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The Great Projects

Wildlife Conservation & Education

Play a vital role in the education on environmental protection of underprivileged children in South Africa.

This project provides volunteers with the unique opportunity of not only caring for some of South Africa’s most iconic species, but also of inspiring a generation of local schoolchildren to take pride and invest value in their natural surroundings. Situated in the stunning Limpopo Province, on the outskirts of Kruger National Park, the work involved in this project is carried out against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty. 

About the project

This project focusses on inspiring and educating underprivileged children in South Africa about the importance of wildlife conservation. South Africa has a large proportion of underprivileged children, which results in dramatic overcrowding in schools. It is common for classes to be larger than 160 pupils. As a consequence, the basic education of these children is suffering, and this has serious implications for the surrounding environment as well as their future. 

The overall aim of this project is to engage local school children with the importance of animal and environmental conservation. The project is based in a wildlife orphanage, which is home to a number of different injured or orphaned animals that have been rescued. Although the orphanage releases as many of these animals as possible back into the wild, sometimes it is just not possible for them to survive back in their natural habitat, and such animals live at the orphanage permanently.

Every week, a group of schoolchildren arrive at the orphanage to stay, in order to learn, in a hands-on environment, about the importance of the animals in the wild, and their conservation. The children are also taught a number of subjects that their local school-education does not cover, including health and social issues, as well as improving literacy skills. 

As a volunteer here you will be at the very heart of the project. You, alongside your fellow volunteers, will be in charge of leading the lessons as well as the activities, which the children are involved in. These include a lot more than just teaching the children, as the program is diverse and dynamic. Be it doing bush walks, learning about the negative aspects of poaching, or discussing the importance of respect, you will always be busy!

Your aim is to inspire and educate schoolchildren, many of whom are underprivileged, in the hope that they will gain an understanding of why the conservation and protection of their country’s native species and environment is important, and will encourage them to see animals not as foes (as many of the local farmers do), but as vital parts of their national heritage that should be valued and respected. This is essential in bridging the gap between humans and wildlife that is causing animals like those at the orphanage to be negatively impacted.

So, if you are looking for a project which takes an active role in wildlife conservation by not only caring for animals at a wildlife orphanage but also through the education of local children on the importance of conservation, then this project is perfectly suited to you.

Prior to Arrival


Holders of UK, most other EU counties, Australian, Canadian and USA passports do not require a Visa for South Africa. Upon entry you will be issued with a 3 month permit (at no cost). Make sure the correct date and length of stay in the country is entered onto your visa when at immigration. If you are travelling from Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Russian Federation, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Algeria, Angola, Comoros, China, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mexico, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Paraguay, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia or Vietnam, you will require a Visa and should consult your South African embassy.

You will need to fly to Hoedspruit Airport (HDS) on the start date of your project and arrive between 7am and 5pm. There are 2 options available to get to the project site:


Via Hoedspruit 
Arrive on a Saturday at Hoedspruit, South Africa – a town situated at the foot of the Klein Dragonsberg (Dragon Mountains) in close proximity to Kruger National Park. At the airport or in Hoedspruit town you will be met by one of our representatives and then transferred to the Wildlife Orphanage, where you will be shown to your room and given time to settle in.

Via Johannesburg 
Arrive into Johannesburg and travel to the site via shuttle bus provided by the wildlife orphanage. This option incurs an extra cost of ZAR450 (around £25) each way. As the coach leaves at 6am you will need to arrive into Johannesburg the night before your departure to ensure you are able to catch the bus.

Suitable for


Typical day

First Days

Upon arrival into Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport you will be met by one of the project facilitators and transferred to the wildlife orphanage where you will meet your fellow volunteers and settle into your accommodation. You will be given a tour of the whole orphanage. This will be your first opportunity to see all of the animals resident here including meerkats, a leopard and a caracal. After this you will be given an induction into what you will be doing during your time here and may help with the animals afterwards.

Regular Days 

After an early breakfast, you will meet the children and take them on a bushwalk around the orphanage. You will then begin the teaching activities for the day. After a break for lunch and perhaps some time spent in the pool you will resume teaching in the afternoon. In the late afternoon, take the children to feed the orphanage’s animals and then prior to dinner have a discussion about a social issue with them. After dinner, you will play an educational game with the children before they retire to bed at 8:30pm, leaving you with a bit of free time to spend as you wish. 

Activities whilst on the project include:

Helping in the education of the children 

This is one of the main activities that you will be involved in whilst on the project. As well as educating the children on wildlife conservation you will also be involved in helping teach them English, Maths and Biology among other things. You will be encouraged to try and adjust your teaching for each and every child, so they suit the children’s differing learning levels and abilities. Do not worry, no prior teaching experience is required and the project facilitators will always be there to offer you a helping hand should you need it! Aside from teaching the children vital subjects such as English and Maths, you will also be involved in teaching them invaluable life skills about relationships, substance abuse, safe sex, violence and respecting the environment in which they live. This is a really integral role for all volunteers whilst here.

Working with the animals resident at the orphanage 

A great way to help the children remember the lessons that they learnt and to get excited about wildlife conservation is to engage in different activities around the orphanage and interact with the animals. This will become part of your teaching and as well as spending time with the animals you will engage the children in small animal welfare tasks. These will include maintaining and cleaning the animal cages and camps and replenishing the food and water supplies. After teaching you and your fellow volunteers will also assist with monitoring the condition and health of the animals as well as collecting data and keeping records. Sometimes you may have to also help with basic first aid for the animals.

Renovation, building and maintenance

The wildlife orphanage is continually growing, and often physical work is required from volunteers at times when they are not teaching, these duties can include building new or renovating existing animal camps and cages as well as construction and general repairs.

Last Day

On your final day, after saying goodbye to the children and animals for the final time you will make your return transfer to either Hoedspruit, Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport or Johannesburg International Airport for your return flight or to continue your independent travel plans.

Details on Arrival

Every Saturday throughout the year (Subject to availability)

The last available start date for 2017 is December 9th for a 7 night duration. The project closes over Christmas and the first available start date for 2018 is January 13th.

Please contact us to check that your preferred start date is still available!

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 (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
Criminal Background Check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No specific skills, teaching qualifications or experience are required, however, you will need to be comfortable with talking in front of children and must be prepared to work alongside other members of the team, to bring an upbeat and positive attitude especially with the children.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at The Great Projects are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities

Weekends during your time on the project are free for you to explore the area surrounding the wildlife orphanage. Nearby is the world famous Kruger National Park and the town of Hoedspruit - both perfect places in which to explore and take part in a whole host of different activities! Every Saturday a trip to Hoedspruit is organised so you can visit the shops and restaurants and don't need to worry about organising your own transport. If you would like to visit other places such as Kruger National Park then the staff can help you arrange this.

Contact & Reservation
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1 - 12
Airport Pickup

Included Services

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Services by The Great Projects

A monetary contribution to the project itself, transfers to and from Hoedspruit airport or Hoedspruit town, full orientation and support from the project managers, accommodation and meals as indicated, laundry and housekeeping

Airport Pickup at Hoedspruit Airport

You will need to fly to Hoedspruit Airport (HDS) on the start date of your project and arrive between 7am and 5pm. There are 2 options available to get to the project site:

Via Hoedspruit
Arrive on a Saturday at Hoedspruit, South Africa – a town situated at the foot of the Klein Dragonsberg (Dragon Mountains) in close proximity to Kruger National Park. At the airport or in Hoedspruit town you will be met by one of our representatives and then transferred to the Wildlife Orphanage, where you will be shown to your room and given time to settle in.

Via Johannesburg
Arrive into Johannesburg and travel to the site via shuttle bus provided by the program. This option incurs an extra cost of ZAR450 (around £25) each way.


Whilst at the project base, volunteers share rondavels (round chalet) with a thatch roof or have a room in the main house. The chalets are rustic but comfortable with toilets and showers (hot and cold water). There is no mains electricity on site but lighting and power are provided by solar energy and a generator.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Whilst on the project you will be given three meals a day, served at the orphanage and included in the price. Please note that should you wish to have any alcoholic beverages or snacks, these are not included however.

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.

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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Limpopo/South Africa between 1 week and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects 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 The Great Projects 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 Hoedspruit Airport (HDS) in Hoedspruit. 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?
Limpopo, Limpopo, South Africa zoom="6"

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