Sea Bird and Penguin Rescue Centre

About Sea Bird and Penguin Rescue Centre Project

Project Details

Since 1968, penguin rescue organisations have been active in helping to treat oiled sea birds in the Western Cape. These sea bird and penguin rescue centres have helped to treat over 81,000 sea birds - in particular the African Penguin, which is classified as "Vulnerable" in the Red Data Book. Recent research has proven that the African Penguin population is 19% higher today than it would have been in the absence of these rescue organisations.

It costs about R2 million to stay open each year. If there is an oil spill, however, this figure escalates drastically. The rescue centre has more than 800 local volunteers on its database, while during 2005 volunteers worked over 15 966 hours!

    Benefits of being a penguin volunteer
  • Volunteers can give something back to the environment and learn about sea bird rehabilitation
  • Volunteers develop teamwork skills and meet new people
  • Volunteers can add this work experience to their CV or resume
  • Volunteers receive training certificates and a letter of reference


Dormitory-style rooms with shared bathroom facilities at a Backpackers Lodge in central Tableview, within walking distance of the Rescue Centre, shops, pubs and restaurants.

What will you do?

A weekly schedule could include work in the following areas: Administer fluids to the birds; Clean pens; Prepare fish; Feed and give fluids; Clean pools; Write up cards and prepare feeding lists for the next day; Test birds; Weigh birds; Bleed birds; Analyse blood smears; Determine which birds are ready for release; Get release boxes ready; Prepare for release; Vitamins and upgrading; Ringing.

Centre Duty - When the Centre is busy, one volunteer per day will be assigned to cleaning the centre, including the bathrooms. We will try to ensure that international volunteers do not have centre duty more than once a week. Although centre duty is not bird work, it is an essential part of the daily routine. The volunteers responsible for centre duty are also responsible for keeping the front gates closed, preparing fish and assisting wherever required.

South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town
Minimum Duration:
7 Weeks
Maximum Duration:
12 Weeks
Airport Pickup
Arrival Orientation


Past Volunteer Comments