The Big Cat Farm is home to a variety of wild animals such as lions, cheetahs, servals, caracals, black footed cats, mischievous meerkats and more. Most of the animals are tame, kept in separate enclosures and are not able to be released into the wild. The farm also has a nursery for cubs that are hand-raised here before being relocated elsewhere.
Volunteers get to help interact with and look after the animals, as well as assist the farm in its expansion into an animal sanctuary that cares for injured and traumatized animals.
The farm is currently applying to become an animal sanctuary in the Free State region and you can be a part of this amazing transition. We provide a safe haven to wild animals who are in
need of a home and ensure that injured and traumatized animals receive proper medical care. The farm offers you an opportunity to work / interact with the animals and gain exposure to all
activities from cleaning, building enclosures, feeding, playing with the animals and much more, as well as the opportunity to unwind in a relaxing Free State setting.
- Work hands on with the big cats such as lions and cheetahs
- Work hands on with small cats such as caracals and servals
- Live a few meters from the lions and cheetah enclosures
- Experience firsthand all aspects of the animals’ life
- Be part of a very passionate team
- Learn about Conservation and Africa’s wild animals
- Experience hand rearing of wild cat youngsters
- Experience the farm animals living free amongst the wild animals
- Interact and play with wild animals
Project starts: every Monday
Location: Bloemfontein, Free State
Minimum duration: 2 weeks
- The animals that live permanently on the farm are animals that were rescued and can’t be released for many reasons, usually because of injury and an inability to hunt.
- These animals are kept in enclosures and used for educating the public and raising awareness.
- Our passion is to take care of the animals and ensure their health and safety.
- The farm is a nursery for new born cubs and a sanctuary for injured animals, which 99% of the time get rehabilitated and released. Those that can’t get released will stay on the farm
- It is our duty to protect and preserve all animal species and all volunteer help would be greatly appreciated and targeted towards this cause.
- The volunteers will contribute by physically allowing the farm to care for more animals. As we are working to become the only official sanctuary in the Free state we need to clear the farm of
all alien vegetation, make it suitable for the indigenous wildlife, and create enclosures for animal rehabilitation
- All volunteer donations will be used towards the upkeep of the animals and creating the sanctuary
Volunteers will help with the daily farm duties which include:
- Fence patrols – daylight guided walks around the farm to check the electric fence which require fixing
- Road maintenance
- Cleaning of enclosures
- Educational tours for guests
- Alien plant removal
- Building and extending enclosure for the new animal sanctuary
- Feeding and socializing with the animals and cubs
- Preparing food and cleaning animal kitchen and refrigerators
Volunteers work 5 - 6 days a week, covering different aspect of the project each day.
- Basic level of competency in English
- Copy of return flight itinerary
- Availability of position
- Medium level of fitness
- The three bedroom farm house is within walking distance to the main lodge.
- There is a fully functional kitchen, one bathroom and an extra bathroom facility at the camp site.
- 2 – 6 volunteers in a room
Volunteers will receive 3 meals a day. These include:
- Breakfast: self ‐help breakfast of cereals and fruit
- Lunch: a hot meal will be served – these range from traditional stews, casseroles, fresh vegetables etc.
- Dinner: self‐help dinner with breads, fruit and spreads.
- Tea and coffee will be available at volunteer house and lunch time.
- All lunches will include a meat, starch and vegetable
- A generous amount of food will always be given so no one will go hungry
- All other drinks will be at own expense
- A refrigerator is available for volunteer’s personal food
Important reminder: participants must advise SAVE of their dietary needs
- Volunteers will receive a shuttle from Johannesburg International airport to the Engen garage in Bloemfontein on the city bug.
- The city bug departs from JNB at 09:30 and 13:30. If your flight does not arrive before this time you will need to stay an extra night in Johannesburg.
- You will be collected from the Engen garage by the project coordinator.
- The shuttle is roadworthy and has all relevant licenses and liability insurance.
- Supervision / Co‐ordination: As the nature of the work varies we will place volunteers under the supervision of various staff members as explained in the itinerary. We will have one member of
our team assigned as “team leader” to facilitate the smooth operation of the volunteers stay and provide guidance where necessary.
Emergency & safety
- All guides on the property are qualified in first aid and are within 150 m of the volunteer accommodation.
- Each volunteer will have the emergency contact details of the nearest staff members.
- The nearest hospital is within 30 minutes drive from the farm.
- Return Transfer from Johannesburg Airport
- All meals
- 24 hour support and supervisor
- Donation to the project
- Transport to town on day off