pressing need for wildlife preservation.
  • To maintain a genetic pool by means of a scientifically based breeding programme.
  • To work on the long term survival and solutions for cheetah and wild dog.
  • To accommodate visitors to the Centre the opportunity to view these endangered species.

In the wild Cheetah cubs have a 35 - 50% chance of survival if they are more than 2 in a litter.  For this reason any cubs over 2 in a litter are removed from their mom and hand reared to ensure their survival.  The other cubs are reared by their mother and kept wild.

The farm does limited breeding and only if there is a reserve where they can be released wild to ensure new blood lines.

Typical Tasks

Volunteers will be involved in the day to day running of the center, working with the cheetahs, wild dog and other animals. Duties include preparing food, removing alien vegetation, as well as repairing fences. It is truly a great experience to work with these majestic animals and is recommended to be done for at least a full week.

Project Highlights

  • You will be able to listen to the sounds of cats calling throughout the night

  • Being part of the first successful captive cheetah breeding project

  • Learning more about animals through interactive hands-on projects

  • Interactions with Cheetah and other animals

  • Making a positive difference

  • Living a genuine conservationist lifestyle

  • Learn about conservation and Africa’s wild animals

  • Developing personal strengths and life skills

  • Having fun while working

Suitable for


Typical day


Week 1: Airport pick-up, Welcome orientation

Week 2: Craft day or just relaxing


Week 1: Introductions, Two hour tour, Photos with ambassador, Cub interaction if cubs are there at time of visit

Week 2: Food prep and feeding round, Camp clearing, Assist vet with emergencies, Painting


Week 1: Food prep and feeding round, Vulture camp repairs

Week 2: Food prep and feeding round, Camp clearing, Assist vet with emergencies, Removal of invasive plants


Week 1: Applicator maintenance, Lucern drops, Vulture camp repairs

Week 2: Food prep and feeding round, Camp clearing, Painting, Removal of invasive plants


Week 1: Cheetah run, Vulture camp repairs

Week 2: Food prep and feeding round, Assist vet with emergencies, Painting, Removal of invasive plants


Week 1: Food prep for animals, Feeding rounds, Cub interaction if cubs are there at time of visit, Fun

Week 2: Food prep and feeding round, Camp clearing, Assist vet with emergencies, Painting


Week 1: Day off, BBQ, Games

Week 2: Day off, BBQ, Games

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
16 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
police clearance, application form, proof of travel insurance and flight details and copy of passport
Other Skills
Positive attitude, medium level of fitness, permission of legal guardian if under the age of 18.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in South Africa? Volunteer World directly connects you with SAVE Foundation

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Free-time activities

Volunteers can take part in many exciting activities during their off time (on the weekend).
Saturday volunteers are taken to Bela Bela to enjoy the town and buy groceries. Volunteers can try different local restaurants, shops, or have a relaxing spa day. Volunteers can also have a fun-filled day of their choice with access to activities such as quad biking, horse riding, and paintball (at own expense). Sunday volunteers relax around the farm.



What's included?
Return transfer from JHB to the project - Three meals a day - Accommodation - 24 hour support and supervision - Donation to the project
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

Volunteers will be met at Johannesburg International airport and taken to the backpackers for Orientation. On Tuesday you will be transported to your project site 1 hour from Johannesburg. On project days the volunteers will be transported. The vehicles used are roadworthy and have all relevant licenses and liability insurance.

All transport is safe and reliable.
All licenses and insurances are up to date.
All insurances and liabilities for passengers are up to date and fully paid.


Volunteers will be staying in a lodge or tented camp that has a lounge, dining room and kitchen. A swimming pool, lapa (thatched covered area with patio set), and boma (area for making a fire) or braai (BBQ) is available. The rooms are shared between volunteers and have bathrooms. Sharing can be between 2 to 4 people.

Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Volunteers receive three meals a day.
Breakfast: self-help breakfast of cereals, yoghurt, toast & spreads or a cooked breakfast
Lunch: sandwiches and fruit
Dinner: a hot meal will be served every night. These range from a traditional BBQ, stews, casseroles, fresh vegetable etc.
Tea and coffee will be available all day
Also note: All dinners will include a meat, starch and vegetables. A generous amount of food will always be given so no one will go hungry.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
8 weeks
10 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Hartbeespoort/South Africa between 2 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. SAVE Foundation will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 SAVE Foundation during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in South Africa

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for South Africa. Please check the visa regulations for South Africa.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in South Africa and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in South Africa.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Grand Central (GCJ) in Johannesburg. 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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in South Africa upfront.
20 Briza Road, Tableview, South Africa, 7441 Hartbeespoort, South Africa