- Hands-on work with seabirds
- Learning about conservation
- Actively partaking in the conservation of endangered seabirds
- Being witness to penguins and other seabirds recovery process
- There might be an opportunity to go on a release trip to Robben Island, off Cape Town (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned)
- Robben Island is home to one of the largest African Penguin colonies in the world
- Volunteers will be taught how to catch, handle, feed, tube and administer medication to a variety of seabirds
- Volunteers will assist in the Intensive Care Unit as well as clean and scrub bird pens on a daily basis.
- Volunteers must be prepared to work a 5-day week including weekends.
- Volunteers work according to a shift schedule arranged by the volunteer co-ordinator once they start.
- Airport transfers
- Cape Town Orientation package: 3 nights' accommodation, orientation that covers everything the volunteers need to know about staying in South Africa (from social skills to transport and safety), two meals per day, bus trip into town, lunch (on the Friday), walking tour of the city, a train ride back to there accommodation and day trip (on the Saturday)
- All paperwork, placement and liaising with your volunteer program
- Appointed supervisor for the duration of program
- Two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
- Donation per month to the volunteer project to assist in their funding
- A South African SIM card that works on a pay-as-you-go top up system
- Monthly socials for volunteers to get together and meet other volunteers (cost depends on social)
- Certificate & report on volunteer`s program should this be required for studies or other purposes
- FREE 2-hour surf lesson
- Minimum age of 18
- Intermediate English. You need to be able to understand enough English to follow instructions from the volunteer co-ordinator and other staff, as they guide you in how to handle the seabirds.
- Volunteer application form with your reason for choosing this project
- Biology and zoology background is an advantage, but not necessary
- Love of marine life, and care for conservation
- Need to be hard working, okay with being in wet conditions a lot, unafraid of being pecked, and not squeamish about chopping up fish to feed the birds.
- Medium to hard physical work
- Medium emotional investment
Yes. Working with wild animals is always a risk. African Penguins and some other seabird species are aggressive and caution should be taken when handling them. You might get pecked! There is a low risk of getting lockjaw through penguin bites. Must take care to dry feet/hands after scrubbing down pools and other bird enclosures. Generally, HIV/AIDS is extremely prevalent in South Africa, so it is your personal responsibility to take care with regards to health and safety, as well as sexual relationships.
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.