Wildlife Care Centre (South Africa)
The project was established in 1991 and is a haven for sick, injured and problem animals. From lions to hyenas to honey badgers, vultures, cheetah, and many more are cared for at this project. It was a heartfelt initiative that could no longer sustain itself, so the idea to raise money from visitors arose. This was done by asking an entry fee to generate income in order to meet the demands of costs to feed the animals, to acquire medical supplies and the constant improvement and building of new cages.
The Wildlife Care Centre plays an important role in conserving many endangered species, and has become a haven for the rehabilitation and care of abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife, and facilitates the monitoring and breeding of endangered species. Volunteers will gain lots of hands-on experience and direct involvement in caring for the animals. This project is not for the faint hearted!
Goal of the project
It is the project's mission to educate the public – locally and overseas, in order to conserve the animals of Africa. The most vital ingredients of being a volunteer at this project is energy, enthusiasm and passion to learn about conservation, animals, the outdoors, and they want to preserve the world we live in. In return, volunteers assist the project in getting much needed work completed, and financial contributions go a long way to supporting the endless food and medical bills faced by the project.
Our day begins at 07H00 and all volunteers meet at the animal clinic for a briefing and the daily allocation of tasks. Volunteers can take part in the daily feeding of a variety of many orphaned and permanent animals; cleaning of their enclosures and scrubbing of their bed mats, and may even get the chance to release some of them. They may also get a chance to take part in: - game capture and possible re-location; wildlife veterinary work which would be mostly observational. But nothing is predictable or guaranteed as project activities due to the nature of the wildlife care center.
There is no typical day at the Wildlife Care Centre because anything can happen! The uncertainty is what keeps the Wildlife Care Center Volunteering more exciting, adding up to the experience of the volunteers. Despite getting robbed of sleep and rest, volunteers will definitely agree that it all was worth it in the end.
Fees and Dates:
Global Crossroad provides volunteer programs at the lowest prices possible. Global Crossroad gives you the assurance that you will save a lot of money with our programs, because we do not promote the idea of volunteers spending thousands of dollars just to volunteer for a week. We also try our best in keeping our transactions transparent for volunteers to know and ensure that their fees are being used in the right way possible.
Except our registration fee of $299, our fees are as affordable as $1660. The detailed fee structure of the Wildlife Care Center Program are as follows:
- 1 Week
- 2 Week
- 3 Week
- 4 Week
- 5 Week
- 6 Week
- 7 Week
- 8 Week
- Program Fee US$
Mondays and Wednesdays are the preferred arrival and departure days in Hoedspruit for volunteers, but other week days will be considered.
room / food
Separate male and female accommodation is provided, with between 2 to 4 volunteers to a room. Volunteers are housed in a brick and reed building. There are rooms available for married couples but this is subject to bookings (we cannot guarantee there will always be a room available). Bed linen is provided, but please bring your own bathing towel. 3 meals a day are provided. Volunteers are taken at the Forest Camp Lodge that is at a distance of 10 minutes' walk through the bush for breakfast and lunch. Volunteers will get a ride by vehicle to and from the lodge during supper, which gives one a chance to see nocturnal animals and others in the evening.
Examples of Meals are:
Breakfast (between 08H30 – 09H30) – toast, cereals, yoghurts, tea and coffee.
Lunch (starts at 13H00) - sandwiches, hamburgers, rolls and cold meat, pastas, salads.
Dinner (meet at the Rangers Cottage at 18H45, from where they depart for dinner) –roasts, lasagnas, vegetables, salads, pastas.
Free time/what volunteer can do in free time
Extra activities are available for you to do / go on, but all of this depends on your work itinerary, and it can change due to unforeseen circumstances, such as call outs etc.
The project does not guarantee any activity. These are a bonus, and for when there is an opening to get out a bit. Volunteers pay towards getting to / from the various activities, and prices will depend on how many volunteers go on the trip. Activities may include Horse riding, Kruger National Park, water river rafting, Bombyx Silk Farm, a visit to the Baobab Tree, Echo Caves, balloon rides, micro-light flying, Blyde River Canyon view site and boat trips. The costs involved in these various activities are on volunteers' own account. There may also be additional costs towards petrol in getting to / from these optional activities, and the cost will depend on how far you need to travel to get to these optional activities.
- Where do I need to fly?
- How can I get to the project?
- What vaccinations do I need?
- How can I communicate with family?
- How safe is the project?
- Will there be someone to guide/supervise us?
- Will there be other volunteers?
- Any other important information to consider?
Volunteers need to arrange their flights to / from Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit.
Volunteers are picked up on arrival at Eastgate Airport by a representative from the project, and taken to the project in the project's vehicle.
Although most of South Africa is malaria free, the Kruger National Park isn't. It is advisable to take precautions from malaria and obtain a vaccination as well as a rabies vaccination before you leave home for this project.
There is a phone for incoming calls in the Common Room area in the Student House. A public telephone is available at the project for volunteers to use, but you will need to purchase a "World Call Card", in order to make any outgoing calls. Only in cases of emergencies can volunteers use the office phone.
There will be no email service at the project unless extremely urgent. Volunteers have access to the Internet Café in the town, and volunteers are generally able to go into town at least once a week, depending on pick-ups and drop-offs, to check emails at a local internet café.
It is also a good idea to take your mobile phone with you, as a more "reliable" way of staying in contact with family and friends back home. If you do decide to take your phone with you, please ensure that you have activated international roaming on your phone. Cheap sim cards can be purchased on arrival in South Africa, and don't forget to buy airtime as well.
Very safe. Volunteers must however be aware of their personal belongings when in town, and should also adhere to the safety tips given at orientation once at the project.
The office has a safe for important documents or expensive items. It is always sensible to lock your sleeping quarters and keep windows closed when you are not there.
Please bear in mind that the project cannot be held responsible for any items missing, so don't leave your things lying around - even cameras left on beds can be a problem.
Anything missing must be reported immediately. Do not wait, as something like this needs to be sorted out straight away. Leaving a problem like this unattended only causes further problems. Be very sure you have not mislaid the item before reporting which happens often.
Volunteers will be overseen by the project staff on a daily basis, and a certain amount of time will be spent working independently. However, the staffs are always available to lend a helping hand, and to guide volunteers where necessary.
There will generally always be other volunteers at camp with you. This number may vary from 2 – 20 volunteers.
The preferred start days for this project are a Monday and Wednesday. However, a Tuesday and Thursday will be considered as well. It is advisable to avoid arriving close to the weekend.
Various tours can be arranged for after your volunteer experience, and could include:
a 7 day Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls, 7 day Okavango Delta, 5 day Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls, 10 Day Okavango Delta and Chobe and Victoria Falls, and others.