Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer Project in South Africa

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Care for Rescued & Rehabilitated Animals in South Africa

Join a passionate team of experienced staff at a South African wildlife rehabilitation center and become a champion for animal recovery. Witness firsthand the impact of human-wildlife conflict, where a growing population encroaches on wild spaces, pushing animals into situations requiring expert intervention.

As a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, you’ll play a vital role in the rescue, care, and rehabilitation of injured, lost, and displaced wildlife in South AFrica. From providing medical attention to creating enriching environments, your dedication will contribute directly to the well-being of these magnificent creatures, but your journey won’t end there. The ultimate goal is to see these animals return to their rightful place in the wild, stronger and more resilient.

You can also combine this wildlife rehabilitation volunteer project with our African Big 5 Wildlife Conservation Project (just 1.5 hours away) for the ultimate South African wildlife experience!

Project Highlights

  • Take a hands-on role at an ethical wildlife rehabilitation center near the famous Kruger National Park
  • Gain valuable experience in animal rescue, care, and release techniques, as well as wildlife conservation as a whole
  • Rehabilitate animals and help them to be successfully released back into the wild
  • Explore the spectacular Blyde River Canyon or delve deeper into the Kruger National Park in your free time

Quick Facts

Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

Hoedspruit Airport

Every Sunday

2 – 12 weeks

Impact: Animal Care

From $1100 per week

Project Destination

Immerse yourself in the untamed majesty of the Greater Kruger Area, a sprawling tapestry of over 20 private reserves seamlessly woven together. Bordering the iconic Kruger National Park, this vast landscape pulsates with life, serving as an African animal sanctuary for an extraordinary array of species – from the majestic African lion to the vulnerable Black and White rhinoceros, to the endangered African wild dog. The whole area comprises almost 5.5 million acres of unfenced land where animals roam freely across wild savannah. The Greater Kruger Area offers endless opportunities for wildlife rehabilitation, and the elephants might even join you for dinner!

ACCOMODATION

You will be staying on Umoya Khulula’s beautiful 50 hectare property, surrounded by the African bush and just meters away from the animals you will be caring for. The accommodation is simple and comfortable, with standalone rooms overlooking a beautiful ravine. The center currently hosts up to 10 volunteers at a time, with 4-6 people sharing a cabin and bathroom facilities. After a hard day of animal care and rehabilitation there is also a jacuzzi for you to relax in!

Two meals a day are provided during the week, and the staff typically goes into town on Fridays to collect any food, snacks and drinks volunteers wish to enjoy over the weekends. We have a communal kitchen and dining area where all meals are served. It’s a great space to relax in some shade and get to know the team and fellow volunteers.

Cellular signals can be variable. If you are purchasing a local, South African SIM Card, we would recommend using MTN as the service provider. WiFi is available throughout the lodge.

May to September (winter in the southern hemisphere) are the cooler months and temperatures can be chilly in the evenings and early mornings. Daytime temperatures are mild, usually between 22°C (71°F) to 25°C (77°F), and days can be clear and sunny or overcast. Night-time temperatures can drop to 6°C (43°F).

October to April (summer in the southern hemisphere) most days will be hot and humid. In the middle of summer, temperatures can often reach 34°C+ (93°F+), and the sun is strong.
Most days are clear and sunny, with heavy showers or thunderstorms in the early evenings. You will need a waterproof jacket.

Participant Requirements

AGE

The minimum age for this wildlife rehabilitation volunteer project is 18 years of age. The project will accept 16 and 17 years of age if consent from a parent is provided prior to arrival.

To travel to Africa, many people are required to obtain a visa either upon entry to the relevant country or beforehand. Please note different countries require different passport validity periods.

But don’t panic, our Journey Team will help direct you and answer your questions during our Pre-departure process.

Volunteers working on-site at a wildlife rehabilitation rescue and release sanctuary

Project Impact Areas

WILDLIFE REHABILITATION

You will play an integral part in carrying out daily activities for the care of the animals at the center. This could include caring for bush babies, warthogs, antelopes, caracals, porcupines, or other wildlife. Other wildlife rescue and rehabilitation activities include preparing food, feeding the animals, cleaning enclosures, harvesting vegetation, monitoring behavior, as well as other chores needed for the daily well-being of the residents.

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YOUNG ANIMALS

As part of our animal rehabilitation efforts you will be providing intensive care for juvenile wildlife. Sometimes we have nocturnal, sick or baby animals that need nighttime feeding and care. There will be a rotation put in place, so everyone gets a night off. You’ll also be a vital part of hand raising orphans that get bought in to help bring them up to strength.

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DATA COLLECTION

Your keen eyes and dedicated rehabilitation volunteer work will become instrumental in gathering crucial data. Alongside our seasoned wildlife research team, you’ll actively participate in documenting animal behavior, meticulously compiling observations into comprehensive reports, detailed maps, and up-to-date identification profiles. This invaluable information forms the bedrock of future wildlife conservation strategies, ensuring informed decision-making for the long-term protection of these extraordinary creatures.

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On-the-ground Project Support

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FLIGHTS & ARRIVAL

A friendly face from our Base Team will be ready to meet you at the airport and drive you to our Volunteer Accommodation. Just look out for the African Impact sign!

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SAFETY

On arrival you’ll have a comprehensive induction to prepare you for project work, the local culture, people and wildlife; and of course, how to stay safe!

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STAFF

24/7 support: Our base teams are on hand every day to make sure you have the most amazing and memorable time in Africa.

Program Experience

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RECOMMENDED WEEKEND ACTIVITIES IN KRUGER

RHINO REVOLUTION

This organization devotes its efforts to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing orphaned wild rhino calves. These orphaned calves typically come into the centre as a result of their mothers having been poached for the rhino horn trade. Not only does Rhino Revolution care for these motherless calves, they also support critical rhino dehorning operations in the surrounding area.

QUAD BIKING ADVENTURE

Set off on an adventure through the African bush, trading your seat in the game viewer for a seat on a quad bike. These guided quad bike tours can last between 1 – 3 hours, offering you a unique perspective from which to view wildlife. You’ll be sure to drive amongst wildebeest and giraffes.

HELICOPTER FLIGHTS

From our base in the Greater Kruger area, you will be able to embark on a 15 minute or 1 hour long helicopter charter. The 1 hour long flight will take you back to the Blyde River Canyon where you will be able to marvel at the terrains you hiked over – this time from above!

PROJECT APPLICATION

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

After completing the below application form, one of our Destination Specialists will get in touch to discuss your volunteer experience and any questions you may have. When you are ready to book, we will send you a booking form after which a deposit will be required to secure your position.

STEP 1

Personal Information

STEP 2

When do you want to Volunteer or Intern?

(Optional)

Give us an idea of your travel plans, you can also say ‘I’m not sure yet.’ 
We’ll take it from there.

STEP 3

How long do you want to Volunteer or Intern for?

(Optional)

Select your preferred duration(s). The African Impact team recommend at least 4 weeks for a truly memorable experience!

PRICE

From $1100 per week. 

PROJECT FEE INCLUDES

  • Cottage style accommodation with jacuzzi
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (Mon – Sun)
  • Laundry service
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All project transport, equipment and resources
  • Support from experienced local and international staff
  • Full orientation for responsible project contribution

PROJECT FEE EXCLUDES

  • Price excludes flights, visas, insurance, weekend tours and personal expenses

Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer FAQs

What animals will I be working with in South Africa?

At the center, we hold permits for over 70 different species of animals! It is always hard to say what is going to be at the animal rescue center. Some of the main animals that come into the center are bushbabies, squirrels, warthogs, antelope, hippos, jackals, mongoose, zebras, owls, and tortoises.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will see a release during your volunteer program, but we hope that you do! We do release more animals in October – March as the conditions for herbivores are better in these months, while carnivore releases happen year round.

No prior experience is required! What truly matters is your enthusiasm for animals and a willingness to learn. If you’re eager to immerse yourself in the world of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, don’t let a lack of experience hold you back!

More about African Impact

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Pay your deposit to secure your booking

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