"What better use for your time than caring for orphaned animals and educating local school children? Plus spend your free time in the World-renowned Kruger National Park!"
Whether you live for educating others or love working with animals, this opportunity will surely be one to enjoy. There aren’t many more rewarding experiences than working in a Wildlife Orphanage, so if you want something to tell your friends or wish to better the lives of vulnerable animals, this is the project for you. Based in sunny South Africa, the orphanage plays sanctuary to a host of charismatic creatures including big cats, warthogs and everyone’s favourite: meerkats! You will be at the forefront of their care including replenishing food and water as well as cleaning out their cages - for the duration of your visit, you’ll be ‘mum’!
However, this project is not just about the wildlife, it is also an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of local school children. Acting as an educational tool, the orphanage provides the perfect setting for children to learn about the animals and their conservation, something that you as a volunteer will champion. From bottle feeding baby animals to leading bushwalks across the site, you will be influencing the lives of not only young humans but also the young orphans. It's teaching – but with wildlife instead of books!
This is a hugely valuable conservation project as it combines both practical conservation work and education. Wildlife and environmental-orientated education is undoubtedly one of the most important tools in modern conservation efforts as it aims to ensure that environmental awareness is sustained long into the future, whist also challenging regressive mind-sets that have worsened the fate of endangered species. Teaching younger generations about the negative impacts of issues such as poaching and pollution will only help to build respect for and ultimately improve the future prospects of wildlife. The orphanage stands as a poignant example of conservation education as many of the animals kept there have been badly injured or separated to the point that rehabilitation is no longer viable; as children see first-hand the devastating impact that human interference can have on wildlife, they'll be inspired and motivated to stop it.
From the human perspective, this project presents a fantastic opportunity to the underprivileged children of South Africa. Inequalities have led to vast overcrowding in schools, thus hindering the development of potentially promising students. By providing a more colourful and exciting alternative to a cramped classroom, the work you will undertake with the project will hopefully provide a more engaging environment that would be beneficial to all. The hope is that the next generation will grow up learning to tolerate and respect nature - a vital step if modern conservation is to be sustained.
Arrival day: Following your transfer from the nearby airport, your task for today will hardly be strenuous – getting comfortable! Be it admiring your new surroundings or getting to know your fellow volunteers, the first day will be chilled.
Induction day: Today is the day that you take in all that the orphanage has to offer and, of course, meet its amazing residents! You’ll certainly be better acquainted with them over the coming days. After a day of meeting your animal friends, you will be given a briefing as to what to expect during your time on the project.
Project days: Now the fun truly begins… You’ll be introduced to the school children before taking them on a bushwalk of the site so that they can meet its amazing residents as you have already done! Your activities with the children will include demonstrations whilst feeding the animals and various educational games; you’re the teacher so the types of activities will be up to you! The day will officially finish at 8.30pm, allowing you free time to spend however you like.
Leaving day: Sadly, your visit must come to an end and this is the opportunity to say your farewells to your adoring students and the orphan animals. You will be transferred to the airport and begin your onward independent travel plans.
The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
Click 'Ask a Question' up above to enquire about full project dates, availability and costs
To secure a place on this project a 20% deposit is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.
A monetary contribution to the project itself
Transfers to and from Hoedspruit airport or Hoedspruit town
Full orientation and support from the project managers
Accommodation and meals (click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat to the operator directly and find out more info)
Laundry and housekeeping
Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
Visas if required
Use of internet and telephone
Soft drinks, wines and spirits
Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary
Anything else not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat to the operator directly!