Lion Rescue and Rehabilitation South Africa


  • Assist with recue and rehabilitation of lions
  • Help the lions live better quality and peaceful lives
  • Get a practical experience working with wildllife
  • Raise awareness about the plight of captive lions


Currently there 1000's of lions living in canned-hunting facilities throughout South Africa, which are predominantly stocked by the 'cub-petting' trade. A majority of these facilities are over-stocked, with lions living in cramped and horrendous conditions. Working in conjunction with wildlife professionals and support from local authorities, the project has taken over a previous breeding and hunting facility, along with 70 lions that were living in dire conditions. Found starving and extremely thin, the initial priority has been to feed them and allow the lions to get back to their optimal weight and health.

Our end goal for these Lions is to move them to new large, semi-wild enclosures, which are already being erected, to live out there days like they deserve. The lions will be undergoing their rehabilitation in a safe sanctuary setting, with some of them starting out in smaller camps, to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings as many of them lived in unnatural environments.

As these lions have been captive bred, they are familiar with human interaction. Sadly, in the petting trade, cubs are generally taken away from their mothers at around 3 weeks old and will never see her again. Humans (usually paying guests or volunteers) are used as ‘surrogate mothers’ to the cubs. This, along with the fact that the lion industry has irresponsibly bred lions so badly, means that the gene pool/quality is adversely affected, and they can never be released back into natural wild areas. If they were to breed with wild lions, this would have disastrous consequences for the future of wild lion populations.


This unique and exciting experience is one not to miss! The money raised through this project will enable us to continue to rescue lions from this horrendous industry, raising awareness which will hopefully induce a ban. It will also enable us to secure the lives of our current rescued lions and enable them to live out their days in the beautiful African bushveld which they so deserve.


The current focus on the project is to secure the lives of the rescued lions. Feeding alone requires over 400kg of food a day for the 70 lions, so you can imagine the amount of preparation and feeding schedules that this involves! Your time at the sanctuary is invaluable to the project and they desperately need your assistance with this mammoth task.

The next phase is the building and erection of the semi-free enclosures, which has already begun. These enclosures will be more than 10 times the size of what the lions have lived in previously, with enrichment and lots of natural features.

You’ll be involved with all of the rescued lions, assisting with feeding, cleaning enclosures and helping with the building of the new enclosures and camps. You’ll be given full training in how to practically assist and will work closely with the staff to really make a difference.


Preparation of food and feeding lions and other animals (note that this will include handling raw meat)
Ensuring all animals have fresh water
Cleaning out camps and enclosures
Security checks of fences and enclosures
Sweeping the roads for foot prints. (The sand pathways around the reserve need to be swept in order for the anti-poaching patrols to notice any new footprints).
Assisting in the building of the enclosures and enrichment features

Please note: As you will be working with wild animals on a game reserve, you’ll need to remain open-minded and flexible as each day can bring on new challenges which they may need your assistance with.

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