Work behind the scenes at an
ethical
big cat sanctuary

One of just seven true sanctuaries in South Africa

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  • Duration
    1-12 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
    16+
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • Start dates
    Every Saturday
  • From
    £350
  • Duration
    1-12 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
    16+
  • Minimum age
    18+
  • Start dates
    Every Saturday
  • From
    £350

South Africa big cat sanctuary

This is your chance to work behind the scenes at a true conservation big cat sanctuary that is currently home to many rescued lions, tigers, leopards, jackals and caracals. This unique and exhilarating experience will allow you to be fully involved in all aspects of the sanctuary where you will be able to get up close with some of the worlds most iconic animals.

The project provides a prosperous and protected future for the big cats and gives them the opportunity to live the lifes they deserve. Being a true non-profit sanctuary that is both ethical and sustainable, there is no cub petting, breeding or trading that takes place.

"The local team are extremely dedicated to the welfare of these big cats. They are adamant about ensuring it's a true and ethical sanctuary, by allowing no petting or breeding. Hearing the lions roar in the morning and being able to get so close is unimaginable."

The main goal of the sanctuary is to be an educational platform where awareness is created about conditions big cats face in captivity, and how animal welfare and enrichment play a vital role in giving them the best captive life possible. Educating the public on the issues with the canned hunting industry and breeding farms is in itself an enormous challenge.

This amazing programme aims to become the first ‘green’ big cat sanctuary in South Africa and is solely run on solar energy. Within the 40 hectares of paradise, there is a beautiful home for both the animals and volunteers and plenty of large trees, natural springs and a 360-degree view of the mountains.

You will be given the opportunity to be involved in all of the daily operations and be behind the scenes where you can learn what it takes to run the sanctuary. A normal day will consist of a morning meeting where you will go through the day’s schedule around 8am. You will then be out within the sanctuary until around 6pm – stopping for lunch of course!

Not only will you make great connections and bonds with the big cats, but also lasting relationships and many happy memories with the staff and fellow volunteers. At the end of a hard days work, you can all sit around the bonfire with a cold drink watching the famous African sunset talking over stories and dreams.

Hear a lion roaring up close, get love and recognition from a leopard, experience the loud ‘chuffing’ of a tiger and see these previously rescued cats appreciate the toys and enrichment you provide.

Accommodation & meals

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Volunteer fees

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Between the UK and South Africa teams, I felt fully supported and had the best two weeks at Amakhala. I saw so many animals and learnt so much, I cannot wait to volunteer again.

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