Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa

“Fabulous 2 week trip to volunteer on a monkey rehabilitation project at highly renowned center. Near Kruger, you stay in dorms and cabins. Basic but beautiful. And all totally unforgettable. ”

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

Departures can be arranged at anytime to suit you, all year round
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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Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Volunteer 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

Our projects are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that local people benefit too by choosing projects that bring tangible improvements to their lives.

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 mis-placed 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.

Rehabilitation process:
With scientifically based methods and techniques full rehabilitation takes about 3-4 years and happens in about 4 stages. The first stage of rehabilitation is working with the very young orphaned baby monkeys. The volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that they are regularly fed, kept warm and fully cared for.

After several months of this close care, attention and dedication babies are put into the second stage of the rehabilitation program - that is where 'family groups' are formed with monkeys of different ages and sexes. Monkeys stay in this second stage until the 'new family' have about 12-20 members and all are accepted by the other members of the family. At this stage they are living in a large enclosure with natural shrubbery, but their diets continue to be subsidised with fruit, vegetables and bread.

The next stage involves moving the troop into an even larger enclosure where the primates fend for themselves fully, yet under the careful eye of the center to monitor their progress. Once the troop is fully functioning and surviving happily in stage 3, the release is planned. After the release the monkeys are monitored for at least 3-4 months to ensure that they are coping in nature and that the troop formulation remains as it was before release.

Protecting the world:
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

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. This 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.

16 Reviews of Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa

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Reviewed on 25 Apr 2019 by

The contact with these very social baboons was the most memorable part of our vacation. Sometimes they play like crazy, sometimes they just like to be close and sleep so deeply when you hold them in your arms. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Oct 2018 by

An amazing experience. Would recommend to anyone who loves animals and is willing to work hard. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2018 by

The highlight was sitting on a stool in the babies enclosure and having the privilege of a baby baboon sitting on my boot working out how to undo my shoe laces, a 'cuddle' of baby monkeys holding... Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2018 by

My most memorable moment was when I had to carry Luna (6 weeks old baby baboon) one hour in my arms while she did not know me and was terrified. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Aug 2018 by

Wonderful Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2018 by

Worthwhile for the chance to help the monkeys but mostly for students in my opinion. Debbie and Steve were a great asset and positive role models. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Nov 2017 by

There wasn't a single most memorable thing, I woke to lions roaring, to monkeys on the patio outside the door, chopping trees to building roads for manual labour... Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Aug 2016 by

Totally unforgettable. We didn't want to leave and wish that we had been there for longer. We will be going back. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Sep 2016 by

I loved it, I would give it a 9/10 Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Jul 2016 by

Excellent. It's a very, very, special unique opportunity for anyone to embrace a very valuable volunteer role in a beautiful country. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 May 2015 by

The best 4weeks of my life, cant wait to book my next! Read full review

Reviewed on 01 May 2015 by

If you love animals you'll love this volunteer work. You can't help but fall in love with them. Be ready for how difficult it is to leave them. To know these lost little ones will be able to get back out into the wild again is the best. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Dec 2015 by

It was certainly one of the best vacations I have been on and I hope to return next year. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Dec 2015 by

The project fills a void and without it the primates would die without their mothers. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2014 by

Being so hands on with the Vervets and baboons was an amazing experience, as was helping to build the release site for the Vervet troop that was about to be set free. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Sep 2014 by

I would recommend this volunteering experience to anyone of a similar mindset who cares about the planet and all the creatures that we share it with. Read full review

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