Created by volunteers, for volunteers
Focused on animals, wildlife and conservation


South Africa

African Lion Refuge


The Lion Sanctuary has been caring for rescued and mistreated lions for nearly 20 years. It is one of only 7 official lion ‘sanctuaries’ in South Africa that are true sanctuaries and do not allow breeding. They operate under strict conditions in which the animals’ best interests are at heart.
 
The award-winning sanctuary is the largest lion sanctuary in the Western Cape province and provides a ‘forever home’ for over 30 rescued lions. As the lions can never be released into the wild, the sanctuary provides the animals with a safe, comfortable home where they are treated with care and respect.

Minimum 1 week
From $800 AUD

Western Cape Big Cats


The Western Cape Big Cat Sanctuary is an environmentally friendly sanctuary which cares for rescued captive-bred big cats. Currently home to lions, tigers, caracals, jackals and a leopard, the sanctuary provides a compassionate and enriching environment for exploited big cats to live out their lives in comfort and safety.
 
With a strong focus on raising awareness of the plight of big cats in Africa, the sanctuary delivers on-site educational programs to sanctuary visitors and provides the opportunity for visitors and volunteers to be involved in creating enrichment toys and activities for the cats. The sanctuary also provides a range of specialist services such as trapped animal relocations, animal communication workshops and big cat facility advice and assistance.

Minimum 2 weeks
From $1800 AUD

Whale Coast Shark & Marine Ecology


Volunteers work within a non-governmental organisation committed to promoting the conservation and sustainable utilisation of marine resources through research, education and outreach enterprises.

This organisation has become recognised for its inclusive and holistic approach to conservation and ecosystem based research and focuses on a variety of initiatives, including an understanding the biology & ecology of sharks, skates & rays for management purposes, cetacean research focusing on southern right whales and the spatio-temporal behaviour of whales & dolphins in the local area, research techniques include photo identification, behavioural coding and environmental monitoring,  the collection of baseline diversity & abundance data from the Bay, a marine debris study and the investigation of the ecological role of mesopredators (medium sized predators including rays, snakes and sharks) in kelp forest ecosystems.

Minimum 2 weeks
From $1080 AUD

Wildlife Tracking & Field Research

This project provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to participate in ethical wildlife research, studying African wildlife free-roaming in their natural environment.
 
You will learn to navigate and track animals through the South African bush while undertaking vital conservation research into some of South Africa’s most iconic animal species. The project has a strong focus on safe-guarding the wellbeing of the animals and their environment and employs non-invasive methods of data collection.
 
The structure of the project helps to maximise learning for volunteers, combining four days of field work each week with one day of theoretical learning in the form of lectures or workshops.  The first two weeks focus on wildlife training where volunteers learn dangerous game approach methods, wildlife tracks and signs, useful botany, navigation and survival skills, animal behaviour and warning signs. You will then spend the remainder of your time participating in scientific research in the field. Research activities have a conservation focus and aim to improve the welfare of wildlife in South Africa and ensure the long-term sustainability of wildlife reserves.

Minimum 2 weeks (4 weeks recommended)
From $1890 AUD