What does volunteering at Ashia involve?

VOLUNTEERING DUTIES

• Cleaning & maintenance of the animal enclosures (poop-scooping, removal of old bones, removal of plants harmful to animals, etc), refilling water bowls and helping with general maintenance of enclosures.

• Preparing food and feeding the animals – this involves handling raw meat!!

• Assisting with sanctuary maintenance and other group activities.

• Planning and helping with animal enrichment (treats, toys, building climbing structures, shades or hides, etc…).

• Monitoring younger animals when required (requires experience with cheetahs).

• Collecting data for and participating in our long term animal behavioural study in connection with changes of feeding times, interaction between different animals, animals in heat, visitor activities, enrichment…

• Assisting with preparation of Veterinary or DNA-Testing days.

• Assisting our experienced guides with Educational Visitor Tours as a “shadowing guide” (applies only to longer-term volunteers / 1 month+).

• Guiding Educational Visitor Tours once you have completed a mock tour with a staff member (applies only to long-term volunteers / 3 months+).

• Assisting with “Education Days” for children of the local community.

• Assisting with conservation, private or company events at the Education Centre.

• Assisting our full-time staff members with hospitality tasks around visitors and overnight guests, helping in the Café or monitoring the Boutique Shop.

• Assisting with farming activities such as harvesting olives, guavas or the various produce of our fruit, vegetable and herb gardens.

What are the working hours?

Each morning, after the daily enclosure cleaning and a light breakfast, you will meet with your co-ordinator and the tasks for the day will be allocated to you. Your daily hours and break times will be discussed at the morning meeting. Our working hours are long, and you need to be flexible to accommodate unexpected things. All volunteers will have the option to take two days off per week to explore all that Cape Town has to offer. For working holiday volunteers, you are welcome to have additional time off – should you wish.
Any extra activities must be arranged prior to your day off. All activities and transport fees are at your own expense.

What does a normal day volunteering look like?

The following schedule reflects a typical day at Ashia:

Summer (Nov – April) Activities
06:30 – 08:30 Daily cleaning of enclosures and animal feeding
08:30 – 09:00 Breakfast (Volunteer House; bread, cereal, eggs, cheese, tea, and coffee provided)
09:00 – 09:30 Staff and Volunteer meeting for daily planning
09:30 – 12:30 Work begins (on tasks & programs)
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch (provided at the stoep of the Main House)
13:30 – 17:00 Work continues (on tasks & programs)

* Dinner is on a self-catering basis: in the evenings all volunteers prepare their own meals at the kitchen/communal area or on the outside braai at the Volunteer House.

Winter (May-Oct) Activities
07:30 – 09:30 Daily cleaning of enclosures and animal feeding
09:30 – 10:00 Breakfast (Volunteer House; bread, cereal, eggs, cheese, tea, and coffee provided)
10:00 – 10:30 Staff and Volunteer meeting for daily planning
10:30 – 12:30 Work begins (on tasks & programs)
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch (provided at the stoep of the Main House)
13:30 – 17:30 Work continues (on tasks & programs)

* Dinner is on a self-catering basis: in the evenings all volunteers prepare their own meals at the kitchen/communal area or on the outside braai at the Volunteer House.

What can I expect on my first day?

Upon arrival, you will complete an indemnity form. This acts in the interest of the volunteer, the animals, and the program . The program will always take care to protect you – in turn, we ask that you strive to ensure the well-being of our animals. It is important to uphold the good name that we have established over time. Volunteers arrive at different times of the day, so you will shadow a more experienced volunteer if you arrive during working hours on your first day.

Volunteers are required to undertake a full and comprehensive induction covering all aspects of working at Ashia. Induction will start at about 10am on your first full day. You will be assigned to a team and start at 6:30 or 7:30am (depending on the time of year), which means that you have a couple of hours to get a bit of hands-on experience before the induction.

Each volunteer will be issued with a program manual, which must be returned to Ashia. Once the formal induction is completed, you will have lunch and then you will have a practical induction to all the animals on the farm. The following day, you will be given an induction to the curio shop and how it works. You will also be issued with your free t-shirt at this induction. You will be given further information about our tours and we will help you to start learning about how we educate the public.

Contact Us For More Information