This list has been compiled by “Volunteers in Africa Beware”
Please visit their Facebook page for further information as they have extensive knowledge and will answer individual queries.
THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY LISTS FOR VOLUNTEERING PLACES IN AFRICA
The updated list as of 09/11/2014 of GOOD places that we recommend so far to potential volunteers includes:
• Shamwari Game Reserve – Host to Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary – www.shamwariconservationexperi ence.com (SA)
• LionsRock – www.lionsrock.org (SA)
• Drakenstein Lion Park – www.lionrescue.org.za (SA)
• Wild cats World – www.wildcatsworld.org (SA)
• Cat Conservation Trust – www.predatours.co.za (SA)
• Wildlife ACT – www.wildlifeact.com (SA)
• Bahati Volunteer Programme – https://www.facebook.com/ pages/ Bahati-Volunteer-Programme/ 610413172406914?ref=ts&fref=ts (SA)
• Jane Goodall Institute’s Chimp Eden – www.janegoodall.co.za(www.chimpeden.com (SA)
• Vervet Monkey Foundation – www.vervet.za.org (SA)
• Kariega Game Reserve – www.kariega.co.za (SA)
• FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Gauteng – www.freemewildlife.org.za (SA)
• Kwa Cheetah Breeding Project – www.cheetahinteraction.com (SA)
• Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary – www.jukani.co.za (SA)
• Monkeyland & Birds of Eden – www.monkeyland.co.za
• Siyafunda Wildlife and Conservation – www.siyafundaconservation.com (SA)
• Samara Wildlife Volunteer Programme – www.volunteersamara.wordpress.com (SA)
• Askari Wilderness Conservation – www.askariwcp.com (SA)
• Amakhala Game Reserve – www.amakhala.co.za (SA)
• Kaapsehoop Horse Trails – www.horsebacktrails.co.za (SA)
• Umkwali – www.umkwali.com (SA)
• Global White Lion Trust – www.whitelions.org (SA)
• Kevin Richardson Lion Sanctuary – www.lionwhisperer.co.za (SA)
• Campfire Academy – www.campfire-safaris.com (SA)
• Khamai Reptile Centre – www.khamai.co.za (SA)
• Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit – www.protrackapu.co.za (SA)
• Umkhondo Big5 Wildlife – www.bigfivevolunteer.com (SA)
• Modgaji Conservation and Rehabilitation Projects – www.modgaji.co.za (SA)
• Daktari Bush School – www.daktaribushschool.org (SA)
• C.A.R.E. Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education –www.primatecare.org.za (SA)
• Ingwe Leopard Research, Mpumalanga – www.ingweleopard.com (SA)
• Tuli Wilderness – www.tuliwilderness.com (Botswana)
• Legodimo Wilderness – www.legodimo.com (Botswana)
• IDA Africa, In Defense of Animals – www.ida-africa.org (Cameroon)
• Limbe Wildlife Centre – www.limbewildlife.org (Cameroon)
• Ape Action – www.apeactionafrica.org (Cameroon)
• Projet Primates – www.projetprimates.com (Guinea)
• Mara Naboisho Conservancy – www.maranaboisho.com (Kenya)
• Tsavo Cheetah Project – www.tsavocheetahproject.org (Kenya)
• Colobus Conservation – www.colobusconservation.org (Kenya)
• Lilongwe Wildlife Centre – www.lilongwewildlife.org (Malawi)
• EHRA – Elephant Human Relations Aid – www.desertelephant.org (Namibia)
• N/a’an ku sê Foundation – www.naankuse.com (Namibia)
• CERCOPAN – www.cercopan.org (Nigeria)
• Ann Van Dyke Cheetah Centre (De Wildt Shingwedzi Cheetah Ranch) – www.dewildt.co.za (?) Some interaction with ambassador cheetahs allowed, removing some cubs to be hand-reared and very few released cheetahs. Most are sold to zoos (SA)
• Dell Cheetah Centre – www.dccafrica.co.za (?) Some interaction with ambassador cheetahs allowed (SA)
• Daniell Cheetah Project – www.daniellcheetahproject.com (?) Some interaction with ambassador cheetahs allowed (SA)
• C.R.O.W. Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife – www.crowkzn.co.za (?) (SA)
• International Primate Rescue – www.iprescue.org (?) (SA)
• Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre – www.moholoholo.co.za (?) Some interaction with animals allowed (SA)
(?) – These projects are overall good but may have certain practices that some people/conservationists may disagree with. More feedback about these projects is appreciated. We are trying to identify and promote good conservation projects and wildlife sanctuaries that are not connected to canned hunting or promoting hunting as a conservation method.
These are places that, in OUR opinion, are not involved in immoral practices like forced breeding and selling animals to hunting reserves, that try their best to care for wildlife and from whom you’ll have a lot to learn from spending time there. We do not know anything about the accommodations they offer, the food, transportation etc.
WE ALWAYS RECOMMEND YOU DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH TO DECIDE IF A PROJECT IS RIGHT FOR YOU. If you book through a travel agency, you can give them a list of places that you like and you can mention that you don’t want to volunteer at a breeding farm, they will know what you mean.
PLEASE LET US KNOW, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS LIST,
WE CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR HELP. Any reason any of these places should not be on the good list? Any place you know about that should be added?
REMEMBER, WE CANNOT INCLUDE ON THE GOOD LIST ANY PLACE INVOLVED IN FORCED BREEDING, PETTING FOR PROFIT, AND MOST OF ALL SUSPECTED OF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CANNED LION INDUSTRY.
The updated list of BAD and UGLY places to avoid if you volunteer in Africa, according to our research:
= THE UGLY =
AS A GENERAL RULE, PLEASE AVOID ALL THE BREEDING FARMS WITH A LOT OF CUBS AND A LOT OF OLDER MALE LIONS AS THESE ARE SIGNS OF CONNECTION TO CANNED/TROPHY HUNTING.
• LETSATSI La Africa – www.letsatsi-la-africa.co.za – EVIL place!!! (SA)
• LIMPOPO PREDATOR PARK – www.predatorpark.co.za ANDwww.ingogosafaris.co.za – Owned by the same person Walter Slippers!!! (SA)
• BOSKOPPIE Lion and Tiger Reserve – www.boskoppie.com (SA)
• MORESON Ranch – www.moresonranch.co.za (SA)
• UKUTULA Lion Park & Lodge – www.ukutula.com (SA)
• AFRICAN DANKBAAR Lion Breeders – www.facebook.com/…/African-Dankbaar-Lion-Bree…/ 106729123983… (SA)
• HORSEBACK AFRICA – www.horsebackafrica.com/ |www.colin.co.za/lion_tours.htm | www.walking-with-lions.za.net/ (SA)
• MABULANI GAME RESERVE – www.mabulani.co.za/ Xara%20Mabulani/activities.htm (SA)
• SEAVIEW Predator Park – www.seaviewpredatorpark.com (SA)
• LION PARK – www.lion-park.com (SA)
• Mbidi Resort and Animal Sanctuary (RAMELA RANCH) –www.tigerman.co.za (www.ramelaranch.co.za – Breeding, hand-raising cubs and using them to attract volunteers, allowing petting, using tigers, lions or cheetahs (cubs and adults) for walks, swiming or shows….using animals only for profit, but NO known connection to hunting (SA)
• Bagamoya Wildlife Estate – www.bagamoyawildlifeestate.co.za – Breeding, taking young cubs away to hand-raise them, allowing petting and sometimes selling lions (SA)
• Otavi Lion Park – www.otavilionpark.co.za (SA)
• Caring4Catz Voluntarily Project – www.facebook.com/ Caring4Catz?ref=stream (SA)
• Zebula – www.zebula.co.za – Breeding and petting of lion and tiger cubs, elephant rides (SA)
• Tshukudu Game Lodge – www.tshukudulodge.co.za/ – Volunteer-program-launches – connected to the beginnings of canned hunting by the Cook Report, lion farm with a separate hunting business on the reserve www.sussens.co.za/about-us.php (SA)
• Ingwe Wildlife Centre – www.ingwewildlife.co.za – Breeding and taking cubs away to hand-raise them, using cubs to attract volunteers, allowing petting, ties to Letsatsi and Limpopo Predator Park and the owners are game traders who sell wildlife including lions (SA)
• Sondela Nature Reserve – www.sondela.com – Using cubs to attract volunteers, offering petting, have been raising cubs for Limpopo Predator Park (SA)
= THE BAD =
We don’t believe these places are directly connected to canned hunting but they are doing practises that we don’t agree with, such as breeding and using the cubs to attract volunteers, animal interaction for entertainment or profit, elephant rides, etc. More feedback from these sites appreciated. Please send a message or post to our Facebook page. Thank you.
• Kwantu Game Reserve – www.kwantu.co.za – Forced breeding lions with the purpose of attracting volunteers, but taking good care of the animals, also selling lions, possibly to hunting reserves, but NOT related to Canned hunting (SA)
• Marakele Predator Centre – www.marakelepredatorcentre.co. za – Breeding, allowing petting and occasionally selling lions (SA)
• Buffelsdrift Game Lodge – www.buffelsdrift.com – Offering elephant rides (SA)
• Knysna Elephant Park – www.knysnaelephantpark.co.za – NSPCA reports cruel and abusive training methods employed to control and train baby and young elephants to use in the elephant-based tourist industry, offering elephant rides (SA)
• Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre – www.tenikwa.com – Serious concerns regarding the welfare of the primates in their care, also safety related concerns (SA)
• Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary – www.lorypark.co.za (SA)
• Mukuni Big Five Safaris – www.mukunibig5.co.zm (Zambia)
• ALERT (African Lion & Environmental Research Trust) –www.lionalert.org/page/ about-us – Part of a force breeding and lion exploitation business through petting and walks with lions, not connected to canned hunting (Zambia)
• LION ENCOUNTER – www.lionencounter.com – Breeding farm exploiting lions through petting and walks with lions, not connected to canned hunting (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
• ANTELOPE PARK – www.antelopepark.co.zw – Force breeding lions, exploiting lions through petting and walks with lions, not connected to canned hunting (Zimbabwe)
The lists are based on opinions expressed by former volunteers and conservationists on Facebook, blogs, reviews and also in articles published on this subject. We do not have any connection to any of the places listed and the reason for our work is to help the volunteers avoid projects involved in immoral practices such as force breeding, petting or canned hunting. We are not engaging in undercover operations.
Please let us know if there is a good reason why any of these places should not be on these lists.
This list is a work in progress.
5 thoughts on “Volunteering at SA Game Reserves”
I wish I’d seen this page before!
I am glad to see that Limpopo Predator Park is on the bad guys list because I had a very unpleasant feeling about them when I was there.
While volunteering there I found myself having lunch and working in facilities saying “Ingogo Safari” accompanied by any kind of stuffed animal that you could think of. There were hunting magazines laying on the desk, animal skins drying in the backyard, the staff was even practising their guns by randomly shooting a warthog that crossed the car’s way at night. When confronted they insisted on only shooting sick and old animals that wouldnt make it in the wild anyway or to stop them from spreading bad genes. As for me I couldnt enjoy working there and left after a week.
See what you find googling “Ingogo Safari” yourself and wonder about the amount of baby lions and tigers at “Limpopo Predator Park” that come and go on a regular basis. Please don’t go volunteer there as this is not a place for wildlife conservation activities!
Hi, I’m wondering whether you have any more thoughts on whether ‘Cheetah Experience’ is a ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ game reserve?
Please visit the Facebook site “Volunteers in Africa Beware” where they have extensive knowledge of good and bad operations in SA and will answer individual queries.
On your list of good/bad places you haven’t got the rhino and lion park in the cradle of human kind in South Africa? Do you know if those lions are used for canned hunts? I know the Lion Park is involved but they are 2 different places as far as I know!?!!
Please inbox this Facebook page as they do have extensive knowledge of this subject.