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African Cat Sanctuary

This sanctuary creates a safe and secure home for captive-bred big cats and raises awareness about the ethical and holistic treatment of animals. This 40-hectare paradise provides a beautiful home for the animals and volunteers are involved in their day-to-day care and protection as well as the education of the public to the plight of Africa's Big Cats.

African Cat Sanctuary

Overview:

Location Stanford, South Africa
Duration From 2 - 12 weeks
Dates All year round
Requirements
  • 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
Day of arrival Saturday
Day of departure Saturday

Highlights

  • Be part of an ethical volunteer programme and a true sanctuary where no cub petting, breeding or trading takes place. 
  • Be involved behind the scenes and be part of the day-to-day activities of running a big cat sanctuary.
  • Work and live together with the staff, who will guide and supervise you, so that you will learn as much as possible during your stay.
  • Form incredible bonds with the animals and other volunteers.
  • Be close to many of South Africa’s top tourist attractions.

Project information

The African Cat Sanctuary is an environmentally friendly sanctuary for any captive-bred big cats, where they will be protected and prosper for the rest of their lives. This 40-hectare paradise provides a beautiful home for the animals, the owners and the many visiting volunteers. The land is filled with lots of large trees, a natural spring and an amazing 180-degree mountain view. The project upholds a belief in the connection between both environmental and wildlife conservation and aims to become the first green big cat sanctuary in South Africa by running solely on solar energy.

One of the project’s main focuses is to be an educational platform where they create awareness about conditions big cats face in captivity, and how animal welfare and enrichment play a vital role in giving the cats the best captive life possible. They are a true sanctuary where no cub petting, breeding or trading takes place. They are a blue print of how a non-profit sanctuary, focusing on animal welfare, can become self-sufficient, and they aim to change all breeding facilities into sustainable ethical programmes.

The project believes in the equal importance of both humans and animals, and they will do their absolute best to give you the experience of a lifetime. They know from personal experience that this includes both quality time with animals, as well as with staff and other volunteers. Hearing a lion roar up close, getting love and recognition from a leopard, hearing the chuffing of a tiger, or seeing the big cats appreciate and love the toys you make to enrich their lives = BLISS.

Your role

There is a difference between summer and winter months due to temperature and hours of light during the day. Together with the project team, you have a morning meeting where you go through every day's schedule so everything will be planned and set up for you. There are breaks between the different tasks, and the team will try their best to be flexible to accommodate off-site activities, so you can expect a good variety of work and relaxation!

  • Daily tasks might include:
  • Caring for and observing the big cats
  • Enrichment programme
  • Preparation of food and feeding
  • Cleaning, maintaining and upgrading of enclosures
  • General farm work
  • Assisting with educating visitors

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.

Accommodation

The accommodation of this project is on-site in a modern, comfortable house which consists of 4 bedrooms with 4 bathrooms. Normally two volunteers share a bedroom and bathroom and all bedding and towels are provided. Laundry is included.

The house offers a spacious and fully equipped kitchen for everyone to cook, a big living and dining room area where you can enjoy games nights, film evenings or just relax with a nice book. Outside there is a traditional South African braai (BBQ) area, and a lovely pool with a garden to sunbath for the hot summer days!