What will I do as an Animal Care volunteer in South Africa?
Work with animals in South Africa and access loads of opportunities to help improve the lives of stray domestic animals or injured seabirds. Here are some of the tasks you will help with:
- Shadow full-time carers to gain experience and learn more about the animals
- Take care of the animals by feeding, exercising, and helping rehabilitate the animals
- Spend time with domestic animals to help build their confidence and trust
- Help rehabilitate injured or ill seabirds
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Shadow full-time carers
As an Animal Care volunteer at either of our placements, you will initially spend a lot of time observing the full-time carers. This will help you gain first-hand experience of the way animal rescue centres work in South Africa.
Use this time to ask questions and learn more about the animals in the placement’s care. This will come in handy later on when you take care of animals on your own.
Take care of the animals
There will be ample opportunity to get involved with hands-on work like feeding, exercising, and rehabilitating the animals under your care. As with any volunteer placement, you get back what you put in. Showing initiative and a willingness to get involved will result in your experience being very rewarding.
Spend time with domestic animals
If you join our placement at the shelter, you will be working mostly with domestic animals. Many of them would have gone through a traumatic experience, such as abuse or abandonment. By playing and spending time with them, you can help prepare and socialise them for adoption.
Help rehabilitate injured or ill seabirds
If you have a special interest in conservation, you could opt to help rehabilitate African penguins and other seabirds. Here you will assist in preparing food, feeding the birds, cleaning out cages, and rehabilitating injured or oiled birds. As you work, you’ll get the opportunity to learn about the local ecosystem and work with some unique bird species.
Where you will be working as an Animal Care volunteer in South Africa?
Both placements are based in Cape Town. Known as the Mother City, it’s famous for its spectacular natural beauty and, of course, the iconic Table Mountain. During your time here, you will be able to experience the best of both city life and outdoor adventures.
If you decide to work with seabirds at the rehabilitation centre, you will be based in the suburb of Bloubergstrand. It’s located 25km outside of Cape Town’s CBD and offers the best views of Table Mountain. This shelter specialises in rescuing and rehabilitating seabirds, including the African Penguin. You will work in an amazing location, where cormorants, pelicans and even pink flamingos are a common sight.
Should you opt for the animal shelter, your work will be based in Grassy Park. They are a non-profit organisation that takes care of abused and abandoned animals across South Africa. The Cape Town branch was established in 1872 and is the oldest in the country. While they are happy to take in any animal in need, you will mostly be working with cats and dogs.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa has a diverse mix of cultures. Our projects are based in Cape Town, a region filled with an exciting variety of activities to do during your free time.
You can catch a wave at Muizenberg beach or just relax in a seaside restaurant. There’s plenty of local cuisine to try, including delicately spiced Cape Malay curries and the creamy milk tart dessert.
South Africa has a difficult past, which you can learn more about at the District 6 Museum and Robben Island.
For an awe-inspiring experience, you can spend the day getting lost in the towering silos that make up the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa. Finally, no trip to Cape Town would be complete without a cable car ride up iconic Table Mountain.
We run many different projects in South Africa, so there’s sure to be other volunteers in the country with you. So if you want to travel with a group, you’re sure to find like-minded people who’ll join you on your adventures.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in South Africa
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: