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Farm Animal Rehabilitation

This heartfelt project's mission is to relieve the suffering of overworked and abused cart-horse donkeys by providing them with a forever home. It is a sanctuary dedicated to the wellbeing of all rural animals, rescued from farms and a life of hardship.

Farm Animal Rehabilitation


Location Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Duration From 2 - 12 weeks
Dates February – November
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You must have a love for animals as well as good physical and mental health as much of the time entails outside work that requires focus and concentration
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance, COvid-19 Travel Compliance papaerwork
Day of arrival Sunday
Day of departure Sunday


  • Contribute to the provision of a safe & secure future environment for animals rescued from abused and abandoned environments.
  • Build important bonds and trust with the animals.
  • Experience the many naturally beautiful areas in the immediate Plettenberg Bay region and broader Garden Route district (river & estuary systems, indigenous forest pockets, coastal cliffs, golden-sandbeaches).
  • Choose from a long list of outdoor and adventure activities to add to your experience – including the world’s highest bridge bungy, swimming with seals, marine safari’s, river-rafting, sky-diving etc.
  • Gain a greater understanding of how the complicated and intricate issues from our history have shaped our present, and future direction.

Project information

This project was initially founded in 2017 to provide a safe & secure ‘forever-home’ for donkeys actively rescued from the then recently exposed, horrendously abusive, treatment inflicted on donkeys to supply the illegal underworld trade in donkey-skins used in the primarily Oriental ‘traditional medicines’ market, and furthermore to expose and press for the prosecution of those involved in these activities.

The spheres of reference have since expanded to include:

  • the provision of a safe-haven for other rescued farm animals
  • addressing and exposing donkey specific abuse in other African countries.

It currently provides a secure home, with routine feeding and veterinary care, to a rescued mix of +/- 140 donkeys, 40 horses & a solitary zebra; 20 indigenous Nguni cattle; numerous sheep, goats and pigs of varied breeds, plus a collection of ostriches, geese, ducks, chickens etc.

The project continues to highlight the abuse and maltreatment of animals in by promoting paid-for guided tours of their operation together with personal interaction with their animals as well as the integration of their horses – some of which are wild and feral when first rescued – into the herd via feeding, grooming, lunging and training for eventual use on paid-for, guided horseback outrides through some stunningly scenic open rural areas against an imposing mountain backdrop.

Your role

The routine working day runs from between 8:00/8:30 to 16:30/17:00, seven days a week. Volunteers are generally required to be on duty Mondays to Fridays, leaving weekends open to local touring & leisure pursuits.

The daily animal care routine will include the following:

  • morning feeding & watering plus the fitness/injury inspection of animals.
  • release & herding from pens and paddocks into pastures.
  • any specialised feeding or veterinary attention or general grooming when required.
  • the mucking out of stables & pens plus raking & cleaning of pastures.
  • general inspection & maintenance of facilities including buildings, fences, gates, foot & trail paths, invasive alien vegetation clearing & erosion control.
  • from +/- 15:00 daily, the rounding up and return of the varied herds from pastures to pens & stables for afternoon feeding & watering.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to train initially as assistant and then operate as independent guides to conduct public tours through the facility, while those with specific equine qualifications & experience will be involved in horse grooming, lunging & training of outride horses and similarly progress from assistant to qualified outride guides. These activities will take place on an “as-needed” basis.

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 year and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.


The accommodation is set in a 5-hectare small-holding amidst indigenous forest and open grazing pastures in The Crags and about 25 minutes from the main town of Plettenberg Bay.

You are accommodated in fully equipped, shared two-bed rooms, with bedding & towel provided, so might be sharing with another volunteer of the same gender. There are numerous bathrooms for communal access and use. Volunteers have full use of the well-equipped kitchen plus the two verandah areas - with large fire-places. It is here that guests and hosts gather for social interaction and where evening meals are served for all to enjoy.

A large group entertainment area complete with an under-cover combination plunge-pool/hot tub (the latter only fired up on request for special occasions), a bar facility plus an outdoor braai (BBQ) area are provided. Friday is officially declared as “Braai day” with local residents visiting for sundowners and a braai to mark the end of the week with the team and guests. The property also provides a golf practice putting green and a proper boule/petanque track.
Free WiFi is available at the main homestead and entertainment areas only.

Three daily meals are provided. You will make your own breakfast and lunch. Both vegetarian & vegan options, as well as any special dietary requirements, are available.