If you are a total animal lover, you will love every second of your time at this wildlife volunteer project. You will have full hands on contact with the animals each and every day, whilst working with them in the sanctuary.
This sanctuary is the first place that gets contacted to help, if there are any animals in trouble, due to the extensive experience and expertise of the staff and facilities. The location is very close to some incredible wildlife areas including the Kruger National Park, so a few days added to the start or end of your time there, is definitely recommended – a couple of day safaris in the Kruger is really not be to missed!
The Nelspruit Wildlife Rehabilitation Reserve is based on a beautiful game reserve near Nelspruit and offers a safe home to abandoned, orphaned and injured wildlife in South Africa, with the aim of rehabilitating them when ever possible, back in to the wild.
Volunteers may get to work with all sorts of animals that find a safe home at the sanctuary and this may include baby rhino, lion cubs, various species of antelope, giraffe, caracals and zebra to name a few. It can be a wonderful experience to sit and play with the beautiful, and very excitable, lion cubs! The sanctuary aims, wherever possible, to rehabilitate the animals back into the wild, so volunteers are part of something truly special.
A particular highlight for many of the volunteers at the moment, is working with the three orphaned baby Rhinos, of different ages, that are currently there.
It’s such a unique experience to work with these very sensitive animals, who clearly know that something awful has happened to their mothers, at the hands of poachers. You can sense that they are so desperate for the care and love they receive from the sanctuary. This helps prepare them for their release back into the wild, when a safe environment is found for them. It is amazing to see how the baby rhinos bond with each other and are a support to each other – beautiful to see, although it is extremely hard to leave them.
The work the sanctuary does is incredible and the staff are extremely passionate and inspiring, and real experts in the care of and rehabilitation of endangered wildlife. As a volunteer you will learn all about predator and endangered species care and rehabilitation, through hands-on practical experience and a number of talks.
Volunteers also have the unusual experience of staying in a unique and interesting castle on the reserve, with breathtaking outdoor social areas and stunning views of the surrounding landscape – plenty of fabulous places to sit and relax, or read a book by the pool. Although this project is very popular, there are only 5 – 10 volunteers at any one time, so you will definitely get plenty of hands-on contact with all the animals that are there.
So if you’re an animal lover, I hope this tickles your itch, to do something amazing AND worthwhile?
“This has been the most awesome experience of my entire life. I totally loved working with the animals there, especially the lion cubs and baby rhinos who had lost their mother to poachers. They are such beautiful and sensitive animals, I felt so honoured to be part of their rehabilitation. The place itself is beautiful and the views from the sanctuary are incredible. I can’t wait to go back, saving up already. Thank you so much for this incredible experience.” Alex, UK, aged 29