There are a number of wildlife sanctuaries in East and Southern Africa that offer the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of animals both big and small. These include Elephant Cafe, Ziwa Rhinos, Sheldrick Wildlife Fund, Giraffe Sactuary and AfriCat.
There are a number of other more dubious places to stand alongside an elephant or hold a lion cub. Some of which do more damage to the environment for example by facilitating canned lion hunting than any real conservation. Ensure you do your homework before participating or visiting an unknown organisation.
The organisations listed above are best known for their work to protect animals and operate the some of the most successful rescue and rehabilitation programs in the world. But they do so much more including providing valuable veterinary services and anti-poaching operations.
During your visit you might like to “adopt” an elephant, rhino, giraffe or lion. No! You cannot take it home with you. But you can offer life and hope to an animal and a species in need.