• Zimbabwe
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Age Max
Year Round
Small Group (1-15)
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
$75 United States Dollars per person per day including accommodation, meals, housekeeping and wifi.
Discounts for longer stays, or for couples or small groups.
Direct booking and communication with the Twala Trust - no agents
Discounts for longer stays, and for couples or small groups
Additional costs: Airport transfer $30 each way. Visa costs (paid direct to immigration by visitor) ranging between $35 and $55 for 30 days - renewal for longer stays are free of charge.

What's Included
Accommodation Equipment Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Some Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Jan 20, 2022
Apr 29, 2023
35 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

This is a very personal and authentic volunteer experience for a maximum of 5 volunteers at one time, providing the opportunity to live and work in a genuine African animal sanctuary with our dedicated Twala team. Volunteers participate in every aspect of life at Twala, assisting with rescues and rehabilitation of a wide variety of animals, and providing a high standard of daily care for our wild and domestic resident animals. Our work includes wildlife rehabilitation, a unique and wonderfully uplifting kennel free dog rescue for elderly and disabled dogs, an exotic pet rescue and a longstanding and successful community outreach program providing lifetime support to rural dogs in low income households and providing animal welfare education and support to our community. The program is a genuine and rewarding experience for all animal lovers including vet students and vet nurses, who will find our mission to have happy and healthy animals in our Twala safe haven truly uplifting.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • A wide variety of rescued animal species. A limited number of volunteers. A resident veterinary team. An ethical and positive approach to animal welfare and conservation. Direct booking and communication with the program

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 26 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.95
  • Value 4.95
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 26 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The best time ever!!

As a vet student, I was eager to gain experience with both domestic and wild animals, so I decided to volunteer at Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary. My experience there was absolutely amazing from beginning to end. The communication with the owner, Sarah, was excellent as she was always quick to answer any questions I had. I got a great feeling about the place from the start. When I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by the staff, other volunteers, and of course, the animals. Seeing all the dogs, cats, and birds living together in harmony was something I had never seen before.

I immediately got on well Nkazie, the animal caretaker who mostly feeds and checks on the animals, and I followed her around everywhere. It was wonderful to see the great life the animals had at Twala. The dogs went on daily off-leash walks, and all the animals received fresh fruits and veggies every day. The dogs and cats even got cooked chicken every day for dinner. When I met Sarah in person, I felt even better about everything. It was clear how much she cared about every animal at the sanctuary. She knew every animal by name and would immediately notice if anything was wrong with them. She would ask the vet nurses to check up on them or ask us to give them more food when necessary.

As a vet student, I was able to assist the vet nurses with wound cleaning and watched them as they put in IVs and injections. They would also teach me about some diseases that we don't see much of in Belgium. Some days I could also go to the animal hospital in the city and watch some surgeries there, which was so interesting to see! I was always so happy to help in any way I could. On Tuesdays, the sanctuary hosted Doggy Tuesday where members of the community could bring their dogs for free food and medical care. Seeing the impact that Twala had on so many animals in need was heartwarming.

Every day at Twala was filled with new and exciting experiences, from feeding and bathing the animals to watching surgeries at the animal hospital in the city, I loved every moment of it. I am forever grateful for this experience and to the staff and volunteers at Twala for doing such an incredible job changing the lives of so many animals. I really hope I will be able to come back soon because my journey at Twala is definitely not finished!

  • Hands on experience with so many animals
  • Truly making a difference in the animals lives
  • Everything about it
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

What an amazing place!

There are many animal sanctuaries out there, but there is only one Twala! This place really is a home away from home and the whole team treat you like you are their family.

When you arrive, you are immediately welcomed by the gorgeous doggies and friendly cats who give you unlimited love throughout your stay. All the animals live in harmony here. There’s so much love to go around.

It can be tough to find a genuine animal sanctuary that does not exploit their animals for monetary purposes, but Twala is a truly trustworthy organisation, who use their donations to rescue, feed and nurture their animals with an end goal of releasing them to the wild.

The owners, Sarah and Vin are the nicest people on the planet, who ensure that you get what you need out of your time at the Trust. Whether you are looking for veterinary experience in the clinic, getting your hands dirty in the enclosures, or taking it easy with dog walks and lion feeding, there’s something different to do each day!

There’s a wide variety of animals and birds at the sanctuary. From friendly Cockatoos to roaring lions and baby tortoises. All animals have been rescued or saved from captivity.

If you’re looking for an authentic experience that will fill your heart with love and joy each day, then look no further than Twala. Just be careful, as you won’t want to leave.

  • So many animals and birds to see
  • Ability to get involved in animal work
  • Great food provided and cooked for you
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Beautiful Experience

Twala is an amazing, ethical place.

Sarah & Kayla are just lovely; they were attentive to all the volunteers needs/wishes and super welcoming. The accommodation is excellent; gorgeous big rooms & fully stocked kitchen. The best part about the house is sharing it with loads of cute kitties and, of course, Rambo, Georgina & Margarita - the three best doggos! The cats all love to sleep curled up on your bed, but you could close your door and windows if you didn't want to share. The back veranda is the perfect place to chill & read with the friendly cockatoos (Casper likes lots of love & attention). It leads out to the main garden/sanctuary/pool area, where tortoises, duikers (small antelopes) and the lovely Theodore (donkey) hangs out amongst the enclosures. Out the front of the house is where the first group of dogs spend their time; and it's impossible to pick a favourite, as they all have unique personalities and need your cuddles.

There is a good work/rest balance & plenty to do if you're keen. The day starts at 6:30am and involves collecting all the food trays from the sanctuary, collecting greens from the garden & prepping the herbivores food. This includes a wide variety of birds, tortoises, duikers, an adorable bush baby, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits. The other morning routine you could choose to do is assist Kelly, the animal care manager; this involves checking/cleaning/water changing in the lion, serval, civet, owl enclosures and feeding our bestest buddies - Willow & Violet (Baboons). Then you have breakfast around 8:45ish and take a break.

9:30 is the volunteer dog walk around the dam - 15-20 off-lead dogs all super excited to go for a walk is an experience you won't forget any time soon. It's adorable watching them swim - especially Leo & Pablo!

The rest of the day involves whatever comes up/needs to be done. There's always something rewarding to do; helping out at the dog clinic, making enrichment activities for the Baboons, horse grooming, dog washing, mulberry picking (be prepared to turn purple), hydrating baby tortoises - it's so much fun. Lunch is 12ish - 13:30 (read, nap, chill by the pool etc.). Then see above til around 17:00 when you're done for the day. Lunch and dinner are cooked for you and left out for you to serve yourself whenever you want it. Delicious food! Late afternoon you can also help out with food prep/enclosure clean for the carnivores; owls, dogs, jackals, lions - taking care of lions is pretty amazing.

Lions: The lions who are taken care of have been rescued from some horrible situations and would be unsafe in the wild (unable to care for themselves or too used to humans, which would result in conflict), so they will live the rest of their happy lives at Twala. It's important to mention that the lionesses have a contraceptive implant and will never be bred; just well taken care of. Kadiki is particularly interesting, as her enclosure is very close to the main houses. If you fancy it, you can sit next to her enclosure and read to her amongst the cats and jackals - quite cute watching her drag her blanket around.

Overall, Twala makes such a difference and really does need your support. I couldn't recommend this experience enough. We didn't think to do it or have the space, but do remember to take anything that could help - dog leads/food etc. (ask Sarah what they need most at the time).

Go help this wonderful place!

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

An Incredible Experience

I am 24 years old and wanted to travel to Africa on my own after finishing my Master's Degree. When I was looking for a volunteer program, the most important point for me was the welfare of the animals and to make sure that I don't go to a program that prefers the economic value over the animals. I found Twala and was immediately sure that this Place will be the right fit, and I wasn't disappointed!! At Twala you will be living in a Volunteer House in the middle of the Animal Sanctuary surrounded by the animals that you will be helping to care for.
There is a lot to do every day and it is a perfect balance of physical work and fun free time. You should be prepared that from the minute you wake up, you are surrounded by loving and very cuddle needing dogs, cats, and birds to the minute you go to bed. The gratitude that you get and the relationships that you build with the animals are truly remarkable.
Sarah and the entire Twala Team were super nice and welcoming. It was fun to get to know the culture better through the daily talks with everyone while working and caring for the animals. It was also very nice that Sarah organized many activities in the surrounding area, so I could experience the country and culture even more.
I stayed for 1 month and I can not wait to go back to Twala in the future.

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

Twala family

I simply love this place! The last time I was there was in April 2021, my 3rd time. Twala feels like a big family of animals and people and once you stay there you become part of it. There can max be 6 volunteers at a time which basically means you matter! There's a lot of different things you can do but the most important one is loving the animals 😊
I highly recommend following Twala on Facebook, the stories are wonderful, you'll get a good sense of the sanctuary and it'll leave you with a smile 😊

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go! 😃 It'll be one of the best experiences you'll have!
48 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A unique experience with a lasting impact: in today's crazy world, Twala is a place of love and hope

I first learned about Twala Trust on a documentary programme and the main message that came across was harmony. Animals of all shapes and sizes were living peacefully together and forming the most unexpected friendships. They were well cared for by the Twala staff and I was pleased to learn that Twala accepted volunteers regardless of having prior experience with animals or not. I had long wanted to work with animals in some capacity and Twala seemed like the perfect opportunity. From the moment I reached out to Twala to receive information on their volunteer programme, I knew I had come to the right place. Everyone I interacted with was welcoming and offered their assistance to make my visit as best as possible. As soon as I arrived, I felt at home. Twala staff have the kindest, most generous spirits. They provide much love and care to their resident animals and are just as loving and kind to the volunteers they welcome. You truly feel at home! Living at Twala among the animals is a unique experience. In the early morning hours, you are awakened by the sounds of donkeys, lions, peacocks, cockatoos, parrots, and others! I actually missed the morning wake up calls once I got home! Morning food prep is a great time to begin the day, chatting with the staff, enjoying coffee together and delivering breakfast to the residents. Another highlight of the day was the daily walks with the Waggley Tail Club - the beautiful dogs who have found a forever home at Twala. These dogs are amazing and have so much love to give. There is never a dull moment at Twala, whether it's Horace the vervet monkey up to his daily antics, or the group of cockatoos on the veranda chatting loudly, there is always something happening. My most memorable moments of my time at Twala are caring for the baby vervet monkeys Artie and Benson. Benson in particular had an immense impact on me and one I was not prepared for. Benson arrived a few days before I left, and I became his substitute mom for that time. He was found dehydrated and alone; it is not sure what happened to his mom. The poor guy was quite traumatised. He was not able to sleep alone in his cage, so he slept snuggled into my neck. I completely fell in love with Benson. I cared for him up to the last moment before I had to say goodbye to Twala. I know he is in good hands now and I wish the best monkey life for him. I am so very grateful to have been able to come to Twala. It gave me renewed hope in this crazy world where we are constantly being fed negative stories. It is so wonderful to see a group of people completely dedicated to caring for the local community and working to preserve wildlife. They are true heroes. I highly recommend volunteering at Twala. I am already making plans to return; Twala has won me over!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Volunteers have the possibility to go on day excursions. One day we went on a game drive at Thetford Private Game Park which has a rhino sanctuary. You see the rhinos at the end of the drive when it's their dinner time. We were lucky to have seen a new addition to the rhino family, a baby rhino only 8 days old. Amazing!
60 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing veterinary volunteer experience.

I had previously volunteered at Twala in 2014 and 2016, which sparked my interest in a career involved in animal care. I went on to train as a veterinary nurse with a degree at the Royal Veterinary College and qualified this year. I came back to Twala just after qualification to gain experience and utilise the skills I have learnt in an environment that needs them the most. Having just got home from 4 months at Twala, I can honestly say that I have had the most amazing experience in caring for and treating new species - not just dogs and cats, but also horses, donkeys, ostriches, duikers, tortoises, owls, servals, civets, monkeys and squirrels.

The community outreach programme for low-income families was one of my highlights. This involves feeding 400-600 dogs per week, sometimes it being their only meal, and seeing the happy faces on both dog and owner. As a veterinary volunteer, I would assist the resident veterinarian Vinay with vaccinating dogs against rabies and overseeing interesting cases. I also assisted the vets in surgery with sterilising these dogs; I gained so much surgical knowledge and experience. Being an integral part of this programme was highly rewarding.

At Twala, each and every volunteer is treated as part of the family. Twala trustee Sarah will take you in with open arms and make you really feel at home, and Twala manager Collin will look after you and provide lots of laughs. Volunteers live together in a house at the heart of the sanctuary and get involved with all aspects of working with the animals. It truly is a hands on experience in an extremely ethical way, with the animals interests and needs put first. It really is the definition of a sanctuary - a safe place for people and animals.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I nursed a dog with severe distemper on the sanctuary, and got her from the brink of deaths door to a healthy and happy dog. This is a disease I have been taught about, but have never seen, and I had to think outside of the box and use all my veterinary knowledge to be able to treat her. Seeing her being able to go back home to her family was one of my happiest moments.
51 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding experience..

This is a hands-on experience giving the opportunity to interact with a variety of animals both wild and domestic.Those who have, or who are learning, vet skills, will find this program particularly rewarding but any dedicated animal lover will feel needed and useful in the day to day care of all the different Twala residents...Twala is also about community involvement and education ...You get the chance to participate in this and you can see the very real impact Twala makes on their local community with the chance to participate and meet the children and their pets to whom Twala makes such a difference..
Here you will learn about Zimbabwe and the unique challenges facing those who live there.. You will feel part of something much bigger than yourself ..You will feel like family....

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would take more games or crafts to interact more with the children ...
56 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi Erika, we are in contact via email. We do day trips but you will not see all the Big 5. However we can assist you with arrangements. I will send you a further email.