Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary and Game Reserve
95% Rating
(12 Reviews)

Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary and Game Reserve

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.

Locations
Africa » South Africa » Johannesburg
Africa » South Africa
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
Project Types
Language
English
Housing
Hostel
Starting Price
$500.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
1. From GBP800 (7 nights) to GBP2050 (28 nights)
2. Includes Airport pick up and drop off if on scheduled dates
3. Includes Meals and Accommodation
4. Excludes Flights and Visas

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    93%
  • Support
    96%
  • Fun
    80%
  • Value
    98%
  • Safety
    98%

Program Reviews (12)

Default avatar
Richard
Male
24 years old
Montreal
Ottawa University

Love all the Lions!!

8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

The program at times was quite unorganized.
The food for breakfast and lunch was not great, but dinner was always really great.

Default avatar
Tim
Male
24 years old
United Kingdom
University of Warwick

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

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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.

Default avatar
Fabian
Male
24 years old
Germany

Best experience ever

10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

A bit more food for lunch :) But the food in the evening was always awesome

Default avatar
Cathrine
Female
19 years old
Trelleborg, Sweden

Most amazing month!

9/10

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!

How can this program be improved?

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!

Default avatar
Catherine
Female
42 years old
Brussels

Great time in the African bush

9/10

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...

How can this program be improved?

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...

Default avatar
Rolly
Male
32 years old
Sydney, Australia
Other

A magical place with wonderful people..

10/10

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!!!

How can this program be improved?

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
Male
24 years old
Sweden

Experience africa

8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?

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
Female
32 years old
Fribourg, Switzerland
Other

great experience

10/10

- 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

How can this program be improved?

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.

Default avatar
Ambar
Female
24 years old
Melbourne, Australia
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

amazing best time of my life

10/10

Meet so many amazing people and friends who live all over the world and still have contact with. The program promoted bonding and friendship and experiences that will last a life time.

It takes you back to being a kid working all day but having fun at the same time and at night sitting around having a laugh.

It is so peaceful you are able to find yourself and learn alot from Kevin about the lions, hyenas and leopards.

Not one person didn't cry when we had to leave and go home.

Default avatar
Michael
Male
24 years old
Manchester, United Kingdom
University of Manchester

Fantastic experience

10/10

I recently returned from spending 4 weeks volunteering at the reserve in June 2013 and can honestly say it was the best experience of my life. I felt welcome and part of the team from day one. At no point did I feel as though I was a hindrance on the staff, rather I and all the other volunteers felt like we played a hugely useful role in the maintenance of the reserve and ensuring the high welfare standards of the animals were met. While the work can be physically demanding, it feels worthwhile and makes the relaxing and socialising in the evenings all the more enjoyable. It is also by no means all work and no play; be it going along with Kevin while he takes the lions for their enrichment walks, playing with the striped hyenas, taking the black leopards for walks or going for game drives it is sure that the programme is fun as well as rewarding. I am already beginning to plan my return to the reserve next year and can't wait to see how the reserve will develop with all the changes being made.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly would not change a thing about the work itself. In the evening it would be have been nice if the accommodation had some sort of games room to keep us entertained, however from what I believe there are plans to create one in the near future.
Also the roars of the lions can often keep you awake at night but there's little the organizers can do to change that

Default avatar
Perrine
Female
32 years old
Paris, France
Université Paris IX Dauphine

One of the most 2 amazing weeks of my life

10/10

It was a magical experience. The team is really great: Lozanne, Wiann, Zako and Quentin. But also Jim, George, Daka, Gerald, Lynne etc... They made my two weeks even more unforgettable. I wasn't sure when I came that I would be able to take the meat with my hands, clean everything, build roads and bridges. It made me discover myself even more.
I really loved to be around the animals, specially lions and leopards, caring for them (was very proud when I reported that Nikita and Coal had no more water, felt part of the family), even on my first saturday, I wanted to go help Quentin with them and it was great.
I met incredible people, did incredible things. I will definitely be back next year.

How can this program be improved?

Really not that much to change, it was so great. Maybe the food? Some more fresh products for lunch? And that mineral water and soft drinks were included in the price?
The only thing I missed, and I would have loved to experience, is Kevin walking the lions. I was unlucky, he did it the week before and the week after I came.

Default avatar
Justin
Male
24 years old
Flowery Branch, Ga
Ohio State University

Conservation at its core!

10/10

This program embodies what conservation is all about. It's not some gimmick or attraction like most volunteer programs. It's not about the money. It's about an amazing group of people who truly want to make a difference and are succeeding. If you want to truly make an impact, this is the place to go. The people welcome you like family from the moment you arrive, and by the time you leave, you feel like you're leaving family. You will work hard, there is no question about that, but the satisfaction you get from it is like no other. I had the honor of spending two amazing weeks here, and I can honestly say it changed my life. I cannot wait to go back!

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I would suggest is that volunteers work a little more with the reserve in a broad sense, but from what I hear, they have been starting that since I left.

About The Provider

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

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