Oyster Reviews: Volunteering with lions in South Africa

Find out what Oyster volunteers have said in these reviews of our lion sanctuary programme in South Africa:

male lion in the savanna in South africa“Thanks for helping to provide me with a lifetime supply of good memories!”

Eoin Murphy, 8 weeks July 2017


Close up photo of a female lion“Life in South Africa is incredible, It’s better than I could of imagined! The staff are all wonderful and they clearly love what they do! They’re really approachable and genuinely kind. The days are whizzing by because they’re so packed with things to do – but I’m loving every minute! Also the other volunteers and I all get on well which, as we’ve all said, is a relief! I can’t sing its praises enough here… everything is amazing!”

Asta Caister, 4 weeks July 2017


volunteering with lions in South Africa“I am currently still in South Africa and travel home tonight sadly. My time at Lionsrock is one that I will never forget, and gets me thinking about my future career. The team at the sanctuary were really nice as were the animals. Everything was perfect all the help that Anne Smellie gave me was excellent. I am already thinking about what trip to go on next with Oyster!”

Tom Smith, 4 weeks June 2017


volunteering with lions

“I would never have expected to have such a close relationship with some of these beautiful animals! Lionsrock is a fantastic and peaceful place with lots of very friendly staff (including the logde!) Thanks a lot for making this possible! Lionsrock was an extraordinary experience for me, and this place will always be in my heart now.”

Kurt Vigl 4 weeks May 2017


Volunteering with lions“Working with big cats, monitoring them and learning different things about them were some of the best parts of this trip, as was working with this incredible team. The highlight – the sanctuary and all the things that we could do everyday. Be prepared to live the best experience ever! Do not expect anything because it will never be like you think.”

Coelho Manon 4 weeks January 2017


Lions in South Africa

“Africa is treating me very well so far. The other volunteers – Nancy and Georg – are super nice and we are having lots of fun together. The local team is also nice and I am simply in love with all of the animals. I am happy to be here and the 2 weeks passed by super fast. There are many things to do in SA and I hope to experience as many as possible. The plan for my last weekend is to go to Nambiti Game Reserve, I am very excited about it.”

Sandra Dittli, 4 weeks March 2017


South Africa Lionsrock big cats“It’s great. I don’t feel alone. It’s a big family with a big goal. A beautiful area and very interesting animals. From Monday to Thursday, we had a lot of reading and got shown the enclosure, then we integrated into the project. Now, everyday, we do 2 – 3 rounds to our animals and look at what they do, make note of the time and their health status, and carry out enrichment activities.
On the weekends we have free time and can go on bike rides, rent a car and explore the surroundings. On Sunday we did wild water rafting. While I was at the reserve, there were lions, tiger, leopards, caracals, servals, hyena, wild dog, and cheetah all in our care, and outside of the enclosure there were zebras, waterbucks, wildebeest, antelopes, meerkats and many more.”

Georg Kolter, 8 weeks March 2017


South Africa Lions“My second week here has just concluded today and my time here has been absolutely wonderful so far. The staff here are so nice and I’m learning so so much from them. They are very welcoming and also very appreciative of the work that the volunteers do. My first week here was one that I will never forget as it was vet week. So instead of just dipping my toes in the water, I had to jump in in full force! From transporting animals to the clinic, to monitoring them as they come out of anesthesia, to watching my first surgery, my first week was one I’ll never forget! My second week here has been just as good as well, and I really feel like I am beginning to connect with these animals and get to know their individual personalities.
I cannot tell you how happy I am that I found Oyster, because without you guys I would have never found this amazing project and all these wonderful people and animals. I am truly blessed to be here. It’s honestly an experience of a lifetime!”

Evianne DuBois, 7 weeks January 2017


review“I had a great time here in Lionsrock. Everybody is very nice and I learnt many things everyday. It is very nice to be with all these Big Cats. I didn’t know that I would be so close to the animals, and I am so privileged and very thankful for that.”

Daniela Lüscher, 4 weeks November 2016


lion review“I have had a wonderful experience. It’s like a dream come true. The work is so good… a lot of monitoring and socializing with the animals – just the things that I like the most! It doesn’t feel like work at all!”

Iris Maessen, 6 weeks October 2016


webThe accommodation is good as well. It will be no problem to be here for 5 more weeks, it will probably a problem leaving. This place is amazing! All these poor animals, each with their own backstories, really touch your heart. The staff are all so friendly and welcoming, and their passion for animal welfare is really clear. The days are full with doing the rounds and checking the animals and making enrichment for them, so it’s really nice. I’m having a great time so far. Thank you for helping me to get here – it’s really a dream come true.”

Amy Reel, 4 weeks September 2016


“The first week has passed fast and well. It’s so good to be here. It’s wonderful to see how happy and proud these animals can be here – often you can hardly imagine the horrible stories they have had in their lives. I wake up every morning exited about what the day will bring, and go to bed every evening really tired but with a good day in mind. That is how it should be! :)”

Linda Puntschart, 4 weeks April 2016


 

blog“We stayed for two weeks volunteering at LIONSROCK – it was a really great adventure! We saw and learnt a lot of very interesting things about the animals and made good friends with the people working here. The landscape is beautiful and even the view out of our bedroom is amazing. LIONSROCK is a sympathetic place and the daily work is very pleasant.”

Karin and Jürgen Sat, 2 weeks March 2016


Lionsrock Lioness“I had the most amazing time at LIONSROCK. I learned so much about myself and met some people that really changed my life. The minute I left I missed it so much. As a matter of fact, Surina and I are planning on returning together in 2017. We can’t wait! Thank you so much for your help with all of this.”

Molly Britting, 10 weeks September 2015


Big cats volunteering“I don’t find words for my stay at LIONSROCK. It was so beautiful, the animals, the staff, everybody I met there! It was like I would be with a family. We were involved in many things! I’m sure this will not be the last time that I’m there. Thanks a lot for everything you did to organise this project for me. Thank you!”

Dominique Korner, 6 weeks July 2015


LIONSROCK“It was an amazing experience and it was a very ethical project. I learned a lot about canned hunting etc and helped do something against it. When you read in the news or see on TV that bad things happen around the world, be it to animals or humans, it is always far away. We find it tragic, but we see it from a distance. However, by actually going there and helping/working, you see that it is no movie – it is reality. And it strikes you much more. (At least that was what happened to me).”

Sara Amati, 5 weeks May 2015


Big cats volunteeringAmazing experience all around. It is eye opening. Just going to another country and seeing how people live was great. When I was in South Africa I felt as if I became part of the community. The project was amazing and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. Everyone I met was amazing.”

Michael Corcoran, 4 weeks April 2015


Volunteering with big cats“My time was amazing – better than I could have hoped for and I really miss it. Not only the lions, but also the 3 dogs, the people, the weather, the environment, the work, everything. It was the best place I’ve ever been.”

Lisette Keetman, 12 weeks March 2015


Volunteering in South Africa“My highlights are the animals, people and culture, and the great landscape. It is an amazing experience to get emotionally close to the different animals at LIONSROCK. You join a great team of people, who are doing their best for this animal welfare project. Over 100 lions, tigers and other cats do need your help and company to enrich their life at LIONSROCK. It is a great experience to be part of all the amazing things that are done for the benefit of all of these poor animals.”

Lisa Mucks, 6 weeks February 2015


Tiger conservation“I had a wonderful time even though, in the beginning, it took a while to find my feet. But when I started to monitoring the animals I got so much back from them. It was hard to leave, but I will never forget the chance I had to experience such a wonderful time. You were a great host by helping me to get there, thank you very much for your patience with me.”

Christiana Eichberger, 4 weeks October 2014


Volunteer with tigers“Thank you for the great time at LIONSROCK. Being so close to the animals, and preparing enrichment for them, was amazing. I met so many nice people there. I would really like to go to another of your projects as well some time!”

Isabelle Rouger, 4 weeks September 2014


lion conservation south africa“I have a big heart for all animals and it has been a dream of mine for a long time to join an animal welfare project where I can volunteer and be as close as possible to the animals every day. Every day is different and there are always a lot of things to do. For me, LIONSROCK is a magic place where dreams can come true. My dream really became true and I hope your’s will as well.”

Sophie Von Reuss, 5 weeks March 2014


Volunteering with lions“Everything is really perfect here… I really enjoy every second at LIONSROCK and I am so happy. Everyone welcomes you with wide arms (we are like a big family here), and it is a real pleasure work for the animals! 🙂 In moments such these, I think about your help to get me involved in this amazing project. A million thanks to you for helping us!”

 

Fabian Konopka, 8 weeks January 20144


Volunteer with lions in South Africa“It was hard to leave the animals and the incredibly great people in LIONSROCK. I miss the animals insanely already, even if they seem very close to me through pictures and videos. But I know that I will return as soon as possible to LIONSROCK, even if I won’t have the time or money to do so until next year.”

Tanja Kaim, 4 weeks, January 2014


Volunteering with lions in South Africa“I loved being so close to the animals. The arrival of more tigers was a real highlight.”

Therese del Bono, 4 weeks October 2013


“EverythinVolunteer with tigersg was amazing! Being able to sit with the lions, tigers and other cats, hearing the lions roar as you go to sleep and when you wake up, helping to prepare and feed the animals, learning new skills/information all the time! I had a fantastic, life-changing experience!”

Toni Parker, 5 weeks August 2013


“I just wanteOyster volunteer reviews of LIONSROCKd to say hi and give you guys my feedback about my stay at LIONSROCK. I have to admit, I miss LIONSROCK a lot… I had a wonderful time there, and an incredible experience that I will carry with me forever. This place is just beautiful, the cats are gorgeous and the people are very friendly and helpful. Thank you so much for welcoming me to this place.”

Patricia de Brito, 4 weeks June 2013


“I loved every second – working with all the different animals and getting experience I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. Everything was so amazing – I have had the time of my life and know that I won’t ever forget any of it as it was really the most amazing thing I have ever done.”

Max Welch, 4 weeks June 2012


“I’m very much enjoying LIONSROCK. The new lioness arrived from Jo’burg zoo last week – she seems to be settling in OK, and it’s lovely to see a white lion for the first time!”

Caralyn Banham, 9 weeks May 2012


“I really loved it – the animals were amazing and I think it’s a place that I’ll always remember! It was just fantastic being woken up by lions roaring and being able to go for a quick walk to spend time with a tiger etc! I also saw a few veterinary procedures whilst I was there which was great. I think I learnt a lot and I now have a lot of respect for the work they do at the sanctuary.”

Amanda Ross, 2 weeks January 2012


“The big cats that are fortunate enough to call LIONSROCK home are all in desperate need of help and rehabilitation, to provide a happier life free of suffering. I feel very privileged to be spending time among them and to be able to really do something useful in improving their lives. Thank you for the experience Oyster!”

John Bowden, 4 weeks November 2010


For more information on this great project, see visit our LIONSROCK webpage.

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One Response to “Oyster Reviews: Volunteering with lions in South Africa”

  1. Oyster Reviews: Volunteering with lions in South Africa – Oyster Gap … | South Africa for Dummies

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