Volunteer at a Big Cat Sanctuary
Who wouldn’t want to work with some of the largest cats in the world? This wonderful big cat sanctuary is home to captive bred leopards, lions and even tigers. Being raised in captivity means they are not able to be released back into the wild and need a safe place to call home without any trading or breeding. You will help with maintaining and building new enclosures, helping with feeding and creating new challenges for the cats in their play areas. One of the most important parts of your job will be to help spread awareness of the type of conditions these big cats face in captivity.
The owners of the sanctuary were once volunteers in South Africa, just like you, which lead them to this dream and the dream became a reality.
You will need to be 18 years or older, have a willingness to help as well as good social skills in order to join this project.
Day To Day Routine:
This project is a minimum of 2 weeks.
Each day begins with a light breakfast of tea, coffee, toast and cereals.
You can expect to be busy for about 4 to 5 hours each day, with 1 or 2 days off each week. Working hours may vary from day to day, but generally you will have a long lunch break from 11:00 – 14:00 when the sun is at its hottest.
A typical lunch might include salads, wraps, burgers or a stir fry. Meals are prepared using chicken, pork or fish, but not red meat.
In the evenings you will be able to prepare your own dinner in the large kitchen. Volunteers often get together to take turns cooking for the group, and make frequent use of the indoor or outdoor braai (BBQ) for an authentic South African dining experience!
Catching up with the day’s stories around the fire is a great way to relax, and there are a selection of DVD’s and games to keep you entertained too.
For your free time there are plenty of activities in the local area including hiking, bird watching, whale watching, shark cage diving and much more. There will be a planned excursion to a local attraction each week, where transport will be provided.
Extra trips to local tourist hotspots like Hermanus and Gansbaai can also be organized for a nominal fee, and there are some great value restaurants in nearby Stanford and Hermanus if you fancy a special night out.
When you first arrive in Cape Town, you will spend the night at Ashanti Lodge, one of Cape Town’s best backpackers with free Wi-Fi, stunning views of Table Mountain and easy access to the city centre.
During your time with the Big Cat Sanctuary you will stay in a modern, yet cozy home on the farm. The house consists of 5 bedrooms with 4 bathrooms, a spacious fully equipped kitchen, a big living and dining room area, an indoor and outdoor braai, and a lovely pool.
Your volunteer home includes the following facilities:
- All bedding is provided, though you might want to bring a travel sleeping bag for optional sleep-outs under the stars
- You will share a room with up to 3 other volunteers. Each room has hanging space and an ensuite shower and toilet
- A twin room is available for couples, with a shower and toilet just across the passageway
- A large fully equipped kitchen
- An entertainment area with flat screen TV, DVD player and an indoor Braai (BBQ)
- An outdoor braai and a pool for relaxing in on warmer days
- There is free Wi-Fi in the house so you can easily keep in touch with friends and family on the volunteer computer. The Wi-Fi is capped each month so it’s not suitable for heavy use like downloading movies or series. Please download these to your own laptop before you come
- A washing machine and powder is provided so you can do your laundry once per week
- A housekeeper will look after general housework, although you will be expected to clean up after yourself as you go. You will be expected to leave the bathroom and kitchen area’s clean and tidy ready for someone else to use.
Making Your Way Here:
The Big Cat Sanctuary is located near Stanford, less than 2 hours’ drive from Cape Town in South Africa. We have arrival dates for this project every Saturday throughout the year.
- You should aim to arrive in Cape Town on or before your chosen Friday arrival date.
- You can arrive at any time of day and one of our team will be there to welcome you with a big Via Volunteers sign when you land at Cape Town International Airport.We will then escort you to your pre-project accommodation, one of Cape Town’s best backpackers close to the city centre.
- You will have the night to freshen up after your flight.
- On Sunday morning a member of the project team will transfer you to the Big Cat Sanctuary and introduce you to the team.
- At the end of your placement, you will depart on the Saturday morning. We can transfer you to the airport, or to Cape Town if you are planning to stay on and explore for a while.
- If you would like to stay in Cape Town city and do some tours, safaris or adventure activities, before or after your program then you can contact us at Ashanti Travel Online.