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Cheetah Re-Introduction Project, Parys, South Africa

Cheetah Re-Introduction Project, Parys, South Africa how would you like us to contact you?
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overview dates & rates volunteer
work &
extra fun
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priced from
£ 890 | € 1113 | $ 1406
quick facts

minimum stay2 Weeks

destinationSouth Africa


Wildlife Research & Conservation


Animal Sanctuary

Contribute to the conservation of cheetahs as you work with a local animal rehabilitation organisation in beautiful South Africa, interacting with cheetah cubs and restoring them back into the wild.

P1000352   copy pin it!

The Cheetah Breeding and Reintroduction Centre is based near Parys in South Africa, 100km south of Johannesburg. The centre is rolling out a three phase program to restore cheetahs back into the wild. This is the first cheetah project of its kind in the world and provides a unique experience for conservation volunteers in Africa.

The aim of the volunteer program is to create a deeper understanding of conservation and provides interaction with the cheetahs on a daily basis. The reintroduction project is made up of three phases. The first is the breeding and hand-raising of cheetahs so that they can be taught to hunt.

Mothers in captivity do not know how to hunt themselves as the project does not take cheetahs out of the wild The second phase is to move suitable cheetahs that are not related into a large, secure, fenced area with appropriate prey species. Here the cheetahs can hunt for themselves.

There will be no human interaction at this point, and so the cubs born will be taught to hunt by their mothers whilst retaining their natural and healthy fear of humans. Once the cubs are old enough, the mother will chase them away as they will be ready to fend for themselves.

At this point cheetahs will be moved to new reserves, either to start a new population, or bring a new bloodline into an existing population. As you volunteer with animals abroad you will get large amounts of hands-on experience with cheetahs, as you will be spending time with them every day.

‘Cheetah time’ in the afternoons is an exclusive time for conservation volunteers to just spend time interacting with these amazing cats. Volunteers are also responsible for cleaning and maintaining the cheetah enclosures, exercising and feeding them, and monitoring any cubs from the age of three months.

A new and improved small cat enclosure is being built for the servals and caracals at the project. You will be working side by side with the staff and will find their knowledge and expertise invaluable during your stay! If you’re passionate about the conservation of Africa’s big cats, this is a perfect volunteer project for you.

project pricing
2 Weeks: USD 1406 GBP 890 EUR 1113
3 Weeks: USD 2100 GBP 1330 EUR 1663
4 Weeks: USD 2812 GBP 1781 EUR 2226

Please note a longer placement may be possible - kindly send through an enquiry for more information.

project start date

Depending on placement volunteers are to arrive on the 1st or 15th of the month.

Phase 1 involvement pin it!

Phase 1 Involvement

As a wildlife volunteer in Africa your involvement in the first phase of cheetah rehabilitation will include enclosure maintenance and cleaning, preparing meat, cleaning the cheetah kitchen, feeding them as well as exercising the cheetahs, training them to hunt by associating running and chasing with meat.

You will also help monitor and interact with any cubs over the age of three months and implement cheetah enrichment and stimulation. A large part of looking after the cheetah also involves caring for, maintaining and preparing their living environment.

Such tasks will involve removal of alien plant species, general reserve maintenance, creating fire breaks around the cheetah camps and preparing the land for Phase 2 by clearing the overgrown plants, removing rubbish and fencing.

Phase 2 involvement pin it!

Phase 2 Involvement

There is no interaction with the cheetahs in this phase as they need to become independent and be able to raise their cubs in an environment free of humans.

Your volunteer work in the second phase of reintroduction will involve monitoring the cheetahs to ensure that they are feeding and healthy, maintaining levels of prey and removing old carcasses, organising and monitoring the breeding of cheetahs and subsequent rearing of any cubs.

Their living environment also needs to be checked regularly for any fence damage or holes, snares or other danger.

Things to do with your spare time
Local Activities at the Vaal River

On your weekly day off, you will have a wide range of activities to choose from in the local area as you will be situated near the Vaal River. River-rafting, abseiling, mountain biking and quad biking are all on the menu. You can also enjoy scenic hikes, trail runs and adventure racing.


During your work and travel in Africa you will have the chance to experience one of the largest game reserves in South Africa, the Kruger National Park. Here you can see animals such as lion, elephant, giraffe, rhino, zebra, leopard and kudu. You will also go on a tour of an animal rehabilitation centre just outside the park.

The 4 day Kruger National Park Safari takes place monthly and is always included for volunteers joining for four weeks or if starting on the 15th of the month.


For more amazing, hands-on wildlife encounters you can visit the Elephant Sanctuary, Monkey Sanctuary and Rhino & Lion Lodge.

Sightseeing and Culture

South Africa is diverse in culture and as you volunteer in Africa you will come across many different traditions, languages and lifestyles. For a great cultural experience visit the Lesedi Cultural Village near Hartbeespoort Dam and do some shopping at the local curio market. In the same area you can make a stop at the Sterkfontein Caves.

For something a little more adrenalin pumping you can always go to Gold Reef City Theme Park in Johannesburg where you can enjoy the rides, cuisine and also get a taste of South African culture.

About Parys
About parys pin it!

During your volunteer working holiday you will be staying in the specially designed volunteer house situated just 10km outside the small town of Parys. The town is positioned on the Vaal River in the Freestate Province of South Africa, making it a great place for adventure activities and outdoor adventures. The dormitory style accommodation is very comfortable with ample area to relax and socialize and has a TV and DVD player for movies. The program has a maximum of 8 spaces available for volunteers per month and generally only provides access to the town on the weekly day off.

The number of private game ranches and nature reserves in the Parys area is ever increasing as well as accommodation in breathtaking surroundings. For those interested in walks there are the various beautiful hiking trails with an abundance of animal and birdlife. The trails pass historical battle sites and fascinating deserted diamond diggings. The town is home to some lovely historical buildings and has also acquired a reputation as an arts and antique hub with a growing number of visitors and shoppers.  Unique features in and around Parys are the islands that are dotted along the Vaal River, the largest indoor horse arena in the Southern Hemisphere and the only place on earth where you will find pink granite.

In such a small town you would never have thought you could have this many adventures, and experience a new love for the beauty of nature and its incredible creatures.

Feedback from our volunteers
Manon de Smet, Portugal

I had a terrific time! It was so nice to meet awesome, interesting people! The cheetahs, there are just no words to describe how awesome they are! Everything was perfect:-)

Carole Weber, Switzerland

Best time that I can ever imagine! I liked everything but especially time spent with the cheetah in the afternoon.

Victoria Segel, USA

It’s a wonderful experience, it really makes you appreciate all that you have, it shows you a different perspective on life. I absolutely LOVED this trip, it’s one of the BEST things I’ve ever done in my whole life.