• Facebook - Black Circle

Ethical Volunteering

One of the questions I'm asked most is: 

"Where can I volunteer ethically?"

Although coming to terms with the fact that hands-on volunteering is never going to be ethical (or aid conservation) is difficult, there are so many options available where your contribution will make a world of difference. I've compiled the list below based on my personal knowledge and with help from a few friends! 

lionsrock.png

Owned by Four Paws since 2006, LionsRock focuses on the situation of big cats in zoos, private captivity and in the entertainment industry. So far, LionsRock has rescued and provided lifelong care for over 90 big cats. 

WHERE? 

HOW LONG? 

ACCOMMODATION? 

PRICE? 

South Africa 

4 - 12 weeks

£1,795 for four weeks. Additional weeks cost £230. 

Provided 

MAIN DUTIES:

- Closely monitoring animals to give them the best possible care and

chance to thrive in their new home 

- Observing the animals' behaviour and progress, especially relations between individuals within a lion group and interactions between neighbouring lion groups 

- Feeding animals and preparing and implementing enrichment measures 

- Building new structures for enclosures and helping with basic maintenance 

- Assisting with ad hoc tasks such as fundraising, marketing, interacting with visitors and filming 

- Guiding school children 

drakenstein.png

Established in 1998, Drakenstein was built as a safe haven for lions in distress where they could live in safety and free from abuse. 

WHERE? 

HOW LONG? 

ACCOMMODATION? 

PRICE? 

South Africa 

Minimum 1 week 

R2,000 per week (roughly £115) 

Provided 

MAIN DUTIES:

- Monitoring visitors to the sanctuary to ensure animals' well being

- Food preparation for the lions 

- Cleaning the grounds and facilities 

- Cleaning lion camps 

- Clearing alien vegetation 

- Clearing fence lines and general fence maintenance 

- Fence construction 

- Firebreak maintenance (and fire fighting in the summer!) 

Shamwari Conservation Experience is a leading 25,000 hectare game reserve and host to the Born Free Foundation's Big Cat Rescue 

WHERE? 

HOW LONG? 

ACCOMMODATION? 

PRICE? 

South Africa 

2 - 12 weeks

Quotations available upon request 

Provided 

MAIN DUTIES:

- Assisting the Born Free Foundation with maintenance, cleaning 

enclosures, feeding big cats 

- Assisting the Animal Rehabilitation Centre which gives animals short-term care before they are released

- Community projects including creating and maintaining vegetable gardens, recycling projects, painting classrooms and building jungle gyms 

- Research project assistance which may include sleep outs in the Big Five Reserve, orientation and nature walks and assisting night and anti-poaching patrols

Established in 2002, the Global White Lion Protection Trust is responsible for protecting white lions and in collaboration with African Conservation Experience they have created a new opportunity to gain a unique perspective of conservation. 

WHERE? 

HOW LONG? 

ACCOMMODATION? 

PRICE? 

South Africa 

5 - 14 nights

Dependent on chosen package 

Provided 

MAIN DUTIES:

- Lion tracking and monitoring white and tawny lions. This may also

include observing the darting of of wild lions to fit tracking collars and organised walks in the bush to find and remove snares

- Lion behaviour and carnivore care to learn behavioural patterns and personalities of individuals and to spot any unusual behaviour or wildlife issues 

- Spend time in the local communities learning about their relationships with lions and other wild animals and assist the team with their community outreach programme 

- Observe wildlife in the Kruger National Park 

- Visit to a predator care centre including a safari to view and learn about cheetahs, African wild dogs, rhinos and other species. You'll also learn about husbandry from the centre's specialist team 

Founded in 2008, Wildlife ACT's aim is to find a way of ensuring sustainable, long-term monitoring and conservation projects. Wildlife ACT assists game reserves by providing tracking and monitoring services free of charge, funded by their volunteer programme. 

WHERE? 

HOW LONG? 

ACCOMMODATION? 

PRICE? 

South Africa 

2 weeks +

R18,900 for first 2 weeks, R13,500 every following 2 weeks

Provided 

MAIN DUTIES:

- Wildlife monitoring sessions with other conservation volunteers

- Each wildlife monitor will have specific animals he/she needs to monitor. Radio telemetry is used to track collars and you will be trained to use this equipment to track yourself 

- Map sightings using handheld GPS devices and update identity kits if necessary. This may include updating behavioural notes used in research

- Data entry once a week to input information for analysis 

workingabroad.png

For a list of global volunteering opportunities we recommend using WorkingAbroad Project's database. Each project is individually vetted in order to ensure that only ethical options are available.