Our internationally recognized volunteer program

Passionate about wildlife conservation and looking for an unforgettable adventure where you will make a real difference? Look no further than Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary's volunteer program. Our internationally recognized team is dedicated to saving a species from extinction and conserving a future for wildlife and people.

For 19 years, our volunteering program has given individuals an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the world's largest orphaned rhino sanctuary. While our gates are closed to public visits, volunteers have the unique opportunity to better understand the effects of the rhino poaching crisis and contribute to the rescue, rehabilitation, rewilding, and release of orphaned and injured rhinos.

As an integral part of our daily sanctuary operations, volunteers will support staff with the care of young rhino orphans. This includes milk preparation, bottle feeding, husbandry, boma care and maintenance, dry feed preparation, behavioural observations, and health checks. Please note that we are a conservation project with a long-term vision of releasing every rhino; contact with the orphans will be limited to essential needs only.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to accompany staff on drives to monitor the released rhinos. You will assist with feeding, capturing body condition photos, and recording behavioural observations, as well as monitoring the development of calves born in the protected area. You will also have the privilege of working with other African wildlife species under rehabilitation and supporting the ongoing management of the protected area by capturing and recording essential information on game drives.

Our program also incorporates a series of educational lectures given by our highly trained and experienced staff. Depending on the duration of your stay, you'll also have the opportunity to participate in various activities, from bush walks and night drives to braai nights and stargazing. Additionally, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in community projects, supporting and uplifting local communities.

We know that our volunteering program is hard work, with long hours, and requires commitment and dedication but we guarantee that you will leave a piece of your heart with us knowing that you have truly made a difference. Join us in our mission to conserve a future for wildlife and people.

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How volunteers help:

  • Preparing milk and bottle feeding young rhino orphans.
  • Assisting with husbandry and boma care for young rhino orphans.
  • Participating in the rehabilitation process of other African wildlife species.
  • Monitoring released rhinos and recording behavioral observations and body condition photos.
  • Assisting with monitoring of new rhino calves born in the protected area.
  • Supporting ongoing management of the protected area by capturing and recording essential information on EarthRanger and Cybertracker whilst on game drives.
  • Attending educational lectures on various topics related to wildlife conservation and management.
  • Participating in various activities, such as bush walks, night drives, stargazing, K9 patrol and grooming, horse grooming, river walks, and discussions on botany, geology, and birding.
  • Feeding reserve wildlife in winter months and monitoring sables.
  • Observing veterinary procedures.
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of the effects of the rhino poaching crisis and the importance of wildlife conservation.
  • Visiting Kruger National Park and mine shafts (depending on the duration of stay).


  • K9 patrol and grooming.
  • Horse grooming.
  • Guided nature walks (botany, geology, and birding).
  • Wildlife drives and monitoring (day and night).
  • Scorpion, snake, and insect discussions.
  • Wildlife feeding and monitoring.
  • Observing medical procedures.
  • Invasive plant control and veldt management.
  • Social events (braai, bonfire, movie night, Rhino Olympics).
  • Mine shaft expedition.
  • Stargazing.
  • Town and Kruger National Park trips.
  • Participating in community projects to support and uplift local communities.


  • Clare Marshall

    “The whole experience of volunteering at CFW was incredible. I learnt so much about all aspects of rhino care with hands-on experience from day one. We were given great, informative lectures about the rhino crisis and CfW's long term, sustainable goals. I am booked to return and can't wait.”

  • Liz and Dave Hardy

    “One of the most fulfilling experiences ever. I continue to talk about it regularly. To bottle-feed a baby rhino is something I will never forget. Thank you for all the work you do and for allowing us to get involved.”

  • Charlotte Viuff

    “Volunteered in 2018. It was an amazing experience. I did it with my son who was 10 at the time. It is so much more rewarding than going on a holiday, it is humbling getting close to the rhinos, and while it is hard work it is so worth it.”

  • Stephen Mairs

    “The best 2 weeks of my life, loved every minute of this experience even the collecting of the rhino poo and there was a lot of it. Meet new friends but the rhinos and hippos were the stars. Loved it.”

  • Adri de Necker

    “It was the best week ever. A life changing experience I would never forget. And hope to do it again in the future seeing all the little ones grown up now.”

  • Vicky & Terry Fitzpatrick

    “The most rewarding, fulfilling and humbling experience of our lives. To spend such quality time with these beautiful animals was unbelievable. A completely amazing experience and one we would recommend to anyone.”

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is the minimum age requirement for volunteering?

      The minimum age requirement for volunteering is 18 years old.

    • Is there a physical fitness requirement for volunteering at this project?

      Yes, this project is physically demanding, and volunteers should have a good degree of physical fitness to participate.

    • How long can I volunteer for?

      The duration of the volunteer program can vary from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on your availability and the needs of the sanctuary.

    • Do I need any previous experience to volunteer?

      No previous experience is necessary, but a passion for wildlife and conservation is essential. Our experienced staff will provide training and guidance on all activities.

    • What kind of tasks will I be expected to do as a volunteer?

      As a volunteer, you will be assisting staff with the daily care of young rhino orphans, including milk preparation, bottle feeding, husbandry, boma care and maintenance, dry feed preparation, behavioural observations, and health checks. You may also assist with monitoring the released rhinos, recording behavioural observations, and supporting the care of other wildlife species under rehabilitation. Additionally, volunteers will participate in veldt management and other activities aimed at conserving the ecosystem.

    • Will I have contact with the rhino orphans?

      Direct hands-on contact with the orphans will be limited to essential needs only. Our priority is the well-being of the rhinos and their future release into the wild. Working with megaherbivores is no joke, so for your own safety, volunteers are expected to adhere to strict rules and policies.

    • What kind of food will be provided during the volunteering program?

      We provide three meals a day for volunteers, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our experienced kitchen staff prepare a variety of nutritious meals, including vegetarian options. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies when you apply so we can accommodate your needs.

    • What facilities are available at the sanctuary for volunteers?

      The sanctuary is located in a remote area, far from the town. Whilst accommodation and 3 meals are provided for volunteers, there are limited other facilities on-site. Volunteers will be able to use the laundry but should bring their own snacks and drinks if desired. There is no on-site store or canteen, so it is recommended that volunteers stock up on supplies before arriving at the sanctuary. Volunteers will have the opportunity to go to town once a week.

    • What is the cost of the volunteer program?

      The cost of the volunteer program varies depending on the duration of your stay.

    • Why do I need to pay to volunteer?

      Unique volunteering opportunities often charge volunteers for their placement to cover the costs associated with hosting and supporting volunteers, such as accommodation, meals, transportation, training, and administrative expenses. These fees help to ensure that the program can continue to operate sustainably and provide meaningful experiences for volunteers. In addition, some programs may use volunteer fees to support conservation efforts or community development projects. It's important for volunteers to research the organization and understand how their fees will be used before committing to a program.

    • What is the recommended equipment list?
      • Closed-toe, sturdy shoes for walking on rough terrain
      • Comfortable, breathable clothing that can get dirty
      • Sun hat and sunglasses
      • Warm jacket for chilly mornings and evenings
      • Rain jacket or poncho
      • Personal toiletries and medications
      • Headlamp with extra batteries
      • Water bottle (at least 1L capacity)
      • Insect repellent
      • Sunscreen
      • Work gloves (optional)
      • Binoculars (optional)
      • Face Mask (for dust when working with grass)
    • Can I take photos or videos during my time at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary?

      You are welcome to take photos and videos to document your experience. However, for the safety and security of our rhinos and staff, we ask that you do not post any photos or videos on social media or other public platforms. In addition, we request that you do not take any photos of our guards' faces or any geographical location reference points. Please ensure that the location settings are turned off on all your devices while on the sanctuary grounds. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in helping us protect our rhinos and staff from potential harm.

    • How can I apply to volunteer at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary?

      To apply, please complete our online volunteer application form. Our team will then be in touch to discuss your application and answer any questions you may have.

    • What items can I bring as donations?

      Donations of bandages and dressings are highly appreciated and beneficial for both the rhinos and our staff. Our APU (Anti-Poaching Unit) and caregivers are in need of gloves, hats, socks, and headlamps. Additionally, if you have old clothes, books, or toys, they can be donated to support our local community.

    Apply to Volunteer

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