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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.

Rhino Rating

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2 out of 5 rhino rating
Category

Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation

Species

Lion, cheetah, honey badger, eagle, vulture

Impact

Wildlife rehabilitation
Animal care
Community outreach

Country

  South Africa

  • Highlights
  • Do
  • Learn
  • News
  • Costs

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

Our costs include:

Accommodation

Airport Meet & Greet

Transfers

24/7 Support

Personal Guidance

Meals

Cost Calculator

TOTAL COST: £0000

Looking for something bespoke?

You can volunteer at more than one project during your time in Africa. Please contact us for a bespoke quote including travel arrangements between locations.

Payment

Costs are subject to change but will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.

Charlotte Failes

On my first day at Moholoholo I was involved in a rhino walk, which is as incredible as it sounds. We chaperoned a young rhino on a walk through the bush, providing him with exercise, mental stimulation and a bit of fun. This is just one of many unbelievable things that I was able to take part in.

Karen Mounch

Work hard and you maybe given more responsibility with special cases – teaching vultures to fly to the glove, looking after the baby bush pig and assisting with the cheetahs were some of the extra cases I had. I have so many amazing memories from being at Moholoholo.

Megan Owens

The people and animals I met while I was there will always have a special place in my heart and I’ve done things I never thought I would like; help raise a baby squirrel, hold a baboon spider to get over my arachnophobia and see a white rhino in the wild.

Daniel Thomas

I could talk for hours and hours about the many adventures I was lucky enough to undertake during my placements with ACE, I still haven’t finished telling my friends and family everything! The amazing sense of accomplishment and pride I feel whenever I look back at what I’ve learnt and been privileged to be a part of is unfathomable.

Stork

Sunset on the Okavango while watching the maribou storks and cormorants settle at the heronry for the night was awesome. We watched the sun’s rays slanting across the water colouring everything with its red glow and then fading as the sun dipped below the grasses and out of sight leaving us in gathering gloom and heading back to our island abode for dinner.

Baby Hippo

You won’t quickly forget a bushbaby landing on your shoulder on your way back from dinner, a fearsome honey badger lying on its back without a care in the world or falling asleep at night to the sound of lions roaring and hyenas laughing outside your window.

What Makes Us Different?

Southern Africa's original conservation travel company

We are qualified zoologists and conservationists

Personal guidance before you book

Join real wildlife conservation projects

Enjoy total peace of mind, with 24/7 in-country support

Empower vital conservation initiatives

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