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Penguin and Seabird Rescue Helper

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Extra kosten tijdens tour
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From 642 EUR
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Wat is inbegrepen?
15 dagen
Begint in
Cape Town
Eindigt in
Cape Town
Grootte van de groep
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) was established in 1968 and is a non-profit organisation whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of seabird populations through the rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled seabirds - especially endangered seabirds like the African penguin. In almost 50 years, SANCCOB has treated more than 95 000 seabirds and independent research confirms that SANCCOB’s oil spill response actions alone have increased the African population by 19%. In a non-spill year, SANCCOB treats up to 2500 seabirds, of which approximately 1500 are African penguins.
SANCCOB (Table View centre) is situated on the banks of the City of Cape Town’s Table Bay Nature Reserve - Rietvleisection in a residential neighbourhood called Table View, approximately 20km from Cape Town.

With a limited staff component, SANCCOB relies heavily on the support of volunteers to achieve the mission of the organisation. Volunteers become an extension of the staff and are an integral part of the daily running of the centres. Not only do volunteers assist with the hands-on work with the seabirds, but also provide assistance in all functions of the centre such as marketing, procurement and fundraising.

Penguin and Seabird Rescue Helper

Volunteer Tasks

- Maintaining a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness in the rehabilitation centre
- Cleaning of equipment used in food preparation and feeding
- Assisting in maintaining the permanent bird exhibit (scrubbing rocks, raking sand and food preparation)
- Defrosting and preparing fish for a variety of seabird species
- Centre maintenance duties
- Home pen scrubbing duties

** Please note that duties are issued based on the volunteer’s experience

Welcome Orientation - Cape Town

Day 1: Welcome to South Africa
You are collected from the airport and taken to the House. You will be shown around and given a map of the area. You have the day at your own leisure so you can explore the beach, shops, bars and restaurants. In the evening you are served a Welcoming meal at the hostel.

Day 2: Orientation Tour of Cape Town
Start the day with breakfast at Saltycrax Backpackers. Your friendly Saltycrax staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town City Center.

Cape Town City Walking Tour:
Do a walking tour visiting historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Learn about life under apartheid in South Africa at the Parliament Buildings and the District Six Museum. Shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall.

After the listed activity you can take a bus or walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Sit back and sip a delicious coffee, enjoy some fresh fish and watch the ships in the busy working harbour or walk around and visit the shops, markets and listen to the musicians on the sidewalks. Alternatively, you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breath-taking views of the city, or visit the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison during the apartheid era. (Own Expense)
In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View where you can join the staff, guests and the locals at one of the restaurants or bars along the beachfront in Table View - all within rolling distance from the hostel where you will be staying the night.

Example Itinerary

A monthly schedule is compiled by the Volunteer Coordinator, where volunteers will be scheduled to work a maximum of 5 days per week (including weekends and public holidays).

A normal working day is from 8:00 to 17:30* with a lunch break 13:00 - 14:00 and a short tea break in the morning at 11:00 and afternoon at 15:30 (times may vary depending on capacity needs and bird numbers at the centre).
*Some days may require volunteers to assist until 18:3, so your willingness to go the extra mile during the busy times will be crucial.

The different areas a volunteer could be assigned to each day are:
Food Preparation Kitchen
Area responsible for fish defrosting, preparation of fluids/formula and cleaning of food preparation and feeding equipment.

Area responsible for the washing and drying of laundry.

Cleaning Station
Area responsible for cleaning of large equipment with the use of a high-pressure hose. Example: mats from bird enclosures and bird crates.

Enclosures designated for flying birds that require daily cleaning of the enclosure.

Intensive Care Unit
Staff and interns are mostly responsible for the care of birds in the ICU, but volunteers could be asked to assist with cleaning in ICU.

Rehabilitation Pens
Main enclosures for birds undergoing rehabilitation, mostly African penguins. Areas require daily cleaning.

Home Pen
Exhibit for permanent and long-term temporary birds at SANCCOB. Assisting in maintenance of the exhibit, include scrubbing rocks, raking sand and food preparation.

Various jobs required around the centre, crucial in the daily running of the rehabilitation centre. Jobs could include general maintenance or cleaning duties.

Safety Management

With every new arrival we have a safety and orientation briefing where we discuss issues such as general safety in South Africa for example, what to do in the settlements, where not to go, what to do in case of an emergency, sea currents, HIV AIDS and crime. There is a volunteer co-ordinator with our volunteers at all times while on project to ensure the safety of the children and volunteer. We offer all our volunteers 24/7 support and assistance.


Airport pick up
2 day Cape Town orientation
Three meals a day (Monday to Friday) - Dinners not included on weekends
Weekly social events
24-hour support and supervision
2 free t-shirts
Donation to the project
Certificate of appreciation
*Transport to and from the project 2km away from the accommodation is NOT included. Volunteers can either walk or use Uber at +_ 1 EUR each way.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age of 18
Have an up to date tetanus vaccination
A good understanding of the English language is essential
Physically fit and able to stand for a full shift (at least 8 hours per day)
Comfortable with getting dirty and willing to work in all weather conditions, frequently outside
Able to work in a team as well as independently
Be reliable and accountable and able to follow Standard Operating Procedures
Compassionate and caring nature with a love for seabirds

** Be aware that this is not for the faint-hearted. The birds in our care are wild and will bite at any opportunity. Learning how to work with birds is a bit like riding a bike....the more you practice the better you become. Potential volunteers should, therefore, know that commitment is key to learning how to handle and feed birds.

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

It is important to remember that we are working with wildlife and nature, both of which are unpredictable. We cannot guarantee sightings of any specific species. For this reason and in case of bad weather days, when we can’t go to sea, we recommend a 2-4 week mimimum stay. If you join for a one-week stay, you might be very disappointed if you miss several days on the sea due to the weather conditions.

Wat is inbegrepen?


Volunteers will stay in one of our volunteer houses with bedrooms sleeping 2 - 5 people. All houses are facilitated with electricity, hot water, a kitchen, one or two toilets, a bathroom with a shower, beds with linen (no towels). Male and female volunteers will share rooms unless otherwise requested. Upgrades to private single or double rooms are available at extra cost.

Volunteers are responsible for keeping their own room and volunteer house tidy. Bathrooms and kitchens are cleaned everyday by cleaning staff, and linen is changed once a week. The volunteer houses are at walking distance from shops, restaurants, entertainment, bus stops and the beach. Laundry service is available at an extra cost.

Lokaal vervoer

As you exit the terminal at the airport, our driver will be waiting for you with your name on a board. If for any reason you can’t find the driver please make your way to the Cape Town Information Desk and contact us at +27 21 556 9369 or +27 73 3334338. On project days the volunteers will be transported by private car or mini bus. The vehicles are roadworthy and have all relevant licenses and liability insurance.


Volunteers will receive 3 meals a day (Monday - Friday) and breakfast and lunch (Saturday - Sunday) which include:
Breakfast: self-catering breakfast of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast & spreads
Lunch: self-catering lunch of breads, fruit, cold meats, cheese, salad & spreads
Dinner: consists of a hot meal such as a traditional South African BBQ (braai) and stews (potjies).
Tea and coffee will be available all day.

Exception: During your Cape Town introduction weekend, you will receive 3 meals a day.

Also note:
All dinners will include meat, starch and vegetables.
A generous amount of food will always be given so no one will go hungry.
All other drinks will be at own expense.
A refrigerator is available for volunteer’s personal food.

Please advise us on your dietary needs when filling out your application form. Participants with very specific dietary needs may be required to supplement their meals at their own expense.

Houd er rekening mee

Visas, Insurances & Flight Tickets
Visas and insurances are the responsibility of the intern. Travel insurance is compulsory. You are also required to present a copy of your return flight itinerary when entering South Africa.

Winter in South Africa
Please note that May through to September are our winter months and it can get quite chilly with an average temperature ranging from 5 degrees Celsius at night to 15 degrees Celsius during the day. So please make sure to pack enough warm clothes if you plan your trip in that period.

Packing List
- Swimwear and beach towel
- Wetsuit - If you have your own and wish to surf during your stay. Otherwise you can use one of ours if permission is granted by the project leader
- Warm clothes
- Old clothes - bring comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty to work in
- Sneakers or comfortable working shoes
- Sunscreen (and a sun hat or cap)
- Prescription medication if needed
- Basic first aid requirements
- Please bring a spare set of warm clothes, best to wear quick drying clothes in general.
- Please note we don’t allow strap tops, very short shorts etc. Shorts that come to the knee and T-shirts are what is accepted.
- If you have your own gumboots/crocs you can bring those, if not we have one’s that you can use.

Penguin and Seabird Rescue Helper

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Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?

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