Cheetah breeding & wildlife rehabilitation
Volunteer with animals at a conservation breeding and rescue centre in South Africa
Who should join us?
Those wanting to help endangered species as well as orphaned or injured animals at a cheetah breeding and wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Work with species including big cats, antelope, small mammals and give them a second chance in the wild.
Location: Bela Bela, North West South Africa.
Duration: Any length from 2 weeks
Group sizes: 3 - 10 plus trainers.
Health checking, caring and rehabilitating animals
Spending time in enclosures for observation and research
Preparing food and understanding animal nutrition
Designing environmental enrichment for wildlife
Educational tours and guided experiences for centre guests
Centre maintenance and cleaning of enclosures
Wildlife monitoring of the local reserve via camera traps
Vegetation control and management of the environment
Understanding and supporting medical procedures
Volunteer role and duties
Volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation centre in South Africa
Wildlife breeding and rehabilitation centres play an important role in conservation, animals are brought in by the public or rescued by the centre, help care for these animals until they can be returned to the wild
The centre also pioneers cheetah breeding as part of conservation and for reintroduction, a critical project as cheetah populations are less than 7,000 world wide. Hamba Africa further supports this through our veterinary placement but you’ll help day-to-day caring and working with the animals themselves.
Monday to Saturday
Mornings typically mean food preparation and checking animals under critical care or observation. After breakfast and a team meeting, start with any bigger projects such as building new facilities, planned animal care or guiding visiting members of the public around the centre to help educate and raise environmental awareness.
End the afternoon with a specific animal, observing it to provide environmental enrichment or placing camera traps for research.
Sundays and free time
Spend at the centre or discuss as a group and choose to try some of the many activities in the area.
We have taken care of all the details so you can focus on the adventure of a lifetime!
The placement includes:
Airport transfers to and from the centre
Accommodation during your stay
Participation in centre activites and projects
Breakfast and lunches
Bi-Weekly town trip for supplies & social
All itinerary/activity equipment is provided
Meet and greet event in the UK
Fellow volunteer contact list, to be sent out prior to departure
24-hour emergency onsite support
100% financial security with your booking
What's not included?
Please note, we do not book, manage or coordinate the following:
Visa and Immigration requirements
Vaccinations and health screening/checks
Personal travel insurance
Optional activities (any that you book during your stay)
Dinner - town trips for you to purchase food to cook for yourself or as a group
In order to join us on one of our packages you'll need to:
Be above 18
Studying or qualified in the vet sector
Have valid travel insurance
Have booked return flights
Organise the relevant travel and immigration documents
Undergo any relevant medical checks and vaccinations
These are your personal responsibility. Proof that all requirements are met must be sent ahead of your arrival.
Highlights you can expect
Work with african wildlife
With over 20 cheetahs, big cats including lions and leopards plus an assortment of other species including hyena, small cats, antelope and other herbivores you’ll have a direct contribution to the protection of these species while gaining tangible practical experience working with wildlife.
Research and study animal
Animals in breeding and rehabilitation centres offer a unique opportunity for study and research, monitoring their behaviour each day or even in response to events or stimuli allows conservationists to gain data and insights. Record results and help curate and present findings in the form of scientific reports or hands-on via new management strategies.
Wildlife heath and enrichment
Skills, equipment, techniques and policy
From treating newly arrived injured animals to longer-term residents. Health takes the form of many variables, from correct nutrition to prevent disease, supporting instinctive behaviour through play or environmental enrichment to routine veterinary work planned. Learn about each and help ensure animals stay happy and healthy!
During your placement you’ll take part in many roles, from understanding animal behaviour, the legal framework to ensure ethical best practices, equipment uses with working with species large or small and much more. Gain and develop skills that you can take and apply to your career ambitions.
Education for environmental awareness
Optional days and extra activities
The centre is open to the public, help educate and give guided talks and presentations to visitors promoting environmental awareness. Showcase the work the centre achieves and the challenges facing endangered species is critical to gain support and help give wildlife a future.
When not hard at work at the centre, we want you to get to know and explore South Africa. There are many exciting activities in the area you can choose to take part in. From safari drives on nearby reserves, visiting other wildlife and conservation centres, to hikes or days out in national parks such as Marakele.