Sealife Project With Penguins in South Africa Review

"My Volunteering with Penguins in Cape Town"


My penguin project in South Africa

After my graduation I was interested in a voluntary service abroad, for nature and animals. I found an interesting volunteer project in South Africa in the animal sector at Rainbow Garden Village . For two months I was in a project with penguins . Sick penguins are picked up from the beaches and surrounding islands in the sanctuary and helped to return to the wilderness . It is a kind of hospital for penguins, which is divided into different sections. There are 7 sections where the penguins are divided by disease state.


Daily routine in the project

The Sealife project in Cape Town was very versatile as you work in a different section almost every day . The working day always starts with a short meeting at 08.00. Everything important for the day is discussed here, and each volunteer and permanent worker is divided into one or more sections, depending on how many workers there are in total. First, the medicine is prepared for the penguinsand then she is given. It is important that everyone works very carefully and accurately, because for each penguin individually the medicine is calculated and depends on the length of stay. Every penguin has a number. On a list you will find the exact details of what the penguin needs medicine for this number. In addition to medicine, the penguins get fish twice a day. Depending on the weight, these are 4 - 8 fish per day. Before the penguins get the fish, they are sent 3 times a day to swim in the pool. The length of stay of the penguins is usually 1 to 3 months. It's a special moment when the penguins are released again. Once I was there. The work with the penguins has inspired me from the beginning!


Experiences in the other sections

In addition to working with the penguins, I was also sometimes divided into "General" . Here everything is prepared, which get the very weak penguins . Special porridge with medicine, which is then filled in 60ml syringes. And a kind of energy drink. In addition, everything is flushed, the syringes cleaned, the fish prepared , etc. Finally, there are "Mats & Crates". This is the section where all the mats, transport cages, etc. are cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner. Since the sections have to be cleaned every day, there is always a lot to do here.


Accommodation in the lodge

I was lodged in a lodge about 15 minutes from the Penguin Project . There were four other volunteers working with me on my project. Three Germans and one Englishwoman. In the evening after work we usually have "chilled" in the house. Sometimes we are also in the restaurant or in a bar.


Short-term use with the lions

Additionally, I had the opportunity to spend five days in a project with lions . Of course I accepted that with pleasure. Here it was more physical work. You work for the animals and not with the animals. The lions were all rescued from zoos where they were poorly treated, or from "canned hunting" farms (lions are bred here to be shot down for pay). They are fed three times a week with chicken.

Here I lived in a wooden hut. In two other wooden huts next to me lived two permanent workers. The Africans love BBQ (they call it Braai) , which we did more often after work. Everybody should have done that, but really African.



I will miss South Africa! The weather was brilliant, but at night it was bitterly cold. The mountains and landscapes around me were very nice to see every day. Likewise, the red-orange sunsets . I will miss that next to the penguins and lions.


Sealife Project and Lions Park South Africa Review by Lucas, 28.02.13

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