Open project PDF
Cheetah rehabilitation and care

South Africa

Join us for an unforgettable stay under the African sun, living and working with Africa’s most beautiful big cat, the cheetah. With just over 7,000 left in the wild, they are close to becoming declared an endangered species. Our team are working to increase the numbers of cheetah, ready for a totally wild release on game reserves and conservancies.


  • Work hands on with cheetahs

  • Live in the beautiful African bush

  • Take cheetahs on bush walks and assist with fitness training and rehabilitation

  • Learn to assess potential release sites

  • Monitor released animals through GPS and tracking

  • Care for non breeding animals that have come to us for sanctuary, including lion, porcupines, jackals, genets and monkeys

This project will give you the opportunity to work hands on with these magnificent animals while contributing to real conservation efforts to save the cheetah from going extinct in the wild. You will assist with all aspects of care, feeding, veterinary medicine, rehabilitation and monitoring of the breeding, young and released cheetah.


Unlike other large felines, cheetahs are strong candidates for wild release after captive breeding. Their slow reproduction rate, natural shyness of humans, and selective hunting skills mean they can thrive safely on game parks and reserves. As such, the project aims to responsibly breed selected cheetah for the sole purpose of releasing their young back into the wild. To date, two releases on the 10,000 hectare Nambiti Private Game Reserve have occurred, and six more releases are due in 2019 and 2020.


Other goals of the project are to provide sanctuary for injured, old and orphaned animals that cannot be released. We also work towards the rescue and repatriation of older or mistreated cheetahs from zoos all over the globe and offer these animals a deserved the semi freedom of a ‘soft release’ in their final years.


Breeding only takes place for endangered cats that can be successfully released (Cheetah, Black Footed Cats, Servals, African Wild Cat.) Other animals that have come to the project for sanctuary include injured, orphaned and rescued lions, servals, caracals, meerkats, genets, vervet monkeys, bat eared foxes, honey badger, jackal and Porcupines.


As a volunteer, your day will be busy and exciting. You will be working with iconic species, making a real difference to conservation of cheetahs and directly improving the welfare for the sanctuary animals.



  • Assist with food preparation and feeding of the cheetah

  • Daily cleaning of enclosures

  • General camp upkeep

  • Tracking and monitoring released cheetah

  • Behaviour enrichment for sanctuary animals that are injured, or not suitable for release

  • Carry out data capture on behavior

  • Assist with fitness training and bush walks for the cats

  • Help improve the cheetah’s hunting skills, by ‘running’ cheetah with the lure machine

  • Bush clearing and creating pathways

  • Removal of invasive plant species

  • Maintenance work: building, painting or repair work for animal night enclosures and other structures   


You will share same sex accommodation on site at the project, so it is just a short walk to the big cats each morning. Each room has two single beds, bedside tables and lamps.


There is hot and cold running water and a nice communal area to kick back and relax after a hard days work. The volunteer coordinators often run evening games, dinners and braais (a bbq under the stars), so you will never stop enjoying life in the African bush. On nights you do not eat with the coordinators, you will be able to cook for yourself from your own well stocked kitchen. 


You will be living in the beautiful wide open South African Freestate, just outside of a qaint town called Bloemfontein. Here the sun rise and sun set can both be seen on the horrizon and the sounds of the bush echo quietly in the night. It is true African living. It takes 4 hours driving south of Johannesburg airport to reach the project and this will give you a chance to watch the landscape change, from the rich city structure, to the laid back vibe of the countryside. 


Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:

  • Pre-departure assistance

  • Pick up and drop off to the airport

  • Accommodation at the beach

  • 3 meals a day

  • 24 hour support at the volunteer accommodation by on site staff


  • Medical and travel insurance

  • Flights to your destination

  • visas

2 weeks -£900

3 weeks -£1310

4 weeks -£1710

5 weeks -£2080

6 weeks -£2445

7 weeks -£2815

8 weeks -£3125


This project starts every Sunday the year. Volunteers arrive and depart on Sunday. You will be picked up from Johsnnesburg airport.

Want to hear more? Leave your info and we’ll get back to you.

Image by Maurits Bausenhart
Project Photos