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Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary

This incredible sanctuary on Cape Town’s doorstep offers rehabilitation and a home to over 400 species of birds and small animals. The organisation is underfunded and understaffed and volunteers make a valuable difference to the animals that call this centre home. There are more than 100 spacious landscaped walk-through aviaries, allowing intimate closeness with nature.


Location Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You should have a love for animals
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance
Day of arrival Saturday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Support conservation on a global scale by helping to rear rare birds and mammals in a protective environment.
  • Bring wildlife to the people by helping establish breeding centres and sanctuaries, showing that wildlife and urban development can prosper side by side.
  • Work with over 3000 birds, monkeys and small animals of 400 different species in a walk-through enclosure.
  • Work in one of the most popular areas in Cape Town, Hout Bay with a range of activities and tourist spots.
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Get personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

The Wildlife and Bird sanctuary seeks to bring people and animals closer together and to foster respect for and understanding of nature. Many of the birds seen at the project arrive injured, sick or as babies needing to be hand reared, and the sanctuary is responsible for their care.

In the sanctuary there is an element of surprise around every corner. Experience delight when parrots chat back or when the bat-eared fox plays with the meerkats, or amazement when you are face-to-face with owls and storks and monkeys without a separating fence. You will be placed with a keeper and will be trained in your first week. After this training, you will be used as one of the staff. You will mainly be involved with primates.

You will be placed with a keeper and will be trained in your first week. After this training, you will be used as one of the staff. You will mainly be involved with primates.

Your Role

A possible work schedule could be: 

  • 08:30 – 10:30 Staff/volunteers unlock the animal cages and check on all the animals. Feed the animals & birds throughout the sanctuary. This can take up to 2 hours.
  • 10:45 – 11:00 Break for tea.
  • 11:00 – 13:00 Clean cages, dishes and do other routine work that needs to be done.
  • 13:00 – 13:30 Lunch break.
  • 14:00 – 16:00 Afternoon feed.
  • 16:00 – 17:00 Lock the cages again and check on the animals. 

You work 5 days (Monday – Friday) with 2 days off each week.

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


You will stay at a backpackers’ in the beach-side area of Hout Bay. You will be accommodated in mixed dorm-style rooms with shared bathrooms. There are two fully equipped communal kitchens for self-catering, a lounge, board games, and tea/coffee making facilities. Linen and towels are provided. WiFi is included. Laundry is available for ZAR 100 per bundle.


Paula Rocha Pena da Silva


"It was a very enriching experience, because it fit my interests as a student of veterinary medicine. The project team proved to be sensitive to this issue and flexible enough to offer me tasks that were the most appropriate to my interests. This made volunteering more productive for me and the project.I am grateful to my supervisors, John and Dale, for their valuable and patient explanations and for their effort to make me feel comfortable. Regarding Good Hope, I thank Vanessa for her willingness to help me whenever I need it and for the wonderful letter of recommendation, which will be very important in my academic and professional life.”

Cedric from Switzerland


"The Wildlife & Bird Sanctuary is a place where the animals get a second chance at life. I was working in the monkey section, so I was taking care of more than 100 primates and 20 tortoises. My job was to prepare their food and feed them but also to clean their enclosure. I mainly spent time in the monkey jungle, this is a big enclosure were visitor could walk through and have the black capped squirrel monkeys jumping on them, my task was to look after the safety of our monkey, I mean check that nobody feed them sweets or does something wrong. The staff there are cool and I enjoyed my time with them."

Bruna from Brazil


"I could not imagine how I would fall more in love with South Africa, everything that I did at the project and in my free time will always be in my heart. I had unforgettable moments. Thanks for everything"