For 6 weeks (minimum): R1200 (ca. 80 Euro)
Additional week: R200 (ca. 15 Euro)
A seabirds release trip and a t-shirt are included.
Each day begins with a meeting at 8 a.m., in which the staff members declare the tasks for the day and where the volunteers have to work. To be ready to work after the meeting it is recommended to be at SANCCOB at approximately 7.45 a.m. to put on the working clothes. The organisation offers oilsuits, gumboots, gloves and armguards. In case of bad weather cagoules are also available.
At 1 p.m there is a lunch break for one hour, you can have a tee or coffee. You can use their fridge to store and their microwave to prepare your food. A working day ends between 5 and 5.30 p.m.
If you are thinking of becoming a volunteer at SANCCOB you should be aware that a working day is long, that you have to work hard and that there is a lot of dirty work to do. Especially at the beginning of your time as a volunteer your main task is cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! You should keep it at the back of your mind that without continuous cleaning a rehabilitation center can't exist. The number of germs could increase fastly and infect the seabirds. This would cause them to become ill or even die! That's why cleaning and every task you have to do is so important for the whole center!
After some time you will be trained to catch and handle African Penguins. You should be conscious of the fact that penguins are wild animals and that they are afraid of humans! That's why they try to defend themselves with their beak and flippers so that they will probably hurt you.
Later you learn how to feed penguins and how to give them fluids or medication. These exercises are not easy because some penguins are pecking or wiggling. You need a lot of training and experience first, but then you will feel more confident.
You have to work up to 5 days a week, at the weekends you have to work on Saturday OR Sunday. On the days off you can explore Cape Town and its surrounded regions – Safari, whale watching, sightseeing, shopping or Table Mountain are popular activities!
I would recommend this volunteering programme to all penguin fans, who want to be extraordinary close to penguins and want to do something for conservation. But for all persons who want to volunteer and experience an adventure this programme is very interesting, too!
My best experience at SANCCOB was a release of 13 African Penguins at Boulder's Beach. In this moment you recognize that all small jobs you did helped the penguins to have a second chance for their life! It was an amazing feeling to release the penguins! You can watch my relase on youtube: