Join us to volunteer with children and animals

DAKTARI's volunteering program is designed to give our volunteers the opportunity to teach local children, care for injured or abandoned wildlife, and get fully immersed in the South African bush and culture. As teachers and caretakers at DAKTARI our volunteers are vital to the success of our programs and make a great impact on the communities. 


You will spend your day teaching children and helping our staff care for the animals around the camp. This can be anything from feeding an animal with a bottle to cleaning their enclosures or picking up a hammer and renovating their homes. Don't forget to check out our long-term volunteer positions to stay at DAKTARI for up to a year!



Returning volunteers now get 20% off when they book directly! So if you're back home now after your amazing trip and want to come back: don't hesitate any longer and book now!



 Volunteer now          



Teach Children
Animal Care
Community Work
To Do
Volunteer Rates


Teach children



Monday through Friday you will be teaching a group of eight children, aged 12-16, about the environment, the importance of protecting wildlife and about social issues like safe sex. All classes are taught in English but you do not need to be a native English speaker to teach at DAKTARI. You also don't need to have any teaching experience. We have everything you need to be a great teacher!


Your day starts at 7:00am and lessons begin at 9:00am. Classes finish at 4:30pm and then we have group talks with the kids about social issues. We also make time for fun! You will play games with the children, join them in the pool and dance around the bonfire to their favourite songs! 


Several times a year we also run a Job Hunting Program where we invite local unemployed youths to our camp and teach them the skills they need to find a job. Visit our community page for more information about when we run this program.


Care for animals



The animals at DAKTARI are the cornerstone for the education program. Sadly, many of them are not able to be released but we are able to give them a second life at DAKTARI where they make a big impact. Many of the children who visit DAKTARI have never seen the local wildlife, but here they get to see these animals for themselves.


Each day you will help with the different chores that need to be done to keep our animals happy and healthy such as cleaning each enclosure and feeding them. 


Many of the animals that come to DAKTARI are injured or require special care (especially the babies!). That means that you may be tasked with providing medicine, first aid, or additional feeding to animals at the camp, day or night. If we have any new arrivals or animal releases, you will also have the opportunity to renovate or build new animal enclosures with our staff! 

Work with the community

Eco-clubs and community projects


Volunteers have many opportunities to get involved with the local communities around DAKTARI. Each week, DAKTARI hosts two Eco-Clubs at the local village schools. The Eco-Club is a voluntary after school club that the children attend to learn more about the environment. Our volunteers can join DAKTARI's outreach manager each week to help host the Eco-Club.


It is also possible to get involved in some of our community improvement projects. These projects are often centered around waste management and include large litter clean-ups, painting and the installation of rubbish bins. 


You can also sign up for a home stay in which you and up to one other person can spend the night with one of our local families to see what it's like to live in an African village. Be prepared to get up early to help out!


DAKTARI Reserve and Accommodation


DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage is set in a beautiful nature reserve with granite hills and the most stunning views. Leopard, hyena, buffalo, impala, kudu, wildebeest, zebra, and giraffe roam freely within our grounds. The camp itself is located in the heart of the reserve and it is here that you will mostly work with the children and enclosed animals. However, you will be going into the reserve to explore the signs of nature around us!


We are located in the middle of the bush and so the camp is rustic, although we do our very best to make sure everyone is kept clean, comfortable, and well fed. You will enjoy hot showers, running water, and solar-powered lights in your traditional chalets. You may be sharing your chalet with up to 3 other volunteers but everyone has their own bed and space to store clothes and personal items. There are no plugs in the chalets but we have an allocated charging station in the bar where you can charge all of your electronic devices. The only items we do not allow are hair dryers and straighteners. 


At DAKTARI, everyone is served three meals a day by our experienced kitchen staff. Laundry is done for everyone each day, with the exception of Sunday, and the rooms are cleaned every day. Our volunteers are often pleasantly surprised at the nice conditions when they arrive. 


All arrivals and departures are on Saturdays when you will be given a tour and introduction to DAKTARI. We can pick you up from the Hoedspruit airport or Hoedspruit town. You will have Sunday to relax, catch up on rest, and study for your lessons on Monday! 


Living and working at DAKTARI is very safe provided you respect the rules of the camp. 




On Saturdays you can take a trip into Hoedspruit with Ian. This gives you the opportunity to do any shopping you might need and a chance to get out of the camp for a while. There are plenty of great restaurants in town to have lunch at too!


Sundays are your day off. You can plan a day excursion if you like or just relax at the camp. We are happy to help you plan a trip or put you in touch with a local guide. If you are interested in taking a longer break over the weekend (Friday to Sunday), you are welcome to arrange that with our staff. 


Here are just some of the things you can do around DAKTARI: 

Our Rates for 2019:

DAKTARI volunteers pay a fee in order to cover the cost of their stay and to contribute to DAKTARI's programs. Your fee will feed a cheetah, get someone a job, and educate an underprivileged child. It helps us make an impact in the community and provides you with an amazing South African experience!

Prices for 2019:

Please note your final volunteer rate will be confirmed by the DAKTARI staff when your booking is confirmed.
Prices may vary based on currency values on that day.
Length of Stay GBP Euro
1 Week £490 550€
2 Weeks £790 890€
3 Weeks £1,190 1 340€
4 Weeks £1,390 1 570€
6 Weeks £1,890 2 130€
8 Weeks £2,390 2 690€
12 Weeks £3,390 3 810€


Prices for 2020:

Please note your final volunteer rate will be confirmed by the DAKTARI staff when your booking is confirmed.
Prices may vary based on currency values on that day.
Length of Stay GBP Euro
1 Week £530 590€
2 Weeks £870 990€
3 Weeks £1,300 1 470€
4 Weeks £1,500 1 700€
6 Weeks £2,020 2 300€
8 Weeks £2,540 2 900€
12 Weeks £3,580 4 100€


For any conversion rates please follow this link:  


What is included in your fee:

  • Three meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Tea, coffee, juice and water
  • Accommodation in one of our chalets including, towels, bed linens, and a mosquito net
  • Laundry and ironing daily
  • Pick up and drop off at Hoedspruit town or airport when arriving/departing on a Saturday only
  • One trip into town per week
  • Free wifi  

Not included in your fee:

  • International/national flights and travel arrangements
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Personal toiletries e.g. shampoo, sun cream, insect repellent
  • Soda and alcoholic drinks
  • Personal Excursions e.g. safaris

Cancellation Policy

We understand that due to unexpected circumstances you may not be able to go forward with your trip as you would have liked to. In order to accommodate for these occasions we have the following conditions:

  • The full amount (less bank fees) will be refunded if the booking is cancelled three months before arrival. 
  • 50% of the amount (less bank fees) will be refunded if the booking is cancelled one month before arrival.
  • There is no refund if the booking is cancelled within one month of arrival


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