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Wild Cat Sanctuary

Kimberely, South Africa

Agency | GoEco

Volunteer at a sanctuary that helps rehabilitate and release into the wild a variety of wild cats and other wildlife species.

Volunteer at a sanctuary that focuses on big and small cats, including cheetahs, leopards, lions, African wild cats and caracals, plus other wildlife species. The center is well-known for rehabilitating and successfully releasing animals in to the wild. You will live on the sanctuary grounds and gain a better understanding of issues facing African wildlife.


Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape Province and lies near the border of the Free State Province.  The city is most famous for what is now called the Big Hole, the site of what claimed to be the largest hand-dug excavation area where miners once dug for diamonds.  The city is now filled with museums and monuments dedicated to this sparkly gem and the miners who brought the riches to South Africa.  Kimberley is also considered a great area for bird watching with over 186 species in the area, as well as a hot destination for fly fishing.

About the Project

This sanctuary has two functions: it acts both as a permanent sanctuary to a variety of African wildlife that cannot be released back into the wild, and also works to rehabilitate animals who are able to return to their natural habitat. Some of the animals are also kept as 'ambassadors' and play an integral part in educating the public about the importance of wildlife conservation. In addition, the sanctuary has saved 12 lions from being hunted.

Arrival and Orientation 

Prior to your volunteering, you'll participate in a two-day orientation in Johannesburg. This orientation is a time for volunteers to meet and get acquainted with each other and the project staff prior to going to their projects. You'll also be taken on a tour of the city that includes Nelson Mandela Bridge, Telkum Tower, Constitutional Hill and various other attractions. 

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 the city with our local guide and aims to show you the best sites and places for the day.

Note: The orientation is required and is not a part of the 2 weeks designated for volunteer work. Therefore, the minimum stay is 17 days for the 2 week option, 24 days for 3 weeks, and so on. All prices include orientation.

Volunteer Work and Contribution

As a volunteer, your main concerns will be promoting the health and welfare of all the animals living on the grounds.  You will be working with a variety of animals including cheetahs, lions, leopards, caracals, African wild cats, foxes, jackals, meerkats and monkeys.  You will be taught how to care for each animal as they all have different needs.  You will have minimal contact with the animals who are in the process of being rehabilitated and eventually released, as the park tries to keep them as wild as possible. 

Your volunteer tasks may include:

  • Preparing food and feeding all of the animals
  • Cleaning enclosures 
  • Building, expanding and repairing enclosures
  • Nursing sick animals back to health
  • Assisting with research efforts and data collection
  • Giving tours to visitors and explaining about different animals and conservation efforts

Typical day

You will wake up early, usually around 7:00 am, to the sound of the cats calling you.  At breakfast, the staff will go over the day’s tasks and you will go about feeding the animals, checking enclosures, nursing sick animals, and whatever else needs doing.  

After a lunch break, you will have some free time  when you can play with the different animals or relax by the pool.  You will have dinner as a group and free time but, just before everyone goes to bed, you will need to check on the big cats and make sure they are settled in for the night.  

Details on Arrival

Arrival day: Wednesday (Johanesburg orientation is wed - fri) - Anytime 

Departure day: Friday - after 16:00. Earliest shuttle to JBN arrives at 14:00 
RT shuttle from Joburg to Kimberly available on Fridays 

Free-time activities

In their daily free time, volunteers are welcome to relax at the sanctuary pool.
Volunteers also have the opportunity to travel to cities Johannesburg and Cape Town, both of which offer plenty of attractions.


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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Medium level of fitness
Flexibility and willingness to get hands dirty
Genuine desire to work with wildlife
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with GoEco straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for


Any questions? Just ask. We at GoEco are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation

Included Services

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

Accommodation, food, transport to and from airport, local in country team and 24 hr emergency support, travel health insurance, two day orientation

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport
Volunteers will receive a shuttle ride from Johannesburg International airport to the orientation in Johannesburg. After the orientation, they will get a transfer to the bus terminal for the City Bug shuttle to Bloemfontein. The project leader will be waiting for the volunteers in Bloemfontein (2 hours from project). However, we recommend that volunteers fly to and from Kimberley Airport (cost around R2000). We will organise a transfer from the airport to the project and back. Choosing this option will save you a six hour bus shuttle from Johannesburg to Kimberley and back.

You will stay at the volunteer house, which is located on the property and has a fully furnished kitchen and shared bathroom with hot water and Western style toilets. The rooms are shared with up to 6 other volunteers.

Food & Beverages

Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast will consist of cereals and fruit, sandwiches will be served for lunch, and a hot meal with meat and vegetables will be served for dinner.

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 O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) 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.
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)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Kimberely/South Africa between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GoEco 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 GoEco during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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