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South Africa - Wild Cat Sanctuary

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Two incredible weeks in Kimberley!

I cannot speak highly enough of the incredible experience I had volunteering at Felidae Centre in January this year. Being my first time going abroad as a volunteer, I was slightly apprehensive about what to expect, but from the moment I was greeted by Nicol and Chriszanne I felt so at ease and excited for what lay ahead. The brother and sister team went above and beyond to ensure we felt welcome and appreciated at all times, providing us with meals, including us in family activities, teaching us about the animals they look after and African culture, and showing us around their area during our down time. They are incredibly passionate about their work, an infectious trait and something I will always remember. The work we did both with the animals and to support the growth of their project was always varied and rewarding, and we always had the assistance we needed. On top of this, we would have several hours each day to spend with the animals to get to know them, which again was truly incredible. I feel so lucky to have spent 2 weeks at Felidae, and to be part of the amazing work that goes on there. I would go back and do it all again in a heartbeat, and recommend anyone thinking about working with big cats and other animals to give it a go!
The team at GoEco who arranged the placement for me were equally as fantastic. They were in regular contact with me and made sure everything was set to go, and that I was comfortable with any arrangements made. When I needed to make alterations to my trip they were extremely accomdating and helpful, which made the planning all the more easy for myself.
Thanks for an incredible experience Felidae and GoEco!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Wide variety of wild cats

The name says it all, there are so many wild cats here you can be very satisfied with your African experience. There are lions (old and young), white lions, cheetahs, caracals and more. Though not the best SA project on offer - a very good contender though.

Your work is split up into three groups for morning tasks which are feeding, water and house duties. The first task you will need to go into the meat room and cut up and prepare meat. If you are squeamish the coordinators are very nice and will allow you to do another job before you go and feed - you then go out to feed all the animals. Second task is simply cleaning the water out and topping them up. Third task is cleaning the house that you live in. These are rotated daily.

Afternoon tasks include building new enclosures and assisting around the farm.

You can get very close to the cheetah and teenage lions here which may be a highlight for some! There are also additional activities such as heading to the movies and going out for dinner to really make the project feel like a social time where you get to know everyone.

I would recommend you consider this project for your SA volunteering.

Date volunteered: January 2016
Recommended time spent here: 1 week
Living conditions: Dormitory style bunk beds, hot showers, kitchen access, TV
WiFi: Not bad - you are required to pay $10 for access though.
Vegetarian friendly: No
Additional Notes: They do a money kitty for nights out (we had 2 nights out) for eating. In theory it should work but in the end we paid almost double what our meals should be. However, South Africa is a reasonably cheap country to explore.

Thank you to Go Eco for allowing us to experience this incredible volunteer project in (country). Our opinion is, as always, our own.