Updates & Outcomes
"We meet regularly with teachers and the headmasters of our local schools. The teachers have reported significant progress in their students who have stayed at the Wildlife Orphanage. The improvements that teachers have reported include increased interaction in the classroom, and a greater motivation to learn and speak up in classes. The children are much more polite and attentive in class, a significant increase in self-confidence and self-esteem."– Michelle, Project Director.
The aim of this project is to inspire underprivileged children to discover a passion for their environment, education, development and motivation. This is achieved through intimate and interactive lessons within the wildlife orphanage and by learning about the wildlife itself.
The children who visit the orphanage benefit greatly from having a hands-on education supplement that the volunteers provide. The orphaned animals also benefit from having suitable care and accommodation in a world-class rehabilitation centre, something which volunteers here in South Africa play a vital role in.
2017 proved to be a very successful year for the project, and the dedicated team has even expanded to welcome new members! The rescue of orphaned animals continues to take place of course and this year they have the seen the likes of baby squirrels, baby bush pigs and more make their way into the sanctuary. The project also aims to rehabilitate as many animals as possible, and reintroduce them to their natural habitats wherever possible for another shot at life in the wild and this year various animals such as a brown snake eagle and a family of jackals have so far been released.
- posted on Oct 2, 2018
- by Leanne Sturrock
This World Animal Day 2018, we'll be focusing on South Africa - one of the most conflicted countries with regard to animal protection, conservation and trading. As we discuss why, we look into whether or not unity can ever become widespread across Africa. With a global spotlight on the continent and pressure to improve, maybe there is hope yet for South Africa's most at-risk species to survive.
Find out what our volunteers can expect to get up to at the Wildlife Orphanage In South Africa over the coming months!
We wanted to find out what volunteers will be getting up to at the Wildlife Orphanage in South Africa this year, and it turns out that there is an awful lot going on! Coming up in the next few months is the release of the jackals and maybe even the mongooses, so take a look and see if you want to get involved and help!
When Is The Best Time To Volunteer?
With the majority of this project spent at the wildlife orphanage, there are no real seasonal issues except the changes in weather.
Summer which is from mid-October to mid-February is characterized by hot, sunny weather - often with afternoon thunderstorms that clear quickly, leaving a warm, earthy, uniquely African smell in the air.
Autumn which is from mid-February to April offers in some ways the best weather. During this time very little rain falls over the whole country, and it is warm but not too hot.
Winter, from May to July is hot and dry but can have cold evening and night time temperatures as low as 7°C (45°F).
Spring which is August to mid-October can be known as baby season, which means you have a much higher chance of seeing and working with any new born babies at the wildlife orphanage!
You will need to fly into Johannesburg (O.R Tambo International Airport) in order to get to Hoedspruit - a town situated at the foot of the Klein Dragonsberg (Dargon Mountains) and in close proximity to Kruger National Park. From here, you will be picked up by a member of staff and taken to the project site. There are two options for getting to Hoedspruit from Johannesburg:
The Ashton Shuttle Bus:
If choosing this option, you will need to book accommodation for one night at an additional cost and arrive into Johannesburg the day before your start date. This is because the shuttle bus will depart from The Rockfig Centre at 6.45 am. Therefore, we recommend you get a good night's sleep so you can wake up on your start date, make your way to the centre and begin your conservation adventure! Please note, it is imperative that volunteers only book the hotel available in Johannesburg airport for safety reasons.
The shuttle bus is available at an extra cost of ZAR450 (around £25) each way.
Domestic Flight To Hoedspruit:
For this option, you will need to book a domestic flight from O.R Tambo International Airport to Hoedspruit. You must arrive here between 11am and 3pm on the day of your project start date, where you will be picked up by a member of staff either from the airport or in the town.
On the day of your departure, the transfer from the project site will leave at 8.30 am, and depending on traffic, will arrive into Hoedspruit at roughly 9.45 am. Whether you are flying from Hoedspruit or taking the bus back to Johannesburg, you will be dropped off at whichever location you are departing from.
If flying from Hoedspruit, please book departure flights from 11.30 am at the earliest to make sure you have enough time to check in and board the plane.
If returning to Johannesburg via the Ashton Shuttle bus, this will depart from the Rockfig Centre at around 11.15 am, and arrive into Johannesburg between 5pm and 6pm. We therefore recommend booking return flights from 8pm or later.
If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flights page and fill out the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with a suitable quote.
UK passport holders (as well as holders of Australian, American, Canadian, and most other EU passports) do not require a visa for South Africa. You will be issued a 3-month permit upon your arrival at no cost but do ensure that the correct arrival date and length of time in the country is entered onto your visa at immigration. Please note that visas are of the volunteers own responsibility, and that requirements specific to your own country need to be checked. Please consult your South African embassy.
Currency and Exchange Rates
The currency in South Africa is the Rand. The exchange rate is around 1 ZAR = 0.06 GBP, 0.1 USD, 0.07 EUR. Please note exchange rates are subject to change - we advise checking www.xe.com for up-to-date rates.
Due to the nature of this project, please note that we will need to see a copy of your insurance policy and your passport before your date of departure.
What's included in the price of the project?
- A monetary contribution to the project itself
- Transfers to and from Hoedspruit airport or Hoedspruit town
- Full orientation and support from the project managers
- Accommodation and meals as indicated
- Laundry and housekeeping
What's not included?
- Any flights
- Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
- Visas if required
- Use of internet and telephone
- Soft drinks, wines and spirits
- Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary