Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary

Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary

Eseltjiesrus (literally ‘donkeys’ rest’) which provides a permanent refuge for abused, neglected and elderly donkeys, was officially opened to the public in 2007.  Since then it has been providing an invaluable service, not only to the donkeys in its care, but also to the welfare of donkeys all over the country.  This is done through educating and supporting donkey owners in the correct care of their animals, presenting workshops for other organisations involved in donkey welfare, educating school groups and much more.

Volunteer tasks include (but are not limited to) clearing of reeds, general site maintenance and assistance wherever required.

Contact with the animals is limited and supervised as many of them were severely traumatised in their former lives and are being given the opportunity to heal and renew their trust in humans.

Accommodation is 5 km away in a Backpackers Lodge in the village and transport will be provided to and from the sanctuary.  This is a very comfortable backpackers with warm and friendly hosts.  Communal facilities include a fully equipped kitchen, sitting room with cable television and lovely courtyard with seating area and barbecue to enjoy the starry Karoo nights.  No transport is required within the village as everything is within easy walking distance.

Minimum Age

18 years

Arrival day

Arrival on Monday

Minimum stay

2 weeks


2 weeks: R11 500

3 weeks: R15 900

4 weeks: R19 800


  • Shared accommodation in a family-run Backpackers in the village. (Upgrade to single room with en suite bathroom at an additional R1 500 per week.)
  • Transfers between Cape Town International Airport and McGregor
  • Transfers between accommodation and Eseltjiesrus


  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Meals
  • Items of a personal nature


Make the most of the quiet life in one of the best preserved examples of mid-nineteenth century village life in the Cape. We suggest you take a stroll down to the Saturday morning market and get to know the locals or pop into Temenos Retreat to enjoy the healing energy in the gardens.

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