DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

The mission of Daktari is to inspire, motivate, and educate underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage.
Sep 4, 2013

New Team, New Additions

The A Team - Aby, Amy, Claire and Louise
The A Team - Aby, Amy, Claire and Louise

Spring is in the air and Daktari has a spring in it’s step with a brand new team of long-term volunteers. Michele and Ian are being kept busy and entertained by Aby, Amy, Louise and Claire who are in charge of volunteers, marketing, fundraising and the outreach programme respectively.

In July, along with the help of our maintenance volunteer, Sebastien, we held a street party to raise funds for Daktari. All the local projects were invited to join us and we raised over R5000. A great time was had by all and Michele even got involved in the cooking of the sausages!

As well as human additions, we also have some exciting new animals here at Daktari.

First of all, we welcomed a group of Dassies, or Rock Rabbits as they are sometimes known. At first they were a bit unsure of their new enclosure and they climbed the trees in an effort to escape! They have since settled in nicely and can be seen basking in the sun on a warm day.

We have also made room for a beautiful Pearl-spotted Owlet who will remain with us until her wing is strong enough for release. A permanent home has been offered to a yet-to-be-named Long-crested Eagle who is blind in one eye and therefore does not have the distance vision required for hunting prey.

The final addition is our Thick-tailed Bushbaby, Banchee. This little darling was hand-raised so is unable to fend for herself in the wild. She now has a safe ‘forever’ home with us here at Daktari.

Of course, the children continue to delight and challenge us each week. They learn so much and teach us a thing or two in the process!

Take 2 minutes out of your day to watch DAKTARI NEWS and let our children share a few facts about their favourite animals:

Thabiso and the Ostrich

Natasha and the Meerkats

Once again, we cannot thank you enough for your continued support. It would not be possible for us to continue our work in environmental education without the help of people like you. Thank you for making a difference!

The dassies plot their escape!
The dassies plot their escape!
Bella, the Pearl-spotted Owlet
Bella, the Pearl-spotted Owlet
Our Long-crested Eagle
Our Long-crested Eagle
Banchee, the Thick-tailed Bushbaby
Banchee, the Thick-tailed Bushbaby


Sep 3, 2013

An update on our majestic Shiloweni

Shiloweni sunbathing
Shiloweni sunbathing

Greeting from all of us here at Daktari!

Our magnificent leopard, Shiloweni, continues to be a source of fascination to both the volunteers and the children. In fact, many of the children say that he is their favourite animal at Daktari and it is easy to see why.

The best time to catch Shiloweni is on a cloudy day. Sometimes I like to sit quietly on the viewing platform and watch as he patrols the perimeters of his enclosure. When the sun is out, he always harder to spot, often hiding in the shade or in the long grass – all you can see is the occasional swish of his tail!

He never tires of his daily meals and is always ready and waiting for Jacob or Lucky to bring him his ‘catch of the day’ – usually chickens or impala. Click here to see Shiloweni in action at dinner time! 

Despite the length of time he has been with us and his obvious strength and power, Shiloweni continues to be wary of humans. He does not appreciate too much interaction with us.  We, in turn, have to retain a healthy respect for him as a wild animal and limit the number of visits to his enclosure. We must remember that Shiloweni was not raised by humans, but grew to adulthood as a wild leopard. Were it not for the loss of his canines, he would still be living happily in the bush.

Of course, Shiloweni still needs more support. Feeding a leopard and maintaining his fences does not come cheap! Don’t forget that you can encourage your friends and family to get involved – perhaps you can post the following link onto your social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter:


Daktari simply could not operate without the help of people like you and we certainly wouldn’t be able to provide a safe home for an animal such as Shiloweni without your help. So, from all of us here at Daktari, thank you for making a difference!


Aug 6, 2013

Introducing Claire

Career guidance with Ashandy
Career guidance with Ashandy

Thanks to everyone for your great funding. We are still working hard to promote nature conservation, environmental care and ecology in the villages near the Kruger National Park.

I am the new Outreach Programme Manager. My name is Claire and I have come from Reunion, a little piece of France between Mauritius and Madagascar. I hope you will enjoy my reports and the work I am doing with the children of the Eco-Clubs through Daktari.

We have created a new Facebook page to highlight the Outreach Programme. You will find new pictures of the Eco-Clubs, new stories... Don’t hesitate to like it and to share it with your friends!


We are developing a service of guidance after the environmental lessons. We gave the learners a form to fill in about what they want to do after Matric and in the future. Every week, we give our time for an individual interview which enables them to progress in their research. Our goal is to guide them towards eco-tourism studies and careers to better themselves and their future. A lot of our learners wish to become field guides, game rangers or vets and unfortunately do not know how to access their dream. And this is what YOU are supporting when you donate to us!!!!

We will keep you posted on our new guidance projects and success stories!

Claire Pasquato

(Daktari Outreach Manager)


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