I volunteered at Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein in October 2017 for a few weeks and it was one of the best experiences of my life. They offer day tours, day volunteering (for locals) and weekly volunteering for international guests. It is a pay-to-volunteer program but is relatively cheap compared to other programs I’ve seen out there. It includes housing, some food, transport, and a wealth of knowledge and interactions with the animals. The staff at Cheetah Experience are extremely caring, and dedicated towards the well being of the animals which includes cheetahs, leopards, lions, a tiger, caracals, servals, wildcats, meerkats, and wolves. The tours that are given include a ton of education about the animals, conservation, and Cheetah Experience’s efforts to help the endangered species that live there. Volunteering includes training before interacting with any animals. While at Cheetah Experience you get to help feed the animals, give tours, create enrichment projects, and clean the enclosures. There is some hard work involved, but also plenty of downtime for animal interactions. Depending on the animals, you can even have a sleepover with some of them. I had a sleepover with three cheetah cubs and cuddling with the giant cats, and waking up to the African sunrise (and them licking my face) was truly magical. I will 100% go back if I get the chance. They also just opened up another location outside of Cape Town.
To learn more visit their website at CheetahExperience.com