Volunteers are an integral and vital part of the sanctuary, and assist with many of the essential activities of Wild Rescue. Volunteers through their work and involvement enable the sanctuary to continue to operate on a sustainable basis, and help hundreds of wildlife in need of care.
The volunteers make a positive difference in the lives of the animals at the sanctuary. Volunteering is a rewarding and unforgettable experience, and usually volunteers want to return time and again. Of particular interest are those individual animals who they helped raised, or watched being successfully rehabilitated and integrated into a social group of their own kind.
Wild Rescue is positioned in the southern section of the Western Cape, at the beginning of the famous tourist destination – The Garden Route, and is 3.5 hours drive from Cape Town International Airport. It is only 30 minutes from the coastal town of Still Bay, which has a Blue Flag status beach, and where the Indian Ocean waters are significantly warmer than the chilly waters around Cape Town.
It is also only 35 minutes from the N2 national road and town of Riversdale, which is a long-distance bus and taxi stop, and from which Wild Rescue will collect volunteers.
Activities for which volunteers are needed usually include:
• Building and preparation of the wildlife rehabilitation, short – and long-term enclosures
• Preparing food for all the sanctuary species (mixing formulae, sorting and chopping vegetables and fruit, preparing any special diets)
• Assisting with the feeding of the long-term animals
• Monitoring and observing eating habits, health, and behavior of the animals in the long-term enclosures – very important for social integration and well being
• Ongoing new enrichment projects for most of the species, in particular the primates
• Gathering natural vegetation and items for enrichment and supplementary food
• Veterinary experience (if qualified)
• Long-term enclosure maintenance
• Caring for all areas in and around the sanctuary
• Alien and invasive plant eradication programme (very important for nature reserve)
• Plant identification research and data capturing (particularly if interested in botany)
• Community outreach
Any particular skills which a volunteer can offer will be welcomed and used in some way at Wild Rescue. People living close by are also welcome to volunteer on a daily basis.
Wild Rescue has a policy of “hands off” and is against the exploitation of animals at “petting farms”-where the animals are often sold on for hunting purposes once too old to be docile with the public. There will therefore be no petting or interaction with the wildlife apart from the essential areas such as feeding and orphan rearing, supervision of the juveniles, and hands off observation.
All short- and long-term volunteers are given the chance to explore the surrounding areas, and can take time off to do many adventure activities at nearby backpackers or resorts including a local game lodge.
All volunteers with a love of nature and wildlife, and wanting to make a positive difference are welcome.
Volunteers will be expected to fulfill specific functions at the sanctuary, however the management will also ensure that volunteers are given an opportunity to explore the country, and have leisure time.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older, and will need to secure their own visas if applicable (usually not if duration of stay in South Africa is less than 90 days). Information is readily available online, or from travel agents.
All volunteers will need to sign an indemnity form, and supply personal details, including medical conditions and medications, and contact details of people to contact in an emergency. This information must be supplied prior to arrival – click here to download form.
All volunteers from overseas must have medical insurance, and supply these details prior to arrival.
As volunteers will be working with primates they must either have had a BCG vaccination against Tuberculosis or a recent TB test.
A tetanus vaccination is recommended and any other vaccination based on your doctor’s recommendations.
The Western Cape is a very low risk malaria area, and it is not considered necessary to take malaria tablets.
Wild Rescue will collect volunteers from the closest town (Riversdale) which is on the major N2 road. There are a number of options to get from Cape Town to Riversdale (310 kms) which are relatively cheap including the Baz Bus (back packers bus), and other long distance buses. Please contact us if unsure of the transport option.
All volunteers are asked to make a non-refundable contribution towards meals and accommodation, and the animal food and other costs of the sanctuary. The contribution amount will vary depending on the duration of stay, and any veterinary or animal caring experience.
Cost per 1 Week (food and shared accommodation included)
The weekly donation fee for volunteering ranges from R4,000 (+- €260; £230 UK ; $290 USA) to R5,000 (+- €325; £290 UK ; $360 USA)
Please see Application Form for full details on costs.
Please complete the application form and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further useful information will be e-mailed to you after acceptance as a volunteer
Most overseas countries’ citizens over 18 will be granted a 90 day visitor visa free-of-charge on arrival. Please check the website; www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica/ or www.dha.gov.za/index.php/applying-for-sa-visa.
90+ Days Visa: Anyone staying longer than 90 days must apply for a Volunteer Visa in their host country. There is a process to be followed, and please contact us if you are having any problems, and also for a letter to confirm that you are volunteering for us.
90+ Days Visa Extension: You should be able to extend the visa further whilst you are within the country, but will have to travel to George or Cape Town to do so. You must initially apply via the website and you then book yourself an appointment at one of the nearest offices.
Volunteers cannot be accepted without good medical insurance that includes cover for emergency hospital treatment for medical and accidental risks and medical evacuation and repatriation costs.
We require that you notify your insurer that you will be volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary and staying in a wildlife area. (Please make a note on your policy of the date that you confirmed this with the insurer, and the contact person you spoke to.)
South Africans with medical aid must also inform their medical aid company about volunteering with wildlife and staying in a wildlife area, and supply details of the policy to Wild Rescue.
All volunteers will be required to sign an indemnity form prior to arrival, and to deliver the original on arrival.