African Wildlife & Community

book 2

Download Overview Download FAQ

Our wildlife conservation and rescue takes place over several different properties, helping monkeys, vultures, eagles, and other wild animals. The program looks after wild and rescued animals. The main purpose of the project is to detect the needs and improve the living and environmental conditions of the various animals residing at these locations. Volunteers will have the opportunity to interact with some of the animals in a respectful way and always under supervision. We look forward to accommodating you in South Africa and sharing the beauty and majesty of these locations for an undoubtedly unforgettable experience.

OverviewProjectsExtra InfoPhotosIncludedActivitiesFAQ's

Project Highlights

  • Learning more about animals through interactive hands-on projects
  • Learning to capture, tag and release wild Vultures
  • Interactions with Elephants, Monkeys and many more animals
  • Working on a real game reserve with truly wild animals around
  • Making a positive difference to wildlife and a local community
  • Helping children develop life skills
  • Living a genuine conservationist lifestyle
  • Developing personal strengths and life skills


Monkey Project

Monkeys are under constant threat. They are hunted for meat, body parts or captured as pets and exported illegally to every corner of our planet. Monkeys that where kept as pets and then become unwanted, are rescued and released into a wild forest with waterfalls and mountain springs. It is very important to create a safe environment where monkeys can be rehabilitated and professionals and volunteers can take care of them.

Volunteer tasks
Our program in this sanctuary will start with an educational introduction about this reserve, the monkeys’ history and how to make a difference in a responsible way. The required tasks will include assistance to the staff in the day to day management of dietary requirements, observation of behavior and general maintenance of the reserve.

Bird Project

This conservation program focuses on advancing knowledge, awareness and innovation in the conservation of African vulture populations for the benefit and well-being of society. Today, vultures face an unprecedented onslaught from human activities. They have to cope with electrocutions and collisions with electrical structures, poisonings, land-use changes, a decrease in food availability and exposure to toxicity through veterinary drugs, to list just a few of some of the challenges facing vultures today.

Volunteer Tasks
Our program in this sanctuary will start with an educational introduction about this reserve, the wild birds’ history and how to make a different in a responsible way. The required tasks will include assistance to the staff in the day to day management as dietary requirements, handling the vultures and eagles if needed under supervision, observation of behavior and general maintenance of the reserve.

Magaliesberg Biosphere Project

Our project locations are set in the internationally protected UNESCO Magaliesberg biosphere, one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth. The Magaliesberg Biosphere has been declared a reserve in June 2015. Different habitats of the area support an exceptional variety of wildlife and native flora, creating opportunities for many conservation activities. Volunteers participate on regular hiking activities along sections of the mountain side in search for illegal animal traps set throughout the woodland and grassland landscapes. These traps, or snares, are used as a method of cruelly catching wild animals which may fatally walk into one, set illegally by poachers. Volunteer efforts in finding and removing these snares is assisting land owners in a current project to prevent various wild animal species from being harmed and illegally hunted, protecting populations of wildlife living in the biosphere reserve to enable survival for the future.

Volunteer Tasks

Volunteer tasks include food preparation and feeding, alien and invasive vegetation control, occasional capture, transfer and release of animals and/or birds, foot patrols for fence inspection, snare and trap location and removal, observation of behaviour, seasonal animal counts, general maintenance and management of all facilities. As projects are changing and continually growing, tasks will change and grow as well.

Kosmos Informal Settlement

We help this community to fulfil their basic needs. We support them with donations such as food, water, blankets, clothes, toys, etc. We spend 2 or 3 afternoons per week in the community. We started this project by supporting 9 orphans have now been taken in by the local pastor and his wife. As many other children from this poor community also need enrichment and support, the number of children that come to join us can get up to 30 children during each visit.

We have weekly meetings with the volunteers to share their opinions, and any suggestions to improve these children’s lives are welcome. The main focus of this project is to allow the children to grow in a happier, healthier and more self-sustaining way, we sometimes bring in professionals to teach them skills such as cooking, painting, making bracelets, sawing, dancing, life skills, animal education, etc. Volunteers assist these professionals. Our goal is that this community learn to be able to sustain themselves in the near future.

Volunteer Tasks
Playing with the children and helping with homework, painting & drawing, enrichment activities, group activities, and games. We also try to set an example for these children by helping them to be organized (cleaning play areas, sharing toys, playing together), personal hygiene (brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.), and safety (pedestrian/road safety and many other potential dangers). We also teach them general maintenance such as painting and repairs, and volunteers can help arrange events such as dinners and gift exchanges.

Another volunteer task is helping distribute food and clean water from some of the shops and markets that donate to us, and with the help of the volunteers we bring and distribute it in this community.

Extra information

  • Although care is taken to ensure that animals are treated in the way they deserve, there is often times when animals cannot be released back into the wild and therefore we try to improve the conditions of these animals’ lives as best as we can in their captive environment.
  • The area of Hartbeespoort is rich in cultural and historical value. We are nestled in the foothills of a 2.3 billion year old mountain range surrounded by natural beauty and encompassing the Hartbeespoort dam.

Project details

Project starts: Every Sunday

  • Location: Hartebeespoort, Johannesburg
  • Minimum duration: 2 weeks
  • 2 day orientation in Johannesburg
  • The school calendar for 2017 is as follows:

School holidays 2018:

First Term: 29th March – 09th April
Second Term: 23rd June – 16th Juli
Third Term: 29th September – 08th October
Fourth Term: 13th December – 08th January

2018 Public Holidays:

1. Jan. New Year’s Day
21. Mar. Human Rights Day
30. Mar. Good Friday
2. Apr. Family Day
27. Apr. Freedom Day
1. May. Workers’ Day
16. Jun. Youth Day
9. Aug. National Women’s Day
24. Sep. Heritage Day
16. Dec. Day of Reconciliation
17. Dec. Day of Reconciliation Holiday
25. Dec. Christmas Day
26. Dec. Day of Goodwill

Johannesburg Orientation

All of our JNB conservation projects will include a 2 day orientation prior to attending the project site. Friday-Saturday is orientation in Joburg, then Sunday you will transfer to project via shuttle and depart project on a Sunday.

Volunteer requirements

  • CV/Resumé
  • Basic level of competency in English
  • Copy of return flight itinerary
  • Availability of position
  • Medium level of fitness

Average working day

  • Volunteers will work 5 – 6 days a week.
  • You will cover different aspect of the conservation project and visit different projects

Winter in South Africa

Please note that May through to September are our winter months and it can get quite chilly with an average temperature ranging from -1 at night to 15 degrees Celsius during the day. So, please make sure to pack enough warm clothes if you plan your trip in that period.

What’s Included

  • Return Transfer from Johannesburg airport
  • All meals
  • Accommodation
  • 24 hour support and supervisor
  • Donation to the project
  • Animal Interactions (Elephant, Monkey, Vulture)

2 day Volunteer Johannesburg Orientation

Arrive in Joburg or Jozi, as it is known locally, and get shown around by people who know the city well. The Johannesburg Orientation is excellent for first-time visitors to find their feet the local way and meet other volunteers on your project.

• Arty districts of Newtown and Braamfontein
• Constitutional Hill
• Telkom Tower
• Nelson Mandela Bridge
• Jazz Walk of Fame
• Mary Fitzgerald Square
• Traditional South African meal

Day 1
You will be picked up from the airport and taken to the hostel. Here you will be given a chance to settle down before meeting our SAVE volunteer representative.
You will be given a briefing on your volunteer program and then meet other travellers and volunteers for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 After breakfast you will be collected by one of our SAVE crew and shown your way around the sites of Johannesburg like a local. We will start off with a visits to Soweto, South Africa’s biggest Township here you will have the opportunity to take some photos at the iconic Orlando Towers and Soccer City, home of the World Cup Final. We then head to a local food market where you can have a light lunch, shop for local arts and crafts and listen to some live music. After lunch we head to Constitution Hill, home of our South African Democracy and an integral part of our history. We then end the tour with a walk through the park at Zoo Lake, a pleasant end to the day.

Please note that the tour is flexible and may change according to the group’s interests for the day. This is your personal tour of our lovely city with our local guide to show you the best sites and places for the day.

Day 3
After breakfast we will either take you directly to your projects site, shuttle terminal or airport.


  • Accommodation is on a wildlife reserve in Hartebeespoort
  • Our volunteer house has multiple rooms with various facilities
  • All self-catering facilities supplied
  • Safe and secure environment


Please advise on your booking form of any and ALL dietary needs/requirements and allergies. All meals are provided for during the week. This includes a continental breakfast with fresh fruits, Lunch on location and a hearty cooked evening meal. There will be regular shopping trips into town so you will be able to purchase food or additional items you may need during your stay.


  • All transport is safe and reliable
  • All licenses and insurances are up to date
  • All insurances and liabilities for passengers are up to date and fully paid

Supervision and coordination

At all times a member of our staff will be there to assist and co-ordinate movements on all projects. Our project leaders will ensure that you receive the right instructions, safety briefings and objectives for the tasks at hand. There will be a de-briefing session each day to discuss the days events and the following days work and objectives. 

Emergency and safety information

  • All our staff have the relevant licenses for driving with passengers
  • All staff are qualified in First Aid
  • There will be a staff member in close proximity at ALL times
  • All volunteers are handed a safety guidelines card with the relevant contact numbers and emergency procedures printed on it
  • The nearest hospital is within 20 minutes drive of all locations
  • An emergency cellular phone with call time will be handed to one group member each day
  • Please note: Every precaution is taken to ensure your comfort and safety at all times


  • All beverages
  • Additional tours
  • Flights, visas and travel insurance
  • Personal items such as sunscreen, bug-spray and amenities

*Please keep in mind that all activities are subject to availability and prices may change without notice.

Tandem Paragliding: Can be arranged for you upon request. Please note that this is weather permitted only.
Costs: R1100 per person

Quad biking and Zipline: Fun in the sun! Yes definitely something to experience.
Costs: R1100 per person

Pilanesberg: The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is located in North West Province in South Africa, west of Pretoria. It is home to the Big 5, along with an abundance of flora and fauna. This Game Reserve in South Africa is every wildlife enthusiasts dream.
Costs: R1000 per person – full day

Sun City “Africa’s Kingdom of Pleasure” is a luxury casino and resort, situated in the North West Province of South Africa. It is located between the Elands River and the Pilanesberg, about two hours’ drive from Johannesburg, near the city of Rustenburg. Here is lots of fun activities to do!
Costs: R1400 per person full day

What do I do at the airport?
I have booked the Johannesburg Orientation package, how does that work?
How do I get to the project?
When is the best time of year to volunteer?
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?
How many people sleep in a room?
What is the facilities like?
Is there a danger of snakes?
Will I get to interact with the animals?
When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?
What animals are on the project?
What do I need when I’m on the project?
Will I have time off?
How much does water/soda cost there?
Where can I do my washing?


Example of a typical week at this project

Airport pick up. Welcome Orientation

Monkey Sanctuary:
Food prep and feeding, clean out and replace water, census, assist with new arrival and injuries, hand rear babies for release

Wildlife Reserve:
Remove alien plants, clear rubbish, bird and antelope counts, snare removal, fence patrols

Community Project:
Assisting in at the community project

Bird Project:
General maintenance and observation of different species. Supervised handling of birds of needed

Wildlife Reserve:
Remove alien plants, clear rubbish, bird and antelope counts, snare removal, fence patrols

Community Project:
Assisting in at the community project

Monkey Sanctuary:
Food prep and feeding, clean out and replace water, census, assist with new arrival and injuries, hand rear babies for release


Sept – March – vulture breeding season – Volunteers will assist with feeding, peat and parasite removal, water trough and breeding hut repairs.

If this program is combined with a language course  – lessons will be done in the afternoons on project site in different unique environments.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options