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Centre for Endangered Species

This facility is dedicated to the survival of rare, vulnerable and endangered species, particularly rhinos and cheetahs. The programme aims to equip volunteers with the ability to actively participate in the conservation of wildlife in the Kruger National Park area.

Centre for Endangered Species
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Overview:

Location Closest town: Hoedspruit, South Africa
Duration 3 weeks only
Dates The project runs 12 times a year. The dates are available on request. June, July and August programmes are normally fully booked long in advance
Requirements
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You have to be in a good physical condition and eager to learn
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance
Day of arrival Tuesday
Day of departure Monday

Highlights

  • First hand experience with many endangered species, namely the White rhino and cheetah.
  • Be involved in an educational day where you will learn about different plant/animal and bird species, animal tracking and identification and general conservation techniques.
  • Learn about the current problems that conservation faces in South Africa.
  • Visit schools in rural areas.
  • Explore the beauty and rich diversity of South Africa.
  • Take part in amazing tours and excursions outside of the project.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

The Centre for Endangered Species is living proof that people can make a difference to the long-term survival of the planet and its animal inhabitants, and is one of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in the country. They have a progressive and modern management approach, and focus on the breeding and maintenance of several endangered wildlife species which are indigenous to southern Africa. Cheetah and rhino conservation are two of their core activities.

The excellent condition of these animals and the premises on which they are maintained, reflect their attention to detail, which is the hallmark of this facility.

The centre also provides a safe haven for orphaned and sick animals as well as an education centre where the public and South Africa’s younger generations can learn about endangered species by observing them at close range.

The Centre is actively involved in:

  • The treatment and rehabilitation of orphaned or injured animals which are brought to the centre.
  • The education of learners, students and the general public in conservation and conservation activities.
  • The release and establishment of captive-bred cheetahs in the wild.
  • The promotion of scientific research and development in the wildlife field.
  • The breeding of endangered, vulnerable or rare animal species.
  • The provision of a safe alternative for damage-causing animals on commercial farms, with a view to ultimately introducing them into conservation areas that can accommodate such animals into their management policies.
  • Anti poaching initiatives on the reserve and greater Timbavati/Kruger area. 

This is an intensive 21-day programme. Volunteers experience first-hand the work of the centre.

Your Role

Monday to Saturday, Sundays are off.

Hands on experience: 

  • Working with cheetahs, cervils, rhinos, wild dogs, caracals, African wildcats and more.
  • Preparing food for the animals and feeding the animals.
  • Cleaning, building, fixing animal enclosures.
  • Possibility of working with the wildlife vet (darting, capturing and operating on animals). Local community involvement (e.g. visiting schools in rural areas).

Some days will be set aside for included excursions, i.e. a day trip to the Kruger National Park, a reptile orientation at the Reptile Park, a cultural visit to a local village community. 

PLEASE NOTE: There is no certain time of the year for baby animals – this could happen anytime and there is no guarantee that you will be working with baby animals during your stay.

Community Work:
As part of the Volunteer Programme, you may get involved with less privileged communities. In a unique project, the centre has partnered with a rural school where learners have the opportunity to visit the Centre to learn more about endangered wildlife. Primary school students will work closely with the volunteers when visiting the Centre.

It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the volunteer, the time of the year and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.

Accommodation

The accommodation camp is situated within walking distance to the project, but as the camp is based in a Big 5 Area (Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Rhinoceros) you will be transported to and from the project every day. You are accommodated in Rondawels, which are little thatched huts. Each hut offers a place for 2 volunteers. There are separate ablution facilities for women and men – each facility has two toilets and two showers. The camp consists of a kitchen and a boma (an outdoor entertainment area) with a relaxing area and barbecue facilities. Bedding and towels will be provided. Laundry facilities (hand wash only) are available and the necessary washing powder will be provided.

There is limited WiFi available, WiFi vouchers are available for purchase from the project and can be used in the accommodation area.

Testimonials

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"Thanks for the great experiences and all the things I learned here, you are doing a great job."

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"The program was fantastic! It was a great reinforcement for me to know this is what I want to do with my life. I don’t want to leave. And I’ll definitely be back!!!"

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"I like Nungu Camp because we live like in a family. The meals were very good at the camp, and I discovered Afrikaans dishes. Thank you very much Tabs and Karen for helping us take nice pictures and making us very happy!"