Do you want to get up close and personal with some cheeky little monkeys, helping to rehabilitate them so they can thrive in wild? For a truly worthwhile volunteering experience where you can work directly with vervet monkeys, our orphaned monkey project is for you.

The project

This vervet monkey project has pioneered a new approach to the rehabilitation of orphaned vervet monkeys and, as a result, has rehabilitated hundreds of vervet monkey babies to date. By rehabilitating and raising the monkeys within a semi-natural environment with minimal human contact, orphaned baby vervets can go back into the wild in just four to eight weeks. The project is also home to vervet monkeys who can’t be rehabilitated into the wild, including those that used to be pets.

As a high number of vervet monkeys become orphaned every year, volunteers are crucial to keep the project running to attain the highest level of success in rehabilitating the orphaned monkeys. Located very close to Kruger National Park, internationally famous for its wildlife, our orphaned baby vervet monkey project provides an experience of a lifetime for wildlife lovers.

As a volunteer at the orphaned vervet monkey project, your days will be filled with helping to keep a busy and successful monkey rehabilitation project running. If you’re there during vervet monkey baby season (October to March), some of your time will be spent caring for injured or orphaned baby monkeys. You may also help with some of the ex-pets. There are a number of daily tasks you’ll also have to get stuck into, such as collecting, chopping and delivering food for monkeys, cleaning monkey cages, food bowls and blankets, monitoring and report writing of monkeys across the sanctuary, assisting with the rehabilitation of new monkeys and helping to administer medicines to monkeys. You’ll also lend a hand with keeping the volunteer accommodation tidy, cooking meals for the volunteers, helping with education and outreach programmes and assisting with the production of materials for fundraising and newsletters.

Location

Near Tzaneen, about 6 hours from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Voluntary work

Feeding and caring for orphaned monkeys, helping with ex-pets, assisting with monkey rehabilitation and administering medicines, maintenance and cleaning work in the sanctuary, help with education and outreach.

Programme start

First or third Monday of each month.

Volunteering hours

6 days a week, with one free day and one touring day per week of volunteering.

Requirements

Minimum age 18, ability to speak English, travel insurance.

Accommodation

Log cabins on the grounds of the station, shared with other volunteers.

Food

All meals included (vegan only).

Airport pickup

Pickup at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport (JNB) on the specified arrival date. You’ll spend your first night in a backpacker’s lodge in Pretoria for an orientation session and a traditional dinner. The next day you’ll take a bus to Tzaneen.

Donation to the project

Included in the rate.

Training

In-country orientation, briefing at the animal rescue project.

Support

Pre-departure information, local in-country support and 24 hour emergency support.

Return transfer

Bus from Tzaneen to Pretoria.

In addition, you need to arrange:

  • Flights to Johannesburg
  • Travel insurance (necessary)
  • Vaccinations (please contact your GP or a travel medical clinic)
  • Visa (can be purchased on arrival at the airport)
  • Any recreational activities
  • Return transfer to the airport

Starts from €895.

Duration

2 to 12 weeks.

Your days will be filled with activity at the orphaned vervet monkey project, especially if it’s baby season, when you’ll start work early and may be asked to help on some overnight shifts. The reward for your help will be in seeing the orphaned monkeys improve and get closer to being able to be released into the wild.

You’ll get one day off per week of volunteering you complete, plus an additional touring day per week of volunteering. The orphaned vervet monkey project is in a beautiful but remote corner of South Africa, so with the abundance of things to see and do in the local area, including Kruger National Park, you’ll definitely want to go out and explore.

You’ll stay in a wooden cabin on-site at the monkey project, shared with one other person. All meals are included and while you’ll have the freedom of self-service during the weekends, a professional chef will cook for you during the weekdays. Needless to say, many volunteers fall in love with the monkeys and the way of life in the African bush.