Monkey Sanctuary Volunteers

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Group Size: Avg. 15, max. 40

Trip code: SAMV

Duration: 2-12 weeks

Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa
Help with hands on rehabilitation
Stay with volunteers on the reserve

At our monkey and ape rehabilitation sanctuary in South Africa you can help to rehabilitate and release injured, orphaned and abandoned monkeys, bush babies, baboons and other animals until they can be returned into the wild. Helping to feed your new monkey mates as a volunteer, during this special South African sanctuary trip, typical tasks will include constructing new enclosures, planting vegetables and for a truly special and worthwhile experience, bottle-feeding the babies! Experience other South African attractions such as seeing a 6000 year-old baobab tree, visiting local villages and soaking up the scenery. It’s not all about sanctuary work, but a chance for you to make a real hands-on difference and help out some real cheeky monkeys!

Trip highlights

  • Experience the satisfaction of nursing monkeys back to health during their stay in monkey rehab
  • Become a part of a dedicated team and meet new monkey-minded mates, as you work to look after and release orphaned and injured monkeys
  • Become monkey mother and bottle-feed orphaned baby animals, from baboons to other infant sanctuary animals
  • Help staff with the ever growing sanctuary intake, receiving other bird and animal species (aside from monkeys) in between building up a baboon troop
  • Have an amazing time in South Africa, see stunning sights, explore and go on safari in your spare time!
Further trip information

About the Monkey Sanctuary

Established in 1995, this monkey sanctuary and rehabilitation centre provides temporary sanctuary for vervet monkeys and other orphaned or abandoned animals. Many of the animals have previously been kept in captivity, and sadly many are unwanted pets. The sanctuary staff rehabilitate the animals with the aim of ultimately releasing them back into the wild, if possible.

Your Volunteer Role

As a volunteer you’ll help out with feeding, cleaning and handling the animals, as well as helping with the daily maintenance and construction of the centre, and in planting and harvesting vegetables to feed the animals. A typical daily routine may look like this:

6:45-7:00am - An early start - monkeys don’t do lie-ins! Your mornings will be dedicated to jobs around the Monkey Sancturary. You'll get stuck in with cleaning their cages, preparing their breakfast and feeding the animals. You’ll also spend the rest of the morning working on various projects specified by the staff.

13:00 – 14:00 (approx.) - Lunchtime!

14:00 - Activities in the afternoon vary depending upon the needs of the centre, though tasks often include monitoring or playing with the animals. Sometimes there will be free time here, so volunteers can relax or go on excursions with other members of the group.

18:00 (approx.) - Dinner

19:30 – After dinner you will have the rest of the evening as free time to relax.

Please note that due to the nature of this project anything can happen and due to the animals, sometimes an entire day’s plan can change!

Working hands-on with the animals at the sanctuary, you’ll be getting very up close and personal - so much so, that during the months when orphaned babies arrive at the sanctuary, all volunteers take it in turns to look after and feed them night and day! This particular activity is rather special, and often includes bottle-feeding baby monkeys, warthogs, bush babies and baboons.

When not out playing doctor and doing your rounds, there are other activities you can get involved with, such as researching the habits of the vervet monkey. We will only be able to offer these projects to those who will be at the centre for a minimum of 6, or 8 weeks (sometimes even longer). This is to enable you to fully understand what is required from the project, and more importantly give you time to be accepted by the monkeys!

Free Time and Optional Activities

Once chores have been completed for the day and time/weather permitting, there will be a chance to have some fun and explore the surrounding area. The project staff can often help you book trips and excursions locally at an extra cost. These excursions can include:

  • Tree Canopy and Waterfalls Tour - R700
  • See the majestic Modjadji Cycad Reserve: R400
  • Overnight safari in Kruger National Park: R3200
  • Gorge swing: R285
  • Panorama tour of Graskop and Three Rondawels R400
  • Visit a cheetah project: R400 

All prices are approximate and subject to change.

Booking options

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