Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

“Fabulous seven trip to volunteer on a monkey rehabilitation project at a highly renowned center. Near Kruger national park, so you combine it with safari time. Basic but beautiful, this is a truly wonderful family experience. ”

Highlights

Work on primate rehabilitation center in South Africa | Close to Kruger National Park | 400 primates to care for | Maintenance of monkey center | Feeding and bathing baby primates | Gardening and landscape work | Responsible rehabilitation practices

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please inquire for details.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travelers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.
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Responsible tourism

Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

• For each traveler that goes away with us, we voluntarily plant a tree with our charity partners Tree Aid. Trees are planted in rural African communities and local people are taught how to sustainably use the trees to improve their economic situation - whilst also benefiting the planet.
• Where food is provided, it is locally produced and sourced, reducing food miles, supporting local industry and minimising single-use plastic
• As a traveler you will learn about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, both pre-departure and through your volunteer project
• Accommodation is on-site, reducing the reliance on transport. When volunteers wish to go off site, this is encouraged to be in groups using local drivers
• Where possible, and without jeopardising safety or quality, transfers are done on a shared basis to reduce carbon emissions

Environment

Meaningful rehabilitation
For rehabilitation to be lasting and meaningful, there are various stages that the primates need to go through. Most of them will arrive at the center at a very young age, having lost their mothers or troupe in traffic or domestic accidents. Very much like humans, they need contact and comfort for the first 15 months of their lives. This is where the volunteers come in. The project has been designed with welfare, conservation and success at the core with university studies and monitoring ensuring its merits throughout.
The rehabilitation process takes about 4 years in total: 1 year - 18 months where they need constant care, feeding and bathing, then the latter time to distance themselves from humans, form part of a troupe and be released to the wild. This is carried out using larger enclosures with less food over time, encouraging them to fend for themselves. The latter stages of rehabilitation are all about rewilding, at which point they can be released back to the wild a long way from this center.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travelers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

Community

The importance of the project
The center started when its founder rescued a monkey from death and abuse and realised that help was needed for many more. It was decided to establish a center where orphaned, abused, injured and misplaced monkeys could be treated and rehabilitated. Now the center is held up as an example of good practice by government bodies as well as NSPCA. It also has links with academic research organisations. However, funds are tight and charitable donations and voluntary help are crucial for its survival.

Meeting local needs
As well as helping to protect monkeys and other animals, this rehabilitation center plays an important role in protecting the local economy. The rural area relies on its wildlife and landscape to attract tourists, as there are no big cities nearby. The center brings visitors to the area and has created jobs for 9 local people. It also promotes local art and helps villagers to market their wares to tourists. By helping at the center, our volunteers are ensuring its survival and allowing it to expand the number of animals it can help. They also contribute to the local economy themselves, creating jobs for domestic staff at the center, eating locally grown produce and shopping in the town.

Cultural sensitivity
We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural South Africa. Our policy is to send people to the developing world in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.

6 Reviews of Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 21 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Being together and working with my 2 children - and seeing how thei really liked it.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Book ! Bring old t-shirts and leave the behind, when you return home. Expect long hours, but the time fly. We were glad that we also had a week with vacation in Phalaborwa, so that we also got to see all the other animals ( the big five) i Kryger National Park on different safaries.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We felt that we were helping the monkeys to a better chance of survival. Perfect "hands on" projekt when you are traveling with kids.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good and an experience of a life time :-)

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Looking after injured monkeys and volunteering with my 10 year old daughter.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared to work really hard - it’s so worth it!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our volunteering definitely helped the local people who work so hard to rehabilitate injured and orphaned animals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A fantastic way to introduce my young child to volunteering in a developing country, because the company gave us the support and reassurance needed throughout the whole process.

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Swimming with the baboons! The people, the monkeys ... an incredible experience made special by Bob, Lynne, Mias and all the volunteers.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go! Through yourself into the experience, it's hardwork and you get as much out as you put in.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


10 out of 10, if not more ... we'll be going back

Reviewed on 05 Dec 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Our walks to the river with the baboons. The trip to Kruger Park was also remarkable.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for fun but also a lot of work. Do not wear glasses, the monkeys love them!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, I did

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fun, interesting and rewarding

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Being hands on with the monkeys and baboons

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Leave plenty of time to change planes in Jo'burg

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Supported conservation

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I'd rate our vacation as excellent and would recommend to anyone

Reviewed on 08 Dec 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Being chosen by a monkey.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Let it happen... don't force yourself on the animals. They will choose you and they will decide whether to spend their time with you on their terms.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. This is one of the projects where the animals will eventually be set
free to spend the rest of their life outside of fences.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I loved it.

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