As a volunteer at primate rehabilitation centre in rural Africa you will become a surrogate parent to orphaned and mistreated monkeys and baboons so prepare for lots of monkey hugs. You will be an integral part of helping them on their journey back to living in the wild.
As a volunteer you will become an instant member of the community, the centre in run by a couple who will welcome you into their family of volunteers, monkeys and baboons. They also have a few dogs and a tortoise who you’ll get to know. You will find out where the saying “cheeky monkey” comes from in this extraordinary life-changing monkey rehabilitation centre inSouth Africa‘s bush.
You will be expected to work hard and fully immerse yourself into this project and the work the centre is carrying out. You will finish the day feeling like you’ve worked hard and looking that way too (expect to get mucky). The work you do will really help to make a difference, the monkeys will show their appreciation with plenty of monkey hugs throughout the day.
This rehabilitation centre is well regarded in the conservation community and has received special accreditation from the government. It is known for the exceptional standard of care given to the monkeys and staff. They have undertaken many successful releases into the wild.
What will I be doing?
This is a varied project, each day will be different as all tasks are demand-driven. One day you could be looking after orphaned babies, the next you could be covered in monkeys and baboons as you more around the centre, on your head, in your arms or hanging onto your feet. The tasks that need to be carried out which you may help with are:
- Cleaning out the enclosures
- Feeding the baby monkeys and baboons
- Preparing food for the adult monkeys and baboons
- Bathing the young monkeys and baboons, volunteers report this is one of the highlights!
- Helping to prepare for current and future releases
- Working in the garden, planting and picking fruit and vegetables for the monkeys
- Chopping down grasses for the monkeys
- Helping with the food collection from local farms
- Caring for the quarantined adult monkeys
- Helping with veterinary procedures when necessary
- Feeding and caring for the other animals at the centre
- Monitoring the progress of the monkeys and baboons in preparation for their release into the wild
Although you will spend lots of times with the monkeys it is important to remember that the above tasks need to be carried out to ensure the smooth running of the centre.
- You will live in the heart of the centre in shared cabin-style accommodation, the monkeys and baboons will never be far away
- Outdoor heated showers
- There is a pool on site however this is not always in use due to drought and expense – when it is in use, the monkeys love a dip!
- Communal braai area and living oom where volunteers can socialise and relax
- WiFi available for several hours each day
- Breakfast and dinner are included
- Food is mainly South African, which consists of lots of meat, carbs and vegetables
- There is access to bread and spreads for lunch, many volunteers prefer to buy their own ingredients and make their own lunches
- Most dietary requirements can be catered for, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free