African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctaury South Africa
91% Rating
(23 Reviews)

African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctaury South Africa

Always wanted to get up close and personal with African Birds and Wildlife? Then this is the project for you!
Don't mind getting your hands dirty or getting stuck in as part of our team? Come join us!

You will work closley with a birds and wildlife from SA and beyond, help prepare their food, clean their enclosure, help with any maintenance or building new camps and enclosures that may be needed. We also have a game reserve where you can take an evening stroll and see our Giraffe, Zebra and lots of antelope.

Just 25 mins from the surfing mecca Jeffreys Bay, there's loads of fun activities to try on your days off too!

South Africa
Project Types
Other Locations
Jeffrey's Bay

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 23 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 16 - 23 of 23
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African Dawn changed my life.

When I visited African Dawn, I was in my last year of high school in the U.S., and I was grappling with the desire to help the world and discover myself. I spent two weeks at African Dawn, but I never wanted to leave. Even in the short time I was there, it felt like home to me. I met the most amazing people and animals in the whole world, I was able to experience the kind of hands-on animal car work that I have always wanted to do, and I was able to participate in something that helps the world in a truly beautiful way.
The work is hard, but rewarding, and the people are amazing. The sky is huge, and the surroundings are perfect. I had so many life changing experiences while I was there... I'll never forget it, and I am so thankful to have had it in my life.

Yes, I recommend
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More than a Sanctuary

One of this projects best qualities is that every day is different. You could be feeding an aviary with more than 200 different species of birds on one day and servals and wallabies the next!

Everyday is filled with jobs that you know benefits the animals and the volunteers are given the opportunity to help raise orphaned or abandoned baby animals and even help feed and treat injured ones.

Not every project is able to offer tame servals to play with on just your average day.

One of my greatest highlights would be raising a baby Knysna Loerie who I called Elvis. Elvis is now fully grown and so handsome and friendly.

This project helps people to grow and allows anyone and everyone to feel part of something important.
I highly recommend this project to everyone.

Yes, I recommend
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Such an amazing place!

As soon as I arrived I was made to feel welcome by the volunteers and the staff. There's such a variety of animals and the amount of interaction and hands on you get at the sanctuary is brilliant.
The area is beautiful and there is so much to do in the area all along the garden route.
The accommodation is comfortable and well laid out and situated within the game farm meaning I often woke up to some unusual neighbours including Zebra and Giraffe!
I made some of my best friends at the sanctuary and they will remain close friends for life.

Yes, I recommend
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What a place!

Well this was my first trip away on my own so was pretty nervous and didn't know what to expect but as soon as I got to African Dawn i felt completely at home and welcomed!
It's set in lush green mountain side as far as the eye can see so no roads or towns walking distance so you really feel out in the wild! The site itself consists of 7 or 8 aviaries with over 250 species of indigenous birds as well as lynx, servals, wallabies, ground squirrels, tortoises, monkeys, impala, kudo, ostrich...the list goes on. And the volunteer accommodation is situated on the game park which is a short 5 minute walk away in lovely wooden cabins (new entertainment room there too with games, tv etc) When i say Game park i mean you could wake up one morning with zebras and blesbok on your doorstep - beautiful!

The average day consists of an early start to do the morning feed for all animals followed by your own breakfast and a chance to lap up the morning sun. We then get a list of jobs to do which is shared out to everyone. example is to sweep the seeds in the parrot aviary or take a nice 15 min walk to go feed the adult emus. After they're all done you have a free few hours to spare doing what you want (i usually spent time in the many enclosures like the servals or just sit in the main aviary watching the birds. Afternoon feed is at 2 and you help prepare the meat, fruit and maize before doing the rounds. After this you have until 6 to make friends with some more wonderful creatures, get to know your fellow volunteers or just relax in the sun in pur bliss. Dinner at 6 is prepared by the staff or you could be lucky to have Percy's infamous Braii (BBQ) the evening is yours to do as you please. i really enjoyed getting to know the people i was going to spend the next 2 months with by playing games or hanging out our cabins.

I made some amazing friends here at African Dawn and not just humans! My favourite was a glossy starling called Giddy who was hand raised so is very friendly and will follow you around the aviary so i would always bring some fruit for him. I will never forget my experience here or the people and animals. It's a real eye opener to how much time, effort and money goes into saving and looking after these magnificent creatures and without the unpaid full-time staff or us volunteers it would exist!
So i would highly recommend helping out at African Dawn for any ages if you want to experience a real sanctuary, dont mind getting your hands dirty and love animals! it's a great escape that you can really make a difference!

Yes, I recommend
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A truly beautiful place

African Dawn is a home from home and will always have a special place in my heart. You are accepted into the family immediately and made to feel at home.

The day starts with feeding the animals and it can be anything from the aviary which has over 100 different species, or the squirrel monkey, buck, wallabies. After everything has been feed and all the plates cleaned away we have breakfast.

After breakfast we start with jobs which can be cleaning enclosures, adding environmental enrichments, walking the game fences, spending time with the hand-reared animals and even helping to build enclosures.

After lunch the whole park is fed again but you will be feeding a different section of the park than you had in the morning. Then there are a few afternoon jobs to be done but mainly its time to relax, shower and get ready for dinner.

You get two days off a week and you can do a heap of activities including bungee jumping, sky diving, horseback riding, safaris, walking with elephants and hanging out in Jefferys bay.

Overall I had the most amazing time, met some amazing people and had the best experiences of my life.

Yes, I recommend
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A Life Saver

Day to day life at African Dawn was amazing. We woke up everyday and immediately fed the animals. We would be able to interact with them as we walked around, and I felt like I got very close to the different creatures there. It was not just birds, there were different types of monkies, wildebeast, kudu, and my favorite, lynx cats. I was enthralled everyday and ready to get up.

The social scene was also fantastic. I went there alone and I was immediately accepted into the small group that was there. I loved it!

Yes, I recommend
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African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary

I arrived at the African Dawn bird and wildlife sanctuary for my first night at about 10 pm. All I could make out as I was walked to my cabin in the African darkness were the brilliant sounds of exotic birds and other strange creatures. I awoke the next morning to the chatter of the animals in the sanctuary and a new, bright African morning. My first walk through the park was breath taking to say the least. I was taken on a personal tour of the various enclosures. First the meerkat hill. Next, to the cheetah habitat. Then a walk through the mystical aviary, the park owner's pride and joy. I was taken inside the marmoset enclosure, experiencing a monkey on my shoulder for the first time ever. Needless to say, I knew this would be an incredible 4 months from the very first morning.
After meeting all of the magnificent enhabitors of the park, we began our daily routine of feeding and general habitat management. After fixing the specific plates of food for each animal, we would head out on our routes of delivering breakfast. Only after everyone had been fed did we sit down for breakfast ourselves. This usually consisted of a variety of choices including pancakes, cereal, eggs, bacon, toast and anything else you can find kitchen. We spent the next few hours either tending to the sick and injured animals in the nursery, cleaning the shelters of the enclosures, preparing food for the evening feed, or unloading goods from the daily truck shipments. Afternoon feelings were generally the same as in the morning, with a few variations such as checking and changing water, feeding the turtles, and washing food dishes. Once all jobs had been completed and all of the animals were full and comfortable, we headed to the cabins to get cleaned up for dinner. The amazing staff and permanent volunteers at African Dawn cook dinner every night, giving you a relaxing and delicious evening meal.
After having been at the sanctuary for a few months, I was given responsibilities above those of the basic volunteer. Those jobs were the most enjoyable part of my time there. I was given full responsibility of an injured owl who I became incredibly attached to. She was eventually able to be released, such an amazing feeling. I also became involved in the bottle feeding of the 3 baby serval cubs we had at the time. I would highly suggest giving yourself at least a few months on this project. Not only will you get the full experience of being fully involved in almost every part of the park's happenings, you also become very close to each incredible animal that lives there. I left African Dawn with not only 20 new friends from all over the world, but also with about 100 other furry ones.
Lastly, the owner of the park, Percy, and his amazing family are beyond welcoming. They, along with the other volunteers became my family for 4 amazing months. Whether we were sitting around the fire at night, talking and singing, or traveling to go bungee jumping, the people I met and lived with made my time in Africa the most memorable and wonderful experience of my life. This is a project with an incredible cause and an even better atmosphere. Thanks Percy!

Yes, I recommend
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African Dawn

General day started with making up food for the animals and feeding all of the animals within the sancutary followed by breakfast.
After breakfast conservation work and environmental enrichment took place as well as general maintenance of enclosures and caring for sick or injured animals.
Lots of free time to interact with the animals and then an afternoon feed and more free time.
I liked this project because of the amount of hands on and interaction we could have with the animals. You are welcomed by everyone and made to feel like a part of the family by all the staff and owner of the sanctuary who has the welfare of his animals always at heart. It's clear to see that everyone there loves the animals they care for and it was a pleasure to be a part of that family.

Yes, I recommend

About African Dawn

African Dawn Wildlife Sanctuary and Endangered Species Breeding Centre set in the heart of a lush valley. Situated between Jeffrey's Bay and Port Elizabeth lies African Dawn a truly beautiful bird and wildlife sanctuary, featuring a endangered cat...