Volunteer Southern Africa

Volunteer Southern Africa
Written By: Leland O’Neal
Volunteer Southern Africa is a project that specializes preserving some of the most amazing animals in the world in Africa, and has been around for almost a decade. They have many programs that deal with helping big cats such as lions and tigers, preparing cheetahs to return to the wild, and even a sea turtle conservation program. The best thing about Volunteer Southern Africa is that it is NOT just a petting zoo.
Image Credit: Volunteer Southern Africa
While you are there you are helping to preserve these animals in their native habitat and not just there to take pictures with exotic animals. So yes, be prepared to scoop a ton of poop and put in lots of hard work. Also, if you are not great at rising early you should get used to it if you plan on volunteering at one of these programs because they get started early in the morning, usually around 5-6:30 am. But, even though it is a lot of hard work it is 100% worth it knowing that you are aiding these magnificent animals survive when so many of them are endangered.
All of the programs that involve animals are, Living With Big Cats, Living With Cheetahs, Living With Orphaned Rhinos, Living With Horses On Safari, Living With Sea Turtles, Living With Sharks, & Living With Big Cats Wild Edition. In the Living With Big Cats program volunteers are stationed at a sanctuary in the North West Province of South Africa. The beautiful big cats the volunteers work with are lions, white lions, cheetahs, and Bengal tigers. However, those are not the only animals that you are able to work with at the Living With Big Cats Program.
Volunteers can also work with elephants, giraffes, zebra, and my favorite animal as a child, wildebeests. At the Living With Cheetahs program volunteers can feed the cheetahs, go on game drives, and interact with the cheetahs first hand.  In the Living With Orphaned Rhinos program volunteers help the staff take care of rhinos calves who have lost their mothers to the evil, cruel act of poaching. To help take care of the calves volunteers feed the calves, focus on hand rearing, take part in veterinary care, and overall help with rehabilitating the rhino calves.
Image Credit: Volunteer Southern Africa
The Living With Horses on Safari program is unique in the fact that while there you learn how to ride horses, and see incredible wildlife in their native habitat on bush rides. The Living With Sea Turtles program is very different than most of the other programs because it is a marine program rather than a terrestrial program like the others. The program is in Sodowana Bay in eastern South Africa where volunteers work with marine conservationists to discover turtle nests, determine the number of eggs, and measure among many things that volunteers do to help the turtles. Volunteers also visit the local school for children, can check out the game reserve, snorkel, and surf.
The other marine program is Living With Sharks. At this program the volunteers work with the crew to help the conservation of the sea life at the most southern tip of Africa. The Living With Big Cats Wild Edition is similar to Living With Big Cats except for the fact that you aren’t stationed on a sanctuary, and are working right next to game rangers to keep watch on the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, coal buffalo, and rhinos). For these programs volunteers can stay from 1-12 weeks, and they have volunteer programs for all types of people, such as students, families, and workers. Also during these programs the volunteers may go out on excursions where they may go to a waterfall, or go quad biking.
Overall, Volunteer Southern Africa is a beautiful program that deserves TONS of recognition for what it is doing for the native wildlife in South Africa and is truly an experience that is life-changing. And honestly, the best part about it is that you can leave knowing you did a little something to help change the world for the better.

For inquiries email at info@volunteersa.com
Volunteer Southern Africa has offices at 1800 Century Park East, Suite #200, Los Angeles, California, & 16 Selby Road, Rosebank, South Africa.

Adrielyn Christi

Senior US Fashion Editor and PR for Trend Prive Magazine. Finding the latest and greatest in fashion and to have the ability to share it with the world is truly my passion.