Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage



The bush school and wildlife orphanage provides a valuable opportunity for local children to discover and learn about wildlife, the environment, conservation and their heritage. The main emphasis of this volunteer project is on the educating of the children through a medium of a wildlife orphanage. As a volunteer at the bush school and wildlife orphanage you will be assisting with this education, through group teaching sessions, one to ones, games, camp maintenance and practical sessions. The bush school and wildlife orphanage has a profound impact of the children who visit, many of which want to return. This is a fantastic project for those who want to make a difference both to children and to orphaned animals.

The project is set in a beautiful private nature reserve in South Africa. The reserve boosts, granite hills and the most stunning views. This is not a big five reserve, however, leopard and hyena do roam around next to the general plains game such as impala, kudu, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe. As a volunteer you will mostly work in and around the camp with the children. There are also opportunities where possible, for walks and drives on the reserve. It is a great time to pick one of the project leaders’ brains and learn about the bush and wildlife! The arrivals for the programme are on Saturdays and the volunteers can stay from 1 week to 3 months.

Volunteer feeding bushbuck in Africa

 Volunteer with School kids in Africa

Volunteer Role

As a volunteer you will give the children the opportunity to discover, learn and become passionate about wildlife and conservation and their heritage. You will also help supplement their school curriculum in very basic English, maths, sciences, geography, life skills, educational games and social issues. This attention is what changes their lives.

Every Monday the project welcomes a new group of 8 local under-privileged children for a week. On arrival the children are split into two groups, and the chores are then divided between them and rotated throughout the week. The two groups will also play competitive games against one another during the week. As a volunteer your main tasks will be teaching the children and working with the animals. The children vary in age from 13 to 16 years old. Their English is poor and personal attention is something that they are not used to. The projects allows them to blossom and go home as different children.

Animal Care: The orphaned wild animals provide the basis for inspiring care and compassion for the environment. As a volunteer at the bush school and wildlife orphanage you will be expected to accompany the children on stabling duties which include:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting animal camps and cages
  • Providing fresh food and water for the animals
  • Checking the health and condition of the animals
  • Compiling newsletter articles for individual animal sponsors
  • Research and record keeping of the animals
  • Basic first aid for animals

Many animals require extra care and sometimes this may involve working during the night.

Not only does this project benefit the children, it is also provides the volunteers with life skills, animals husbandry skills, knowledge of conservation and animal welfare, but most importantly a sense of worth and a positive life changing experience.

Whether you are away from home for the first time or are an experienced traveller, you will love the family atmosphere that is created at the project and their excellent food. Your help will make a huge difference in aiding conservation and animal welfare, teaching local underprivileged children and building bridges between local and international people.

Typical Day

You meet at 7.00 in the morning for tea/coffee. From 7.10 you do a quick bush walk with the children and the dogs and at 7.30 you have breakfast. Afterwards you feed the animals and clean their camps. Lessons start from 9.00 till 12.30. Then you have lunch and everyone is off till 14.00, when the lessons start again and will go on until 16.30. You will feed the animals again between 16.30 and 17.00 just before discussing social issues with the children. Dinner is served at 18.30 and is followed by an educational game before the children go to bed at 20.30. You will have a group meeting every day to discuss the tasks of everyone and the progress of the children.

The volunteer working week 5 days from 7am in the morning until dinnertime.

In your spare time there are a number of activities such as the swimming pool, walks, games, reading or just relaxing within the stunning surroundings. You will have time off on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday and will be able to take this opportunity to visit the surroundings. A trip to town is organised every Saturday and you will enjoy meeting up with the local community.


Volunteers share a rondavel (round chalet with thatch roof. The chalets are rustic but comfortable with toilets and shower (hot and cold water). There is no electricity on the farm but light is provided with solar lamps and power with a generator to charge batteries, cameras and computers. There is access to internet at a minimal fee.

volunteer accommodation in africa

teach in Africa


No specific skills are required. We need your enthusiasm and dynamism.

A minimum of 18 years old

– Having a passion and love for animals;

– Be able to communicate in English.

–          Bring your sense of humour!!!


–          Transfer return from the Hoedspruit Airport to the project site (for arrivals and departures on Saturdays only).

–          Accommodation

–          3 meals per day, tea, coffee, juice

–          Laundry

–          A trip to town each week

–          Training and supervision


Not included:

–          International flights and travel to and from Hoedspruit, South Africa

–          Passport / visa

–          Travel insurance, which is compulsory for all participants and a cancellation insurance

–          Personal expenses such as telephone bills, Internet, souvenirs, etc.

–          Any excursions undertaken by the volunteer

Arrivals and Travel Information:

Once you have booked your flight to Johannesburg, you have two options to get to Hoedspruit where we will pick you up:

– By plane

Book your internal flight with SAA OR CemAir as son as possible as they are often full on Saturdays.

– By bus (this is usually the better option)

If your international flight arrives early enough (around 6am) in Johannesburg airport, you can organise a shuttle transfer from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit, contact Ashton Tours, there is a daily shuttle from OR Tambo International Airport to Hoedspruit. Although it’s a little longer that the airplane, this option is cheaper and a comfortable alternative.

A discounted rate has been negotiated for our volunteers. You will be provided with a unique voucher code before booking and paying online (Note the voucher may only be used once – one voucher per person per trip. If you need to book a return trip from Hoedspruit to OR Tambo International Airport a second voucher code will be required.


Ashtons Tours, Safaris & Self drive
Cell: +27 82 782 5463
Fax: +27 86 614 8560
Mail: reservations@ashtonstours.com
Mail: aby@ashtonsgroup.com
Mail: mymoena@ashtonsgroup.com
Web: www.ashtonstours.com

– If your plane arrives too late the Saturday to catch Ashton, then book a flight from your country to arrive a Friday in JHB. You can stay the Friday night in a guest house (aero guest lodge or Blue Mango Lodge) by whom you can be picked up at no charge at the airport. The Ashton shuttle can also pick you up the Saturday morning from any of these Guest Houses in the morning and bring you to Hoedpsruit.

www.aeroguestlodge.co.za   www.bluemangolodge.co.za

We have also negotiated a 25% discount for our volunteers with Aero Guest house and you must ask for it when you book.

– Own Transport

If you have your own transport available you are welcome to use it. A map will be provided with directions to the farm, or you can be met in town


volunteer feeding a baby squirrel Africa