Cape Town -

Wildlife project for penguins

ID: V05


As an intern you will be working side by side with experienced keepers in a veterinary and rehabilitation center and take part in the rescue and care of seabirds in South Africa.

Description of the project:

Our partner is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 that specializes in the rescue and care of seabirds and the South African penguin. The project consists of 12 experienced employees, and since then population of the birds has increased by 19%.


During the volunteer period  volunteers have the opportunity to meet many bird species, including, inter alia the South African penguin, the Kelp Gull, Cape Cormorant and many more.

Working with animals is very "hands-on". Interns will learn how to safely hold and feed the birds. On top of that volunteers prepare the food, as well as keep clean the enclosure, the pool, the mats and  the sterilization of syringes. These tasks take up most of the work, but are just as important as the care of the animals themselves.

Volunteers also spent most of their time  scrubbing and washing oil-contaminated birds.

Warning! Penguins and other sea birds are wild animals and bite when they get the chance.

The day usually starts around 7:30 when volunteers leave their accommodation to the organization. The organization is located about 10 minutes walk from the property, it is enough time to dress and go to the daily morning meeting. The work clothing (boots, suit, gloves) are provided by the organization.

Volunteers are slowly added to the work site, hence they do not begin on the first day with the care of the birds. However the end of the first week  have some experience, you can collect and take care of the animals at feeding time. After three weeks you can, depending on interest, independently oversee an enclosure.


Working with animals is exhausting, but rewarding. The project has an online test prepared by the project to determine your interest.

Start of project:flexible upon request. Starting work on a Monday.


One of our team will meet you either on arrival or shortly after arrival to meet you, to  provide further advice and information. One of our team member will go to work with you so that  you can get there without any problems.

Your first working day will usually begin on a Monday. You will be introduced to the penguin project supervisors and instructors before you start  for further questions. In this project they are approximately 5-15 other international and local volunteers at the same time, so you'll quickly find connection there.

Duration: Minimum 6 weeks

Accommodation: Backpacker on site.

Volunteers will be accommodated with other international volunteers in a 4 bed room at the nearby backpackers.

The Backpacker is located in Table View, close to a large shopping center and about 10 minutes to the beach. The beach is known there for the good kite surfing possibilities since it is very long and there is always a good wind.

Facilities and Services:

  • Garden with pool and hammock
  • Kitchen
  • Living Room with TV
  • Daily cleaning of the room
  • Bathroom to share with other residents
  • One bag per week is washed free
  • Wireless Internet available throughout the house (currently costs R 0.60 per MB)
  • Assistance & booking of activities




The project is located only 10 minutes from the backpacker and can be reached on foot.

Type: Nature, Wildlife, Animals

Location: Cape Town - Tableview

Start: Flexible (every Monday)

Duration: Minimum 6 weeks

Working hours: 8: 00-17: 30

Minimum age: 18 years

The price includes:

  • Comprehensive information packet during the intruductory meeting
  • Volunteer-stay with a t-shirt and min. 1 x excursion to the release of the animals
  • Accommodation at the backpacker (4 beds)
  • Welcome pack
  • Airport pick-up
  • Donation or participation fee to the organization
  • Certificate

What is not included?

  • Catering
  • International health insurance
  • Personal expenses