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.
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.
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.
“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!!”
“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.”
“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!”
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Manager will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.
Join our field guides and wildlife conservation research team in the most beautiful game reserves in the Greater Kruger Area for the ultimate African safari and encounters with Africa’s iconic ‘Big 5’.
Join our team on the edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya for a rare chance to conduct wildlife research on 3 of Africa’s most iconic big cats – lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
Guided and tutored by a professional photographer, gain practical experience in wildlife photography while contributing to the conservation of South Africa’s wildlife.