• 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
Feb 23, 2023
151 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

4.93 Rating
based on 68 reviews
  • 5 rating 92.65%
  • 4 rating 7.35%
  • 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 68 reviews
Default avatar
Maria Helena
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience

This experience was unique because it's a chance to work with the animals and child together. and we feel that we are helping them not taking jobs that could be done by South Africans. The deferents cultures give the children a chance to learn more about the world and deferents countries. We the volunteers had a chance to share your countries, experience, and traditions. `The children teach us a lot too. About their language, traditions, and culture. what was beautiful to see was their dancing. To dance is very important to their culture and the bonfire is a chance for us to learn their dancing skills. I think that Daktari is deferent because we are really helping them is not like going somewhere where we are taking jobs and not helping anyone.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Pap was the most unfamiliar thing that I ate. But the food in general was very good. They show us who they it but we have others options too.
47 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience

My experience at Daktari was amazing. I got to spend time with animals I never thought I would see so close. I got to be surrounded by wild nature for a month. I also had the opportunity to teach kids about something I hold very dearly; the environment. And I had the pleasure of being part of the Job Hunting Program, which helps young adults with teaching e-mail, cv, confidence at job interviews, ...

It was real fun to be there with both locals who shared their culture with us and international travelers such as me. Everyone was very polite and welcoming!

What really made this experience one I'll never forget, is the excursions that we could do on the weekends. I went to Kruger Park, Panorama Route, Blyde Canyon and Tshkudu Game Reserve.

All in all, I'm very happy that I had this experience and I'm sad that it's over!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I cuddled with meerkats, mongoose, bush babies and squirrels!
44 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible volunteer experience

Daktari was my first volunteer experience, and I'm so glad that's the case - it has been truly special to me. It was the first time staying abroad this long for me, and I wish I could stay longer. Time flies - if you think you want to stay for two weeks, stay a month. If you think you want to stay for one month, stay two.

The animals are great too - meerkats, mongoose, ostriches, squirrels, a cheetah, a wild dog, dassies (what are they even?), owls, eagles, a baby waterbuck and more! There's a crazy marmoset monkey that roams the camp, stealing your food and asking for belly rubs. So yeah, the animals are fun - but the people are the best.

I think it requires a certain mindset to volunteer anywhere, especially for a long term position, so the people you meet here will resonate with you - I'm certain. The atmosphere in the camp, the jokes, the dinners, all the little things make this a truly unforgettable experience.

What was your funniest moment?
When I conquered the Senior Citizen. Thanks, Pete.
45 people found this review helpful.
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
42 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!
45 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.
51 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...)
47 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.
43 people found this review helpful.
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