Volunteer at a lion sanctuary in South Africa

“A month of caring for displaced and abused lions, in an established South African sanctuary not far from Drakensberg Mountains. Approximately 70 lions on site, some rescued from canned hunting set ups. Self catering accommodation on site. ”

Highlights

Volunteer with renowned animal welfare charity in South Africa | South African savannah | Onsite accommodation | Zebra | Wildebeest | impala | Swimming pool | Golden Gate National Park | Drakensberg Mountains

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailormade to suit your requirements, throughout the year
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please inquire for details.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travelers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.
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Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Volunteer at a lion sanctuary in South Africa

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

• For each traveler that goes away with us, we voluntarily plant a tree with our charity partners Tree Aid. Trees are planted in rural African communities and local people are taught how to sustainably use the trees to improve their economic situation - whilst also benefiting the planet.
• Where food is provided, it is locally produced and sourced, reducing food miles, supporting local industry and minimising single-use plastic
• As a traveler you will learn about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, both pre-departure and through your volunteer project
• Accommodation is on-site, reducing the reliance on transport. When volunteers wish to go off site, this is encouraged to be in groups using local drivers
• Where possible, and without jeopardising safety or quality, transfers are done on a shared basis to reduce carbon emissions

Environment

Animal welfare
The project is run by a well-regarded international charity which focuses on rescuing animals kept in cruel conditions. All the lions at the park have been confiscated from sub-standard zoos and private game hunters. Most have chronic health and emotional problems. The animals receive expert veterinary care on arrival and follow a carefully planned introduction programme which encourages them to join a social group and re-discover their natural instincts. Strict protocols are adhered to, in order to ensure the best possible environment for the cats, as well as the safety of staff.

Although the animals are now unable to survive alone in the wild you will still have the chance to see them behaving as they would do in their natural habitat. The sanctuary places an emphasis on encouraging them to live in prides and roam as freely as possible. You can be part of the important work taking place and help to monitor their behaviour which allows the team to develop new measures and practices to provide a life at natural as possible for the big cats.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travelers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

Community

Meeting local needs
As well as helping to protect big cats, the sanctuary plays an important role in protecting the local economy. The ‘big five’ wild animals are a key source of tourist income for South Africa and protection of these species is vital for poor rural areas, who badly need responsible tourism to sustain them.

By volunteering at the sanctuary, you will be helping to meet an important local need. You will also contribute directly to the area’s economy, creating jobs for domestic staff at the sanctuary, buying and eating locally-sourced food and making use of shops and leisure facilities in the town. You will not be taking jobs away from local people. The charity employs as many local staff as it can afford, but relies on volunteers to support them.

Cultural sensitivity
We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. You will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural South Africa. Our policy is to send people oversesa in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.

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