10 wildlife charities to donate to this Christmas

Posted on 4 December 2013

It’s the season of giving, but it’s also a season of worrying. Not only is everyone trying to cram in an unbelievable amount of work in the last month of the year, but you also have to think about presents for your loved ones and find time to buy them before the Christmas rush commences.

Seems a pretty difficult job to get all of this done; yet somehow we manage every year. But aren’t we forgetting something?

Unlike your distant cousin or the children of your spouse’s family, there are certain places that will really appreciate a gift from you this Christmas and the great thing about it is that you don’t have to get up from your seat or spend hours thinking about what to get them.

I’m talking about wildlife charities – the places that conserve our incredible wildlife heritage and find ways to fight the threats that some of our local species are constantly faced with. Most of these threats are human induced, so make up for the bad behavior of our species and give a little to wildlife this year.

Read: 10 endangered animals in South Africa and how you can help.


10 wildlife charities to donate to this Christmas

1. Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT)

These folks have been doing amazing work across the board for many years. They have many projects ranging between different species and you can choose a specific project to donate to. These include African crane, birds of prey, endangered amphibians and the sweet little riverine rabbit.

Buy from their gift shop to support them and get a present for someone at the same time.

Donate here


*Image courtesy of EWT

2. Wildlife ACT

Working hard to implement monitoring systems on reserves that can’t do it themselves, Wildlife ACT helps to conserve animals like wild dog, cheetah and lion and they don’t ask these reserves a cent to do it.

They also rely heavily on volunteers, so reward yourself for the great work you did this year by going on a volunteering expedition with them in KwaZulu Natal.

Donate here


*Image by A Marchal at Wildlife ACT



We easily forget about SANCCOB when there’s not an oil spill somewhere along the South African coast. But these guys do valuable (and hard!) work all through the year to conserve not only penguins, but many other seabirds too.

For something a bit more fun, why not adopt a chick? They’re having a Christmas special!

Donate here


*Image courtesy of SANCCOB

4. Tusk

If you have a soft spot for elephants in particular, then this is your charity of the year. Although, it’s just the name that refers to elephants. They actually work with a load of different animals, with 53 different projects in 18 different African countries. They try and settle the conflict for land between our animal friends and the humans.

They also offer volunteering projects and a shop full of fun merchandise.

Donate here


*Image courtesy of Tusk

5. Daktari Bush School

A lot of wildlife conservation starts with environmental education and that’s exactly what Daktari has figured out. They teach kids from the surrounding communities how to value the animals that share their earth by letting them help out in the animal orphanage on site.

If you love children just as much as you love animals, then you’ll love volunteering here.

Donate here


*Image courtesy of Daktari Bush School

6. FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation

Based in Johannesburg, these guys saw the need for wildlife care in the suburbs of Gauteng. Vets aren’t always equipped to deal with more exotic animals that are sick or lost their homes for some reason. They rely on the public to notify them about suburban wildlife in distress.

FreeMe has a wish list of things that they need, so if you have any of these around the house, why not give them away?

Donate here


*Image courtesy of FreeMe


Much the same as SANCCOB down in the Cape, SAMREC aims to protect and rehabilitate seabirds in the Eastern Cape. You’ll fall in love with their resident penguins.

They’re in desperate need of volunteers, so if the kids seem bored this holiday, or if you’re looking for a bonding activity for all of you, why not offer your services for a week or two?

Donate here


*Image courtesy of SAMREC

8. African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

These guys are literally all over Africa, working not only for the animals, but with the people and the environment as well. A few example projects are with giraffes, looking after waterholes, gorillas, rhinos and elephants.

Donate here


*Image courtesy of AWF

9. Lajuma Research Centre

The reason why people can implement conservation projects is because other people went out and did a whole lot of research about the species in question. Lajuma works high up in the Soutpansberg Mountain Range and constantly works to update a database of the ecology of the region.

You can volunteer with them in this beautiful part of the world.

Donate here

They may not have a donation portal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t surprise them by sending an unexpected Christmas donation


*Image courtesy of Lajuma


10. Oceans Aware

Another very important side to conservation is education. Oceans Aware aims to improve the general public’s awareness of the world’s marine environment and they’re pretty good at it.

Donate here


*Image courtesy of Oceans Aware



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