Your role as a volunteer
At Baby Rhino you will work under the supervision of highly trained wildlife professionals, and help them hand rearing orphaned rhinos, monitoring animal behaviour, feeding animals and do some general work at the center.
There is a wide selection of animals passing through the sanctuaries doors including lions, giraffes and of course rhinos.
There are volunteers on the cat team, rhino team, and hippo team. We try to make sure that the volunteers get the opportunity to work with all the animals. In saying that, it is predominantly rhino orientated.
There are 3 phases set up to reintroduce the rhinos into the ‘wild’. They have already been released into the new 450 ha camp, but are brought back into their bomas at night in order to keep them safeguarded. The next phase is the 30 000 ha area which is currently being fenced.
Our Baby Rhino Volunteers provide an important resource in caring for animals as well as helping to maintain and develop the center.
Examples of work tasks:
- Hand rearing of orphaned rhinos
- General running of the center (building and maintaining bomas)
- Cleaning cages and bomas
- Preparing food for the animals
- Treating and caring for injured/orphaned animals
- Rehabilitation (walking animals in the wild etc.)
- Monitoring rhino behavior and socialisation patterns
- Wound dressing
- Weighing animals
- Updating animal data records
- Ensuring food is stocked and in supply
- Work with local school communities visiting the center
This is a project for hard workers. The needs of the animals comes first and you might not have much free time.
If you want to make sure you have time to explore the country it might be a good idea to spare some extra days before your departure.
The Project's Mission
The people working at the center is a group of dedicated wildlife care-givers committed to the preservation of South Africa´s wildlife. Their ambition is to help as many animals as possible by prevent poaching, help injured or orphaned animals and to educate children visiting the center.
Our local partner has been operating and bringing in volunteers since 2013 and ever since they have been endeavouring to rescue, take care of and rehabilitate the wild animals of South Africa.
How do I book a trip?
You can book your trip with Volunteer Travels by calling us on (+46) 08-23 93 00 or by booking through our website www.volunteertravels.com by clicking on “Book a trip”. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. When you have registered yourself we will send you an invoice with a registration fee of £200.00. The registration fee is later incorporated into the trip price and the amount is then deducted from your final invoice. When you have paid the registration fee you are formally registered. You will then receive preparatory information from us in good time to plan your trip.
Your Everyday Life
When you arrive at the volunteer site the project staff will give you a introduction to your work and your new surroundings. They will assist you with any of your questions and make sure you’re off to a good start!
Work hours and free time vary depending on the needs of the animals. Most days, the volunteers start working around 7am and will work until the late afternoon. However, if there are very small baby rhinos, they tend to require additional care and volunteers may be required to do night shifts, etc.
Accomodation and Food
You will be staying in a cabin at the sanctuary together with other volunteers. Each cabin has either two single beds or two bunk beds, and a bathroom with a toilet and shower which generally provides hot water.
Beddings as well as linen is provided but you will have to bring you own towel.
There are laundry facilities for volunteers but you are required to bring your own washing powder.
Electricity is freely available, but bear in mind it can be inconsistent and that you have to bring an adapter.
At certain spots at the sanctuary internet is available but maybe not as fast and well-functioning as you are used to. However, you will find internet if/when you go in to town.
Three meals per day are provided and served at the center. Please advise us of any special dietary requirements prior to arrival at the project, including vegetarianism, allergies etc.
Free time is only an option if there are enough hands to care for the animal’s needs.
If there is a lot of volunteers at sight or not so many animals in need you might have time to explore the surrounding area.
You will be living in a fascinating landscape and consequently just reading a book or going for a walk will be a well-chosen activity.
There is also lots of adventures offered in Mpumalanga, such as horse trails, paragliding, bungee jumping, hot-air ballooning, quad bike trails and fishing.
Enjoy some of the most scenic locations in South Africa by visiting nearby Blyde River Canyon, God´s Widow, Nelspruit Botanical Garden, Sudwala and Echo caves and the well-known Kruger National Park.
All these destinations within an hour´s drive from the sanctuary.
The staff on the project will be happy to help you with questions and practical information about daytours.
About South Africa
South Africa is one of Africa's most exciting countries. It is an interesting mix of Europe, Africa and Asia. Some of the challenges South Africa faces is to reduce poverty and injustice, to consolidate democracy and promote respect for human rights. The landscape is as diverse as the cultural characteristics, aptly named the “Rainbow Nation”. South Africa provides the excitement of Africa with the luxury of the “first world”.
The country's democratization process has been on-going since the early 1990s, and although much progress has been made there is still much to do. Some of the challenges that South Africa still faces is poverty and injustice, to consolidate democracy and promote respect for human rights. But the biggest challenge is the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is ravaging the country.
With regard to the animals, poaching is probably the largest threat with many species being the victims to the trade in exclusive products and animals skins, causing devastating consequences on the biodiversity of the country.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your insurance covers illness, injury and theft whilst you are volunteering. Most travel agencies offer a travel insurance which will cover you for all kinds of emergencies. You can purchase this insurance as a complement to your home insurance or just for the period that you are volunteering. When enquiring about flight tickets, be sure to also enquire about insurance options as well. Liability insurance is however, included in the tour price. Liability insurance applies to instances when compensation for damages is demanded of you as a private person for unintentionally hurting someone or for unintentionally damaging someone else’s property.
If you intend to stay in South Africa for more than 90 days, you will need a visa. It is important that volunteer’s application for visas occurs in a sufficient amount of time as it normally takes about two months to apply and obtain the visa.
Flight tickets are not included in the tour price. You can book flights through a travel agency of your choice, please just be sure to arrive in O.R TamboInternational Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa on your allocated start date (Arrival day: Wednesday before 9:00 AM). When you finish the project your flight home should be booked on Wednesday in the late afternoon/evening.
Remember to get vaccinated before this project. Check with a vaccination centre for which vaccinations you need. We recommend that you have a full protection against Hepatitis A and B, cholera, and polio. There is no malaria in the area but if you are planning to travel to Kruger National Park, you should also take malaria prophylaxis. Your duties will mainly be dealing with wild animals so it is important that your tetanus shot is still up to date, as well as rabies. Please note that if you are traveling to a yellow fever area before you travel to South Africa, make sure you have a yellow fever injection and keep your vaccination record card on you when entering South Africa.