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Group Size: Avg. 8, max. 20
Trip code: SAMV
Duration: 2-12 weeks
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!
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:
7:00 - With an early start, you’ll find monkeys don’t like lie-ins! Cleaning their cages, preparing their breakfast and feeding the animals, you can start the day being a monkey butler!
9:00 - Of course it’s not just the animals that need feeding, so it’s time for some breakfast to help set you up for the day.
10:00 – 13:00 – Between breakfast and lunch you’ll continue feeding all the animals (if not complete), and check them over for any injuries, reporting any casualties to the staff. Once this is done you’ll spend the rest of the morning working on various projects specified by the staff.
13:00 – 14:00 - Lunchtime!
14:00 – 17:00 - Activities in the afternoon vary depending upon the needs of the centre, though tasks often include building new enclosures, planting vegetables (for the animals – it’s an all organic menu here!), checking animals in various stages of the rehabilitation programme, and collecting food. Sometimes there will be free time here, so volunteers can relax or go on excursions with other members of the group.
18:00 - Dinner
19:30 – After dinner, you’ll be feeding nocturnal animals, and 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 will often offer trips and excursions at an extra cost. Excursions may include:
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