• South Africa
    • Hoedspruit
1 to 8 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Age Max
Year Round
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
*Rates on site
1 week $670
2 weeks $1 190
3 weeks $1 750
4 weeks $1 960
5 weeks $2 310
6 weeks $2 640
7 weeks $2 980
8 weeks $3 330
Your fees include:
- Transfers on Saturdays for arrival/departure
- Three meals per day, tea, coffee, juice
- Accommodation including bedding and towels
- Laundry
- One trip to town per week
- Working in the community
- Wifi
Your fees exclude:
- Flights, internal/international
- Travel Insurance
- Personal toiletries such as shampoo, sunblock, mosquito cream
- Sodas, cokes, alcohol
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Some Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Equipment SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Jul 24, 2022
Jul 21, 2022
133 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

DAKTARI Environment & Wildlife Education Centre is set in a beautiful nature reserve close to the Kruger National Park. The comfortable camp is located in the heart of the reserve where you will work with the children and the animals of the sanctuary.

You will teach the local children about the importance of protecting the environment and blossom their passion for animals through the care of the animals in our sanctuary.

Please note that all animals kept in captivity in our sanctuary are not able to go back to the wild. We do not encourage animal petting.

DAKTARI also runs an outreach program for a greater impact on the communities. The weekly ECO CLUB and Wildlife Crime campaigns give the children the opportunity to ignite positive attitudes towards their valuable environmental heritage.

The volunteers are vital to the success of our programs and really make an impact on the communities, the future of our environment and our wildlife.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Educate underprivileged children about the environment, anti-poaching and important life skills.
  • Care for injured and/or orphaned wildlife and help us give them the second chance they deserve.
  • Get involved with local communities and learn about South African culture.
  • Go on trips and excursions and discover the beauty of South African beyond the gates of our camp.
  • Become a part of the DAKTARI Family, make friends for life and memories you'll never forget!

Program Impact

Our programs have reached more than 4,500 children in 16 years, cared for hundreds of animals, and helped employ dozens of youth.

What makes our Teaching Program different?
The children get to spend a full week at our camp with our volunteers and get to have fun, as well as learn a lot! Because we only take eight children each week, they benefit from one-on-one attention and participate in every lesson. Each day has a mix of lessons, activities, and animal interactions.

The teaching program is very hands-on. The children get to see the animals up close at our wildlife orphanage and interact with the animals every day. The lessons are interactive and practical and the children leave here with a passion for learning.

The program is completely taught by volunteers with the help of a local volunteer coordinator. They get a detailed teaching program before they arrive so that they can learn the material. The lessons include outdoor activities,

To get an impression of what the life of a volunteer at DAKTARI is, check out the video below!
https://youtu.be/PrVswQF57rU Life of a Volunteer

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.94 Rating
based on 65 reviews
  • 5 rating 93.85%
  • 4 rating 6.15%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 4.95
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 41 - 48 of 65 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The best 5-month of my life

DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage was the best experience I've ever had. I stayed 5 months as the Office Assistant for my internship and I enjoyed it so much. During this time I met such wonderful volunteers and incredible staff members.
I can say that the DAKTARI's team is like a family to me. It's really how we feel there, with a new family. Moreover, we are living in an incredible environment. Every morning you wake up in the bush with the animals sounds. See a giraffe, a monkey or an antilope is normal here and that is amazing.
I did the volunteer program during one week and for me it's really complete. The lessons are interesting and see the evolution of the kids and our impact on them is wonderful.
Taking care of the animals is nice too, dassie, mongoose, merkaat, cheetah or wild dog. I was happy to see how we can give a second-chance in life to these animals injured or abandoned.

Well, what can I say except thank you DAKTARI for these 5 months, I will never forget it and will always have you in my heart.
So, of course, at 100% I recommend this amazing experience!!!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing maybe that could be improve is the food.
It's really nice but a little bit too fatty, not enough vegetable and too much meat for me.
Otherwise, it's perfect! The breakfast is amazing
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing experience in the African bush

My time at Daktari was incredibly unique and memorable. You are surrounded by the peaceful, relaxing bush, but life in the camp is busy! You have the chance to work both with children and with wild animals. I found that even though I'm not a natural kid-person, working with the children was one of my favorite parts. I also have the chance to work with some of the animals - from hand-feeding Nyala to cuddling with meerkats and baby mongoose. And the staff and other volunteers here at Daktari really make it feel like home. The accommodation, food, and activities are all designed to give volunteers a great and immersive experience. My stay was only 3 weeks, but in that time, I know that I've made an impact on the lives of children as well as gotten so much out of the program personally. It was the kind of experience that changes your life for the better.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
So many things!! I cuddled with baby mongoose, hand-fed a wild Nyala, and danced around a bonfire with my friends under the starry skies!
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience!!

it was a great experience with wild animals like the mongoose and the dassie. I discovered so much animals that i dont know like the bush baby.
We have the chance to work with so different animals...people were so kind, the staff the volunteers etc. Also a very good cooking.
The teaching experience with the children was super. The kids were awesome, the program was very interesting like the environment or the anti poaching.
We have also lots of opportunity to make excursion to discover the main thing of the region like the Kruger park , make cheetah walk, game reserve, and lot of other things.
You have the opportunity to make a home stay in the village around and live a day in a South African family.
I really recommend this program to the people who want live another experience!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The rhino project against the poacher, it was an activity that I had the opportunity to do.
Unfortunately, it is not a recurrent thing.
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Still great experience

My experience at Daktari was great I mainly enjoyed my time with the kids. In fact, the teaching program was really well thought and helpful for the volonteers (You have all the informations that you need inside). You can teach kids about environment, anti-poaching for exemple. You take care of the kids because you have to sensibilise them about drugs, safe sex ... Most of them don't know about many things about those topics so it is so important for them.
I was disapointed, because I really thought to take care of wildlife animals. You can see some wildlife animals around the camp like girafe for exemple but you don't take care of them unfortunately.
I really appreciate to live in an international environment. You can work with a lot of differents people who they came of different country and it is so rewarding.

What would you improve about this program?
I think it is important to know you don't take care of wildlife animals at Daktari and you have to organize some excursion to see wildelife animals (you can see some wildlife animals around the camp but it is not sure...)
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Worth your time!

I spend 11 weeks at Daktari and it was definitely worth my time! It was very interesting to meet so many different people (and animals). Daktari has volunteers from all over the world which creates a fun group of people.
Being able to combine education with caring for animals (for a relatively low price!) was great! It is really important for these kids to learn about their own environment and how to take care of it and thereby themselves.
The teaching program keeps you busy during the week but in the weekend you have time to do cool excursions such as: going to Kruger, a boat cruise through the Blyde river canyon, walking with cheetahs, flying in a hot air balloon, a scenic mountain road trip and many other amazing things.
I would recommend this experience to anyone who loves sunsets, animals and teaching.

What would you improve about this program?
Although the food is great, it would be nice to have more vegetarian meals. Meat twice a day is unnecessary and not good for the environment.
16 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A very good experience

Everything is planned very well and the people who work here is so nice. There is a few miscommunications between the people who work here and the volunteers. Its nice to be able to interact with both animals and children, thats why i chose this programme.
The thing that I could recommend is to organise some activities the night with all the volunteers, sometimes it's a little bit quiet.
It can also be great if there is more communication between the short term and the people in the office.
Otherwise, it's a nice place where the teaching program is interesting because the children can have an education through our animal orphanage. I learnt how to take care of wild animals and I enjoyed my time with the others volunteers. It was a good time.

What would you improve about this program?
The communication between volunteers and those whom work here
15 people found this review helpful.
Brittany Correll
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in the Bush

This was my first volunteer trip and I can't believe it has taken me so long to take the leap. When I was preparing to leave for Hoedspruit, I was nervous about so many things: the organization, the food, my safety, and how I would fit in.

After the long flight to Hoedspruit, I arrived at the most quaint airport and was greeted by Etienne, their driver. From the beginning, Daktari was supportive and welcoming. Daktari is about an hour drive from the airport and will give you your first glimpses at wildlife in Limpopo -- we passed giraffes, impalas, and kudu. Once I arrived to Daktari, I was greeted by Pretty & Michele who walked me around to play with all of the animals and get acquainted with the camp. They have a few different types of rooms, single & multiple. For the first few nights, I was in a single room with a little patio. For the second half of my stay, I was in a more hostel-style room and it was great too, just a different experience.

Everyday was set up similarly with a dog walk, breakfast, stabling, lessons, lunch, swimming, more lessons, afternoon stabling, showers, social talk, dinner, games, and bed time. I loved the way the days were set up and it had a great mix of time for the kids to be moving around (typically playing soccer) and learning. The best part about this structure is that you get to have a lot of one on one time with the kids and down time. In between lessons I always played soccer with the kids and after lunch I was in the pool playing games with them. It's easy to go back to your room during down time but I recommend spending that time getting to know the kids and volunteers. Soak up every moment because I guarantee you will wish you had more time with them, regardless of if you stay a week or a year (although, I recommend a year).

I'm so thankful to work for an incredible company that has provided the opportunity for me to volunteer at Daktari. Whether you have volunteered before or this is your first time, I think that Daktari is the perfect organization for you. They have a great mix of structure and freedom. My only regret is not staying there longer.

What was your funniest moment?
One of the funniest moments from my time here has to be when a Dassie ate my hair. The Dassies here like to get on your shoulders and I thought it would make for a cute picture; so, I let one hop on. It started gnawing on my hair and I thought that it wouldn't be able to actually bite through it. I was wrong. It took a semi large chunk out of my hair but I did get a great picture with it, at least.
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Marvellous Volunteer Experience

Spending three weeks at Daktari was a marvellous volunteer experience. The people here (most) are so friendly and kind. I love the staff members, they all have great hearts. It's very interesting because you learn about so many different animals that live in Africa. Caring for the animals is a nice experience as well. Although cleaning the poop out of the cages might turn off some, I really didn't mind it. The stabling was quite easy, and when the kids are here, its really just teaching and watching them do it. The children also make it really interesting. A new group of 8 children come every week, and it's amazing getting to know every single one of them. Teaching them, you understand why they're at Daktari. The education system in SA is very broken, and the kids are fairly uneducated on basic topics. It made me feel amazing, teaching them this important information that will help them so much throughout their life. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who loves kids, animals and nice weather!

What would you improve about this program?
There are a couple things...
1.) Stop serving so much meat. You're an organisation teaching about the environment. It's important to practice what you preach. As animal agriculture takes a huge role in climate change, I would recommend teaching the kids about this and teaching the kitchen staff as well.
2.) Invest in some board games and other activities that can keep the volunteers entertained on Sundays and in their free time. I felt quite bored sometimes.
17 people found this review helpful.

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