DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage is located in the South African bush near Kruger National Park, DAKTARI provides the perfect environment for children to learn about their natural heritage.
Through the combination of the bush school and the wildlife orphanage, DAKTARI has developed an immersive educational experience for local children to learn about the wildlife around them, the environment, anti-poaching, and a wide variety of other issues, right in the middle of the bush. Our work extends into the communities through our ECO CLUB’s at the secondary schools and other community development projects.
The Teaching Program
Since 2006, DAKTARI has welcomed eight children every week to come to DAKTARI for a five-day stay to learn about the environment. We pick up the Grade 8 students on Monday morning and they stay in dorms at the camp. During their stay, they participate in our teaching program. The goal? To provide a close and engaging learning experience that motivates students to care for their environment, while teaching them important life skills.
The DAKTARI teaching program is dynamic and changes as we find new lessons and activities that the kids enjoy. Although the main frame of the program has stayed the same, we are always looking to improve. The program is completely taught by volunteers and they get a detailed teaching program before they arrive so that they can learn the material.
The Wildlife Orphanage
Having a safe place to rehabilitate and take care of injured or orphaned animals has always been part of the vision of DAKTARI. It has also grown into an integral part of the education of the local children
Most of the children that come to DAKTARI have never seen one of the Big 5 – Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, and Buffalo – or any of the local wildlife. Due to poaching and the killing of animals because they destroy crops, the wildlife has been relocated to private and national reserves for their protection. Entrance into these reserves is expensive so the local communities cannot enter.
This is where DAKTARI comes in. We teach the children that their local wildlife should not be inherently feared or hated. We teach them that animals should be protected and respected. We teach them that the local wildlife creates jobs through tourism and animal care.
Join Us To Volunteer With Children And Animals
DAKTARI’s volunteering program is designed to give our volunteers the opportunity to teach local children, care for injured or abandoned wildlife, and get fully immersed in the South African bush. As teachers and caretakers at DAKTARI our volunteers are vital to the success of our programs and really make an impact on the communities.
You will spend your day teaching children and helping our staff care for the animals around camp. This can be anything from feeding an animal with a bottle to cleaning their enclosures or picking up a hammer and renovating their homes.
If you are interested in volunteering with DAKTARI on a building or maintenance project, or to help more on the animal side of things, please contact us directly. Don’t forget to check out our long-term volunteer positions to stay at DAKTARI for anywhere between 9 to 12 months.
Teaching the Children
Monday through Friday you will be teaching a group of eight children, ages 13-16, about the environment, the importance of protecting wildlife, and about social issues like safe sex and substance abuse. All classes are taught in English but you do not need to be a native English speaker to teach at DAKTARI. You also don’t need to have any teaching experience. We have everything you need to be a great teacher and we are happy to help you if you need it!
Working with the Animals
The animals at DAKTARI are the cornerstone for the education program. Sadly, many of them are not able to be released but we are able to give them a second life at DAKTARI where they make a big impact. Many of the children who visit DAKTARI have never seen the local wildlife, but here they get to see these animals for themselves.
Each day you will help with the different chores that need to be done to keep our animals happy and healthy such as cleaning each enclosure and feeding them.
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