About the Programme
C.R.O.W. provides and exciting, once-in-a-lifetime volunteering experience where volunteers can not only learn about local wildlife rehabilitation and conservation (with all its challenges and complexities), but also work alongside our team on a daily basis assisting with wildlife rescues and releases.
You can have the chance to take care of 300-400 injured, orphaned or displaced wild animals that are housed at our centre at any given time.
C.R.O.W. can accommodate up to 10 international volunteers at a time with accommodation provided on property ( the clinic is a mere 200 metres away !)
Durban is Africa’s largest and busiest port and is a melting pot of African, Indian and European cultures.
Durban is ideally situated as a departure point to many of the province’s finest tourist attractions including the majestic Drakensberg mountains, the Big 5 Game Reserves of Zululand, the world-famous Midlands Meander Route (to mention but a few).
The beaches of Durban are legendary, with golden sea sand and warm Indian ocean waters stretching both sides of the coastline. This makes it possible to go for swim in the sea all year round!
C.R.O.W. is located in the southern part of Durban, in a safe, lush suburb called Yellowwood Park. We are only 15 minutes drive away from the nearest beach!
C.R.O.W. is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for wildlife and these are wild animals. To ensure their successful release back into the wild they must stay wild. Volunteers are not allowed to touch or interact with any animal or bird. C.R.O.W. is not a sanctuary and releases all animals and birds back into the wild. Touching and engaging with them would make them tame and likely to be poached, captured or further harmed should they have no fear of humans.
International Volunteers at C.R.O.W. will be helping staff to take care for the animals and birds. The work is can be hard and dirty and a lot of the tasks will be repeated. Example activities include: cleaning enclosures, preparing food for animals and birds, ensuring the work areas are clean and tidy, cleaning towels and carpets that are used in animal and bird cages, cutting branches and greenery, making enrichment activities for the animals and other jobs where relevant.You may also assist in animal rescues and releases where possible.
The working day is from 7.00am until 3pm most days with an hour for lunch and other short rest breaks. After you have finished work for the day your time is your own – unless you are on :after hours rescue duty: which means you need to be on stand-by until 8pm. You will also get two days off per week. (Should you need a specific date or day off this can usually be accommodated too with enough notice.)
Sample daily schedule:
- 07am: Work starts with a daily volunteer meeting.
- 07am – 09am: it’s onto cleaning cages and preparing the morning feeds.
- 09am – 12pm: Once the animals have been fed, there are various other jobs to do before lunch like prepping enrichment, cutting greenery and sunning the tortoises.
- 12pm – 01pm: BREAK FOR LUNCH
- 01pm – 03pm: Cages get cleaned and lunch food is prepared and delivered to all the animals.
- 03pm: The day finishes at 3pm and unless you are on rescue duty (until 8pm) that evening the rest of the day is yours.
Volunteers are in a single level house on the C.R.O.W. property. There are shared bedrooms, with a mix of single beds and bunk beds. There are two bathrooms with showers, bath, a kitchen, dining area and lounge with a TV. The house has wi-fi, a small garden and patio with barbecue facilities. There is a maximum of 10 volunteers at any one time.
What your fee covers
Your accommodation, meals and non-alcoholic drinks, training, your volunteer t-shirt, internet/wifi access and a donation towards CROW’s work.
The food is varied and will depend on what is in season. All the food will be supplied, but you will have to do the cooking. Each week a grocery list will be prepared and given to your coordinator. We cater for vegetarians and can work with many dietary requirements. Please let us know your dietary requirements and any allergies on your application form.
Breakfast and lunch is what you might expect in many western countries with toast and cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. As a dinner many dishes you will be familiar with from pasta dishes to burgers to stews. You will also be able to try some local specialities, like a famous Durban curry for the complete South African experience.
Animals you will work with
As a rescue and rehabilitation centre C.R.O.W. sees a wide variety of injured and orphaned wildlife. There is no guarantee of what wildlife will be in the centre when you are volunteering or how many animals or birds will be here. We do have species that are regularly at C.R.O.W. such as birds, grey and blue duiker, vervet monkeys, baboons, tortoises, banded mongoose, genets and bushbuck. However, you won’t necessarily work with all these animals. If you have a particular interest in any animal or bird please note this on your application.
You will need a visa to enter South Africa. Please check the South African embassy in your country for full information.
In South Africa, you need to pay for any doctors visit or medical assistance. Therefore, we require that all our volunteer MUST have medical aid or traveller’s insurance.
C.R.O.W. is not legally allowed to provide medical advice so please consult with your own doctor in regards to medications required.
WHAT TO BRING
A full list is given when your booking is confirmed, but a torch, phone and/or laptop, wet weather gear, mosquito repellent, spare glasses/contact lenses are useful. There is a small supermarket nearby, but please note your favourite brands may not be available so stock up if they are a must have.
GETTING TO C.R.O.W.
C.R.O.W. is located in Durban, South Africa. You will need to book your flight to Durban and arrange your own transport to our centre. We can assist with arranging airport transfers but it will be at your cost. Please note that, although Durban is an international airport, many flights will go to Johannesburg and you may need to book a connecting flight from Johannesburg to Durban.
RATES (1st March 2023 to the 28th February 2024)
- R600 per person, per day for the first months stay.
- R522 per person, per day for the second months stay.
- R456 per person, per day each month thereafter.
As an example, for a three month stay* (March, April and May):
- March: 31 days x R600 = R18 600
- April: 30 days x R522 = R15 600
- May: 31 days x R456 = R14 136
- Total: R48 336
The minimum stay for international volunteers is 2 weeks
This fee covers accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks, training, your volunteer t-shirt, internet/wifi access as well as donation towards C.R.O.W.’s work.
The minimum stay for international volunteers is 2 weeks.
Please inform us via email if transfers to and from the airport are required as this is not included.
All volunteers must have medical aid in order to volunteer at our centre.
We are looking forward to having you join our volunteer family!
A 50% deposit will be required to secure your place. Full payment is required 4 weeks before you arrive. For any questions on your application, simply email us on firstname.lastname@example.org