Educate the children about protecting the environment
– Provide a close and engaging learning experience that motivates Grade 8 students to care for their environment, while teaching them important life skills
The Grade 8 students visiting DAKTARI are from the local secondary schools in the villages. The teaching program is a mix of environmental education, life skills training, animal interactions, and discussions on social issues. International and local volunteers teach all of the lessons. Class sizes are kept small and each child is given individual attention during the week. The children learn about anti-poaching, politeness, job opportunities in game reserves, and discuss social issues like substance abuse and safe sex.
– Provide a home for unreleasable or orphaned animals that inspire passion for the environment in the children that visit DAKTARI.
The wildlife orphanage houses more than thirty species of animals. From cheetahs to crocodiles to meerkats, eighty animals call DAKTARI home. These animal ambassadors are unable to survive in their natural habitat so they live at DAKTARI and help to educate the children. The students are actively involved in animal care during their time at DAKTARI. They see many of these animals for the first time. This unique experience inspires them to protect their local wildlife and environment.
– Increase the impact of the Teaching Program at DAKTARI through Eco Clubs and community projects
DAKTARI's outreach program consists of three parts: ECO CLUBs at secondary schools, community development projects and outreach campaigning. The ECO CLUBs are an extension of the teaching program at DAKTARI and are completely voluntary. They are given to groups of around 30 children who attend 12 lessons in 6 weeks. During these 6 weeks the kids learn more about the environment and wildlife. In weeks where there's no school or when the kids are writing exams, there are no kids at the camp and our outreach team goes on outreach campaigning instead. This is when our volunteers go to different schools that we normally can't work with to teach for a morning or afternoon. There we educate grade 7 students on the environment through playing educational games. It's a fun way to reach more children and tell them about the importance of the environment!
From Monday to Friday, you will be teaching a group of eight children. Your day starts at 7am and classes start at 9am. Classes will end at 4:30 p.m. and then we will talk to the children about social issues. Also has plenty of time for fun!
You will play with the kids, join them in the pool and dance around the campfire your favorite tunes. With animals, each day you will help with the different tasks that need to be done to keep the animals happy and healthy, like cleaning each cabinet and feeding them.
On Saturdays you can take a trip to Hoedspruit with the local staff. In town you can shop and there are also several excellent restaurants in town for lunch. Sundays are free so you can plan a day trip if you wish or just relax at the campsite. The project team will assist you in planning and below have some suggestions of what you can do over the weekend. All activities below are extra cost and must be arranged and paid locally.
Why DAKTARI offers a unique opportunity to inspire and teach the next generation about the importance of the natural worldRead more…
Girls chalet, boys chalet, families/couple chalet
We are located in the middle of the bush and so the camp is rustic, although we do our very best to make sure everyone is kept clean, comfortable, and well fed. You will enjoy hot showers, running water, and solar-powered lights in your traditional chalets. You may be sharing your chalet with up to 3 other volunteers but everyone has their own bed and space to store closes and personal items.
Laundry is done for everyone each day, with the exception of Sunday, and the rooms are cleaned every day.
Living and working at DAKTARI is very safe. Our camp is fenced in and the farm is in a protected area. You won’t need to worry about crime while staying with us and we take precautions to make sure that our staff and children are safe from the predatory animals around DAKTARI.
Common camp rules:
Kitchen (4) ; Housekeeping (3) ; Maintenance (4); 1 Office manager + 1 assistant;1 Outreach manager + 1 assistant; 1 Marketing manager; 1 Fundraising manager; 2 Volunteers coordinators; 2 Animal manager; 2 Co-founders
Breakfast, lunch and diner are included in the price, extra drinks are not.
Possibility to have access to internet except in the chalet As we are in the bush, the connexion can be slow sometimes.
No phone signal
You can either take a place or go via a shuttle from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit where we will meet you. Pick up locations: Hoedspruit Airport or RockFig Center, Hoedspruit
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
The day I heard about Daktari, I knew that was what I wanted to do for my gap year after graduation !
South Africa is a country I always wanted to experience, for the culture, the animals and the exotic landscapes…
I think volunteering is something very important in our actual world situation. It is an incredible experience to work with children and animals, to feel helpful, to live in community in the bush and bee out of the society !
I love the camp life, everybody knows and helps each other and it is really difficult to feel unhappy in this beautiful environment ! I feed my whole person with the beauty and the good energy that you can feel in here ! I feel that all this made me evolve in my human being, my mind and my soul!
It is a perfect occasion to meet awesome people around the world and that can also give you clues for your futur !!!
For the kids that we welcome here, the teaching program is very interesting and it is a pleasure to teach all these important values to them !
The staff members are always lovely and I love conversing with them… They do there best in their work and I am really thankful for everything they do for me, for example cooking me special vegetarian meals every-time, knowing that the kitchen we have here is not easy to work in.
I just want to thank everybody who helped me to come here and to be able to make this inedible experience, because I will always remember it and use it in my whole life !!!
Thank you so much
I spent 3 unbelievable weeks working with animals; teaching some amazing kids everything from why animals are important to the economy to valuable and practical environmental lessons; and hanging out with the exceptional staff and volunteers. The time flew and I left wishing I could stay. The people and animals of Daktari will always hold a special place in my heart.
The accommodation was great, the food was fantastic and the company was phenomenal.
This trip refreshed my mind, body and soul in ways that I couldn’t imagine.
Worth every penny!
I highly recommend this volunteering program : the perfect mix between animal care and children teaching!
I was the only volunteer and sometimes i was left out and alone, everyone went to bed at 19:30 which is too early for me so i was just left alone for a few hours, i thought the children would get more experience with animals especially all the facilities that are literally right on there front door.
I loved working with the animals and to teach them was such a fun experience to do. Everyone around was respectful to each other. I liked the fact that the daisies are around you, it was unbelievable to see that Thank you DAKTARI for the greatest week ever Charlize
Charlize Van Wyk
During 6 months I was the Office Assistant at DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage. I am so happy to have chosen DAKTARI, it turned out to be one of the best experience of my life. I had the chance to work with a young team. They welcomed me warmly, making my experience unforgettable. I had so much fun at work, I learned so many new things. It is a perfect occasion to meet awesome people around the world. I felt living in a huge family. DAKTARI’s camp feels like a home away from home! I had at my disposal many facilities such as bar, braai are and swimming pool. The food was very good, with chefs adapting to our special dietary requirements (vegetarians). This is such a special place. Situated right in the middle of the bush, we are living around wild animals. Total escape ! If you love community project, teaching children and take care of animal, this project is for you. I can highly recommend this project. I just want to thank everybody I met during my internship who be able to make this inedible experience. I will always remember it !
DAKTARI is a real beautiful place, with a lot of different species. They have a real impact on the local community, and Michele and Ian are passionate. Accommodations are beautiful and comfortable. Everything was perfect and the food was delicious.
I have been very pleased of my stay at DAKTARI. The staff members are very welcoming. The co-owners Ian and Michele are lovely and you can see that they are passionate with their work. The animals are well protected and fed, I really enjoyed helping to take care of them. The educational program allows kids to have access to important knowledge about the environment and how to protect it. But they also encourage them to work hard to achieve their dreams. My stay here has been very nice and I already know I will come back.
I had the chance to be at DAKTARI as volunteer 2 weeks, I learned a lot of things and all the team are so friendly. I would like to say thank you to all the staff kitchen for the vegetarian meal, and for the perfect breakfast. Thank you DAKTARI I will never forget this experience.
I had the chance to be here at DAKTARI for 3 weeks and I will never forget this wonderful time I had here. It was such a nice experience and I highly recommend that stay to everyone who loves animals, the African bush and being together with other people. Everybody here at DAKTARI is really nice and you are welcomed by really openhearted people. Everyone here is doing his best to make DAKTARI a wonderful place. All the animals are treated with love and everyone is doing his best to give them the life they earn. I want to thank all the staff from making this stay so wonderful and especially I want to thank Ian and Michele for their passionate work.
I spent a splendid time at Daktari and appreciated not only the perfect organisation and accommodation but also the kindness of the co-founders and all the staff members. I leave this wonderful place with a lot of unforgettable experiences, some new skills and a heart full of gratitude.
I really loved my stay here in DAKTARI, the 2 months passed so quickly and learned so much things about the life in community, teaching, the local culture and also on myself. The people I met here and with who I worked everyday are amazing, I really felt like part of the family. It was one of the best experience of my life, and I will never forget it. Thank you for everything.
A great experience ! Close to the animals and useful by teaching important stuff to the local children.
I will recommend DAKTARI to anyone that want a life changing experience, with both animals and children, in a pleasant environment. I have now so many good memories, but also animal and nature knowledge. And even with a bad covid-19 situation, the staff had made everything so my stay was enjoyable. And I'm so thankful for that !
What I can retain from these 2 months spent in DAKTARI, is that it was a real-life lesson. The 3 weeks that we spent with the children were pretty intense and exhausting, however, the kids were so joyful, voluntaries, well-intentioned, ambitious, and willing to learn. I did not expect to connect with them and create bonds that easily. It is such a chance as a kid to go to DAKTARI because this kind of experience can be revealing, can make people aware of the importance of their environment and the precious wildlife, etc. I would like to thank all the people that I met there, the directors, the other volunteers, and the staff persons, for being so welcoming and friendly with me. We had the opportunity to get to know each other pretty well during these 2 months, and I wish I could see them again one day.
I spent 2 months in Daktari and I had an amazing time there. It was really good to be able to teach the children and share some knowledge but also to take care of the animals. I also had the opportunity to do some excursions around the area which were impressive! The staff was really friendly, the accommodation was nice and the cooks cooked amazing food which I am grateful for. I met some incredible people there and I will never forget the memories I have created. I recommend Daktari to everyone who wants to experience the bush, taking care of animals, teaching children and life in community.
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