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Project Quick Facts
- Species: Many species! Permanent residents include cheetah, honey badger, leopard and a massive aviary with vultures, eagles and owls.
- Conservation Impact: Wildlife rehabilitation, Animal care, Community outreach
- Project availability: All year round, placements start on Tuesdays
- Rhino Rating:
JOIN A DEDICATED TEAM REHABILITATING AND CARING FOR INJURED AND POISONED WILDLIFE
In the shadow of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, this well-established sanctuary is home to a wide variety of African wildlife. Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre aims to contribute to the conservation of endangered species and the rehabilitation of injured and poisoned wildlife.
￼How you can help
- Take responsibility for the daily husbandry and care of permanent residents at the centre
- Assist with the treatment and care of sick and injured animals
- Attend call outs to capture animals for relocation or treatment
The management and staff of the centre are a group of dedicated conservationists committed to the preservation of wildlife. Their intimate knowledge of the animals they so lovingly care for is nothing less than impressive. Work can be of a reactionary nature and unpredictable. When you join Moholoholo you will be part of this dedicated team and will assist with all the daily tasks of running the centre.
Daily husbandry and care of permanent residents at the centre
- Many animals brought into the centre cannot be released back into a wild environment due to the nature and extent of their injuries. The continuous care of these animals will be at the core of your day, including feeding and at times exercising animals. Of course it is not always glamorous work and you will be required to clean enclosures, mop floors, scrub bedding mats, prepare food and cut grass for bedding regularly. Please note there are many carnivores who live at the centre and some handling of meat is necessary when feeding species such as lions, cheetah, leopard and hyena. All work with fully grown predators is strictly hands-off!
- Moholoholo has an extensive aviary and raptor enclosure, making this an ideal project if you are interested in the care of birds of prey. The sanctuary has owls, vultures and the precious crowned eagle.
Care for sick, injured and orphaned animals
- Animals brought into the centre can range from warthog piglets to cheetah and rhino and every animal is treated with the same care. The responsibility of hand rearing a wild animal is guided by staff at the centre and offered to volunteers depending on their natural affinity with the animal and how long the animal may require that care for.
- Many animals that pass through the centre require some medical treatment due to injuries sustained or poisoning. Moholoholo employ a full time veterinary nurse and you may have the opportunity to assist her in bandaging, treatment and cleaning of wounds when required.
Attending call outs to capture animals for relocation or treatment
- Moholoholo is often the first port of call for neighbouring landowners and local farmers when animals are causing problems on the land or are found needing treatment. You may be part of the team that darts or humanely traps the animals to be brought into the centre for treatment, to be hand reared if they are orphaned, or to be released onto a nearby game reserve.
Alongside the education of locals through facilitated tours of the centre, Moholoholo is the only facility in southern Africa to have successfully bred the endangered crowned eagle. They have also successfully trapped and relocated 10-15 leopards per year over the last years - some have been relocated as far as Malawi! Offering this relocation option has prevented local farmers from killing leopards they perceive to be a problem. Their "Vulture Restaurant " provides a safe feeding place to vultures, who otherwise often fall victim to poisoned meat.
Our partner conservation projects do not condone "cub cuddling": While the wildlife rehabilitation centres provide sanctuary to some predators, they do not breed predators in captivity. Please read our detailed document on "Responsible Predator Conservation" through the link below to find out more about the predators you might encounter at your chosen wildlife rehabilitation project, including why they are there and what your involvement would be.
We loved every minute of our stay in Moholo. Caring for the animals was a truly wonderful experience; I never thought I would get up close and personal with vultures or be rolling around on the floor with warthogs. I fell in love with so many creatures; a bush baby, serval,cheetah, rhino, squirrel. Moholoholo is like a Garden of Eden; you never know what is going to pop out from the bushes while you are walking around! I wish we never had to leave. The staff were lovely and they treated us so well. It was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone.” Marilyn Castle
I went to South Africa because I really wanted to study to be a vet and I love to work with animals. When I first saw Moholoholo online, I knew that would be the place for me and I was right. Everything was amazing, even though it is hard work and I had to get used to the working hours. I quickly fell in love with Ollie, the baby black rhino and became his mommy for almost every day. My stay was in the "baby season", so we had so many babies, many different ones, and I had to take care of 3 babies: a baby monkey and Ollie, which was amazing. All the experiences, the people and all the animals changed my life and I will remember it forever. I think that my stay at Moholoholo was one of the most giving experiences I will ever have. Beside that it just confirmed my passion for animals even more and I know that I am doing the right thing in life.” Laura Hansen
The 6 weeks I spent in South Africa have become a part of my life that I don't think I will ever forget. I learned SO much about african wildlife while I was there: about their care, welfare and issues involved in their conservation and the conservation of their habitat. The hands on experience I had working with these animals that I'd only ever seen in a zoo has given me new insight into my potential future career as a vet… Not only did I learn about the animals, I've also come away from the trip with a deeper understanding of South African culture, a new perspective on family and relationships and new perspectives of my own life. This trip exceeded my expectations by far! I would highly recommend it to absolutely anyone who is willing and eager to work hard and to learn a lot.“ Bethany Vlaming
Prices & Dates
Subject to availability, you can join the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre any given week of the year.
Placements in 2016 run from Tuesday-Wednesday in South Africa. If you arrange your own flights, you need to arrive at Johannesburg airport by 9 am on Tuesday morning. Your placement will finish on Wednesday evening, back at Johannesburg airport.
Placements in 2017 run from Tuesday-Tuesday in South Africa, or Monday-Wednesday from London.
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NOTE: "2 weeks" duration refers to the length of stay at the project. Therefore, a "2 week" flight inclusive placement is actually 17 days including travel days.
Prices include accommodation, meals, transfers from Johannesburg airport, 24/7 support and financial contributions to the project. Prices are subject to change but will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.
We also accept payment in EUR, CAD, AUD and ZAR. Please ask us for a quote, subject to exchange rates at the time.
You are welcome to volunteer at two or more projects during your stay. These placements are more complicated as they include travel arrangements between the projects, so please ask us for a quote for your desired project combination.
What is a "Rhino Rating"?
The "Rhino Rating" is our way of ranking a project in terms of how challenging it is - both physically and in terms of culture shock, comfort levels and skills required. Please refer to the "Rhino Ratings Explained" section for the general criteria for each rhino rating. The paragraph below explains the method behind our madness in choosing the rhino rating for this particular project.
Why does this project have a "2 rhino" rating?
This project is suitable for people of all levels of fitness and ability. While the work with the animals is practical, you do not need to lift heavy weights or walk significant distances and your typical day includes a good break in the middle of the day for lunch and some down-time. Accommodation is in a large communal house with shared bedrooms and bathrooms, with reliable access to hot water and electricity.
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