Join the team of professionals at our partner foundation, and validate your internship in animal care within a non-profit organisation. The primary objective of all the actions carried out is the conservation and rescue of the region’s seabirds, threatened by human activity. Put your knowledge to good use and benefit from practical learning from the team on site, who will share their various skills and experience with you. You will also have the opportunity to discover a new culture, the South African way of life and the city of Cape Town.
The foundation is located on the edge of Table Bay Nature Reserve, about 20 km from Cape Town. With a limited staff, it relies heavily on the support of interns to achieve the organisation's objectives. Participants become an extension of the staff and an integral part of the daily operation of the centres. Not only do they participate in hands-on work with the seabirds, but they also assist in all functions of the centre, such as marketing, procurement and fundraising, through their animal care internship.
Like all of our animal internship programs abroad, this project in South Africa allows you to gain university credits while contributing to the protection of animals in the region.
Your animal care internship begins with two days of orientation
City tour of Cape Town on foot:
During the animal care internship, participants must:
The Animal Care Internship Coordinator establishes a monthly schedule in which volunteers are scheduled to work a maximum of 5 days per week (including weekends and holidays). A normal work day is from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm with a lunch break from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and a short tea break in the morning at 11:00 am and in the afternoon at 3:30 pm (schedules may vary depending on capacity needs and the number of birds at the centre).
On some days, volunteers will be required to help until 6:30 pm. Your willingness to go the extra mile during peak periods will therefore be crucial.
Food preparation in the kitchen: defrosting fish, preparing fluids/formulas and cleaning preparation equipment.
Laundry: washing and drying clothes.
Cleaning station: cleaning of large equipment, such as the carpet in the enclosure or the bird cages, with a high pressure hose.
Aviary: intended for flying birds, requires daily cleaning of the enclosure and includes feeding of the birds (free feeding). Some birds may require hydration (through a tube), medication or force-feeding.
Intensive Care Unit: Staff and interns are primarily responsible for the care of the birds in the ICU, but volunteers may be asked to assist with cleaning the ICU.
Rehabilitation enclosures: main enclosures for birds undergoing rehabilitation, mainly African penguins. The areas require daily cleaning and feeding of the birds. Some birds may require hydration (through a tube) and medication.
Original enclosure: exhibition for the center's permanent and temporary long-term birds. Assist with exhibit maintenance, including cleaning rocks, raking sand, and preparing food.
Odd jobs: various tasks are necessary in the center, essential to the daily functioning of the rehabilitation center. This may include general maintenance or cleaning tasks.
Please note that the animal care course is not for the faint of heart. The birds in our care are wild and bite at the slightest opportunity. Learning to work with birds is a bit like riding a bike... The more you train, the better you get. Volunteers should know that commitment is essential to learn how to handle and feed the birds.
Its objective is to reverse the decline of seabirds by rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for them (against diseases, injuries and oil).
In almost 55 years, it has treated more than 95,000 seabirds and independent research confirms that oil spill response actions alone have increased the African seabird population by 19%. In a year without an oil spill, our partner processes up to 2,500 seabirds, of which about 1,500 are African penguins.