THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY LISTS FOR VOLUNTEERING PLACES IN AFRICA

THE UPDATED LIST (as of 06/04/2019) OF GOOD PLACES THAT WE RECOMMEND SO FAR TO POTENTIAL VOLUNTEERS INCLUDES:

 

SOUTH AFRICA

• LionsRock - www.lionsrock.org | Big Cat Sanctuary (owned by Four Paws) Forever home for rescued big cats. Highly recommended https://underanafricansun.com/2015/06/08/our-visit-to-lionsrock-big-cat-sanctuary/ | (S.AFRICA)

• Drakenstein Lion Park - www.lionrescue.org.za | Lion and Chimp Sanctuaries. TRUE sanctuary, reasonable price. | (S.AFRICA)

• Panthera Africa - www.pantheraafrica.co.za | Sanctuary for captive bred big cats | (S.AFRICA)

• Global White Lion Trust - www.whitelions.org | Timbvati White Lion Conservation project | (S.AFRICA)

• Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary - www.jukani.co.za | Mammals including big cats and Reptiles Sanctuary | (S.AFRICA)

• Wild Cats World - www.wildcatsworld.org | Big and Small Cat Awareness, Conservation and Sanctuary. | (S.AFRICA)

• The Rhino Orphanage - www.therhinoorphanage.co.za | Rehabilitation and release of orphaned and injured rhinos | (S.AFRICA)

• Vervet Monkey Foundation - www.vervet.za.org | Monkey and Primate Conservation, Rehabilitation and Sanctuary. Highly recommended| (S.AFRICA)

• Monkeyland & Birds of Eden - www.monkeyland.co.za www.birdsofeden.co.za | Monkey and Birds Sanctuary | (S.AFRICA)

• C.A.R.E. Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education - www.primatecare.org.za | Primate Sanctuary, Rehabilitation and Education (S.AFRICA)

• Bambelela - www.bambelela.org.za | Primates (mainly vervet monkeys) Sanctuary and Rehabilitation project | (S.AFRICA) Offering free room and board to qualified vet students / vet nurse willing to help or 6/12 months.

• Jane Goodall Institute’s Chimp Eden - www.janegoodall.co.za (www.chimpeden.com) | Chimpanzee Sanctuary | (S.AFRICA) On Hold

• Brackenburn C.R.E.W. - www.brackenburncrew.org.za | Conservation, Rehabilitation and Education, all kinds of Wildlife | (S.AFRICA)

• C.R.O.W. Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife - www.crowkzn.co.za | Durban’s only registered wildlife rehabilitation centre dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of all indigenous wildlife found in KwaZulu-Natal l (S.AFRICA)

• FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation KZN - www.freemekzn.co.za | Care and rehabilitation of injured and sick wildlife l (S.AFRICA)

• Karoo Wildlife Centre - www.cannedlion.org/wildlife-rescue.html | Wildlife advocacy course for Volunteers | (S.AFRICA)

• African Insight Academy - www.africaninsight.co.za | selection of research and monitoring projects, potential to participate in management activities such as game capture, game introductions and priority species monitoring like leopard and black rhino | (S.AFRICA)

• WildlifeAct - www.wildlifeact.com l Real Wildlife Conservation, their work focuses on endangered and priority species including the African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Rhino, Lion, Elephant, Leopard and Vulture. l (S.AFRICA)

• Siyafunda Wildlife and Conservation - www.siyafundaconservation.com | Big Five and more wildlife Conservation on the Makalali Reserve | (S.AFRICA)

• Campfire Academy - www.campfire-safaris.com | Mammals, Birds, Reptiles Conservation; internship available . Field Guide Courses| (S.AFRICA)

• Ingwe Leopard Research - www.ontracksafaris.co.uk | Leopard Conservation and Research | (S.AFRICA)

• Kariega Game Reserve - www.kariega.co.za | Big Five Conservation; Highly recommended volunteer experience | (S.AFRICA)

• Shamwari Game Reserve - www.shamwariconservationexperience.com | Big Five Conservation and host to the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary; outstanding volunteer experience; one of very few reserves in SA where hunting doesn't take place; excess lions/rhinos are being traded/ sold | (S.AFRICA)

• Amakhala Game Reserve - www.amakhala.co.za | Big Five and more wildlife Conservation | (S.AFRICA)

• Mankwe Wildlife Reserve - www.mankwewildlifereserve.com/nkombi-volunteers.html | Wildlife Conservation and Research, recommended for students studying conservation| (S.AFRICA)

• Transfrontier Africa - www.transfrontierafrica.org | Elephant & Rhino/Big Five Conservation; Highly recommended volunteer project on the Balule Nature Reserve, next to the Kruger (hunting the Big Five in this reserve, after the fence with the Kruger was removed, was curtailed but still takes place, seems to have increased in the last year. Recent scandal involving an elephant hunt in front of terrified tourists. The project itself is not connected to trophy hunting.) | (S.AFRICA)

 The Leopard and Predator Project - www.landmarkfoundation.org.za/volunteer/ | Field data collection, research analyses, environmental education, marketing development, and general conservation work such as fence patrols and erosion control, recommended for students working on their BS/MS thesis | (S.AFRICA)

• Nkonzo Bush Academy - www.wildlife-research.com l Wildlife Research, Field Guiding Training, Dangerous Game Training l (S.AFRICA)

• Shimongwe Wildlife Veterinary Experience - www.conservationafrica.net/our-projects/wildlife-veterinary-experience/ | (S.AFRICA)

• The Eco camp at Gondwana Game Reserve - www.gondwanagr.co.za/eco-camp/ |(S.AFRICA)

• Indlovu West Conservation Research - www.indlovuwest.com | Big Five Conservation, Elephant management project | (S.AFRICA)

• Samara Wildlife Volunteer Programme - www.samara.co.za | Mammals, Birds and more wildlife Conservation, Rehabilitation and Research | (S.AFRICA)

• Thula Thula Volunteers Academy - www.thulathula.com/conservation-volunteers-academy| Wildlife conservation, reserve management and environmental studies | (S.AFRICA)

• Askari Wilderness Conservation - www.askariwcp.com | Big Five and more wildlife Conservation and Research | (S.AFRICA)

• LEO Africa - www.leoafrica.org | Big Five and more Wildlife Conservation and Management on the Marataba Section of the Marakele National Park | (S.AFRICA)

• Kaapsehoop Horse Trails - www.horsebacktrails.co.za | Equine project | (S.AFRICA)

• African Dream Horse Safari - www.africandreamhorsesafari.co.za | Equine project |(S.AFRICA)

• Khamai Reptile Centre - www.khamai.co.za | Reptile Conservation, Education and Research | (S.AFRICA)

• IAPF Green Army - www.iapf.org | International Anti-poaching Foundation | (S.AFRICA)

• Daktari Bush School - www.daktaribushschool.org | Children and Wildlife Education, Conservation and Rehabilitation (S.AFRICA)

• Orca Foundation - www.orcafoundation.com | Whales, Dolphins, Sharks, Marine Conservation | (S.AFRICA)

• SANCCOB Conservation of Coastal Birds - www.sanccob.co.za | Penguins and other seabirds Rehabilitation and Marine Conservation | (S.AFRICA)

 International Marine Volunteers - www.marinevolunteers.com | Sharks, Penguins, Marine Conservation | (S.AFRICA)

 NVT - Nature’s Valley Trust www.naturesvalleytrust.co.za | Conservation, Education, Community and Research, all kinds of Wildlife | (S.AFRICA)

• TEARS Animal Rescue - www.tears.org.za | Animal rescue, veterinary services, rehabilitation and rehoming of rescued domestic animals (no wildlife but badly in need of volunteers). | (S.AFRICA)

• Dogtown - www.barkingmad.co.za/about-dogtown-sa | Animal rescue, veterinary services, rehabilitation and rehoming of rescued domestic animals (no wildlife but badly in need of volunteers). | (S.AFRICA)

 

BOTSWANA

• Motse Eco-volunteers - www.motsebotswana.org | Serious conservation project on the Limpopo-lipadireserve, volunteers will help return previously farmed and hunted land into a wild natural area | (BOTSWANA)

• Legodimo Wilderness - www.legodimo-wilderness.tumblr.com | Nature conservation, environmental and social education | (BOTSWANA)

• Cheetah Conservation Botswana - www.cheetahbotswana.com | Cheeetah Conservation, Research and Education | (BOTSWANA)

• Khama Rhino Sanctuary - www.khamarhinosanctuary.org.bw | Sanctuary for Rhinos and a variety of wildlife | (BOTSWANA)

• Maun Animal Welfare Society - www.maunanimalwelfare.com | Protecting Botswana's Wildlife through domestic animal care; Veterinary placements | (BOTSWANA)

• Tuli Wilderness - www.tuliwilderness.com | (BOTSWANA) Closed down

 

CAMEROON

• IDA Africa - In Defense of Animals - www.ida-africa.org | Primate conservation, long term volunteering | (CAMEROON)

• Limbe Wildlife Centre - www.limbewildlife.org | Primate Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release project.Highly recommended |  (CAMEROON)

• Ape Action - www.apeactionafrica.org | Primate Conservation and Rehabilitation |(CAMEROON)

• Cross River Gorilla - www.crossrivergorilla.org | Primate Conservation | (CAMEROON)

 

CAPE VERDE

 Turtle Foundation www.turtle-foundation.org | Turtle Conservation | (CAPE VERDE)

 

GUINEA

• Projet Primates - www.projetprimates.com | Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Rehabilitation project | (GUINEA)

 

KENYA

• Giraffe Research & Conservation Trust (GRCT) - www.giraffetrust.org | Giraffe Research, Education and Conservation | (KENYA)

• Masai Mara Conservation - www.maasaimara.com/entries/volunteer-work-big-cat-conservation/ | Wildlife and landscape Protection and Conservation | (KENYA)

• Colobus Conservation - www.colobusconservation.org | Primate (mainly Colobus monkeys, Vervets and Sykes and occasionally baboons) Conservation, preservation and protection | (KENYA)

• Local Ocean Trust - www.watamuturtles.com | Turtle Conservation | (KENYA)

• Ol Pejeta Conservancy - www.olpejetaconservancy.org | Sweetwaters Chimpanzee sanctuary, Rhinos and other Wildlife Conservation | (KENYA)

 

MADAGASCAR

• SEED Madagascar - www.madagascar.co.uk | Conservation of the greatly endangered wildlife and forest environments in south east Madagascar | (MADAGASCAR)

• Madagascar Research & Conservation Institute - www.madagascarvolunteer.com | Research and Conservation Institute, all kinds of Wildlife | (MADAGASCAR)

 

MALAWI

• Lilongwe Wildlife Centre - www.lilongwewildlife.org | Wildlife rescue, Conservation and Education centre; Sanctuary for rescued, orphaned and injured wild animals. | (MALAWI)

• Carnivore Research Malawi - www.carnivoreresearchmalawi.org | Carnivores Research, Conservation and Education | (MALAWI)

• African Bat Conservation - www.africanbatconservation.org | Conserving Bats and biodiversity through Research and Education | (MALAWI)

• WAG - Wildlife Action Group - www.wag-malawi.org | Forest and Wildlife Conservation, Protection and Education | (MALAWI)

 

MAURITIUS

 MWF - Mauritian Wildlife Foundation - www.mauritian-wildlife.org | Conservation and preservation of the nation's endangered plant and animal species | (MAURITIUS)

 

MOZAMBIQUE

• Love the Oceans - www.lovetheoceans.org | Marine Conservation, Research, Education and Diving | (MOZAMBIQUE)

 

NAMIBIA

• EHRA - Elephant Human Relations Aid - www.desertelephant.org | Elephant Conservation | (NAMIBIA)

• REST - Rare and Endangered Species Trust www.restafrica.org | Cape Griffon Vulture, Dwarf Python, African Wild/Painted Dog, Cape/Ground Pangolin, Damara Dik Dik and Spotted Rubber Frog, wildlife Conservation, Rehabilitation and Research | (NAMIBIA)

• AfriCat Foundation - www.africat.org | Carnivore Conservation, Education, Research and Rehabilitation project.Highly Recommended. | (NAMIBIA) 

• Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) - www.cheetah.org | Cheetah Conservation, Education and Research | (NAMIBIA)

 N/a'an ku sê Foundation - www.naankuse.com | Wildlife Sanctuary and Carnivore Conservation Research projects. They rescue and release wildlife, true wildlife sanctuary offering a forever home to the animals that cannot be released, the animals are well looked after. A few complains from some volunteers who find the sanctuary project overcrowded and some don't like the "walks with baboons". Headquarters is busy, lots of young volunteers. We recommend Volunteering at Neuras and Kanaan, Kanaan and Neuras are much smaller, really working in the field. You should mention your preference when you book with them. One volunteer offended by the apparent display of animal skins and stuffed wild dog in the information class room. | (NAMIBIA)

 

NIGERIA

• CERCOPAN - www.cercopan.org | Primate Conservation, Rehabilitation and Education | (NIGERIA)

 

UGANDA

• Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary - www.ngambaisland.com | Chimpanzee Sanctuary | (UGANDA)

• Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary - www.rhinofund.org | Rhino Sanctuary and Conservation | (UGANDA)

 

ZAMBIA

• Mufungata Volunteer Program - www.mufungatavolunteer.org | They offer Rehabilitation for "problem" kids and people with addiction/depression problems or trying to overcome a handicap. Good conservation work in in the Kafue National Park. Regular volunteer also offered at a separate location | (ZAMBIA)

• Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage - www.chimfunshi.de/en | Chimpanzee Sanctuary |(ZAMBIA)

• Game Rangers International - www.gamerangersinternational.org | Conservation, Rehabilitation and Education, all kinds of Wildlife | (ZAMBIA)

• Kasanka Trust - www.kasanka.com | Park management, community development and tourism of Kasanka National Park. Volunteer positions for specific skills. | (ZAMBIA)

 

ZIMBABWE

• Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary - www.twalatrust.com | Wildlife rehabilitation and sanctuary for rescued, orphaned and injured animals | (ZIMBABWE)

• Dambari Wildlife Trust - www.dambari.com | Wildlife Conservation and Research |(ZIMBABWE)

• Nakavango Conservation Programme - www.nakavango.com | Big Five and more wildlife, Conservation and Education | (ZIMBABWE)

 Free to be Wild www.freetobewildsanctuary.com | Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release centre | (ZIMBABWE)

• D.A.R.T. Dete Animal Rescue Trust www.dartwildlife.org | Wildlife Research & Conservation Assistance | (ZIMBABWE)

• Painted Dog Conservation - www.painteddog.org | Painted Dogs Conservation and Rehabilitation | (ZIMBABWE)

• Save the Hippos - www.savethehippos.info | Hippos Research, Protection and Conservation | (ZIMBABWE)

 Imire Safari Ranch - www.imire.co.zw | Rhino and Wildlife Conservation | (ZIMBABWE)

• Bhejane Trust www.bhejanetrust.org | Big Five and more wildlife Conservation |(ZIMBABWE)

Volunteers in Africa Beware

THE GOOD(?) for projects with a lot of good feedback but also some feedback raising questions regarding some activities taking place:

• International Primate Rescue - www.iprescue.org (?) | Primate Sanctuary and Rehabilitation, raising awareness and education l (S.AFRICA)

• Running Wild Cheetah Conservation - www.runningwildconservation.org(?) | Small volunteer project specialized in raising cheetahs for potential release into fenced reserves. Possible relocation into the near future. Some interaction with cheetahs allowed. |(S.AFRICA)

• Dell Cheetah Centre - www.dccafrica.co.za (?) | Stopped all visitor/volunteer interactions with their animals recently. | (S.AFRICA)

• HESC Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre - www.hesc.co.za (?) | No longer offering elephant rides. They do good work with cheetahs and excellent work saving orphan rhinos. We have info suggesting that they keep wild cheetahs and wild dogs in captivity longer than they should, possibly with the purpose of using them for breeding. | (S.AFRICA)

• Feracare Wildlife Centre - www.feracare.co.za (?) | New centre, some interaction with cheetahs allowed | (S.AFRICA)

 DIY Wild - www.diywild.com (?) | Wildlife rehabilitation centre of injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife (mainly focusing on vervet monkeys) Hygienic conditions and medical support are apparently questionable | (S.AFRICA)

• Kevin Richardson Lion Sanctuary www.lionwhisperer.co.za (?) | Good lion sanctuary, some people question Kevin Richarson's videos showing him interacting with his lions and possibly giving others the impression that interacting with lions is a "cool" thing to do. Also some consider using lions to produce movies a form of exploitation. | (S.AFRICA)

• Umkhondo Big5 Wildlife - www.bigfivevolunteer.com (?) | Big Five Conservation. Some interaction with ambassador cheetahs allowed | (S.AFRICA)

• White Shark Projects - www.whitesharkprojects.co.za (?) | Sharks, Marine Conservation Some consider the shark cage diving industry to be inauthentic and unsustainable, that it perpetuates myths and it is poor conservation | (S.AFRICA)

• Eagle Heights Gambia www.eagleheightsgambia.co.uk (?) | Wildlife Conservation and Education Centre based at the Abuko Nature Reserve | (GAMBIA) CLOSED

• Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage - www.chipangali.com (?) | Good sanctuary for sick and abandoned animals. Some interactions allowed| (ZIMBABWE)

(?) - These projects are overall good but may have certain practices that some people/conservationists may disagree with. More feedback about these projects is appreciated.

 

CAUTION ADVISED for the projects listed bellow. These are projects that do some good conservation work but they also engage in activities that we strongly disagree with:

• Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary - www.emoya.org.za | www.facebook.com/BahatiVolunteer/ | Big cats sanctuary. Poor security resulting in 2 lions killed. a total of 6 lions placed in their care by ADI (from a total of 33 lions rescued from South America) died in a short period of time causing ADI to request the return of their lions. The ADI accusations were : "mismanagement, negligence, drunken rages, inappropriate associations and abuse of staff and volunteers, which put our lions at risk”. UPDATE: a judge decided in favor of ADI, the remaining 27 rescued lions are now at a new ADI Sanctuary | (S.AFRICA)

• Love Lions Alive - www.lovelionsaliveproject.com | A new Big Cat Sanctuary rescuing lions from bad conditions and looking after them well, not selling animals at the new location , but the founder was involved in lion breeding and she sold lions in the past when managing the Glen Garriff farm, she admitted that the lions sold may end canned hunted despite the buyer's claim that they will be used for breeding (The LionQueen -first series) Allowing friends , donors, volunteers and relatives (including children) to interact/play with the lion cubs and take pictures. Andi Rive makes no secret of her sleeping with a lion cub in her bed even after he was already a sub adult  and her pictures interacting with lions are all over the internet. They do not offer "petting for a fee". Stories of lions at LLA being bought by hunters and donated to LLA etc make us wonder about the connection to the hunting industry via her boyfriend Leon, although Andi seems entirely dedicated to her lions. Optimistic about the future of this project, but cautious. l (S.AFRICA)

• Care for Wild - www.careforwild.co.za | Teaching lion and mutant animals breeding courses, connected to Wildlife4Sale, a trading company advertising lions- including cubs- available for trophy hunting and WRSA(Wildlife Ranching South Africa) who supports breeding for hunting (including white rhinos) . Raising cubs for breeders and returning them when older in the past, also allowing petting by volunteers. Some very good conservation work mainly with rhinos. Petronel is in favor of trading rhino horn and supports "sustainable use" of wildlife. | (S. AFRICA)

• Cheetah Outreach - www.cheetah.co.za | Good Anatolian Shepherd dog breeding program which is helping cheetahs in the wild, but they do allow paying visitors to pet cheetahs including cubs; they do not breed (they hand-rear cubs from the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre and others including Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein ). Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein is on the Bad List for past connections to canned hunting (Riana van Nieuwenhuizen who owns Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein is also co-founder of Cheetah Experience Ashia) |(S. AFRICA)

• Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre - www.dewildt.co.za | Some interaction with ambassador cheetahs allowed, removing cubs to be hand-reared and very few released cheetahs. Most are sold to zoos. Some of their cheetah cubs are being raised at Cheetah Outreached where cub interaction with visitors takes place | (S.AFRICA)

• Daniell Cheetah Project - www.daniellcheetahproject.com | Some interaction with ambassador cheetahs allowed. Breeding servals and handraising just for money |(S.AFRICA)

• Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre - www.moholoholo.co.za | Rescue and release work, sanctuary for a variety of wildlife. Unfortunately they allow a lot of interactions with their animals, including petting of leopard cubs. Strict dressing code according the the owner's religious beliefs | (S.AFRICA)

• Modgaji Conservation and Rehabilitation Projects - www.modgaji.co.za | Reserve Wildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation. Breeding cheetahs and releasing some in the past. There are concerns regarding their breeding practices (possible inbreeding) and selling to questionable buyers like John Varty. Relocated recently to the lowveld, Limpopo Province - near The Kruger National Park | (S.AFRICA)

• Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre - https://www.riversidewrc.com/ | Rehabilitation and release of primates, many volunteers like this project. The owner seems to have a very bad temper when dealing with volunteers and staff, confirmed reports that he shot animals in his care in at least two occasions, he occasionally plays the vet without having the necessary knowledge (according to some volunteers) and is using a controversial method of drugging baboons during the formation of troops. Not much follow up after the troops are being released, most volunteers are just involved in the care of the orphans, more interactions than necessary seem to be taking place. | (S.AFRICA)

 

WARNING: Most of the Game Reserves in South Africa have some hunting activities going on as part of the "reserve management". The reserves also engage in trading "excess" wildlife, and some may be using the services of unethical but well connected trading companies as Letsatsi La Africa. The volunteer projects are usually not affected or involved in the hunting/trading decisions. If you don't consider this acceptable, we recommend you choose a sanctuary project in SA or a project in another African country. For more information on the SA reserve management situation, please read the Notes South Africa Dilemma, Parts 1-3, opinions of a volunteer.

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 much about the accommodations they offer, the food, transportation etc., so keep this in mind if comfort is important to you. 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. Good Luck!

 

THE UPDATED LIST OF VOLUNTEER PROJECTS WITH OWNERS INVOLVED IN HUNTING ACTIVITIES OR CONNECTED TO THE HUNTING INDUSTRY IN OTHER WAYS. WE ALSO ADD PROGRAMMES TO THIS LIST WHEN WE RECEIVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK REGARDING HUNTING ON THE RESERVE FROM VOLUNTEERS.

 Mutogomeli Rhino and Elephant Initiative - www.facebook.com/media/set/… l The founder of the Wild Heart Conservation Francois Meyer who runs the volunteer programme is a hunter and the project is placed on a hunting reserve (home to Greater Kuduland Safaris www.greaterkuduland.co.za/hunti…/hunters-gallery/photos.html) l (S. AFRICA)

• Tshukudu Game Lodge - www.tshukudulodge.co.za/volunteer-program-launches | They were a breeding farm connected to canned hunting in the past, and they are a family of hunters with a hunting safaris operating on their reserve www.sussens.co.za/about-us.php |(S.AFRICA) no longer active (?)

• Karongwe Game Reserve - www.karongwe.co.za | Good lion monitoring project; volunteer complaints regarding the trophy hunting of the previous dominant male and a few lionesses monitored by the GVI volunteers. See the FB page Save the Karongwe Lions for more details https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Karongwe-Lions/529615227105631?fref=ts | (S. AFRICA)

• Bushfellows Game Lodge - www.bushfellows.co.za | Hunting reserve, offering bow and rifle hunting. | (S. AFRICA)

• Galagos Wildlife Conservation - www.gwcvolunteers.com | Situated in Venetia reserve where there is a lot of trophy hunting taking place. This volunteer project is terminated according to a recent message we've received. I guess the reserve decided to do their hunting without potential volunteer witnesses. | (S. AFRICA) CLOSED

• Modisa Wildlife Project - www.modisa.org | Based on a deGraaff property connected to breeding lions for canned hunting in the past. The owners promote lion trophy hunting and are against the ban on hunting in Botswana. | (BOTSWANA)

Volunteers in Africa Beware

 

THE UPDATED LIST OF BAD AND UGLY PLACES TO AVOID IF YOU VOLUNTEER IN AFRICA, according to our research:

= THE BAD =

We don't believe these places are directly connected to canned hunting but they are engaging in practices that we don't agree with (such as breeding and using the cubs to attract volunteers, animal interaction for entertainment or profit, offering elephant rides, etc.). Some seem to be willing to change the bad practices they have been connected to for a long time, those projects may be removed from the Bad list in the future.

• Marakele Predator Centre - www.marakelepredatorcentre.co.za www.marakeleanimalsanctuary.co.za  (they changed their name to Marakele Animal Sanctuary) | Breeding, allowing petting and occasionally selling lions. This is NOT a sanctuary | (S.AFRICA)

• Sondela Nature Reserve - www.sondela.com | Using cubs to attract volunteers, offering petting. | (S.AFRICA)

• Zanchieta Wild Cat Farm - www.wildcatfarm.co.za | Raising lion cubs for Free State breeders, using cubs to attract volunteers. One of the breeders is the well known canned hunter called Shorty Durand | (S.AFRICA)

• Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre - www.tenikwa.com | Killing of monkeys rather than providing adequate care (https://darwinprimategroup.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/vervet-monkeys-dpg-update/), safety related concerns, allegations of animal neglect, offering interactions (https://greengirlsinafrica.com/2017/06/08/tourist-initiated-wildlife-interactions/) |(S.AFRICA)

• Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary - www.lorypark.co.za a lot of bad feedback regarding the interactions with animals, also reports that a leopard called Sasha was captured in the wild and used for breeding and some of the cubs have been sold off, that they have purchased a lion.leopard and jaguar from Nasir Cajee, etc | (S.AFRICA)

• Glen Afric - www.glenafric.co.za | Offering cub petting (when the cubs are small) and walks with lions . In the past they "rented" two white lion cubs, returned them to the breeder and the whereabouts of those two lions is unknown. One of the older males lions also "disappeared" from Glen Afric and the owners refuse to disclose his present location. Evidence of tiger cubs abuse at the beginning of 2016. Training and using animals for many movies and commercials.Known as Living With Big Cats as volunteer project.| (S.AFRICA) 

• Kwa Madwala - www.biggamebackpackers.co.za | Offering elephant rides. l (S. AFRICA)

• Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein - www.cheetahexperience.com | Raised lion and tiger cubs for canned hunters in the past (Olivia Game Lodge, Mooifentein, Letsatsi, Shorty Durand, Grootpan Game Breeders/ Hunting Safaris), is breeding cheetahs, servals, and other cats, removing all the cubs from their mothers and using them for interactions with the volunteers and then with visitors, selling animals to places with a bad reputation regarding the treatment of their animals. There are accusations of irresponsible breeding like: allowing the matting of brother/sister leopards (twice), using a three legged serval for breeding over and over, using a cheetah male for breeding while on medication this possibly explaining the high number of stillborn cubs and some with deformities. They offer cheetah cubs for “rent” to Cheetah Outreach were they are being used for interactions. they also sell cheetahs. All these activities disqualify CE as a true sanctuary and also as a conservation facility, more a business breeding and buying cubs with the purpose of attracting volunteers and tourists to their facilities. On the positive side: exempt for the past breeding practices that we consider immoral, Cheetah Experience treats the animals well, the staff is nice and they offer the volunteers a pleasant stay | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: NO CONNECTION TO CANNED HUNTERS AT PRESENT. They no longer removed the cubs from ONE of their cheetahs used for breeding and they say they do so with the purpose of releasing those cubs into the wild. One cheetah called Jasmin purchased from a canned hunter was released into a reserve. This project is connected to Ashia Cheetah Conservation http://www.ashia.co.za/, via a cofounder /owner since 2016. They are not allowed to breed at the Paarl location, they breed in Bloemfontein and they move the cheetahs around. The Ashia facility is collaborating with The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in releasing cheetahs into fenced reserves. UPDATEit appears that Riana Van Nieuwenhuizen was kicked out  from Ashia Cheetah Conservation, returned to Cheetah Experience Bloenfontein and has just changed  the name /logo to ZA Cheetah Conservation/ Cheetah Experience, trying to escape the bad reputation?!

• Kwantu Game Reserve - www.kwantu.co.za | They are breeding lions and tigers, rumors of connection to hunting. Offered interactions with lion and tiger cubs in the past. Some of their tigers were shipped to China, alleged elephant abuse, evidence of boolhook use by handlers. l (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: NO MORE INTERACTIONS WITH LION AND TIGER CUBS OFFERED AND NO MORE ELEPHANT RIDES.

• 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. | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: AS OF THE 1st OF MARCH 2018, RIDES WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE.

• Harnas Wildlife Foundation - www.harnas.org/ | A lot of Bad feedback regarding this project that apparently started as a good sanctuary. rescue and release center. The negative feedback is as follows: lately, the project seems to be more about making a profit rather than rehabilitation/release, a wild cheetah has been shot a few years ago, overcrowded cheetah enclosure, many “accidents” resulting in cubs offered to the volunteers for raising, a lot of interactions taking place. We posted some bad feedback about Harnas in the past, we will include one here for better understanding of the reason we decided to place Harnas on our bad list. https://www.facebook.com/volunteersbeware/posts/2094709170576568?__tn__=K-RThis project is called  Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary by the volunteer agencies (NAMIBIA)  

• Mukuni Big Five Safaris - www.mukunibig5.co.zm | Offering lion and cheetah walks and elephant rides, the lions appear malnourished. | (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 | (ZAMBIA)

• Lion Encounter - www.lionencounter.com | Breeding farm exploiting lions through petting and walks with lions | (ZAMBIA/ZIMBABWE)

• Antelope Park - www.antelopepark.co.zw | Force breeding lions, exploiting lions through petting and walks with lions | (ZIMBABWE)

• Bally Vaughan - www.ballyvaughan.co.zw | This is NOT a sanctuary as it offers elephant rides and all kind of animal interactions, including lion cubs. News also state that an elephant handler was killed by an elephant (most likely for abusing the elephant); the elephant was later killed by the owner who also tried to kill an SPCA employee (Lorna Grant) who was in the company of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife officials and had come to transfer the elephant female companion to another rehabilitation sanctuary. https://www.herald.co.zw/sanctuary-owner-arrested-for-attempted-murder/ l (ZIMBABWE)

Volunteers in Africa Beware

= 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 | Breeding intensively, big wildlife trader, known for their involvement in canned hunting, lion and tiger bones trade and connection to wildlife crime syndicates (http://annamiticus.com/2012/07/05/south-africa-more-tiger-breeding-questions/). | (S.AFRICA)

• BOSKOPPIE Lion and Tiger Reserve www.boskoppie.com | One of the worst breeding farms, owner Piet Swart Jr was convicted for involvement in rhino poaching, they are selling lions for hunting (Serapa Safaris is one of the buyers) www.facebook.com/volunteersbeware/posts/806292312751600?hc_location=ufi | (S.AFRICA)

• MORESON Ranch - www.moresonranch.co.za | Lion breeding farm connected to canned hunting. | (S.AFRICA)

• AFRICAN DANKBAAR Lion Breeders - www.jansenville.co.za/listing/african_dankbaar_lion_breeders | (S.AFRICA)

• KUDUS RUS predator park - www.kudusrus.co.za/index.php/component/k2/item/8-volunteer-programme | (S. AFRICA)

• HORSEBACK AFRICA - www.horsebackafrica.com | www.colin.co.za/lion_tours.htm | www.walking-with-lions.za.net | (S.AFRICA)

• MABULANI GAME RESERVE - www.mabulani.co.za/Xara%20Mabulani/activities.htm |(S.AFRICA)

 JABULA Big Cat Sanctuary - www.jabula.tv/index.html | Owner Craig Busch is accused of animal cruelty, convicted on two charges of assaulting his former partner, unlawfully retaining property etc. | (S.AFRICA)

• Akwaaba Lodge & Predator Park www.akwaabalodge.co.za | Owner Nazeer Ahmed Cajee, the only non-white predator breeder/canned hunter in SA, purchased lions from Lion Park in the past and admitted that the lions are hunted on his property. http://www.archive.asianage.com/football/caring-foster-father-his-‘kids’-825 | (S.AFRICA)

• Mbidi Resort and Animal Sanctuary (RAMELA RANCH) - 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, swimming or shows. Using animals only for profit, but no known connection to hunting. | (S.AFRICA)

• Bagamoya Wildlife Estate - www.bagamoyawildlifeestate.co.za | Breeding, taking young cubs away to hand-raise them, allowing petting and sometimes selling lions | (S.AFRICA)

• Otavi Lion Park - www.otaviwildlifesanctuary.co.za | (S.AFRICA) closed

• Caring4Catz Voluntarily Project - www.facebook.com/Caring4Catz?ref=stream | (S.AFRICA)

• LIMPOPO PREDATOR PARK - www.predatorpark.co.za AND www.ingogosafaris.co.za | Breeding lions and keeping them starving, the owner Walter slippers also has a hunting reserve (owned by the same person Walter Slippers). | (S.AFRICA) Project closed after the owner got sick, the future of the lions is unclear

 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. | (S.AFRICA) CLOSED

• Zebula - www.zebula.co.za | Breeding and petting of lion and tiger cubs, elephant rides | (S.AFRICA)

• UKUTULA Lion Park & Lodge - www.ukutula.com | Breeding intensively in the past and selling probably to intermediaries. Connected to a canned hunting farm called Kunkuru Safaris (see volunteer feedback https://www.facebook.com/volunteersbeware/photos/a.633829486664551/934453669935463/) The lions start disappearing from Ukutula when they are 2-3 years old and they can no longer be used for "walks" and the owners refuse to disclose the buyers. | (S.AFRICA) IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: less breeding taking place.

• SEAVIEW Predator Park - www.seaviewpredatorpark.com | Exposed for selling lions to canned hunters by the Herald, found to be connected to Cradock hunting reserve Tam Safaris and Letsatsi la Afrika (www.heraldlive.co.za/seaview-lions-bred-hunting-parks). | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: APPARENTLY NO LONGER BREEDING AND SELLING ANIMALS.

• Lion and Safari Park (former Lion Park) - www.lionandsafaripark.com/ | Breeding lions; exposed for selling to canned hunters by CBS in 2015; buyers mentioned in the 60 minutes Expose The Lion Whisperer are Nazir Cajee, Kobus Van Der Westhuizen, Kobus Jakobs, Ben Duminy all well known as being involved in can hunting (www.cbsnews.com/news/the-lion-whisperer). | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: MOVED TO A BIGGER AND BETTER LOCATION MEANING BETTER CONDITIONS FOR THE ANIMALS, LIMITED BREEDING AND REDUCED NUMBER OF CUBS OFFERED FOR INTERACTIONS.

___________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________

• The lists are based on information/feedback received from volunteers and opinions expressed by conservationists on Facebook, blogs, reviews and in articles published on this subject.

• We do not have any connection to any of the places listed, the reason for our work is to help the volunteers avoid projects involved in immoral practices such as force breeding, petting or canned hunting and to help them choose responsible projects (true sanctuaries, projects involved in rehabilitation and release or conservation oriented).

• We don't accept any Fees or Donations from volunteers or any of the projects listed or not listed.

• We are not engaging in undercover operations.

• The lists for South African projects are much longer than for the other African countries. For the Good list, we separated the sanctuaries from the conservation projects and we tried to list the projects based on the kind of wildlife present.

PLEASE LET US KNOW , PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE LISTS. ANY REASON ANY OF THESE PLACES SHOULD NOT BE ON THE LISTS? 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.

WE CAN'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR HELP. THANK YOU.

A work in progress.

= THE LISTS ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF THE VOLUNTEERS IN AFRICA BEWARE TEAM =

Volunteers in Africa Beware
For the latest in getting updates on the above list, please follow VOLUNTEERS IN AFRICA BEWARE, to stay in touch with the reputations of Animal Sanctuaries and Volunteering opportunities in Africa.

 

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