Wildlife Sactuary

Volunteer to work with world-renowned lion conservationist, Kevin Richardson, at the Wildlife Sanctuary!

About the Program

The driving force behind this unique project is Kevin Richardson, also known from television and the media as the ‘Lion Whisperer’.  As a self-taught animal behaviorist, Kevin has broken every safety rule known to humans when working with these wild animals. Flouting common misconceptions that breaking an animal’s spirit with sticks and chains is the best way to subdue them, he uses love, understanding and trust to develop personal bonds with them. His unique method of getting to know their individual personalities, what makes each of them angry, happy, upset, or irritated-just like a mother understands a child-has caused them to accept him like one of their own into their fold.

He has used his unique relationship with these large predators to make documentaries, commercials and feature films.

Kevin relocated his sanctuary to a larger game reserve called ‘Welgedacht Game Reserve’ situated in the big five game reserve known as Dinokeng which is based in Pretoria.

This project prides itself on providing the animals with the best living conditions while in captive circumstances. Kevin, is always looking for ways of ensure that the animals’ lives are enriched and aspires them to receive the best care and love possible. The volunteers in return will have their lives enriched by being able to work with these remarkable animals and we are certain that after leaving this project you will feel the same!

Is this Project for you?

This animal lover's project attracts those wanting to get some experience caring for wildlife and others just wanting to spend time around some of the predators they have grown to love and want to play a role in helping. Others come to meet Kevin after seeing some of his work on TV or documentaries. 

What to Bring?

  • Due to the nature of the project they would appreciate it if volunteers can wear beige, green or khaki colored clothing. Clothes should be comfortable and preferably clothes you don’t mind getting torn or dirty.
  • Comfortable walking shoes are a must due to working in an outdoor environment. Please make sure you have worn in your shoes and that they are not going to give you blisters and spoil your experience.
  • A raincoat for those wet Highveld thunderstorms in the summer months (September - April)
  • Sunscreen and a sun hat as it gets very hot in the summer months
  • Swimming Costume
  • If you are traveling during the winter months (May-August) you will need warmer clothes as the early mornings and evenings can get chilly.
  • International adapter plug for charging electronic items.
  • The facility does have some entertainment for your off days and evenings but you may want to bring your own books, playing cards or Ipods along.
  • Bedding is provided so you do not have to bring a sleeping bag
  • Camera
Duties will be discussed with volunteers daily by staff at the sanctuary or the big five reserve. 

Please note
Starting days are on Mondays only. You can also start on any other day of the week but there will be an added fee for the transfer.


Suitable for


Typical day

Volunteers will be working flexible hours for 6 days a week.

Duties of volunteers might include any one of the following:

  • Cleaning and filling of water holes
  • Bush cutting
  • Fence work (fixing, maintaining, removal and weeding along fence lines)
  • Bone and faeces removal from enclosures
  • Litter pick up
  • Food preparation for animals
  • Animal enrichment – walks with the lions and building toys for stimulation
  • Game count and game monitoring
  • Antipoaching walks and de-snaring sweeps
  • River clean ups
  • Road maintenance and river crossings
  • Creation of walking trails
  • Removal of invasive plant species
  • Fire break maintenance
  • Assistance on filming documentaries with Kevin
  • Occasional office work
  • Occasional maintenance work: building, painting or repair work for animal night enclosures and other structures
  • Tree planting on occasion

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Other Skills
Volunteers must have a passion for animals and nature conservation. You must also be fit, as most of your duties will be physical outdoor work.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 16:00

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

Wildlife Sactuary Game drive Wildlife Sactuary Wildlife Sactuary Wildlife Sactuary Wildlife Sactuary

Free-time activities

There are over 275 tourist attractions across Dinokeng, each with its own character and offerings.
Roodeplaat Dam is the nearest town. It has all major facilities like banks, doctors, grocery and liquor stores, a hospital, a pharmacy and restaurants.



What's included?
Pre-departure information and advice - Airport pick-up on arrival and drop off on departure. In country assistance and support - 3 basic meals a day - Accommodation for the duration of your stay at the project - Tour with Kevin Richardson where you will get the opportunity to see Kevin interacting with the animals and ask him all the questions you have - One excursion per week to local attractions in the area.
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

A driver from the project will collect you upon arrival and drop you off on departure at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Kindly note that should you not arrive / depart on the same day as the scheduled transfer Khaya gladly arranges for a night of accommodation and any needed transport at a choice of guesthouses, hotels or backpackers lodges in the area. A staff member will wait for you at the international arrivals hall of OR Tambo /Johannesburg International Airport.


The Volunteer Camp is situated in the heart of the Welgedacht Game Reserve giving you a true bush experience. At any time you could potentially see any of the Big 5 right where you are living. The camp is enclosed by a fence to keep unwanted visitors out. The camp has a number of African Contemporary farm style rooms. One large unit approximately 40/50m2 subdivided into two sections with two or three beds in each section and share an en-suite bathroom. Price for a private bedroom on request.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

All 3 basic meals are included and prepared for you. A driver will take you to the grocery store on route to purchase any other food and beverages you wish to have. Those staying extra weeks will have the opportunity to have stuff purchased for them or at a store near the excursion on the day they are out.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Dinokeng/South Africa between 1 weeks and 4 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Khaya Volunteer Projects 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 Khaya Volunteer Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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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 Oliver Reginald Tambo International (Jan Smuts International) (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.
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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.
Pretoria (dinokeng game reserve), Gauteng, South Africa, Dinokeng, South Africa