Duration & Fees
Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)
Volunteers can join this project on the any Monday throughout the year. The departure day is also on a Monday.
This project is open over the Christmas and New Year.
£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure
- Three Meals Daily
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- All the volunteer activities that form part of your placement
- Donation to the project
- Orientation programme
- Help and support from the Amanzi Travel staff, local staff and project managers
What's not included
- Flight to and from Johannesburg
- Travel Insurance to include cover for repatriation
- Any soft drinks or alcoholic beverages
- Visas (if applicable)
- Any optional excursions or activities
- Work hands-on with the cheetahs
- Care for the three rescued lions (hands-off)
- Work hands-on with small cats such as caracls, porcupines, African wild cats and servals
- learn more about the project's passion and dedication to the rewilding and release of cheetahs
- live in close proximity to the lion and cheetah enclosures
- experience first-hand all aspects of the animals' lives
- be part of a very passionate team
- learn about conservation and Africa's wild animals
With less than 7,500 cheetahs remaining worldwide (less than 600 wild cheetahs left in RSA) the urgency to repopulate the dwindling numbers has become apparent and the driving force behind this project is the need to breed cheetahs with the sole purpose of returning the population of Africa's most endangered large mammal back to self-sustaining numbers. The Living with Cheetahs project's rewilding policy and post release monitoring efforts will ensure the survival of these beautiful big cats. Research and education are important aspects of the work and are a strong focus at the project which is based on a beautiful reserve in the heart of the magical Waterberg bushveld with panaramic view overlooking the Hooksmountain of the Waterberg range. Volunteers have the opportunity to work with these magnificent animals, contributing to real conservation efforts and helping to ensure the survival of the species for generations to come. The cheetahs on this project flourish in this uncommercialised area where peace and tranquility reign and many of the cheetahs that have been bred, raised and trained to survive here at the project are already living a free life in protected reserves.
The ultimate goal of the project is to breed and release the cheetah, as well as other smaller endangered cat species, back into the wild to supplement the current dwindling population. Other goals will include creating and managing a sanctuary and retirement centre for orphaned, injured or old animals that cannot be released, as well as working towards rescuing and repatriating older and mistreated cheetahs from zoos all over the world and offer these animals a well-deserved semi-freedom in their final years.
With many years of experience and knowledge of these animals the project has developed a unique strategy and programme to successfully breed and re-introduce the cheetahs back into the wild. This work is essential in order to ensure that these magnificent cats are not lost forever. Volunteers joining this project will take part in ground-breaking unique and vital conservation work to save the species from extinction.
Volunteers play an essential role in saving the endangered cheetah by getting actively involved in the daily routine - participating in cheetah interaction, data capture, enclosure cleaning, feeding and monitoring the cheetahs that have already been released.
The Living with Cheetahs project also plays a large role in the rescue and release of other animals and smaller cat species, including servals, African wildcats, meerkat and any other orphaned or injured animals that arrive in need of help. These are carefully raised and released onto the reserve - where they belong - away from humans and in the wild.
Volunteers will be involved in the following activities:
- monitoring and data capture of the animals and their health and behaviour
- cleaning and maintenance of the enclosure
- general camp upkeep
- assisting in the preparation of food for the animals and feeding them
- removing bones etc left over from animal feeding and overall cleaning in the camps
- cleaning water dams and bowls and refreshing with clean water
- assisting with fitness training and well as helping to improve the cheetahs' hunting skills by helping staff with the cheetah run
- bush clearing and creation of pathways
- removal of invasive plant species
- maintenance work, including building, painting or repair work of animal night enclosures and other structures
These activities may change from time to time depending on the animals currently needing rehabiltation and rewilding
A week in the life of a volunter ...
Monday - Saturday: A typical day will consist of eight hours of work, which will vary from cheetah stimulation and enrichment activities, cleaning animal enclosures, assisting in the preparation of food and feeding the cheetahs, taking care of the sick and young animals, gardening, fence-checking, and general reserve maintenance including cleaning!
Sunday: Volunteers have Sundays off to relax, explore the local town, or go on prearranged excursions.
Additional activities are at an additional cost and depend on the length of stay of each volunteer. They may include:
- Big 5 game drives
- Swimming at the beautiful waterfalls
- Clay pigeon shooting
- Hiking in Drakensberg
- Visiting a raptor center
- Taking a canopy zip-line tour
- Horseback riding
All outings away from property are at your own cost, although one game drive per week will be included at the cheetah project. Additional excursions can be planned upon arrival This program is designed to be both educational and fun. You will certainly have the “once-in-a lifetime” experience.
South Africa - Help Local Communities Get Started
Why visit South Africa?
Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. There’s the deserted Kalahari, Namakwa’s springtime symphony of wildflowers, iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Africa’s biggest game reserve - Kruger National Park - boasting the most mammal species of any game reserve, and the magnificent peaks and plunging valleys of the escarpment of Drakensberg.
Cape Town is widely described as one of the world's most beautiful cities. Some of its more famous landmarks include Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades), Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. A combination of historical coastal charm and urbane sophistication, Cape Town has some of the finest beaches and is also the gateway to the lush Cape Winelands, famous for world-renowned wines. From here, it is an easy journey to the Whale Route, where Southern Right whales can be seen (June - November) and humpback whales, Bryde's whales, Minke whales and bottlenose dolpins can be viewed year round.
The Garden Route is renowned for its beaches, indigenous forests, nature reserves, lakes, mountain ranges, adventure opportunities and hiking trails. Plettenberg Bay is a relaxed beach paradise with spectacular walks and hikes where one can watch dolphins and whales on eco-marine cruises. With some of the world's finest beaches, the Eastern Cape's untouched and pristine coastline also has a rich social, cultural and political history. Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape, and the perfect complement to the Garden Route. Cape St Francis is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline, in and around Africa's largest man made web of canals and waterways, and is renowned for its long, sandy beaches, surfing, rock fishing and tranquil lifestyle.
Kruger National Park is the flagship of South Africa's game reserves, offering an unrivalled wildlife experience over two million-hectares. Private concessions operating within and alongside Kruger National Park feature luxurious, exclusive game lodges with many exciting safari activities. Some of these lodges are unfenced, allowing for the free movement of wildlife. Madikwe Game Reserve, in the North West province, is one of South Africa's largest private Big Five game reserves and features numerous lodges and camps. The Waterberg area in the northwest is also malaria-free and is aptly named for its strong streams that flow even in dry seasons, making for excellent game viewing. Both reserves are great for those seeking an accessible malaria-free wilderness experience.
Durban is a sub-tropical city and the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a unique mix of Zulu, Indian and colonial cultures. Visit the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, take a fascinating glimpse into Zulu culture, hike in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, dive the reefs, marine and coastal reserves of Maputaland, as well as experience Big Five game reserves. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for saving the white rhino from the brink of extinction, and Phinda Private Game Reserve is well known for its award-winning lodges and conservation initiatives.
Johannesburg meaning "Place of Gold", is South Africa's economic powerhouse. This vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to many attractions including the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, and also offers shopping from world-class to atmospheric curio markets. Known as the "Jacaranda City", the state capital of Pretoria features beautiful blossoming trees, significant old buildings and fascinating museums, including the Transvaal Museum, home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at the Cradle of Humankind.
Highlights of South Africa
- Breathtaking scenery, quaint coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities, wine routes and exclusive bush lodges.
- Exciting Big Five safaris in unspoilt wilderness areas.
- Malaria-free game viewing and sunshine all year round.
- See Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 27 years.
- Go up Table Mountain by cable car for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful Cape Town.
- Whale watching and great white shark cage diving.
- Beautiful, pristine beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
- The Cradle of Humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites.
|Seasons ||Max ||Min
|Summer (September - April)
|Winter (May - August)
|Rainfall: October to March, with November to January heaviest
South Africa has typical seasons of weather for the southern hemisphere, with the coldest days in July-August. The Benguela Current, a cold motion that moves from the lower South Atlantic Ocean, causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast. On the central plateau, which includes Free State and Gauteng provinces, the altitude keeps the average temperatures below 30 °C.In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point, and in some places, even lower. Heavy snows have fallen recently for the first time in decades in Johannesburg. During winter, it is warmest in the coastal regions, especially on the Eastern Indian Ocean coast and Garden Route, where it has year round mild weather with occasional rain. As winter is cooler and drier, it is more suitable for hiking and outdoor pursuits, and is also a good time for game viewing as vegetation is less dense and thirsty animals congregate around rivers and other permanent water sources.
In summer, South Africa experiences the hottest temperatures and this is generally when most rain falls, October – March. However, there is one exception - the Western Cape, which is a winter-rain area that enjoys a Mediterranean climate (average 26°C).
Christmas to mid-January, and Easter are the height of the peak season for visitors.
Autumn (April/May) and Spring (mid-Sept to November) are ideal almost everywhere.
Population – 50 million
Capital – Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Currency – Rand (ZAR)
Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English (South African English), Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 27, international access code 00
My husband and I spent our honeymoon volunteering at at the Living with Cheetahs Project for two weeks. It was truly life-changing. The bush is stunning: vivid sunsets catching on the clouds of the rainy season, seeing giraffe and impala wandering through the trees, being woken up by a hornbill tapping at the window, hearing the lions roar in the distance. Being around people who are so dynamically and fiercely devoted to their demanding and worthy work...it's inspiring and renewing. Kim is like a badass Disney princess, the way she interacts with animals. Monique and Tasch are superheroes. I have the utmost respect for them; helping them in their work is a true honor. Make no mistake: this is not playing with tame, oversize kitties. This is not a holiday with cool pets. These are wild animals, exactly as they should be, accustomed to humans only to the extent that they must be in order to survive or promote education. You'll get to pet a couple through the fence, feed all of them, maybe groom a few, but you are there to aid in the cause. Spending days cleaning out enclosures, scrubbing tile in the meat room with a toothbrush, mending fences- that is what you can expect. And it was one of the deepest privileges of my life. If I could do exactly this every day forever, I would. These women and men are real heroes, and they and the animals they serve deserve your commitment and respect. They certainly have mine. I will be back as soon as I can be. If you have the opportunity to assist these noble creatures, bipedal and otherwise, please take it. You won't regret it.
Saskia, USA aged 28 (Volunteer Living with Cheetahs)
The owners and people who work there are all very friendly and do there best to make volunteers feel welcome, we were taken out to watch the sunset and the night sky, which was brilliant. They organised outings and a barbeque. Being with the cheetahs was of-course the best bit for me, especially when Rene, the "cheetah lady" was there, as we had more time with the animals. I have always wanted to see king cheetahs ( only seen them on TV and photos) so was really exited to been working with them at this project.
Jolan, aged 66, UK (Volunteer Living with Cheetahs)