What is your placement organisation doing?
Often, orphaned monkeys are kept illegally as pets and as an attraction in bars. When they grow too too big and become difficult to keep, they are usually released, but as the result of domestication and lack of socialization with fellow vervets those monkeys often lack the skills to survive in the wild.
With currently around 600 monkeys in the sanctuary and extensive rehabilitation measures, the project, which is located not far from Kruger National Park in South Africa, is the largest protection program for Vervet Monkeys in the world. The project rescues injured and orphaned monkeys and those previously kept as pets. It provides medical care and a safe haven for the monkeys and, if possible, seeks to bring them back into their original troop in the wild or, if that is not possible, integrate them into a troop within the controlled environment of the sanctuary.
How can you get involved?
Volunteers can participate in the hand-rearing of orphaned vervets during the "Baby Season" (November to February). However, it is important to mention that the project is not a petting zoo and that human contact is possible only with the youngest monkeys for a limited time. As soon as they can drink from the bottle on their own, they are connected with a foster monkey mother to prevent domestication.
Volunteers also participate in educational programs and awareness-creation activities at schools and for the general population throughout the year.
You can also assist the organization with building a protected and fenced forest of several hundred acres, which serves as a habitat for monkeys that can not be rehabilitated into the wild.
You can specify your areas of interest and focus on these during your time as a volunteer at the sanctuary.
Besides volunteering, supervised zoology internships are possible. Depending on your field of study and level of experience, as an intern you can also take on medical wound care, veterinary treatments, preparations of medicines, and first aid.
What are your main tasks?
- Collecting, cutting and preparing food for monkeys
- Monitoring monkeys in the sanctuary and writing reports
- Cleaning of enclosures, blankets, feeding bowls, plates and milk bottles
- Milk preparation for baby monkeys and care of babies (day and night)
- Help in the infirmary - care of sick and injured vervets
- Support for integration into social groups and rehabilitation
- Building activities (repairs and construction of new enclosures and the new protected forest
- Support with awareness-raising programs
- Cooking for volunteers on the weekends
- Support with fundraising campaigns and newsletters
Location: Limpopo Province, South Africa
Start dates: Every Sunday or Monday in Tzaneen, throughout the year (see arrival information below)
Minimum duration: 2 weeks
Maximum duration: 6 months
Minimum age: 18 years
Language skills required: English
Accommodation: Volunteer cabins on vegan full board
Internship possible: Yes
Qualification of supervisor: MA Anthropology, Zoology and History of Mathematics
Minimum qualification intern: -
Further contribution to the project: -
Volunteering possible: Yes
Expected qualification volunteers: None, you will learn everything on-site
Further contribution to the projekt: No
We expect: Appropriate physical fitness, ok with "dirty" work in nature, professional work, the "right" attitude
Volunteer cabins in the bushland
- Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
- Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
- Preparation Session via Skype; together with further participants
- Pick-up and Transfers from/to Johannesburg Airport (please see information how to get there in the slider "Getting There") on arrival and departure
- 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
- Accommodation at volunteer cabins on vegan full board
- Local SIM Card with 100 ZAR air time
- Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
- 15% Discount for Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Excursions and Watersports Activities offered by "Budget Safari Tanzania"
The Rates do NOT include:
- Travel to/from Johannesburg (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
- Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
- Personal Expenses