10 conservation organisations in South Africa to support this Christmas

Posted on 7 December 2022 By Anita Froneman

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but also to be generous and kind. Many people want to support charitable causes over the festive season if they are able, but don’t always know where to start. Wildlife and environmental non-profit organisations in South Africa do incredible work for conservation and though not all of us can be heroes in the field, we can all make a contribution and make a difference in that way.

Picture: Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary

For most non-profits, finances are always a big concern because they rely solely on donations and sponsorships. Many of them also have online shops selling fun merchandise that might make for great Christmas presents if you’d like something tangible to show for your bucks.

We’d love to support every single organisation out there, but most of us can just choose one. So wherever your passion lies, take some time this December to actively participate in helping them stay afloat.

1. Dyer Island Conservation Trust

Their team of experts and passionate volunteers monitor, research and rehabilitate a host of marine animals including African penguins, great white sharks, southern right and Bryde’s whales and humpback dolphins.

Contact: +27 82 907 5607

Support them here.

READ: The seabird ranger fighting for penguins on Dyer Island

Picture: Dyer Island Conservation Trust

2. Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary

Since its inception, Care for Wild has saved the lives of more than 100 rhinos that were the victims of poaching in some form or another. The teams rehabilitate, re-wild and release these rhinos into protected and healthy ecosystems to ensure the survival of the species.

Contact: 013 590 4448

Support them here.

READ: Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary announces new calf birth

3. Endangered Wildlife Trust

The EWT is committed to conserving threatened species and ecosystems in southern Africa through three main strategic imperatives: Saving Species, Conserving Habitats, and Benefitting People.

Contact: +27 11 372 3600

Support them here.

4. African Pangolin Working Group

This incredible organisation works for the conservation and protection of all four African pangolin species, and often work with authorities to rescue pangolins from poachers.

Contact: [email protected]

Support them here.

READ: Between the scales: why is there such a high demand for pangolins?


WILDTRUST runs two core programmes: WILDLANDS and WILDOCEANS. WILDLANDS focuses on conserving terrestrial biodiversity, empowering and uplifting communities through training as well as the protection of wildlife.

WILDLOCEANS focuses on marine conservation, advocating for healthy oceans, marine protected areas and the conservation of marine species.

Contact:  033 343 6380

Support them here.

6. Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

This dedicated team treats and rehabilitates injured or orphaned wild animals and accepts even the smallest of creatures free of charge. Their regular patients include bats, owls, raptors, mongoose, pangolin, meerkat, serval, genet, hedgehogs and bush babies. They often also treat wildlife that has been intercepted from poachers and the illegal trade.

Contact: [email protected]

Support them here.

Picture: Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

7. Wildlife ACT

This passionate team works to save endangered wildlife and wild places in South Africa from extinction. They are also the only African volunteer organisation that works with and is supported by WWF. Some of the species they work with include wild dogs, rhino, leopards, lions and elephants.

Contact: +27 87 806 3293

Support them here.

8. SANParks Honorary Rangers

This group of more than 2 000 SANParks field rangers – all volunteers – works in South Africa’s national parks. They raise funds for and provide education about nature conservation, as well as running park maintenance and combating wildlife crime through projects such as their K9 anti-poaching unit, Project Watchdog.

Contact: +27 12 426 5000

Support them here.

SANParks Honorary Rangers add three new K9 members to the pack

Picture: SANParks Honorary Rangers


The Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development organisation works tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate elephant orphans, and re-wild and reintegrate them into a new herd. These calves are often orphaned as a result of poaching, leaving them highly distressed (sometimes injured) and in need of intervention.

Contact: +27 12 460 5605

Support them here.

10. The Orca Foundation

The Orca Foundation is a volunteer community dedicated to marine conservation, research, education and making a change in the effect humans have on the ocean and its inhabitants. They focus strongly on encouraging sustainable and conscious human-ocean interaction.

Contact: 081 724 5366

Support them here.

Picture: Teagan Cunniffe

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ALSO READ: 14 inspirational women in conservation across Africa


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