This project is located in the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, in the Seaview region of South Africa. The region features hills overlooking the sea and the city below, and is at the end of the famous Garden Road.
About the project
The Tiger and Lion project was founded 12 years ago by Janice and Rusty Gibb, who after their retirement dedicated themselves to the preservation of African wildlife. Since the 1970's the population of lions in Africa has decreased by 80-90 percent, due to poaching, reduction of natural habitats, and disease such as Tuberculosis and feline AIDS. The breeding program at the project supports caged breeding in order to create new defect free bloodlines, and to ensure family lines of vigorous and healthy lions that may one get the chance to return to the wild.
Since its founding, the park has extended its activities to include the care and preservation of other species of large cats who originate in Africa.
The park provides care for three rare Siberian Tigers. Without any outside interference and going against normative tiger behavior in captivity, the tigers began breeding and have so far bred three litters of one cub each.
Volunteer work and contribution
Most work that is done by volunteers revolves around one-on-one care of tiger and lion cubs. This can include but is not limited to:
Food preparation and feedings of lion and tiger cubs
Taking cubs for walks around the reserve
Data collection on the cubs and adult cats
Environmental education for tourist and school groups
Rehabilitation programs for orphaned or injured animals from the wild
Helping out in the park restaurant during a busy period or event
In addition to these tasks, the goal of volunteers is to help preserve the park in any way necessary, and tasks will be based upon the needs of the park during your stay. You will also get the opportunity to participate in exciting weekly training sessions for volunteers to learn about survival skills in the wild, tracking, animal behavior and more. Rusty and Janice, the founders of the park, will be happy to discuss their ideas about conservation, plans for the park, etc.
During their time on the project, volunteers will be housed in either "the condo" or "the cabins," based on the number of volunteers at the project at the time.
The condo includes a bedroom with 2 bunk beds, another bedroom with a queen sized bed, two bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a living room equipped with a home entertainment system, and a BBQ in the yard. The wooden cabins will house no more than 3 volunteers per cabin and include a bathroom with hot water and electricity. There is a main lodge with a common room, living room with an entertainment system, and a fully equipped kitchen. The lawns outside the cabins host a picnic and BBQ area. We can arrange accommodation for both couples and groups of friends.
Both housing options reside inside the reserve itself, where giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and antelopes roam free, so more often than not you'll be living right alongside the animals.
Not just work...The park is located about 20 minutes from Port Elizabeth, a beautiful and charming town with a gorgeous boardwalk, antiques, an artist market on Sundays, and many shopping malls.
You will have one day off per week to travel and you are welcome to explore the region, which includes:
Addo, the national elephant park(30 minute drive)
Jeffery's Bay, a beach town (35 minute drive)
the world's longest bungee jump, an elephant shelter, a monkey park and a bird reserve (45 minute drive)
The on-site volunteer coordinators will be happy to discuss the many options with you for extra trip options during your stay, however and extra activities are not included in the program.
To apply for this program, see Tiger and Lion Park