Quick Facts

from US$1,716US$4,596


Join our rescue and release team at a wildlife rehabilitation center in South Africa where we care for rescued, injured, and lost wildlife. A growing human population in this area forces wild animals into conflict with local people, so many species find themselves in need of assistance. You will help care for and rehabilitate these animals, with the goal of releasing them back where they belong. 

Combine this project with our African Big 5 Wildlife Conservation Project (just 1.5 hours away) for the ultimate South African wildlife experience. 

*Travel before 30 June 2021, and receive 20% off the project fee.

Project Highlights

Take a hands-on role at an ethical wildlife rehabilitation center near the famous Kruger National Park
Gain valuable experience in animal care, rescue and release techniques, and wildlife conservation
Rehabilitate animals, enabling them to be successfully released back into the wild
Observe trained professionals and participate in the individual care and release plans for each animal
Learn about African wildlife, including how to track them, their natural behavior, and threats facing them
Explore the surrounding area on safaris through the Kruger National Park and trips to Blyde River Canyon
Live and work with other wildlife lovers from around the world

the destination

During your time as a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, you will be living in the Greater Kruger Region of South Africa. The diversity of the region is unparalleled; savannahs, forests, rainforests, and waterfalls are just a short drive away. The diverse landscapes are home to the most iconic animals in Africa, such as the legendary “Big 5” – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo. The Kruger National Park is an hour and a half away.

With so many famous tourism hotspots in the region, your weekends will be filled with adventure. Spend the weekend at Kruger National Park (one of the top safari destinations on the continent) and be sure to take a drive along the spectacular Panorama Scenic Route. The Panorama Route is a true natural wonder with gushing waterfalls and the awe-inspiring Blyde River Canyon – one of the largest canyons on Earth.

You will stay on location at the Umoya Khulula Wildlife Centre, a beautiful property surrounded by citrus farms, forests, and beautiful ravines. Meals are served under a thatched roof overlooking the lush ravine, while the volunteer dorms are cozy, fully equipped, and split by gender. The highlight, of course, is your very own jacuzzi just steps away from the volunteer house – the perfect place to relax and enjoy the African sunsets.

3 delicious meals a day

South Africa has a few different cellular network providers, for which sim cards can be purchased from most shops or at the airport. Various package options allow for phone calls and/or data usage. Limited internet (WiFi) access is available at the project location.

Umoya Khulula Wildlife Centre is situated in the Lowveld - a semi-arid region. We are blessed with good weather all year round. Summer season (October to March) can be wet and hot. The hottest months are usually December, January and February. Winter Season (April to September) is dry and sunny. The coolest months being June and July when it does get cold at night and early mornings.



As a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, you’re going to get sweaty and your hands are going to get dirty, but the reward – knowing you have helped rescue and rehabilitate vulnerable animals – is worth the hard work!

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. Some of the 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.

Although there is a daily routine, rescue and rehabilitation work can be unpredictable, so expect the unexpected – you never know what kinds of animals will need your help when you’re out in the African bush!


You will be living in the middle of a wildlife habitat, with zebras, impala, and other naturally roaming animals, so there will be endless opportunities to learn the ways of the wild and about the surrounding eco-system.

As a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, you will also get involved with various other activities that make up conservation work, such as learning about the behavior of the local species, wildlife tracking, and data collection. Animals are monitored from afar to collect data on their numbers and health.

If an animal is in danger, the teamwork together to ensure that a solution is found.

Recent Reviews

“My experience at this sanctuary was unforgettable! I traveled alone and it was definitely out of my comfort zone, especially traveling to a different country. however, right when I got there I felt overwhelmed with the amount of nice people I encountered. They made me feel like family and that’s all I needed, being a solo traveler. The best part is that you are involved with everything like waking up every morning and cleaning the enclosure or getting to feed the animals, or even get to be involved in “home projects” but home projects in South Africa are a little different than back in the U.S.; it consisted of building fences around the South African animals, painting some of enclosures for those animals. Everyday will be different, but amazing and you will learn a lot and get to experience a lot as well!! You will definitely not be disappointed there at Umoya Khulula!! Had the best time there and definitely will be going back!!”

Emily Trahan

Wildlife Rehabilitation Rescue and Release

“I spent a month volunteering at the centre and I could have easily stayed for a couple more. Emma, Katherine and the rest of the workers there were so nice and friendly. I hadn't travelled alone before but they really made it feel like home. The range of different animals that they had there was amazing and i got hands on experience that you wouldn't find anywhere else, for example taking Mars the Aardvark on his evening walks, darting and transporting animals and camping at the release sight. I would definitely recommend this to anyone and I am hoping to go back one day.”

Max Coult

Wildlife Rehabilitation Rescue and Release

“I stayed at Umoya for 2 weeks and I would highly recommend volunteering at the centre. The owner and staff are so dedicated to the animals and their release. I had an incredible experience and learnt a lot about animal welfare. I have memories I will never forget. Thank you!”

Becky Emily

Wildlife Rehabilitation Rescue and Release

Frequently Asked Questions

African Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer

Why choose to volunteer for the African Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre?

Are you passionate about making an impact in the lives of vulnerable wildlife? Join our Wildlife Rehabilitation: Rescue and Release project in South Africa. The project combines rewarding animal care opportunities with adventures in the Greater Kruger Area. Joining this wildlife conservation volunteer project is the ultimate experience for enthusiastic animal lovers looking to make a difference.

How much does it cost to volunteer for African wildlife rehabilitation?

Our Wildlife Rehabilitation: Rescue and Release project starts at $2,145 for two weeks and increases slightly with each week you add to your journey.

Why is it important to volunteer at our African Wildlife Rehabilitation project?

Right now, African wildlife is facing intense and devastating threats. Increased development in natural areas, irresponsible tourism, and the climate change crisis are forcing many wild animals out of their habitats and into conflict with humans. Unfortunately, wildlife, more often than not, loses these encounters and is left injured, abandoned, or traumatized. At our Wildlife Rehabilitation project, we rescue vulnerable animals and welcome them into a safe space to be rehabilitated and, once they’ve received the proper care, released back into the wild. As a volunteer on this rewarding project, your efforts will be critical to supporting the daily work required to rehabilitate wildlife and ensure they have a healthy recovery!

Benefits of becoming an African Wildlife Rehabilitation volunteer 

Joining us as a wildlife rehabilitation and conservation volunteer is an incredible adventure. Your time as a volunteer will make tangible and transformative impacts in improving the lives of injured wildlife. There’s truly nothing more rewarding than seeing an animal you’ve been taking care of make decisive steps in its recovery. Spending time caring for animals in the heart of the stunning landscapes of South Africa, you’ll walk away from your experience with memories and adventures of a lifetime.

Why do we need African Wildlife Rehabilitation volunteers?

The more volunteers we can welcome to our ethical Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, the more we can extend the reach of our resources to improving the lives of resident wildlife. Each volunteer matters, and by joining this project, you’ll instantly become an integral member of our wildlife rehabilitation team.

Other Activities

Encounter lions, cheetahs, and elephants on safaris through the Kruger National Park and surrounding reserves. Go waterfall chasing in the Blyde River Canyon – one of the largest canyons in the world! See it from God’s Window or take to the skies on a microlight flight for a truly unforgettable view. A braai (BBQ) at the foot of Debengeni Waterfalls is also a must-do! You can also visit Bushriver Lodge, our volunteer house, and meet other wildlife conservation volunteers or just relax by the swimming pool. Our team there will also be able to help you arrange more trips and tours of the area.

One of the best ways to experience the Greater Kruger Areas is to just kick back and relax! Put your new wildlife tracking skills into practice on forest walks or hang out with the other volunteers. Share life stories, talk about your mutual love for animals, and just enjoy getting to know each other. You never know who you will meet on your volunteer trip. One of the best ways to appreciate where you are is to relax into the moment and enjoy the fresh air and surreal sounds of Africa.


Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

Please note that an additional GB£20 | US$25 | EU€20 | AU$35 is added to the program fee as a mandatory contribution to the African Impact Sustainability Fund.

project fee includes

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Accommodation throughout your stay
  • 3 delicious meals a day
  • Transport to and from project
  • 24/7 support from experienced international and local staff
  • Full orientation to ensure you contribute responsibly
  • Project equipment and resources

project fee excludes

  • Flights (we can assist you with this)
  • Travel insurance (we can assist you with this)
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours not on the itinerary
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts, and souvenirs
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund