Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary and Game Reserve

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About

This program offers volunteers the opportunity to experience the best that South Africa has to offer with its great mix of community, wildlife and conservation activities. Volunteers will have the opportunity to make a real difference through this sustainable, life-changing project work that will improve the lives of rural communities, and help restore land over grazed from farming into the best big five reserve the Gauteng province has seen and last but not least take care of the animals living in Kevin Richardson aka the Lion Whisperer’s sanctuary giving volunteers the best of both worlds.

Through concerted conservation practices and your participation our goal is to really make a difference uplifting the social circumstances of the surrounding community and helping secure the future of our wonderful wildlife heritage for generations to come.

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Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 8
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 12
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Richard
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Love all the Lions!!

All the different lions and seeing there different personalities was really incredible.
Seeing Kevin and his bond with the lions and listening to Kevin talk with was amazing experience and was very inspiring.

What would you improve about this program?
The program at times was quite unorganized.
The food for breakfast and lunch was not great, but dinner was always really great.

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Tim
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such a great time, cant wait to go back....

Overall the experience was something that I will never forget. Kevin has assembled a team there who both have a genuine care for the animals, the environment and the volunteers. His team are a credit to him and made my experience truly incredible. On a day to day basis we were working on a range of tasks, feedings, cleaning and developing the reserve for example. It is amazing how quickly working face to face with fully grown lions becomes natural. You get to know not only the people but also the animals who all have their own individual personalities. Being able to see Kevin work and see first hand the relationship he has with the animals is something you will never forget. He is not only carer, but also father and friend to all the animals and seeing the happiness they display when they see him is truly remarkable. In the evenings we all came together for dinner and our little family is complete, don't expect to be sitting down to watch some television each evening but why would you want to when you look out the door and see warthogs running around and the most beautiful sunset you will ever see. Weekends are spent visiting neighbouring reserves and local markets to give you more of an African experience. Once you finish your time on the reserve you wont be able to stop talking about it (just ask my family) and both the people and the animals will have changed your life forever. Honestly, get yourself out there and see for yourself, it'll be the best decision you ever make.

What would you improve about this program?
If I have to be critical I would say that a bit more organisation would be beneficial. Projects got started and then left in preference to a new project, meaning that certain tasks took a lot longer to get done. More of an impact within the local community would make a huge difference to the local people and I'm delighted to say that this is something currently being developed. Just goes to show how Kevin and his team have a genuine care for not only the animals but for the local people also.
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Fabian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever

If anyone love animals, likes to learn about them and watch them very close in their daily life this volunteer program is the best thing that can happen to him or her. It is a lot of money to pay for a few weeks but it is worth it and the people are always friendly, energetic even when they have to work on the weekend. No wonder if they work with these amazing animals. Also I thought only about the lions before I went there but afterwards I can't forget the hyena coming towards me and lick my neck or the black leopards jumping from tree to tree climbing like an ape. Of course the lions are very impressing, especially when it's feeding time but you shouldn't underestimate the impressiond and appearance of the hyenas and black leopards.It is definitely one of the most impressing experiences in my life and I will never forget it.

What would you improve about this program?
A bit more food for lunch :) But the food in the evening was always awesome
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Cathrine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Most amazing month!

When you arrive to the farm everyone is friendly and takes you in as a family member, and you get some friends for life, i still keep in touch with some of the people.

During the stay you get to work hard, and you learn a lot about the animals, the nature and also about yourself. Even though you have to work hard it doesnt mean there is no fun, because we had a lot of fun during our stay. I was there during the time when everyone was busy trying to get the new enclosures ready for the move of the animals so we spend a lot of time weeding and fixing with fences and stuff. But two times a week we went to see the animals, feed them and clean there enclosures.

You should make sure that you go for your saturday walks, they are so beautiful, and go bathing in the damm aswell, you will enjoy it!

Even though the work is very hard, the hardest thing was to say goodbye to every one after 4 weeks, no doubt! And i still miss everyone a lot even though its more than 6 months since, cant wait to get back again!

What would you improve about this program?
Since we helped get the enclosures ready for the animals after the move we did a lot of weeding, but i am sure thats not all you get to do anymore, doesnt sound like it when i talk to the ones working at the farm, but in case something gets to much just tell them and they will try to make it better for you!
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Catherine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time in the African bush

I had a wonderful time at the Kingdom/Welgedacht lodge.

When I arrived I was firstly quite destabilized, as this was my first volunteering experience. However, I felt rapidly comfortable with most of the team members.

Be prepared to work hard, but you feel so good at the end of the day! Spending time in the bush and hearing the roaring of the lions at night is an unforgettable experience.

I learnt a lot about lion conservation but also about myself...

The overall experience was very enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone that wishes to make a difference whilst also taking a break from the stress of home...

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe arrange an evening around the braai with the whole team: the whole team of local staff and Kevin & Mandy.

Also foresee more vegetables and fruits with the meals...
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Rolly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A magical place with wonderful people..

Volunteering at the Wildlife Sanctuary was definitely one of the best thing's I've ever done. The moment you step in, you're welcomed like family, educated about the project and nature, and work closely with the animals. There are days where the work will physically test you, but you know it contributes to the wonderful project. I was there at the time of the migration to the new enclosures so some days were spent setting up fences, ensuring the land was suitable through weeding, and general maintenance. The other days included feeding the animals and cleaning dens.

Apart from this, you will enjoy socialising with Kevin and the team, plus the other volunteers from around the globe. The project is truly magical and I cannot wait until I see the the team again :) The toughest bit was saying goodbye, no joke!!!

What would you improve about this program?
It does sound a little costly, but once you know how the funds are managed you won't regret a cent.
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Fredric
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience africa

This has been a magical stay. We've experienced africas wildlife first hand and been around the majestic lions every day. You will make sure the surroundings are in order and that the lions have it well. Evenings and weekends are a lot of fun with the other volounteers and the staff.

Buckle up to work hard and have a lot of unforgetable fun, the wildlife is unbeatable.

What would you improve about this program?
Most people belived there would be cubs and baby lion petting, and ofcourse it would have been cute. But this kind of relation to the animals is absoulutly amazing.
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Fab's
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

great experience

- to repare the roads-rivers (pick up rocks)
- to feed the lions-hyenas-leopards
- anti-poaching walk
- to walk throw the bush once per week
- to learn things/informations about animals/nature

What would you improve about this program?
It's a bit expensive I think, but otherwise it's ok!Keep the walk on Saturday, or Sunday, that's really a great experience and you can learn a lot of things.