Volunteer in South Africa – Wild Cat Sanctuary
Free State, South Africa
I spent 4 weeks volunteering at the Wild Cat Sanctuary and had the time of my life. I did things I never thought I would do, and met some incredible people and animals. There were lions, cheetahs, bat-eared foxes, caracals, servals, monkeys, jackals and an African wild cat on the farm. There was such a variety of wildlife, as well as one house cat and 4 dogs.
Volunteers were divided into 3 teams; one for food, one for water and one to clean the volunteer house. We did a different job every day, and so everyone had an equal turn at everything. Feeding the animals every day involved cutting up their meat and ensuring every animal had the correct amount suited to their individual dietary needs, and then going around the farm feeding them all, and providing water was similar. Watching these animals eat was an incredible sight.
During my stay there was a big emphasis on finishing their curio shop, so it could be opened to the public. This involved a lot of organizing and decorating, but the sense of achievement when it was opened and people came to shop was amazing.
We also did a lot of enclosure maintenance, including digging holes and building fences, painting, moving rocks, making cement and much more. It was great to know you were building an animal a home where it would be safe and happy.
There is also lots of chances to interact with the animals. A lot of their animals were rescued from places they were raised by hand, and so benefit a lot from human interaction. Interacting with these beautiful animals was a once in a lifetime experience, and something I will always treasure and remember.
A main reason this sanctuary stood out for me is because they are against canned hunting and captive bred hunting. The leaders of this project do everything possible to ensure that their animals are safe and have a long and happy life. If you’re looking for an ethical volunteering project; you’ve found one.
I could not recommend this project more, and the founders and owners of the project are incredible, inspiring people. Their dedication to their work and their love for every single one of their animals is awe inspiring. – Kate