Volunteer with children AND animals in South Africa



Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Short-Term (few weeks/months)


Bona Ingwe Farm, Harmony 81, Hoedspruit, 1380
South Africa


DAKTARI is a registered NPO and it runs both as a bush school and a wildlife orphanage, where you will be working hands-on with the children and the animals - our program is open to anyone who wants to make a difference!

In short, here are some of the things you will experience!

  • Take an active part in educating underprivileged children about the environment to make a real impact in their community! 
  • Help care for injured and orphaned animals as part of the educational program. 
  • Meet the community through our Outreach Program in the local schools and help further our impact in the village! 
  • Experience Africa by immersing yourself in the community, or visiting some of the iconic sights and areas surrounding the DAKTARI Farm!


Our age restriction is 18 years and older, we can however accept you if you are 17, BUT we would need a consent letter from your parents. Please also take a look at the law for under aged travelers to SA and the documents required.


The English level of the children is very low but you should still talk to them in English. You will also want to communicate with the local community and with other volunteers from around the world. You do not have to be perfectly bilingual, but we do recommend you to express yourself in English to make your experience even more rewarding. You will share a cottage called a "rondavel" or Chalet with others. Each chalet can take between 3 to 5 volunteers, boys and girls are accommodated separately. DAKTARI is located in the bush, on a private reserve of 650 ha and you will have the opportunity to observe animals such as buffalo, giraffes, kudus, warthogs, zebras, impalas, beautiful birds, etc. You will participate mainly in the educational program for the children. You will also take care of the animals, such as: cleaning the camps, feeding them and you can help with renovations if necessary. You can also visit the local villages as part of our community program.


  • 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. When the children are busy writing their exams, DAKTARI invites local unemployed youths to the camp to help them learn the skills they need to find a job. At this time, we do not have children at the camp but students.

In the Limpopo province, unemployment is very high, so DAKTARI offers a five-day modified curriculum designed to teach young adults how to find a job. This includes CV and cover letter workshops, job-interview practice and confidence building exercises. They also set up email accounts and learn basic internet skills. As environmental education is at the core of our organization, they still have important lessons on the environment such as anti-poaching and social talks on respect, substance abuse and safe-sex. At the end of the week they leave with improved interview skills, a complete and comprehensive CV, a plan on how they will approach their job-hunting and the confidence to go out and find a job to support themselves and their family. 


Throughout the years, DAKTARI has helped several youths from our job hunting program gain employment at local game reserves and even at DAKTARI.

We have been going for more than 12 years now, and have a very structured set-up, making sure you are safe and looked after from the moment you arrive in South Africa to the moment you leave! Even if you miss your connecting flight, we have friends and contacts that can look after you – just keep us informed!

The rate of your stay at DAKTARI as a volunteer includes a donation to help us to invite more children, and to take care of the animals. It is a sad fact that many of the underprivileged children have never had the opportunity to see indigenous wildlife, which is their heritage. Thanks to our volunteers, this is possible. 

RATES for 2018 per person:

Our rates will increase towards the end of the year for 2019, if you book before November 2018 for 2019 we will apply the 2018 rate. 

Period      EURO      GBP

1 week        550 €           £460

2 weeks      790 €           £660

3 weeks     1,190 €         £960

4 weeks     1,390 €        £1,190

6 weeks     2,090 €        £1,690

8 weeks     2,690 €        £2,290

12 weeks   3,990 €        £3,390

Click here for the currency converter!

Your fees include:

  • Transfers from/to DAKTARI camp from/to Hoedspruit Town/Airport, for arrivals on Saturdays   
  • Three meals per day (we do cater for vegetarians and vegans), tea, coffee, juice
  • Accommodation including bedding and towels 
  • Laundry (daily)
  • One trip to town per week
  • Working in the community (Outreach program)
  • Wi-Fi


Your fees exclude:

  • Flights, internal and international  
  • International Travel and/or Medical insurance
  • Personal toiletries such as shampoo, sun block, mosquito cream
  • Sodas, cokes, alcohol

Fee Required


  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available
  • Language/Cultural Support Available


  • Families
  • International Volunteers

How To Apply


How to book a volunteer experience:

  1. 1. Send us an email with your requested date of stay with us. We will confirm the availability and you will then be able to book your flights from your country to Johannesburg and then from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit.

Getting from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit you have 3 options: 

By plane -

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

By bus (this is usually the better option) - 

  • ASHTON SHUTTLE: If your international flight arrives early enough (around 6am) in Johannesburg airport, you can organize a shuttle transfer from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit. Although it's a little longer than the airplane, this option is comfortable as well as cheaper. They offer a discounted rate for DAKTARI volunteers (R520 instead of R870), so please make sure you advise them when you make your reservation. If you would choose to spend the night (Friday) in Johannesburg, please contact Blue Mango Lodge for accommodation and take Ashton the Saturday morning. 

As a volunteer, you would now need to do the following to qualify for the discounted rate when booking Ashton online: 

  • You would need to get a unique voucher code from us before you book and pay online. Without a unique voucher number you will pay the rack rate.
  • Note that a voucher number can only be used once – thus 1 voucher number per person per trip
  • If you need to book a return trip (thus JHB-HDS as well as HDS-JHB) you would need to receive 2 voucher codes from us.
  • Now enter these voucher numbers in the appropriate fields to qualify for the reduced rate to finalize the booking online – done and dusted. 
  • Drop off and pick up location: RockFig Centre, Hoedspruit

  • SAFARI LINK: Safari Link SA provides ground transport to all corners of Southern Africa. Safari Link covers all your Southern African travel requirements, from ground transport, accommodation, to all activities in-between. Our highly qualified team of travel experts, nature guides and nature lovers will guarantee a memorable and knowledgeable experience for anyone traveling into Southern Africa.
  • They offer a set rate of R 550 one way. They have a shuttle that leaves the OR Tambo Airport at 11:00am.
  • Please ask to be dropped at the Southern Karongwe Boom gate where we will meet you.
  • They also have a shuttle that leaves earlier in the morning, please contact Kyron for more information

Own transport -


  • If you have your own transport available you are welcome to use it, I can send you a map with directions to the farm OR we could meet up in town.

  1. 2. Email us your flights details and transfer booking and we will send you an invoice with our bank details for the payment of your volunteer experience. That's all :-)