Cape Town -

Penguin Project

ID V05


The centre is a leading marine non-profit organization with a vision to conserve seabirds and other sea-life, especially threatened species such as the African penguin. As the mandated government rehabilitation authority in South Africa, the centre protects and treats seabirds affected by major and chronic oil pollution, and shares its specialist skills with the international community, such as providing services in Africa, the Indian Ocean region, and the Sub-Antarctic. The centre runs a chick rearing unit, to increase numbers of rare seabird, e.g. the African penguin.

The centre’s research focuses on improving
knowledge that will improve the
conservation of seabirds in the wild, and
improve our ability to care for seabirds during their rehabilitation process. For decades the centre has been training people to take care of seabirds; and through its academy offers formal training. The Education Department interacts with many thousands of children every year teaching them to understand and appreciate their marine heritage.


The centre is registered with the South African Veterinary Council; a member of PAZAAB, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN);  is endorsed by the Department of Environmental Affairs, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, European Association of Zoos and Aquariums and American Association of Zoos and Aquariums; and has many working partnerships globally.

When you volunteer here, you become a very important part of our daily operation. There is a culture of life-long learning, love training others and encourage you to learn as much as you choose. Learning skills does take time and practice and is directly linked to your level of commitment.


Duties and responsibilities:

Be warned!!! Penguins and other seabirds are wild animals and will bite given the opportunity.

As a volunteer you will become an extension of our team of Bird rehabilitators. Be aware that you won’t be handling birds on the first day, but certainly by the end of the first week you will be helping with most handling and feeding tasks and you may very well become an enclosure supervisor towards the 3 week mark, depending on the type and conditions of the seabirds in our care.

Work hours and schedule

The centre is open 365 days of the year and over the past number of years, November-January has been our busiest time of the year.

Each day starts with a morning meeting at 08h00 and volunteers need to be here at approx 7h45.

All volunteers receive a work schedule on their first day

Working routine: 8h00 – 17h30, up to 5 days per week. (Including some weekends and public holidays) Days off is not always scheduled together.

The volunteer schedule may change on short notice especially in crises situations.

The day includes a 1 hour lunch break and shorter breaks for tea or coffee in the morning and afternoon but your flexibility is highly appreciated during busy times.

Field:             Nature, Wildlife, Animals

Location:       Cape Town - Table View

Start:              flexible (every Monday)

Duration:        6 weeks

Working hours: 8:00 to 17:30

 Minimum age: 18 years

Start: Flexible

Duration: 4 months, ideally 6 months

Field: Nature/Wildlife/Animals

Location: Cape Town-Table View

Minimum age: 18 years

Working hours: 08.00- 17.30

 Services included:

  • Mediation of the internship
  • Written confirmation
  • Regular meetings with other  participants 
  • Activities  suggestions
  • Weekly Newslettes
  • Welcome pack with tourist information

Additional services(optional):

  • Accommodation service in a shared apartment or host family
  •  Airport Shuttle
  •  Car rental agency