LIONSROCK is home to around 100 big cats, including lions, leopards, tigers, and cheetahs, all of which have been rescued by the global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS. Many of these animals were rescued from zoos, circuses and even private ownership, where they were subjected to a lifetime of neglect and inappropriate keeping.
As a volunteer at South Africa’s largest big cat sanctuary, you will have every opportunity to be involved in looking after the welfare of and protecting these magnificent animals!
What we offer
At LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary, our big cats live in a species-appropriate setting, many of them feeling grass under their paws for the first time on arrival here.
Volunteers at LIONSROCK directly contribute to giving these big cats the care and freedom they deserve, while learning more about wildlife and animal welfare and enjoying an experience of a lifetime!
You will support critical aspects of our animals’ welfare. You will help with animal enrichments and monitoring of our big cats, while gaining a deeper understanding of the animals at home at LIONSROCK.
Our comfortable volunteer accommodation is located on the sanctuary grounds where you will have access to a fully equipped kitchen and can cook together with other volunteers or enjoy a typical South African braai. You will be able to enjoy the stunning views over the Sanctuary and wake up to the roar of our lions!
- Love of animals and a particular interest in big cats
- Happy to work outside in any weather
- Love of nature and animal welfare
- Willingness to learn and the patience to observe
- Understanding of what it means to work for, but not in direct contact with, animals
- Fluency in spoken and written English
- Minimum age: 18
- Students of biology, zoology and veterinary medicine are particularly welcome, although this is not a requirement
- Minimum length of stay: 4 weeks
- Accommodation free of charge, food and travel costs have to be covered by volunteers themselves
The following information is needed for a successful application:
Indication of the period you are interested in coming, as well as
a CV / resume and motivation letter.
Your main tasks will be
- closely monitor specific animals to give them the best possible care
and a chance to thrive in their new home
- observe the animals’ behavior and progress
- assist with managing trap cameras for monitoring the big cats
- prepare and implement enrichment measures
- clean and maintain the animals’ enclosures
While you will be expected to work five days per week, you will have
plenty of free time to explore the surrounding area on mountain bikes
that we provide and also to visit nearby towns and tourist attractions.
Other things to do and see:
There is loads to do in the Eastern Free State, famous for its warm South African hospitality and a mix of arts and culture. From experiencing life in a tribal village to tasting the exquisite wines of South Africa, there is something for everyone here, especially for those who love the great outdoors.
The Maluti Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to our nearest big town, Bethlehem, which is just 18 km from LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary. Bethlehem has excellent facilities, including numerous restaurants, shops and supermarkets, and a varied entertainment calendar.
Nearby tourist attractions include Clarens, the Golden Gate Highland National Park, and Fouriesburg. In just two hours you can be in Lesotho or at the Drakensberg Mountains. The Sanctuary is a four hours' drive from Durban and three hours from Johannesburg.