• South Africa
    • Cape Town
    • Hoedspruit
    • Johannesburg
    • Port Elizabeth
    • Johannesburg
    • Mossel Bay

Program Details

Year Round
Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Lodge Tent
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
Most of our programs include 2-3 meals per day, accommodations, pre-departure kit, comprehensive travel health insurance, local in-country staff and 24 hour emergency support. Please see the project details on our website for a complete list of what is included.
What's Included
Accommodation Airport Transfers Meals Some Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare Airport Transfers Travel Insurance Visa
Oct 12, 2022
Aug 14, 2021
45 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

A volunteering journey to South Africa means being immersed in the culture and traditions of an ancient land, and marveling at magnificent landscapes and an abundance of wildlife, while being embraced by warm and welcoming people. South Africa is a truly inspiring and exciting country to explore.

GoEco’s volunteer programs are designed to let you get a real taste of living in South Africa, while still providing you with all the support you need before, during, and after your trip.

This program is currently not being promoted on Go Overseas by its provider. Check with GoEco for the most up-to-date information regarding the status of this program.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Gain experience in wildlife conservation or teaching abroad
  • Get up-close with Africa's Big Five!
  • Ethical wildlife interactions and volunteering tasks
  • Discover Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kruger Park and other top destinations
  • Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

Popular Programs

Female volunteer with a giraffe on a wildlife conservation program

Wildlife lovers rejoice! This sanctuary is home to various wildlife species who have been rescued but are unable to be returned to the wild. Volunteers are able to provide hands-on care by preparing food for the animals and creating enrichment activities. Volunteers also assist in maintaining the sanctuary itself.

Female volunteer with a lemur at a wildlife conservation program in Africa

Work closely with fascinating African animals at a widely-accredited wildlife ranch! Volunteers work alongside professional staff and have the option to join as a volunteer or wildlife intern. Volunteers prepare food, feed the animals, maintain the ranch and more. Take the opportunity while here to dive with the resident crocodiles!

Female volunteer with a child in Cape Town

Join a program in Cape Town to empower the local low-income communities. Provide educational resources to local children, assist in a preschool or lend a hand at a farm school. Volunteers will create fun, educational activities and games, and teach the local schoolchildren.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Gain vast experience in animal care as you volunteer at a world renowned wildlife rehabilitation center in South Africa!

Pre-Vet Wildlife Internship

Gain hands-on animal care experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Whether you are going on a game capture or taking a lecture on animal health and nutrition, you will be exposed to the immense variety of animals and knowledge that is available in the African environment. Perfect for pre-vet students!

Marine Big 5 Conservation

Go on an experience of a lifetime in South Africa as you volunteer for the conservation of the Maring Big Five species! Gain hands-on experience working in marine conservation with this highly reputable organization.

Big Cat Refuge

Volunteer in South Africa at a big cat rescue sanctuary to enrich the lives of these majestic animals! This rescue sanctuary rescues cats from traffickers. These cats cannot return to the wild, as they would not survive due to their captive upbringing. This sanctuary gives them care and love while making the best life possible for them outside of the wild.

Wild Cat Sanctuary

Spend your days working with Africa’s beautiful big cats and learn all about the conservation efforts that are being put into place to protect and rehabilitate these beautiful creatures that were rescued from captivity. The sanctuary is also a safe haven for animals that cannot be released into the wild, due to their captive upbringing.

Big 5 and Endangered Species Reserve

Experience life in the African bush! Live close to the animals in their natural habitats and will learn about wildlife conservation first-hand! Gain experience in data collection and wildlife monitoring, which will then be passed on to conservationists in the field to be used in their work.

Penguin and Marine Bird Sanctuary

Volunteer to help with conservation efforts of African penguins and other marine birds at a sanctuary in South Africa! This sanctuary in Port Elizabeth takes in sick and injured African penguins and other marine birds in need of rehabilitation. This organization is an internationally recognised leader in oiled wildlife response, rehabilitation and chick-rearing.

Program Reviews

4.96 Rating
based on 23 reviews
  • 5 rating 95.65%
  • 4 rating 4.35%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.6
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 23 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Moholoholo rehhab

This was a life changing impact working with all of the animals. I learned so much and know that l made a difference by being here. We helped so many hurt animals and in my time there we were even able to release two of them. I would highly recommend anyone to go to moholoholo wildlife rehab center to volunteer. Everything there is amazing and the mountain view is breathtaking. Families can go, groups can go, or you can even go by yourself like l did. If you're thinking about going, do it. You won't regret it.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing was seeing the white lions that exist naturally only in south africa.
124 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

We Blessed The Rains in South Africaaaaaa

From the amazing hostel in Jo-burg to immersing ourselves in the history & culture of Soweto to Wildlife Sanctuary, this was undoubtedly the experience of a lifetime. I truly felt I got a 360 degree experience through my partnership with GoEco. Everyday at the sanctuary was an adventure. I walked to breakfast next to grazing zebras, watched giraffes at dinner, & laughed at monkeys stealing food from the wart hogs. The people were warm, fun, and now lifetime friends. Sign up now! You won't be sorry!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
When we visited Soweto, we had the pleasure of dining at a local restaurant with traditional food. It was buffet style so I went around and added whatever I wanted to my plate, some of which is still a mystery. I got to salad bar and saw, what I thought, was a cold, couscous salad. I got back to my table and took a big bite of this couscous dish and immediately realized something was not right. It was not pleasant! I soon figured out that I had taken a nice, big bite of minced garlic! I didn't want to be the rude American so I chewed and swallowed it and apologized to my friends for the garlic magic they would smell the rest of the day. Needless to say, the rest of the meal was delicious!
151 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Wild Cat Sanctuary in South Africa

Volunteering with this programme was the best decision I could have possibly taken. It was such an amazing experience getting to wake up everyday to the lions roaring. The staff there was super nice and the volunteers were the most funny people I have ever met!
We got to prepare the food and feed all the animals everyday, water them ad help with the cleaning of the house. On weekends we helped with the tours that came to see the animals and we also had a lot of free time to spend time with some of the animals. Also, we did some trips to the city to have dinner out, go to the mall and buy the groceries.

140 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best two weeks of my life!

As I said, best two weeks of my entire life!
South Africa has become my favorite place on earth, I would totally say it's my second home.
The interaction with the animals is amazing, much more than I could ever ask for! You really get to create a strong bond with them. Our lion cubs Malakai, Malia and Nairobi stole my heart as well as the ostrich Josephine and its babies :)
And the people you meet there...they become your family!

Can't wait to go back!!!

131 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The best month of my life!

Words cannot describe what an amazing time I had volunteering! First of all, the setting is just stunning as the place is surrounded by mountain chains. You can admire this view while walking the elephants, or if you go within the next few months, the 3 lion cubs. Malia, Nairobi and Malakkai were the absolute highlight as we had a lot of interaction with them and it broke my heart to leave them!
Everyday is different; from injecting goats, horse riding in the morning to chasing animals out of places where they aren't supposed to be! Everything was so overwhelming in the beginning and it was still at times after two or even 4 weeks because you experience so many different, new things.
Whatever excursion you want to do, the lovely Less will make it possible. I went to a monkey sanctuary, reptile farm, skydiving (twice), etc...
Of course the people you meet are a crucial part of your experience and you won't be disappointed: they are all amazing! They come literally from all over the world and still you all connect, because you are all there for the same reason: Your love for animals and traveling! Fun is guaranteed and it gets never boring!
The best part, however, were the different animals: the gracious tigers, the stunning lions (they are taller than you think!), the beautiful elephants, the playful leopard Selati, the super chilled zebra Jack an Roxy, the hyena, my personal favourite!
I enjoyed every second of my stay and I left a piece of my heart at this amazing farm in South Africa with all of those beautiful animals! I will definitely go back!!!

140 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

This was a once in a lifetime experience that I recommend to anyone who loves animals. It was a real dream come true and I enjoyed every single second of it. It was amazing to work alongside and interact with such amazing animals, who each have their own background story as to why they are at the sanctuary. All of the leaders and the manager were so knowledgeable and welcoming from the second we got there. My only regret is not staying for longer (2 weeks), but I will be returning in the near future.

146 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Opportunity of a Lifetime

Traveling to South Africa truly is an amazing experience. I am an avid traveler -- I have traveled to many locations in my home country and in other parts of the world. Even with that experience, I must admit I had butterflies in my stomach before leaving. I thought about the length of the flights, finding my staff member at the airport, what kind of people I would meet, the level of difficulty of the research, and how interesting the excursions would be to name some items.

However, from the moment I met my project staff member at Johannesburg airport, I knew what kind of tone this experience would entail. He was very welcoming and right away I meshed with the other volunteers on the way to the bush. The accommodations did not disappoint, as the food was delicious and plentiful and the rooms were very clean. The staff gave us a sufficient amount of training before we went into the field. Everyone was responsible for a different task related to research. These tasks were educational but not overwhelming. The sights and sounds in the South African bush were extraordinary. Our schedule kept us busy but still allowed some time for resting and sharing photos. There was a wide variety of tasks to be completed, including research, conservation work, community involvement, camping, and social events. On the weekend, everyone got to sign up for a fun excursion. My trip to Swaziland proved to be memorable.

My time in South Africa went extremely quickly. Meeting people from all over the world was truly a great experience. By keeping an open mind and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a little, it is amazing what you can accomplish. I highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in a life-changing experience!

142 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Taste of the Wild Side

I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian since I was five years old and I’ve always wanted to work at a zoo because I’m in love with wildlife, so I thought this internship was a perfect opportunity to see if my dream is what I wanted and to also be a part of a volunteer project. During the project, I was able to do so many things I would have never thought I’d been able to do for years to come. I was able to give a Nyala an IV, which is probably one of my highlights of the trip. We were always asked our diagnosis on an animal to figure out what was wrong with it, which helped you start thinking like a vet, and then we were able to treat the animal if the medicine was at hand and if we were able too. After being at the project for 3 weeks and being able to visit the same townships, during dog dipping, you could see the impact you were making on the animals which is honestly the best feeling in the world. You would notice the decrease in mange, ticks, fleas, and worms that dogs had. You would see the growth of puppies and see how much healthier looking they would be after you treated them. Additionally, we were able to practice tasks of a large animal veterinarian as well. These tasks include, pregnancy testing, pig AI, cow dehorning, etc. The program offered a great selection of tasks where you could work with wildlife, livestock, and domestic animals. I realized from this trip that I do not want to be a zoo veterinarian anymore because I believe animals shouldn’t be in enclosures and instead roaming free like they were supposed to be. You could see the happiness of animals when they were in their own environment with freedom to do as they pleased. It was an amazing feeling being apart of such an awesome program that made a difference in the local towns and its surrounding reserves. And thanks to this internship, I now know that I want to travel to different countries that need veterinary help due to animals that have poor health and living conditions and be a part of the impact veterinarians are making around the world.

What would you improve about this program?
Even though the program is hosted in Africa and I know things never go as plan, the program's organization could definitely improve. Some days you knew what you were doing for the week and other you didn't know till the day of. Besides organization, the program was ran pretty well.
145 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers