South Africa Lion Cub Experience
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From $2,039, 2 weeks, South Africa Trip code: SALP

  • Adventure 3 out of 5
  • Relaxation 2 out of 5
  • Culture 2 out of 5
South Africa Lion Cub ExperienceSouth Africa Lion Cub ExperienceSouth Africa Lion Cub Experience

Trip Highlights

  • Work with lions, and not just lions but cheetahs, giraffes and hyenas!
  • Meet the dude of the big cats – the rare white lion.
  • Safari – check out the Big 5 in South Africa’s Pilanesberg National Park.

 

Trip Summary

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Two weeks of living next to wild animals in your semi-luxury tent, you’ll work with lions, care for cubs, cheetahs, giraffes and hyenas, as well as loads of other species of wildlife, and then there’s the safari. When you work with lions, they may well get to recognise you, and you may have to explain to the giraffes and baby hyenas that at the end of the day, friends with claws or ridiculously long necks are not allowed through customs.

 

Big cats are now almost entirely extinct in the wild. So this could be a once in a lifetime chance.


When do I want to go?

Deposit fr £199 Click Book now to reserve place

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Dates of Departures Duration Price (Land Only) Trip Status
6 October 20142 weeks$2,039Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
6 October 20143 weeks$2,649Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
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21 December 20152 weeks$2,039Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
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What will I be doing?

  • Getting the hang of it (Days 1 - 15)

  • Optional extra week (Days 16 - 23)

Getting the hang of it: Days 1 - 15

Next Leg

Destination info

This project is based near Sandton, Johannesburg, in Gauteng Province, South Africa.


Diverse, exhilarating, spectacular, varied – going to South Africa to work with lions is something big to write home about. This is a vast, modern multicultural country, full of contradictions and full of interest.


Offering everything from lush subtropics to deserts, savannah, scrubland and bush to stunning coastlines, for a wildlife volunteer you’ll love the reserves, including the world-renowned Kruger National Park.


If your interest lies in modern politics, South Africa should definitely be on your student travel shortlist. You have the chance to live and volunteer in a country that has accomplished so much in the years since apartheid was dismantled – it’s unique in the world.
 

  • Location: Johannesburg

The project starts on the first and third Thursday of every month

 

Day 1 – Arrive into Johannesburg International Airport (airport code JNB)
Today you will be met at the airport and taken directly to the park in greater Johannesburg. You’ll need to arrive in before 4pm so that you have time to go food shopping for all your supplies needed for your stay. The journey from the airport to the park should take around 45 minutes.

 

Upon arrival at the park, you will be met by your coordinator and taken to your accommodation facility. After some refreshments you will attend an orientation where your programme will be explained to you in depth, further you will be introduced to the staff and fellow volunteers. There will be an opportunity to go to a local shopping centre to purchase any personal items or necessities.

To end the day, we treat you to a complimentary light meal on your first night.

 

If you aren’t able to arrange a flight to get you into Johannesburg before 4.15pm then we’d recommend you fly in a day early. We can arrange an early airport pick-up for you including one night’s accommodation, give us a call for more information.

 

Day 2 – Mind those claws!
Your first day will be all about settling in and getting to know how things work. You’ll take time to get to know the staff at the park, figure out the rota and start learning your duties. You’ll learn how to prepare food for the baby animals in the nursery, as well as in the evening for the larger cubs. The centre works on a system whereby you are either stationed in the nursery for 3 days and then you swap and clean enclosures for three days. This way you can get to grips with the work but you are also given a variety in what you do each morning. You will also help clean out cub enclosures in the mornings; share shifts at the giraffe feeding station, the gate to the game drive and at the entrance to cub world.  
 

Day 3 to 13 - Getting stuck in
As you start to get the hang of your duties you can spend time learning about South Africa from the park staff; expect to learn lots about the animals you are working with as well as how the park is run. You’ll get to wear a staff t-shirt (provided on arrival) and interact with the lions and the visitors to the park – the best of both worlds!

The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of this experience!

 

Day 14 – Safari time (safari may be run on different day!)

Your stretch at the park finishes today, but there’s no time to be glum because you’re moving on for a well earned Safari! Today you will visit the Chameleon Craft Market, the biggest craft center in Africa; a great place to pick up some African handicrafts and to test your haggling skills! After the market, you will drive through rural South Africa to Pilanesburg National Centre where you will enjoy a picnic and afternoon safari looking for the Big 5 in the wild. If you’re lucky you might even glimpse the hippos taking their late afternoon bath!

 

Day 15 – Your last day

On your last day with us, you will not be assigned any duties and can spend the day enjoying your time with the animals and staff.


After saying your final goodbyes; you will receive a farewell pack and then taken to the Airport with our shuttle service.

(All the above will be arranged by your coordinator)
 

We'd advise that you book a flight home for late afternoon so that you don't have to rush around for a morning flight. The cost of the transfer to the airport is not included but our friendly staff are on hand to help advise you! Just ask your volunteer co-ordinator if you need help to arrange a transfer for you and they will be happy to help!

 

Optional extra week: Days 16 - 23

Destination info

This project is based near Sandton, Johannesburg, in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

 

Diverse, exhilarating, spectacular, varied – going to South Africa to work with lions is something big to write home about. This is a vast, modern multicultural country, full of contradictions and full of interest.

 

Offering everything from lush subtropics to deserts, savannah, scrubland and bush to stunning coastlines, for a wildlife volunteer you’ll love the reserves, including the world-renowned Kruger National Park.

 

If your interest lies in modern politics, South Africa should definitely be on your student travel shortlist. You have the chance to live and volunteer in a country that has accomplished so much in the years since apartheid was dismantled – it’s unique in the world.

  • Location: Johannesburg

Days 16 to 21 - Extra Week - lucky you...

If you have booked to stay for 3 weeks then you will have the next week working with these amazing animals and getting the most out of your time at the project. You will be working Thursday to Wednesday.

 

Day 22 - Last day

Sadly your last day at the centre has arrived and you will be saying goodbye to all your friends before heading off to the airport for your flight home or for new onwards destinations. The cost of the transfer to the airport is not included so don`t forget to have a chat with the volunteer co-ordinator to help you arrange a transfer for you and they will be happy to help!

We'd advise you to book a late afternoon flight to avoid an early morning rush back to the airport - take your time to say your goodbyes! You're going to miss this place so much!

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To get a detailed PDF of information for this trip including full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather, download our trip notes. By doing so you’ll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfasts
  • Airport Pickup
  • In-country orientation
  • 24hr emergency support.

What's not included?

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Return Airport Transfer
  • Local Transport
  • Lunches and dinners

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on potential participants health.

 

Accommodation

You'll be staying in shared semi-luxury tents at the park, within a secure camp area located a short walk from the main park building. The tents are based on 4 sharing and have mattresses and electricity, bedside tables, lamp and also a small heater for those cooler nights. Linen is washed and changed by the cleaning staff. Bathrooms are located a few metres away and have hot water showers.

 

There is a safe in the main office where you may keep your passport and cash. There is wifi, a short walk away from your accommodation.

 

The Lion Park does have mosquitoes but malaria is not prevalent in the area so a net is not a necessity. However, it is a good idea to bring one if you plan on going travelling afterwards.

 

There is no access to a phone at the Lion Park but you can easily access both in town. You might also like to bring your mobile phone with you, but we'd advise checking with your provider that you will have coverage and possibly buying an international SIM card. Electricity is available at both accommodations but shouldn’t be relied on in case of powercuts!

 

There is however access to wifi at the lion centre which is included in your fee. There's also a TV with satellite to keep you connected to the world back home - not that you'll be missing home at all.

 

Meals

Breakfast and lunch will be included in the package, however, dinner will be on a self-catering basis for and we would recommend you budget roughly ZAR500 per week to cover yourdinner at the camp. You’ll be taken shopping for provisions on your arrival into South Africa and you’ll have full access to the large kitchen at the lion park.

 

Food is also available at the centre restaurant (until 5pm) if you aren’t in the mood to cook - you'll even get a staff discount! It's also possible to go out for dinner in the evenings - restaurants are just a short taxi ride away but we'll also organise a shuttle bus for you! 

 

Vegetarian/Halaal available 

 

 

What to bring from home

• Due to the nature of the project we would appreciate volunteers to wear beige, green or khaki colour clothing. Clothes should be comfortable and preferably clothes you don’t mind getting torn or dirty. 
• Comfortable walking shoes are a must due to working in an outdoor environment. 
• A raincoat for those wet Highveld thunderstorms in our summer months (September - April)
• Sunscreen and a sun hat as it gets very hot in the summer months, where temperatures can reach 35C in summer.
• If you are travelling during the winter months (May-August) you will need warmer clothes as the early mornings and evenings can get chilly.
• International adaptor plug for charging electronic items.
• Bedding is provided, but please bring your own towels.
• Bring along your own camera, iPod and laptop (free wifi available)
• Toiletries, medicine, personal items.
• A good quality torch to be utilized in the evenings when walking to and from your rooms

 

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our UK staff at any time should you need to.

 

 

FAQ

1. Can I get in touch with other volunteers before I go?

Yes! We provide a 'buddy list' of others email addresses joining you at the sanctuary on the same start date.

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What will I see in South Africa?

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What other travelers thought

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Overall rating: (9/10) (11 reviews)
South Africa Lion Cub Experience

Blair Raber - July 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

New experiences that drew us all closer in the group

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The experience was amazing and a real eye-opener into the plight of saving animals and breeding in a responsible way. My husband now wants to go!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

You don't need many clothes. Gloves are recommended. Prepare to be challenged.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

10

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2014-07-22

David Wallace - May 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Going into the

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Bring clothes that you don't mind getting ripped, bitten, or messed on - don't bring to many Spend as much time with the cubs Try to ask for the Juvenile camps

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

8

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2014-05-15

Cristy%20 Gresswell - March 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Life-changing, amazing experience, so much fun, new friends

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The highlights were definitely how much quality time we got to spend with the animals, especially the lion cubs. I never expected to be as hands on with them as we were. I loved the fact that you could get fully involved with the looking after of the animals and the maintenance of the park, you definitely experience a lot more than just going on vacation!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Don't be scared to get stuck in! You get more out of it and the staff often reward you with special treats the more you work. If you are unsure about going alone, do it. I met the nicest people and never once felt like I was by myself. Take lots of insect repellent! And make sure you have enough room on your camera/phone to take photos (you take so many!)

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

9

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2014-03-05

Ros Saunders - September 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

A truly worthwhile and amazing experience

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(5/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(5/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(9/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The amazing hands on experience with young lions and cheetahs. Lucky to have so many little ones to bottle feed etc.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Be prepared to do all the mucky jobs and don't say 'no' to anything Be prepared for things not running smoothly - TIA - This Is Africa!!!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2013-09-06

Shivani Solanki - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Absolutely UNFORGETTABLE, made INCREDIBLE friends, a GREAT experience!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(8/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Generally looking after cubs, Bottle feeding, meat fetching, making amazing new friends who I'll never lose contact with!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Always be willing to try something new! Take every shift you're given. The more/harder you work, the better shifts you'll get! 2. Take loads of pictures! 3. Before you go, keep an eye on what the weather is like! Their Summers are wet and their Winters are dry! Take appropriate clothing!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2013-08-26

Jaz Simons - July 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

AMAZING LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE! UNFORGETTABLE FEELING WHEN U ARE WITH THE BABY CUBS U ARE LIKE THEIR NEW PARENTS LIVED THE ABSOLUTE DREAM

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Bottle feeding the cubs, meeting so many new friends, fetching & feeding meat to the animals

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Bring plenty of warm clothes and only a few summers clothes if travelling in winter period! no need to take bug spray as there arent any in winter! there is NO swimming pool so regardless of any emails u receive there isn't one bring a few dressy clothing for nights out in monty casino/ billies the more u get involved and help the better the experience and the more u will be rewarded

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2013-07-22

Georgina Wright - May 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Just being so hands on with the Lions

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2013-05-28

Faye Beamish - February 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

fantastic experience, once in a lifetime, time of my life!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Playing with the lion cubs, bottle feeding the baby hyaenas, watching the giraffe break into our camp and walking with the elephants.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

say yes to any experiences offered to you talk and get to know all the staff be confident, the more confident you are the more the lions will interact.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2012-02-24

Julia Hall - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Playing with Lion cubs and helping with the darting of a lion.

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2011-10-11

Charlotte Leach - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

great experience, friendly people, make friends for life, remember for a lifetime

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

swimming with lions, night out at billies

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

read the information properly take clothes for all occasions ask lots of questions

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2011-07-04

Rafaela Sgaraglia Manna - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Not enough adjectives to describe the feeling to live among wild animals right next to your tent. A giraffe as a pet, lions recognizing you , baby hienas. Incredible!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

#NAME?

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

- Bring a charger; - Just enjoy, don

South Africa Lion Cub Experience2011-07-04

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