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Monkey Rescue - South Africa

  • Work hands on with a variety of primate species at a well-respected rescue centre
  • Learn about primate behaviour and care
  • Provide care and enrichment for rescued monkeys
  • Ideally located for free time activities and onwards travel to explore South Africa
Location Pretoria
Start dates Flexible, any date throughout the year
Duration 1 - 12 weeks
Availability Spaces available
Cost From £475 / $755 - see pricing table below

How will I make a difference?

By volunteering with us, you will be contributing to improving the quality of life for the primates as you can provide them with more individual attention. Your hard work will leave a lasting impact on the lives of the primates you will be helping to provide for.

As a volunteer you will play a major role, as the sanctuary survives almost entirely on the financial and hands on support that volunteers provide.

You will also be involved in devising and helping with stimulation and enrichment activities for the primates who are unable to be released into the wild, which is essential for their well-being.

Read what past volunteers have said about this project in our South Africa monkey rescue reviews.

Monkey rescue volunteering in South Africa: What will I be doing?

You will generally volunteer 5 days per week between around 6am and 6pm. Daily duties are worked out on a rota basis, to give volunteers time off to travel around the local and surrounding areas. The usual timetable is:

Sunrise: Morning feed of primates

9am: Medication, supplements and treats are given out and the primates are checked

1.30pm: Top up of water and food

4pm: Pellet feeding

Sunset: Bowl collection

There are many duties that volunteers may be involved between these jobs, these include food preparation, cleaning enclosures, record keeping, enclosure maintenance, behavioural observation and monitoring, primate relocation and introduction, making monkey beds, providing enrichment, washing up and hand rearing (if it is needed during your stay).

There is also ‘monkey time’ which allows you to spend time with the primates and get to know them!

We also offer placements to construction volunteers who would like to help to maintain, improve and build enclosures for the primates as well as the centre and grounds.

There are usually around 8-15 volunteers at the project at any one time with a maximum of 30.

More about the project

The sanctuary, which is the first of its kind in South Africa, has been running since 1996. The sanctuary currently cares for over 100 primates of varying species including marmosets, tamarins, mona monkeys, squirrel monkeys, macaques, and lemurs. The sanctuary rescues and provides permanent care for any primate from anywhere in the world.

The sanctuary receives a constant stream of requests to assist in the international rescue of primates. Many of these primates arrive with behavioural problems and require rehabilitation. The sanctuary hopes to be able to expand in order to cope with the high demand and with an aim to provide accommodation for apes in the future.

Location and free time

The sanctuary is located in Pretoria, which is approximately 45 minutes north of Johannesburg.

Volunteers use their free time to relax in the sun or venture out to other activities. There is a bar next door which volunteers often visit to use the pool table, dart board, swimming pool and sun loungers. Due to the great location, volunteers also have the opportunity to visit Kruger National Park, Pretoria Zoo, museums, malls, or have dinner and drinks in Pretoria during their free time.

Volunteer accommodation

The volunteer house is based within centre so you are only a walk away from the primates. You will be in a shared room in the house with access to a shower, washing and cooking facilities, which are also shared with other volunteers.

What's included

Before you go On your placement
  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced PoD UK team
  • Single point of contact - Erin is your dedicated placement manager
  • In-depth information booklet on your volunteering placement
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to PoD
  • Animal care volunteering placement
  • Accommodation - a simple shared room
  • Arrangement of airport pickup
  • Induction and training
  • Support from local team
  • Support from PoD UK office
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Specialist crisis management insurance
On your return
  • Contact from your placement manager
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the PoD community
Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), food, cost of transfers. Budgeting guidance is provided in our information booklet which we will email you when you apply.

How volunteer fees are set

PoD is run as a non-profit volunteer organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the PoD Charity - for more details click here.


1 week £475 €565 $755 $810
Extra weeks £195 €230 $310 $335

Prices in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP.  For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com


We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information


PoD UK Manager



Ellie in the PoD UK team is the placement manager so if you apply you will hear from her soon!

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