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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
Age requirement 18 +
Cost From £475 / €615 / $755 - see fees table below

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers will be involved in caring for monkeys directly as well as helping to maintain their enclosures. This involves devising and helping to create stimulation and enrichment activities for the primates. Volunteers are involved in duties that may include:

  • food preparation
  • cleaning enclosures
  • record keeping
  • enclosure maintenance
  • behavioural observation and monitoring
  • primate relocation and introduction
  • making monkey beds
  • providing enrichment
  • 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.

Hear from past South Africa Monkey Rescue volunteers

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our South Africa Monkey Rescue volunteer reviews.



view photo album | view video


How is the South Africa Monkey Rescue project making a difference?

Established in 1996, the sanctuary is the first of its kind in South Africa and currently cares for over 100 primates of varying species including marmosets, tamarins, mona monkeys, squirrel monkeys, macaques, and lemurs.

The world renowned sanctuary receives a constant stream of requests to assist in the international rescue of primates and is now in a position to care for primates coming from many places around the world. Many of the primates that arrive at the projects have behavioural problems and the project helps to rehabilitate and provide the additional care these primates require.

The sanctuary soon hopes to be able to expand in order to cope with the high demand and with an aim to provide accommodation for apes.

Why are volunteers needed?

By volunteering at the Monkey Rescue project you will be contributing to improving the quality of life for the primates by providing them with essential care and attention. The primates are often unable to be released into the wild so this is essential for their well-being and quality of life. Volunteers help to maintain the sanctuary, maintaining existing enclosures and building new ones so that the project can continue to provide a comfortable safe haven for primates.

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

“Volunteers are the main support for our work, without volunteer’s onsite support we wouldn't be able to keep developing to be able to rescue more and more primates year on year. The work volunteers do directly enhance the lives of the primates on site and helps to create a better environment and forever home for these animals.”  
Lucy, Volunteer Coordinator

Where will I be living?

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

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

Due to the project's 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. Alternatively volunteers can use their free time to relax in the sun or visit the bar next door where you can use the pool table, dart board, swimming pool and sun loungers.




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 - Ellie is your dedicated placement manager
  • In-depth Volunteering Guide on your volunteering placement
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Access to 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
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Crisis management plans and 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 Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod volunteer fees

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 €615 $755 $885
Extra weeks £195 €250 $310 $365

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 has visited the project and is the placement manager for this project so if you apply you will hear from her soon!

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