Volunteer In Africa

Volunteer In Africa offers unique opportunities to get close and personal with some of the most amazing wildlife.

Please become part of building this page by adding your own volunteering in Africa experience below or contacting Wildhelpers!

Volunteer with Chimpanzees in Cameroun

Sanaga Yong Rescue Center offers opportunities to volunteer for 6 months with orphan chimpanzees rescued from the meat trade.

It's hard work but you see why: your volunteer work supports a great rescue and rehabilitation center. You can see that the center survive only because of your hard work, so that's a pretty good motivation!

The tasks are diverse:

  • care for and feed the chimpanzees,
  • clean the chimpanzees' cages,
  • go to town to do the shopping for the center,
  • maintain the equipment and facilities, including painting,
  • any other tasks that occur when you're there...

The prices for your food and board is very small (last time I looked, around $300 for 6 months).

No special scientific skills are required.

Check out their website to volunteer in Africa with chimpanzees!

Volunteer in a Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Center in South Africa

Volunteer with servals, cheetahs, lynxes, monkeys and more at the African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary – Rehabilitation Centre and Endangered Cat Breeding Centre, in Tornhill, South Africa.

This Sanctuary is family owned and ran, and welcomes wild animals rescued in the area. They rehabilitate and release the wildlife they can with the help of the local vet, or keep long term residents that could not make it back into the wild.

They have a great reputation with their volunteers...

Volunteer with Africa’s Big Cats and other Carnivores

Exceptional experiences as a volunteer are offered by the African Predator Conservation Research Organization.

Their research  program, the Okavango River Basin Transfrontier Ecology Program, is situated at the moment mainly in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

It involves capturing and tracking African predators as well as studying their diseases and genetics.

Species studied by the African Predator Conservation Research Organization include: lions, cheetahs, leopards, African wild dogs, both side-stripped and black back jackals and spotted hyenas.

To be a successful volunteer applicant, you will need to:

  • be a team player,
  • be able to live in remote and basic conditions,
  • be fit and able to work in extreme weather,
  • work long hours, including at night,
  • commit to minimum two weeks,
  • support yourself (transport to and in the country, accommodation and food).

Things you might get involve with:

  • tracking (follow footprints) and baiting carnivores,
  • spotlighting,
  • darting,
  • clinical examination of darted carnivores, including dental examination,
  • monitoring of anesthetized carnivores,
  • collecting samples (blood, genetic, fecal, swabs...),
  • monitoring recovery,
  • radio-tracking,
  • lab analyses...

There is often a waiting list to enter this project, so apply early! Apply to volunteer with African carnivores!

Other volunteering opportunities with Primates that I heard were great!

Center for rehabilitation and release of chimpanzees in Congo : Help congo : http://www.help-primates.org/

Gibbon rehabilitation and release center in Thailand : www.gibbonproject.org

Primate sanctuary in Cameroun : ww.apeactionafrica.org

Chimpanzees conservation Centre in Guinea Conakry : www.projectprimate.org


Where NOT to volunteer in Africa

Please be cautious of lion farms, where you are invited to walk with young lions or even feed lion cubs.

Nothing could be more cute, obviously, than an interaction with baby lions!

However, these places are not doing conservation work - although they almost always pretend to do so. They are raising lions for canned hunting. And making more dollars by involving tourists and volunteers in raising the lions for their business.

What's canned hunting?

It making tourist hunters pay top dollars to kill a lion. Except that the lion has been raised by humans, so has no fear of the hunter, and is released in a small enclosure so that it doesn't take too much effort for the hunter to "track down" his trophy.

Anyone that loves wildlife should avoid this dirty business!

Read more and act against canned hunting by visiting the Campaign Against Canned Hunting.

Did you have an amazing or a terrible experience of volunteering in Africa? We want to hear it!!!

Volunteering for wildlife on the other side of the world can be mindbogglingly amazing, or on the contrary turn into the most horrible nightmare...

Please help others wanna-be volunteers by sharing your best and worst experiences, so that:
- the best places receive more volunteers,
- and no one gets trapped by the worst places again...

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