The project

The sanctuary started out more than 20 years ago as the animal-loving owner rehabilitated orphaned animals and birds when they had no-one else to go to. Today, the sanctuary is home to hundreds of animals and 300 species of birds. Although each has a sad history, the animal sanctuary has given them all a happy present day – and you can be a part of making their future even better.

Volunteers are absolutely vital to this project and the wellbeing of the animals. No animal is turned away here and more injured and orphaned wildlife arrives every week. Even after the animals are nursed back to health, not all are able to return to the wild, so find a permanent home here. If you want to make a real difference to wildlife in South Africa and aren’t afraid of getting stuck in, then this will be the volunteering trip of a lifetime for you.

If you love animals then you’ll be right at home among like-minded people at this animal sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife in South Africa.

  • Costs: Starting at about 895€
  • Duration: 2 to 12 weeks
  • Country: South Africa

As a volunteer at this wildlife sanctuary, you’ll be helping out with the everyday tasks that help keep the resident animals healthy, safe and happy, and the sanctuary as a whole thriving.

This involves the preparation and feeding of the numerous birds and animals twice a day, as well as cleaning and maintaining their enclosures. As many of the resident animals are non-releasable due to their non-indigenous nature, injuries or past-life as a pet, they flourish on human attention, of which our volunteers can gladly provide! This gives the volunteers a unique opportunity to get some up-close and hands-on experience with a variety of species including monkeys, servals, Meerkats, parrots and cheetah. As glamourous as this may seem, working with animals can be messy, and volunteers are required to get their hands dirty by cleaning animal food plates, raking and sweeping enclosures, and scrubbing water bowls. The sanctuary does take in many orphaned animals such as common duikers, springbok and bird species of which the volunteers can observe and assist with the feeding when required.

During the busier season, volunteers may be required to help with the expansion and maintenance of the park which can include helping to plant trees, clearing invasive plants, fix fences or build enclosures for the animals.


Thornhill, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Voluntary work

Feeding and caring for the animals, maintenance work in the rescue centre and in the game park

Programme start

First or third Monday of each month.

Volunteering hours

5 days a week, with free evenings.


Minimum age 16, good English, travel insurance.


Shared room on the wildlife centre’s grounds.


All meals included (snack at lunch time)

Airport pickup

Pickup at Port Elizabeth airport included on specified arrival date – let us know if you want to arrive early.

Donation to the project

Included in the rate.


In-country orientation, briefing at the animal rescue project.


Pre-departure information, local in-country support and 24 hour emergency support.

In addition, you need to arrange:

Flights to Port Elizabeth
Travel insurance (necessary)
Vaccinations (please contact your GP or a travel medical clinic)
Visa (can be purchased on arrival at the airport)
Any recreational activities
Return transfer to the airport

Starts from €895.


1 to 12 weeks.

This wildlife sanctuary is a real home away from home. Volunteers feel such a sense of belonging and friendship at the wildlife sanctuary that they often don’t want to leave – the sanctuary has many returning volunteers as a result. You’ll live on-site in dormitory accommodation and all meals are included in your stay. Volunteers tend to like to treat themselves to a takeaway or dinner and a movie once a week in Port Elizabeth.

Surrounded by a 1,000 hectare game park which is home to zebra, giraffe, a number of antelope species and vervet monkeys, this is truly the place to live and breathe wildlife. The location is both remote but accessible, and on your two free days each week there’s plenty to explore in the surrounding areas, from the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay and the nearby elephant sanctuary where you can ride an elephant, to the world’s highest bungee jump, canopy tours through Tsitsikamma National Park and skydiving in Plettenburg Bay.

Security is one of the most important prerequisites when selecting our projects. That is why we take care of each of our volunteers personally and clarify all open questions regarding security before departure.

Find out more about security