Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

Volunteer at one of the biggest wildlife sanctuaries in South Africa.

There’s really no better way to care for an animal than by helping to save her life, nursing her back to health, then releasing her back into the wild. And no other experience gives you more opportunities to be part of this unforgettable journey.

As a volunteer at one of Africa’s longest-serving wildlife rehabilitation centres, you’ll get involved with every aspect of animal rehabilitation. You could find yourself exercising an orphaned hippo or helping to treat an injured eagle’s wing in the on-site clinic. 

Once an animal is fully recovered and able to be released back into the wild you’ll assist with this process.  The road that leads up to this moment is often long and challenging, both for the animal and their human carers. But seeing the journey through to the very end is an immensely satisfying experience that’s simply impossible to describe.

An ACE volunteer bottle feeding a juvenile Giraffe at Moholoholo

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This project has a "Rhino Rating" of 3

Species

  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Honey Badger
  • Eagle
  • Vulture
  • and many more.

Conservation Impact

  • Wildlife rehabilitation
  • Animal care
  • Community outreach

Country

🇿🇦 South Africa

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Highlights

Save an animal’s life

Over more than 25 years, this project has rescued hundreds of sick, injured and abandoned animals, nursing them back to health and either reintroducing them into the wild or providing them with a lifetime of sanctuary. 

Variety of animal species

This experience gives you the chance to work with a huge diversity of wildlife, from large carnivores to birds of prey.

A bird lover’s paradise

If you’re passionate about our winged friends, this experience is perfect for you. You’ll work with birds of prey and can even have a go at handling eagles and vultures!

Friendly social atmosphere

As well as the full-time project team, there are up to 20 conservation volunteers here at a time. Living in this group environment in the South African bush creates a lively atmosphere and makes it a great place for making new friends.

Community outreach

Assisting with providing educational tours that the centre offers to the general public.

Build relationships with local landowners

Minimise the persecution of wild leopards and hyena through relocation work and, at the same time, help local farmers to protect their livelihood.

Do

As a volunteer at on our Wildlife Rehabilitation Experience, your role will be very hands-on. Depending on the animals being cared for and your areas of interest, you’ll get involved in the following activities:

Research and practical conservation work

While our Wildlife Rehabilitation Experience is focused on working in a wildlife sanctuary, you’ll also have the opportunity to help wildlife living in the surrounding region.

  • Rescue, quarantine and release wild leopards who are placing themselves at risk by troubling local farmers
  • Provide a safe area for the wild vultures of the Drakensberg Mountains to feed, free from the risks of poisoning
  • Take a trip to Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest biodiversity hotspots

Veterinary nursing

Most animals arrive at wildlife rehabilitation centres with some level of injury or trauma. Guided by experience animal care professionals, you’ll help to treat wounds and infections, as well as providing ongoing care.

  • Work in a well-equipped clinic located on site
  • Assist with the treatment and care of injured animals
  • Help dress wounds, give medical treatment and monitor sick animals
  • Perform regular health checks
  • Help prepare a nutritious diet

Rehabilitation, care and husbandry

Wherever possible, you’ll help to rehabilitate healthy animals back into the wild. Where an injury is too severe or an animal’s territorial nature and complex social structures make it impossible to release them, you’ll help to provide life-long care in the sanctuary instead.

  • Enrich animals’ lives through fitness, play and creating a natural setting in captivity
  • Prepare animal feeds and provide hands-on help with feeding
  • Assist with preparation and release of animals onto the project’s wildlife reserve
  • Stabilise and integrate new arrivals into the population at the centre
  • Muck-out enclosures, rake grass for bedding and create clean living spaces for animals

Caring for young wildlife

Looking after young animals can be particularly rewarding but they require lots of special attention – just like human infants, in fact!

  • Prepare food or formula 
  • Bottle-feed or by another method, depending on the species 
  • Provide regular care and monitoring 
  • Assist with the integration of juvenile animals into an enclosure with other animals

Learn

The project’s founder welcomes all our volunteers with an inspirational talk about wildlife conservation. Throughout your stay, you’ll also get to learn about the behaviour, biology and conservation of many different species.

Conservation

  • How to prevent conflict between local farm owners and predators such as leopards and hyena, who sometimes hunt their livestock as prey
  • Methods used by poachers such as snares – you may even see some animals arrive at the sanctuary with snare injuries
  • The important role animal care centres play in the broader wildlife conservation movement

Ecology

  • The natural habitats of animals you’re working with and their role in the ecosystem
  • During a trip to the Kruger National Park, you’ll learn see the differences in behaviour between animals in the wild compared with those in the sanctuary 

Biology

  • The physiology and biology of predators including lion, leopard and hyena as well as other African animals at the centre
  • The diets of predators and other African animals, both in the wild and while they’re at the centre
  • Wildlife reproduction and how different species take care of their young

Behaviour

  • The behaviours of African animals, both in the wild and in captivity
  • What methods of enrichment are used for different species and how this benefits the animal’s welfare
  • How animals communicate with each other

Costs

Can I volunteer at more than one project and how much will it cost?

Most of our travellers like to combine multiple projects to create a tailor-made trip. The combined price of projects is cheaper than the individual projects added up online. 

We offer combinations of conservation projects, transport between them, accommodation and travel insurance as you require. We are a travel operator, not an agent, which means we take full responsibility for your trip which will be financially protected through ABTA and ATOL.

We will discuss your options and tailor your experiences so you can realise your dreams.

How do I book?

Your journey to Africa starts with our online application form. This is your chance to tell us about yourself and what you want from your African experience. Following our communication, we’ll send you a bespoke itinerary and quote. Then, you only need to pay a deposit amount of GBP 295 / USD 400 / CAD 500 / AUD 500 / EUR 350 to book your entire trip.

The cost below for this experience includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Airport Meet & Greet

  • Transfers

  • 24/7 Support

  • Personal Guidance

  • Meals

Cost Calculator

Total Cost: GBP 0000