Contribute to the conservation of cheetahs as you work with a local breeding facility in beautiful South Africa, interacting with cheetah of all ages and preparing individuals for release back into the wild. The center 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 it provides a unique experience for conservation volunteers in Africa.
AS A VOLUNTEER, YOU'LL GET TO:
- Interact with cheetahs on a daily basis during “cheetah time” every afternoon.
- Participate in the first two of the three phases of the re-introduction process: hand-raising cheetah cubs to teach them to hunt; and moving individual cheetahs into a large, secure, fenced area with prey species so they can hunt for themselves, where you will monitor them closely. The cheetah are then moved into new game reserves where they can live in the wild with no human interaction.
- Be responsible for cleaning and maintaining cheetah enclosures.
- Exercise the cheetahs and prepare their food.
- Monitor cheetah cubs that are born in the enclosures.
- Learn all about the behavior of cheetahs and other African big cats, and gain a deeper understanding of what conservation means.
“Best time that I can ever imagine! I liked everything but especially time spent with the cheetahs in the afternoon.” Carol Weber, Switzerland
“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!” Manon De Smet, Portugal
Dates & Rates
- Return transfers to and from Johannesburg International Airport
- Program fee – this is the large bulk of the program cost and finances all aspects of the cheetah breeding and reintroduction work
- All accommodation and meals
- All transportation and equipment required to carry out your project work
- 24 hour support and guidance from the project management team
- All wildife and conservation education during your stay
- Medical and travel insurance
- Any visa-related fees
- Weekend trips and other non-project activities
- Any items of a personal nature, such as gifts or additional food, drinks or snacks
- Internet access
How your volunteer fee is used:
Volunteer tourism, or ‘voluntourism’ as it is popularly known, is loosely defined as a holiday in which you give back to the land you are visiting; contributing to either community development or conservation. But it’s so much more than that. Voluntourism encompasses a new trend of responsible tourism, where travelers are making informed and responsible choices and planning trips which don’t negatively affect the country or communities they are visiting. When volunteering, it is critical that travelers choose a volunteer organisation or charity with a proven ethos and philosophy around sustainable and responsible tourism practices. This applies both to their work with local communities, wildlife and our volunteers themselves.
African Impact is proud to have a 10 year track record of facilitating responsible volunteer programs in Africa, providing 24 hour support and guidance for volunteers and offering on-going support to communities in need. Understandably, these operations cost money to run and this is where the volunteer fee comes in.
About the Destination
During your volunteer working holiday, you will be staying in the specially designed volunteer house situated just 16 miles outside the small town of Parys. The town is positioned on the Vaal River in the Free State province of South Africa, making it a great place for adventure activities and outdoor adventures. The dormitory-style accommodation in the house is very comfortable, with ample space to relax and socialize, with a TV and DVD player for movies. The program has a maximum of eight 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 is accommodation in the breath-taking 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. Parys is a small town, but it promises many adventures, and you’ll experience a new love for the beauty of nature and its incredible creatures.
Work & Impacts
Phase 1 Involvement
Work & Impacts
Phase 2 Involvement
Fun & Travel
During your work and travel in Africa, you will have the chance to experience one of the largest game reserves in the world, the Kruger National Park. Here you can see animals such as lion, elephant, giraffe, rhino, zebra, leopard and kudu in their natural habitat. You will also go on a tour of an animal rehabilitation center just outside the park.
The 4-day Kruger National Park Safari takes place monthly (additional fees apply for this excursion and are not included in the project fee) and is possible for volunters joining for 4 weeks on the 15th of the month.
Fun & Travel
Adventure 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 around 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.