Lion and Cheetah Sanctuary: Volunteer in South Africa

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Lion and Cheetah Sanctuary.

Video and Photos

One of our Cheetahs named Bolt
One of our Cheetahs named Bolt
Alfie the hyena with one of our volunteers
Alfie the hyena with one of our volunteers
Our friendly rescue Mongoose
Our friendly rescue Mongoose
Sir Bob Geldof visiting the sanctuary
Sir Bob Geldof visiting the sanctuary
One of our cheetahs enjoying cuddle time
One of our cheetahs enjoying cuddle time
The pride of our sanctuary
The pride of our sanctuary


Lion and Cheetah Sanctuary was established as a safe haven for animals who cannot be released back into the wild and now have a place to call home and live out the rest of their lives in a peaceful and happy environment. Our Sanctuary is currently home to Lions, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Servals, Giraffe, Zebra, Antelopes, Horses and many other species.

We have set up a release program, where some of our animals will be released into the various reserves around South Africa, ensuring the survival of certain species and ensuring that there is no interbreeding. Volunteers will have the opportunity to spend time with animals that are being rehabilitated for release at various projects and will be able to help us care for and work hands-on with the animals at our facility. Lion and Cheetah Sanctuary is conveniently located just one hours drive from Johannesburg and only 30 minutes from Pretoria. The sanctuary borders Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve which is Malaria free.

  • You will get a hands on experience with wild animals.
  • All the accommodation at the sanctuary is luxury.
  • We are situated next to the Dinokeng Big 5 game reserve.
  • We provide volunteers with the option of participating in various activities at their discretion.
  • This is a Malaria free location.

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Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Impact 7
  • Support 7
  • Fun 6
  • Value 7
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Never again in my life!!!

Forget the idea of joining a volunteering programme with African animals, just stay away from this place.
They advertise something on their Webpage and in the volunteering programme other than reality. There is no interaction with servals, lions and hyenas but just with the three cheetahs and the mongooses.
The working hours are not respected at all. On the volunteer program it is written that in summer due to the high temperatures we work from 7.30 to 10.30 and until 15.00 it is possible to relax in the pool. During the 15 days of vacation, my boyfriend and I used the pool only twice for a couple of hours! Apparently we couldn't go to the pool because we had to work! The truth is that even when we were done with our work, we spent hours waiting for someone to tell us what to do until lunchtime. When we realized that there was nothing left to do, we felt free to go to the pool. Still, when we asked, they answered that there was probably more to do! So, sometimes we spent hours just doing nothing.

Another problem was the food shopping. Food shopping is done twice a week and that if you need something you can simply ask the staff. This is a lie. Shopping is done once a week and if you forget something you will have problems. There are problems to get the car, to get someone who can drive you there, problems for the fuel and you never know if you will be able to go or not. So for this reason, we spent five days with no water and we had to drink tap water until the owner came back for the weekend!

All the activities they advertise in the programme (the night under the stars, the bush walking, the study of flora and fauna and animal tracks) were not organized and we literally had to beg the owner to have a day off and organize a day at the Dinokeng Park. Even on that day, of course, there were problems: the owner asked for 250 Rand/each for the fuel. We were supposed to arrive there at 8:45 but we arrived at 10:30 and no one apologized to us for the delay and we missed all the animals we were supposed to see (if we had arrived on time). On the way back, the guy of the game drive asked for 50 rand/each for the fuel to bring us back to the sanctuary!!!!

But the worst part of all It was seeing the owner arguing with the staff in front of you and for this reason we felt really uncomfortable!!!!

The only positive things were the animals and Lydia, the cook. A kind, generous person who always smiles even when things go wrong!!!!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best time of my life

Lion and cheetah sanctuary allows you to have almost 100%interaction with the animals. Most of this interaction is with the chetaahs, that are just wonderful, it is great to just hang out with them in a hot afternoon. The place is fun and you feel very safe. The staff is great (barry, lydia, maxuel, justine, rene, warren and alan, i really love and miss you guys) they treat you as if you were part of the family. I was lucky to spend christmas and new years there and not even for a second i felt as if i was not one of them.
The accomodations are really nice and the work load is not as intense as i was expenting, though there is a lot of walking involved.
It is an experience that i deeply hope repeating as soon as possible.
Once again, thank you all very much.

What would you improve about this program?
Even though they have many animals, I would have loved if there were more animals to interact with.