The goal of DAKTARI Wildlife Orphanage is to provide a safe place to rehabilitate injured or orphaned animals. This is a key part of DAKTARI’s vision which has grown into an integral part of the education of the local children.

Why is the Wildlife Orphanage important for the education of children?

Most of the children that come to DAKTARI have never seen any of the Big 5 or any of the local wildlife. Indeed, due to poaching, the wildlife has been relocated to private and national reserves for their protection. Entrance into these reserves is too expensive for most of the local communities.

This is where DAKTARI comes in. First of all, we teach the children that they should not fear or hate their local wildlife. Then, we teach them that animals should be protected and respected. We also make them aware that the local wildlife creates jobs through tourism and animal care.

What do we want to achieve through our Wildlife Orphanage?

Our vision is to have a local community that is passionate about and protects the animals around them. And this is only possible with the wildlife orphanage. Indeed, without seeing the animals, touching them, and caring for them, the children would not find their passion for animals and the environment. This is why the animals at our orphanage act as animal ambassadors to protect the many other members of their species.

Pixie the bushbuck


Animal residence

DAKTARI is home to dozens of animals that have no chance of being released into the wild. Indeed, some of them are permanently injured, like our raptor birds that cannot fly. Others have been hand-raised and are too tame to survive in the wild. We even receive animals from local communities who find them and bring them to us, or from our partners Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, and local game reserves. They will live out their days at DAKTARI as animal ambassadors.

If you would like to adopt one of these animals, you can do so here.


Animal banner

Although we are not a full rehabilitation centre, DAKTARI is home to several animals that can be released. Normally, these animals come to us as abandoned babies. Therefore, we raise them and then release them on our farm or on a nearby reserve. For example, DAKTARI has successfully released three nyala, two porcupines, a buffalo, a waterbuck, a genet, and many other incredible animals!

DAKTari Wildlife Orphanage


Just seeing some of the animals in person and watching them is enough to spark interest and excitement for many of the children. However, there is so much more to do!

The animals in the orphanage are a part of the environmental education program. For instance, there are lessons about poaching, animal facts, and learning how to identify animals by their tracks.

Hands-on activities with the animals.

Twice a day, the children help volunteers and staff by cleaning enclosures and feeding the animals in our care. Most importantly, the children also get the chance to interact with our most friendly residents during their free time.

Actively taking part in animal care and learning about animals inspires the children to protect their local wildlife. It would be impossible to achieve our mission without the animals in our care.


From time to time some of our animals become friends. And those friendships aren’t always ones you’d expect. We recently discovered Inside Edition made an article about the unusual friendship between a Nyala we fostered and other animals at the camp. Watch the video below or read the whole article here if you want!