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Volunteer Animal Care Work Experience Placements Overseas in South Africa

Veterinary Medicine in South Africa - Visit Cape Point

The Animal Care Project in South Africa is very much a hands-on, practical placement for anyone who loves animals and wants to gain experience working with them.

There are opportunities in South Africa for those who want to get involved in looking after and caring for animals. Placements are suitable for both Gap year students and those taking a career break. Volunteers are simply required to enjoy looking after animals and want to learn more about them!

Volunteers can choose to work in either a general domestic animal centre, or a seabird rehabilitation centre in Cape Town.

Volunteering on an Animal Care Placement in South Africa with Projects Abroad

Veterinary Medicine in South Africa - Penguins

Volunteers shadow the full time animal carers at both centres, gaining first hand experience of the way that animal rescue centres work in South Africa. There is the opportunity to get involved with hands-on work like feeding, exercising and rehabilitating the animals under your care. As with any volunteer placement, you get back what you put in; showing initiative and a willingness to get involved, will result in your experience being very rewarding.

Our voluntary animal care placement in South Africa will give you access to invaluable work experience which will greatly enhance your CV. You will gain many practical skills and develop as a person through having to adapt and be resourceful while living and working in a foreign country.

Volunteers with veterinary experience will be able to get involved in specialised surgeries.

Volunteers working with domestic animals work mostly with stray dogs and cats at a center in Cape Town. Working with Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) you'll be involved with preparing food, cleaning out cages, exercising the animals and grooming and caring for neglected and abused animals. The love and attention that you give to the animals can really improve their quality of life. Local staff will also appreciate any help within the clinic, especially preparing the animals for surgery. It is possible to work at the SPCA for just 2 weeks, however, please be aware that you may not make the same impact as volunteers joining the programme for a longer period.

Volunteering with Seabirds in South Africa

Volunteers with a special interest in the conservation of coastal birds could also choose to work in a bird sanctuary. Based in Bloubergstrand, 25km out of central Cape Town across the bay from Table Mountain, this shelter specialises in rescuing and rehabilitating seabirds, including the African Penguin. Volunteers here work in an amazing location, where colonies of penguins, cormorants, pelicans and even pink flamingos are a common sight. Volunteers will assist in preparing food, feeding the birds, cleaning out cages, and rehabilitating injured or oiled birds. You'll get the opportunity to learn about the local ecosystem and work with some unique bird species.

Volunteers should join the coastal birds project for at least six weeks. You will live with host families in Bloubergstrand, (known locally as Table View, for the spectacular view of the mountain). Transport into the centre of Cape Town is fast and frequent. Volunteers are required to have a good level of English to participate in this project.

All volunteers taking part on any other project in South Africa now have the opportunity to add a 1 Week Conservation Add-On to the end of their main placement. Please note that one week volunteers should arrive in Polokwane on a Monday. For more information visit our Conservation in South Africa project page.

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