"My name is Maya, I am a 19-year-old French girl and I decided to volunteer at Daktari for three weeks. I decided to come here by myself to improve my English but also because I wanted to discover South Africa. I started thinking about volunteering a few years ago, but I never had a precise idea of what I wanted to do, so when I discovered the organisation on Lea Camilleri’s channel, I signed up immediately."
"Hello ! We are Ophélie and Julie. We are 23 years old and come from Belgium. We stayed at DAKTARI for three weeks.
"I decided to come to DAKTARI Bush School with my son, Alexandre,11 years old, to share and experiment with something very different from our everyday life in Europe, through another culture, both with animals care and with children.
We are happy to welcome Sacha, our new Office Assistant!
Sacha is 24 years old and is coming from Switzerland where he finished his business Management bachelor. He is staying with us for six months and will help with the Eco Clubs and the Fundraising tasks.
For a long time, Sacha wanted to volunteer and he is still looking for what he wants to do professionally. So, he choose to come at DAKTARI to get a volunteering work experience in an NGO.
We are very excited to have Sacha in the DAKTARI Team and we hope he has a great time here in the coming months!
We recently said goodbye to our Meerkat family. Twelve of our meerkats left DAKTARI to be rehabilitated. Only Gasper and Tikki stayed behind because they are quite old and have lost some of their teeth.
Gasper was the first to arrive at DAKTARI in 2010, follow by Tikki (2011) and Madonna (2014). The family then grew with Madonna's three babies in November 2014: Porthos, Athas and Aramis. In 2017, Colo, Tschumi and Jess joined the meerkat family followed by Jess' three babies.
Eeyore the donkey is going to miss his butt scratching buddies and our staff will miss running after them when they escape! Although we were very sad to see them go; we are delighted to know that they will be back in their natural habitat soon enough.
We also said goodbye to Chimoya, the baby buffalo. She arrived in March and has grown up with Tango and Tony, the baby sable antelope. She returned to the neighbouring farm where she is from to join her buffalo family and live in the wild.
We recently received generous donations from South African corporates.
L'OREAL donated some beauty and body care products. They will be given to the children who come to DAKTARI as a reward after their accomplishment of the week. It is a wonderful way to encourage them and to learn about hygiene.
The leader of the Pet Industry, Marltons, donated some products such as water bottles, dishes and games. This will contribute to the good care and enrichment of our animals.
The Rotary Club of Middleburg donated stationary and school furnitures for DAKTARI and schools we are working with. All have been received with a lot of gratitude.
A leading food producer, RCL FOOD, donated Maize meal, flour and peanut butter which are all part of the children's meals.
We are very grateful for all these amazing donations! Donations like these are fundamental to the organisation in order to keep their program running!
DAKTARI recently welcomed Beth, our new animal assistant! Beth is joining us from the UK where she previously studied zoology. She is staying with us for six months and will help our Animal Manager Johnson with the care and welfare of DAKTARI's animals. Her main goal is to update the animal enclosure with enrichment.
Beth has many experiences with wild animals. She volunteered twice in a rescue and rehabilitation in Malawi. She helped to raise and care for monkey mainly, but also lion, serval or leopard! Then she worked as conservation intern for two months in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa.
We are very excited to have Beth in the DAKTARI Team and we hope she has a great time here in the coming months!
My name is Karin and I’m from the Netherlands. I’m at Daktari with my husband Gerwin and my two sons Nils (14) and Bjorn (10). When we’re planning this holiday we really like to combine working as a volunteer and meeting other cultures and experience the nature. Daktari offers that. Especially the education program for the local students and working with the animals is why we choose Daktari.
We came at DAKTARI on Saturday 28th of April 2018 for a week. We flew to Johannesburg where we rent a car. We drove to DAKTARI ourselves. It was a beautiful trip and, in the end, we even saw buffalo!
At Daktari, every volunteer works with the animals and give some lessons to the students. Every evening there is a meeting where the work and the lessons for the next day are planned. You do stabling, feeding the animals and cleaning up. The animals vary from smaller ones like mongoose, meerkat, owls, eagles, bush baby and dassies to bigger ones like ostrich, caracal, cheetah and wild dog. The subjects of the lessons are about the environment, renewable energy, knowledge of the animals but also about politeness, respect and job opportunities at a game reserve.
My sons helped with cleaning the enclosure of the cheetah "Martin". That was exciting! First, we had to lure the cheetah with a chicken to got him locked. It took a couple of minutes but eventually, it worked. And Then they could start cleaning the water and fill it up with fresh water agin.
The Tuesday we went to another school in the village where DAKTARI offers a special education program called "Eco-Club". The children coming there on voluntary. It is very special to see how eager the students are to learn. It was a lesson which took 2 hours without a break. And they were still focussing! In the Netherlands that age (15-17) not even have the focus for 1hour! I was impressed.
When we where at DAKTARI they had a baby buffalo and two baby sable antelope. Six times a day they get a bottle of warm milk. At 6 pm it was my turn and it was really dark. With my headlight, I got into the fence and the buffalo came immediately to me. He was pushing me forward to get along so he gets his milk. It was really funny! When he was drinking I had to say to myself: I am here in South Africa feeding a baby buffalo! It was great!
DAKTARI was a family experience we will never forget!
Thank you so much!