Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant

Assist at a wildlife sanctuary that offers a safe haven for injured and orphaned animals in South Africa.

About the Program

We are situated in the North West Province; 45 minutes from Johannesburg. With 750 hectares of pristine bushveld and are part of the ‘world heritage site’ – the Cradle of Humankind. We have a unique eco-system where animals, birds, and man live in harmony. There is a lodge with 26 en-suite rooms, a restaurant, bar, and boma for functions, weddings and conferences. Public activities on the farm range from game drives, elephant walks, and animal interactions. Furthermore, we work closely with the film industry. Several of our animals are trained and feature in numerous films and documentaries. The income we gain from this helps us sustain and finance the upkeep of the farm and care for our animals.

Some of the animals on the farm are tame and kept in separate enclosures as they are not able to be released into the wild. The farm acts as a sanctuary for many abused, abandoned, and neglected animals. The farm helps sustain itself and creates further awareness for the animals by using the farm for filming. The farm is home to animals including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, blesboks, impalas, etc.

The farm is unique in its design and activities. There is a passion for all the animals and care is taken to ensure the health and safety of all the fauna and flora within. The current aims include reviving areas of damaged natural plant life, establishing viable populations of indigenous animals that were once poached, and restoring the general area to its original pristine condition. The area is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site and has a history dating back over 200 million years. It is our duty to protect and preserve this history and all volunteer help is greatly appreciated and targeted towards this cause.

You will receive a 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

Typical Tasks

All work carried out by the volunteers will have a direct positive outcome towards conservation. Some of the ongoing projects that volunteers can take part in on a weekly basis include:

  • Daily farm duties such as cleaning animal enclosures, feeding the animals and changing their water.
  • The establishment of a safe feeding site for vultures found in our area, and the building of a hide to monitor and study the activity of these birds.
  • Anti-poaching fence patrols – Daylight guided walks around the perimeter of the property to check for snares and mark areas of the fence which require fixing.
  • Bush clearing and alien plant control. This involves the removal of plants that pose a threat to the natural fauna and flora found within the reserve.
  • Road maintenance and erosion control.
  • Animal life improvement project: volunteers can be apart of the improvement of the animals lives whether its doing day to day cleaning, feeding and walking to painting the elephant house, building new enclosures for our lions and swimming pools for our tigers.
  • Elephant walks and animal feeding.

*Please note: these projects change according to needs of the animals and farm and you might not help with all of them while you are on the program.

Project highlights

  • Help out with looking after our wild cats
  • Walk with elephants
  • Assist animals that once had no hope
  • Learn about conservation and Africa’s wild animals that live on a wild life reserve
  • Learn and help with the daily running of the farm

Suitable for


Typical day

Monday : 

A.M : Farm Projects (plants, Roads, etc) / P.M : Animal life improvement project

Tuesday : 

A.M: Elephant morning tasks / P.M: Animal life improvement project and game drive

Wednesday : 

A.M: Enclosure cleaning / P.M: Off

Thursday : 

A.M: Farm Projects (plants, Roads, etc.) / P.M: Animal life improvement project

Friday :

A.M: Hike to dam and Animal improvement project / P.M: Animal improvement project

Saturday :

A.M: Elephant walk / P.M: Animal improvement project



Program Requirements

Minimum Age
16 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
police clearance, application form, proof of travel insurance, flight details and copy of passport
Other Skills
Positive attitude, medium+ level of fitness.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

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

Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant

Free-time activities

Your project facilitator will be happy to assist you with activity ideas and bookings. Please note that all activities are not part of the volunteer program, but optional activities to do at your own expense during your time off. Some activities volunteers can participate in include: safaris, quadbiking, ziplining, paragliding, Lesedi Cultural Village (a village which celebrates the cultural traditions of several different peoples of Southern Africa), and the Sterkfontein Caves (the world’s richest hominid fossil site, with thousands of discoveries made there since excavation began in 1935).



What's included?
Return Transfer from Johannesburg airport - All meals - Accommodation - 24 hour support and supervisor - Donation to the project - Game drives - Bush walk - Elephant walks - Hiking excursions - 2 day Volunteer Johannesburg Orientation
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

You will be collected from Johannesburg International airport or anywhere in Johannesburg area. When you arrive at the arrivals hall at the airport look out for your shuttle driver, he will be holding a signboard with your name on it. If you can not see him go to the information desk and wait there.


The volunteer accommodations are within walking distance from the main area where the meals are served. Volunteer accommodation exists of:

1 cottage that sleeps up to 6 people
1 log cabin with 4 bedrooms that each sleep 2 people. This accommodation has a lounge and a kitchen
1 cottage/house with 4 bedrooms each with 2 beds with a lounge and a kitchen
1 house with 3 large rooms that each sleep 6 people – dormitory style. This house has a with kitchenette
There is a separate building with communal bathroom facilities.

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

Volunteers will receive 3 meals a day. This includes:
Breakfast: help yourself to breakfast; cereals, fruit, yogurts, toast and spreads.
Lunch: help yourself to lunch; breads, fruit, cold meats, spreads.
Dinner: A hot meal will be served every night such as a traditional BBQ (braai),
stews (potjies), casseroles, fresh vegetables and meats etc.

● Tea and coffee will be available
● All other drinks will be at own expense, though tap water is safe to drink
● A generous amount of food will always be given. If snacks are desired there are
several grocery stores nearby.
● There will be refrigeration available for volunteer’s personal food and soft drinks.
● All Dinners will include a meat, starch and vegetable.

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 Hartebeespoort , Johannesburg/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 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.
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.
Hartebeespoort, Johannesburg, 2000 Hartebeespoort , Johannesburg, South Africa