Volunteer at a Sanctuary for rescued farm animals near Greyton, South Africa

  • South Africa
  • Favourited 1031 times
  • Last activity: 28 Mar 2023



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    Our Farm Animal Sanctuary is based on a private farm seven kms outside the village of Greyton. It offers a permanent home for rescued, orphaned, sick, abused or retired farm animals where their every need is met for the rest of their natural lives. Vets attend the farm regularly and every individual is named, known and given all that they need for a full and happy life, including lots of cuddles and love.

    The animals, currently numbering 210, comprise pigs, sheep, goats, cows, an antelope, geese, chickens, peafowl, a blue crane and a duck. We also have 7 dogs and 7 cats. The sanctuary gives our farm animals a chance to communicate to visitors how special they are, how they want to live and to enjoy their natural behaviours for their normal lifespan.

    We live off the grid in our self-built, straw bale homes. Volunteers become part of our family and every evening we enjoy a communal supper in the founder's house, There is a volunteer barn space where you can relax and enjoy the spectacular views. We often hold movie nights and there are many games available to use.

    We are particularly keen to welcome volunteers who are headed for, or already in, a career working with animals but we welcome anybody with a passion for animals. We do ask for a commitment to following a vegan lifestyle whilst at the Sanctuary as we do not bring any animal products on to the farm out of respect for our residents! Because of the huge risks we are unable to accept smokers. Anybody susceptible to an allergic reaction to cats or insects may find our space a challenge! Volunteers should allow for an expense of up to US$5 a day to purchase their own food.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    All aspects of caring for animals, meeting fellow compassionate volunteers from around the world, farm living, working alongside South African people from all sectors of the community.

  • Help


    Animal feeding and caring, feed preparation; care of baby animals and occasionally some wildlife (we have a blue crane chick and a baby antelope we are raising at present); keeping feed prep room clean and tidy.

    We also look for: Ability to work in all weather conditions (it can get very hot in South Africa in the summer months - November to March), ability to perform strenuous physical labour and heavy lifting, willingness to follow detailed Animal Sanctuary’s work protocols, commitment to our goals and programmes. It is essential that volunteers are very tidy and well organised as our animals' health depends on strict hygiene, regular cleaning and prompt clearing up of feed bowls etc. Previous animal care experience preferred but not required. Familiarity with farm and/or country life is also an asset.

    Please Note: Farms generally have 'visitors' such as spiders, fleas, flies, mosquitos, snakes and rats. We have humane control programmes for all these interlopers (our bats eat most of the mozzies!) and have them under control but they are a regular feature on any farm so if you have never stayed on a farm please be forewarned! Volunteers need to be fairly fluent in the English language as we rely on accurate understanding of instructions so that the animals' safety is not compromised.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Double bed in caravan. Double bed in Shepherd's Hut. Two single beds in spare room in cottage. Three beds in large converted barn. Shared hot water showers and composting loos (flush loo available to volunteers in owner's house and the cottage). We currently can accommodate 6 single volunteers or up to four couples

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Greyton is currently the South African Town of the Year. It sits in the foothills of the spectacular Riviersonderend Mountain range and has two rivers running through it.

    Greyton owes much of its charm to the fact that its Cape Vernacular architectural heritage has remained largely intact. It is an extremely popular weekend and holiday destination for visitors who enjoy its combination of old-world charm and modern conveniences. Many of town’s original buildings and features have survived, including the original leiwater(irrigation) system of street furrows, the town kraal and dipping tank, a blacksmith's house and forge, the school's boarding house and the extensive public commonage crisscrossed by walking, hiking and cycling paths that surround the town. There are also two old churches, some of the earliest cottages built between 1854 and 1860 in Vigne Lane and at the end of Vlei Street, as well as an old shepherd's cottage built prior to 1840, which is now incorporated into "The Old Potter's Inn" building on Greyton’s Main Road.

    There is the historic town of Genadendal (Valley of Grace) that is approximately 15 minute drive from the farm. Genadendal has a rich spiritual history and was the first mission station in southern Africa. It was founded by Georg Schmidt, a German missionary of the Moravian Church, who settled on 23 April 1738 in Baviaans Kloof (Ravine of the Baboons) in the Riviersonderend Valley and began to evangelise among the Khoi people. The Moravian Church (originated in 1457 in Moravia, today part of the Czech Republic) had a particular zeal for mission.

    In 2011 the Founder of the Animal Sanctuary, Nicola, established South Africa's first ever Transition Town, part of a worldwide movement of over 3000 cities, villages and towns committed to bringing their communities together to find local solutions to the global challenges of peak oil and climate change. From time to time there may be opportunities to spend some days working on Transition Town projects for those volunteers who are interested. The Sanctuary also has a vegan restaurant situated in the village.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We can, providing they can work around feed times and also be mindful of other volunteers, especially at night when we prefer to have peace and quiet after 10 pm.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have plenty of space for campervans but we can't guarantee hooking up to power or to sewage.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day

  • ...

    This host charges a fee

    read more
    $5USD a day towards food costs
Host ref number: 231589594444

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