Volunteer with Children and Animals in South Africa

Video and Photos

On weekends, there's the option of doing different excursions.
Cuddling the animals is a great way to spend free time!
The children benefit from 1:1 attention from volunteers.

About

This exceptional experience provides volunteers with the unique opportunity of not only caring for some of South Africa’s most iconic species, but also of using these animals as a tool to inspire a generation of underprivileged school children to become passionate about wildlife conservation. Work with children and wildlife in the heart of the Limpopo Province of South Africa with DAKTARI, a non-profit organization.

Be it doing bush walks, learning about the negative aspects of poaching, or discussing the importance of respect, you will always be busy! Members of the project’s team will guide you and help you whenever needed, so you will never be alone!

DAKTARI volunteers pay a fee in order to cover the cost of their stay and to contribute to DAKTARI's programs. Your fee will feed a cheetah, get someone a job, and educate an underprivileged child. It helps us make an impact in the community and provides you with an amazing South African experience!

So - what are you waiting for? COME JOIN US & HELP CHANGE OUR WORLD **100% of your payment goes to the charity connected with the school children.**
Highlights
  • Take an active part in educating underprivileged children about the environment to make a real impact in their community! You, alongside the other volunteers, will be in charge of leading the lessons as well as the activities.
  • Help care for injured and orphaned animals as part of the educational program.
  • Meet the community through our outreach program in the local schools and creche, and help further our impact in the village!
  • Experience Africa by immersing yourself in the community, or visiting some of the iconic sights and areas surrounding the project’s location!!
  • You can also sign up for a home stay in which you and up to one other person can spend the night with one of our local families to see what it's like to live in an African village. Be prepared to get up early to help out!

Impact

Our programs have reached more than 4,000 children in 14 years, cared for hundreds of animals, and helped employ dozens of youth.

Teaching Program: We teach children about the environment and conservation. We supplement their schooling with math games and social talks about respect, substance abuse, and safe sex.

Wildlife Orphanage: The animals here have been found abandoned or injured. These animals can not be rehabilitated into the wild because they are too dependent. Our goal is to give them a second chance, while educating underprivileged children to care, love and protect them.

Outreach Program: Our work doesn't stop at our gates. We also have eco clubs and community development initiatives.

20% discount between March 14th and April 11th!

We are offering a 20% discount to anyone booking for the period of 14th March 2020 to 11th April 2020!

Questions & Answers

Great question! Once you send a message or press Apply Now, the provider of this program will receive your message or application, and guide you to the next step. All you have to do is fill out a few details! The entire process should only take a few days and every message will appear in your personal inbox.

You will know within the next few days.

Your message will be sent to the provider who runs this program! You will receive a personal email as well as a message in your Go Overseas Inbox (top right of the page, "Inbox") once the provider responds to your question. At any point, you can ask more questions by pressing View within your Go Overseas Inbox.

Wait for the provider of this program to accept you! You will receive an email to your personal inbox as well as your Inbox here on Go Overseas within 48 hours.

Reviews

9.57 Rating
based on 49 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 49
Default avatar
Adriano
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Program for a first time volunteering abroad

This program was excellent for a first time volunteering abroad. Daktari has everything someone need to have an excellent staying, while the staff was also amazing. The program is very organised and all the material has been pre defined and selected for everything to run smoothly.
The interaction with the kids is amazing and they are all so kind that make us feel really nice during our week with them. The animals at Daktari also enhances the programs value.

Considering everything this program has, I would definitely like to come back someday.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the program could have a more long term strategy towards the kids, as they spend only one week with the volunteers. Maybe there could be a mentoring program where volunteers kept track of the development of the student, maybe through quarterly meetings with Daktaris team. Although the program is excellent, maybe the impact on the kids lives/future is very limited as the duration of the program is only one week.
Default avatar
Stephanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

good experience

I'm very happy and so rich after this week immersion with children and animals. Thanks to all the team and founders for this fantastic place wich contribute to educate futures generations. I loved the education part and the time spent with the children, thanks a lot <3

I appreciate the animals, the dancing fire, the walk bush and all the funny moments with the children

What was your funniest moment?
dancing with children around the fire, hugs with the donkey
Default avatar
Ava
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review of DAKTARI Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage

I would highly recommend this volunteer experience, i had so much fun here and had such a rewarding time. This was because I could clearly see the positive impact i was having on the children and their education as a whole. To see the kids having fun and learning so much during their time here made the hard work worth it. I loved getting involved in the animal care and watching all the animals being happy and growing. If you are nervous or worried about coming all the way to South Africa by yourself don't be you won't regret it and you will have a great time.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I saw a leopard at Kruger National Park on an excursion at the weekend. It was a magical moment especially because i got to experience it with all my new friends.
Default avatar
Rafaela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing two weeks at Daktari!

I came here to learn how to take care of animals and how to interact more with kids, and I'm leaving with my goal achieved! It was amazing to see how much impact we can make in someone's life with just a little of attention. I went to Eco Club at Oaks High School and it was so different than what I was expecting. It was a experience that I'm going to take for life!
I loved it and I would definitely love to come back. Thank you to all the incredible staff and to all the amazing people that I got to know in Daktari.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would try to be less shy at the beginning and be more prepare for the classes.
Default avatar
Jo
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The DAKTARI experience

As an older volunteer, I was a little apprehensive about being at DAKTARI. Never having done a 'gap' year or travelled alone, however, my experience was something I certainly will never forget. My fellow volunteers were all in their late teens or 20s but we bonded so well. The shared experiences of stabling and teaching, not to mention the excursions and chats around the dinner table gave me so many incredible memories that I will treasure forever. Initially, I was skeptical about the impact we would have with the children after only one week, but when we heard their presentations and promises at the end, it demonstrated how successful the programme is. The long term volunteers and the staff at DAKTARI made me feel so welcome and their passion and commitment was clear to see. I expected to have an interesting time, but not to make the connections with so many individuals.
Highly recommend this organisation if you want to connect with nature, children and find out about yourself.

What would you improve about this program?
The teaching day is quite long and I think some of the lessons could be restructured to be more fun.
Default avatar
Hlulani
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience!

Volunteering at daktari was amazing, i loved working with the staff, the volunteers and the people from the nearby village. i got to do a lot of fun things like stabling, helping to feed the animals, and teaching the people from the nearby village skills they would need to find jobs and how to be in the work place. i got to go to the leopard rock which was really fun because we got to see a lot of animals ,traversed the bush and got to see a very beautiful sunset. the atmosphere was nice and warm the people at daktari are friendly and very caring. i would recommend volunteering here to anyone who would like to get back in touch with nature while helping other humans to succed in life. The food at daktari too good not to put in this review loved it

What was your funniest moment?
when the Australian monkey jumped on sam and he started laughing
Default avatar
Morgane
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience!

Really great experience ! The experience of charing with kids is really interesting and the visit of the children of the village allowed a very interesting cultural exchange. we can see that all the children are really interested and this week has a good impact on them. The staff are always available if you need some help or answer your question. the accommodations are really good and the food is amazing.
Daktari propose a varied programme (theory lesson, practice lesson, animal care, stabling, swimming pool) for always keeping kids interested.
It was a special weeks with 26 children from Johannesburg and the kids really enjoy their week specially the dance lesson and, Halloween enrichment for the animal and the bonfire.

I recommend this experience.

What was your funniest moment?
the moment that i preferred was the Diphuti School Visit to camp for cultural dance lesson. the kids are very involved for the victory of the best dancer
Default avatar
Jennyfer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great cultural experience

I would recommend this program to everyone who wants to work with kids and make a difference in their life. You have a great opportunity to learn more about the culture and the traditions of the local communities. These kids are very underprivileged, and therefore, your lessons will have a great impact in their life. You will also take care of injured and/or hand raised animals that cannot be released into the wild. The staff also helps you organise trips during the weekends to explore the area (National Kruger Park, swing jump, Blyde River Canyon, etc.), to visit other game reserves or to go downtown and buy some gifts and souvenirs for you relatives. Nice to know: most volunteers are between 18 and 30 years old, but it would be suitable for any age group.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was pleasantly surprised to see that we could book (with the help of the staff) activities during the weekends. With their recommendations, I did a swing jump in the nearby area with other volunteers. It was just awesome.