Animal rehabilitation project in South Africa

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be arranged at any time throughout the year for up to 12 weeks
Holiday type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Founded over 30 years ago, te entre is still the only registered wildlife rehabilitation centre in Durban dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of all indigenous wildlife found in KwaZulu-Natal.

Run by a small, yet highly dedicated and experienced team of staff and volunteers, the Centre assists over 3000 orphaned, injured and displaced animals every year. From mongoose, genets and monkeys to birds, reptiles and antelope, the Centre represents a second chance at a free, safe and sustainable life for all wild animals in distress.

As a registered non-profit organisation, the Centre relies solely on the support and goodwill of the public to ensure its doors remain open 365 days a year.

As one of South Africa’s leading wildlife rehabilitation centres and a proud member of the IWRC (International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council), they strive to improve the quality of wildlife rehabilitation in South Africa and to uphold the code of ethics adopted by professional wildlife rehabilitation practitioners around the world.

By participating in this project you will be contributing towards very important direct conservation work with large a variety of animal species. The practical help and finance provided by volunteers enables the centre to focus their energy and money on helping as many animals as possible. So, by volunteering on this project, you are directly making a difference animal by animal. Positive environmental practices are outlined and respected on this project.

Information on how to leave minimal negative impact on the environment is given to each volunteer prior to their departure as part of their documentation. This is also highlighted in the volunteers induction on arrival. Group travel is promoted wherever possible.


We provide our volunteers with many tips on how to be a responsible traveller regarding the environmental impact they have.

We want you to be immersed in the culture, by living and working with local people. We work with local communities, local charities, local government bodies and local schools. We also often partner with local organisations whom we have vetted to ensure that they are committed to the projects they run, that they have the same responsible attitude to the local community that we do, that they are eco-friendly and have ethical policies.

In our projects and in our headquarters offices, we take an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. Our volunteers are given pre-departure Information that encourages them to minimise waste and reduce their use of water and electricity, in other words, to live sensitively in the environment that they’re working in.

Travellers also give donations as and when required by projects. This is often done through our charitable arm, The Bridge The Gap Foundation.

Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. For example, we kept a Species Survival Conservation project in South Africa afloat until completion after it was threatened by lack of funds. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.

The Impacts of this Trip

By volunteering on this centre you are directly supporting local employment by helping finance the project and maintain their staff force, including, cooks, cleaners, security staff, managers and conservationists to name a few. We partner with the project and support them through recruiting volunteers from all over the world. Income generated by our volunteers is fed directly to the project which in turn is used to help rehabilitate and release these wild animals.

Your hands-on help is essential here as there is more work than hands to do it at this charity. With so many animals in need of round the clock care and attention your being there with two willing hands to help is enormously beneficial to the community and it’s vulnerable animals.

There is a fully furnished volunteer house that accommodates up to 8 volunteers at a time. It's surrounded by a garden and lots of greenery. The building materials were all sourced locally and maintenance in the Centre and on the accommodation is carried out by local community workers.

Your food is included on this project. The food is all locally sourced with a view to fully supporting the local community. To this end, green activities such as recycling and saving water are encouraged.

The help of volunteers in projects such as this is of enormous benefit to the local community. We have long-standing relationships with local people, making this a sustainable, on-going project. Your work here contributes to, and helps to continue, the long chain of worthwhile achievements in this community.

Social Responsibility:
The information we provide prepares our volunteers for their placement and how to deal with the local people. It also briefs our volunteers on the Do’s and Don’ts and ensures that they are aware of the possible impact of their behaviour.

Cultural sensitivity:
Volunteers receive an induction and orientation on arrival which covers things like being sensitive to the culture you’re in, everyday processes which will be different to what you’re accustomed to, how to have the maximum beneficial imprint and the minimum negative impact.

We stress the importance of responsible tourism, cultural differences and acceptable/unacceptable conduct. Where appropriate, volunteers are briefed on local customs, particularly those that are different to the volunteer’s accepted norm.

Economic Responsibility
For 25 years our volunteers have lived in local communities, spent their money with local traders and brought funding to the projects they work with. Travellers employs local staff and works with local support staff. This helps to fund the project directly and through bringing money into the local community.

The organisations we work with are often struggle to financially support and maintain the work they do, so every penny raised makes a real difference.
Our aim is to create always a Win-Win-Win situation in terms of the benefits for, (a) the local communities and institutions you work in, (b) our Volunteers, i.e. you, and (c) for Travellers. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to all three of these stakeholders.

Before our Volunteers depart on their projects, we provide them with comprehensive information about their project and country:
(1) A detailed Programme Guide to Volunteering which we’ve produced in-house.
(2) A detailed Country Factfile,
(3) A detailed Project Description Booklet specific to their Project.
(4) Safety Book: This book is produced by Travellers and has common-sense but necessary general safety tips while travelling, as well as safety advice relevant to your specific destination country.


1 Reviews of Animal rehabilitation project in South Africa

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Poor. Not much meaningful work. It was not well organized in keeping volunteers busy. There were lots of occasions when we ran out of jobs and were told to wander around and look for things to do. Myself and my grandchildren were extremely disappointed. We had a family meeting and left early. Still a bad taste in our mouth. After staying there I felt that the fee charged was excessive.
John Brown.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear John,

Thank you for your comments and review.

We are sorry that you feel that the project did not give you sufficient work. As a leading international provider of voluntary placements we strive to provide a highly structured, organised programme that not only benefits the amazing projects we work with worldwide, but also all our incredible volunteers who participate on our programmes each year. Therefore, we take feedback like yours very seriously and we have addressed your particular issue of lack of work in great depth with the Project Director and the Volunteer Liaison on the project to ensure any families who volunteer together in the future are kept fully occupied with exciting and interesting elements of the project.

As you know, you regrettably only voiced your dissatisfaction with us less than a day before you left the project, therefore we had no indication or opportunity to look into how the work offered to you could be improved. We understand that much of the work offered to you was turned down, but we could possibly have asked the project to give you different work, had you expressed your dissatisfaction earlier.

However, we were very pleased to see that the quantity of work was the only comment you had in your review. We have had excellent feedback from the vast majority of our volunteers who have assisted this very worthwhile rehabilitation centre. This project does incredible meaningful work with the local community and the animals, helping to protect and preserve the South African wildlife. The work done by this project was recently the subject of a television documentary in the UK and we are extremely passionate and proud to have supported them over the many years, both through volunteers and donations.

We truly believe that this programme offers excellent value of money and would encourage anyone to discuss this with us further should they be interested in joining a programmes with us. Our website has many hundreds of reviews of this and other projects and we are always very happy to provide as much information as possible. You can also talk to previous volunteers as well.

Once again, thank you very much for your review and thank you for choosing to do a programme that helps disadvantaged animals and communities. Again, we are very sorry that you chose to leave the programme early, but we hope you and your family will consider joining us again in the future.

Wishing you and your family the very best for the future.

Popular similar holidays

Volunteering with bears in Romania

Volunteering with bears in Romania

Volunteer at an inspiring bear sanctuary in Transylvania

From £925 7 days excluding flights

Borneo wildlife volunteer project

Borneo wildlife volunteer project

Encounter orangutans and elephants in the Bornean jungle

From £1295 12 days excluding flights

Thailand wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

Thailand wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

Volunteering break at a wildlife sanctuary in Thailand

From £739 7 days excluding flights

Namibia wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

Namibia wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

Care for rescued animals in Namibia

From £945 15 days excluding flights

Convert currencies