Monkey Rescue

South Africa

Work hands on with a variety of primate species at a well-respected rescue centre. You will learn about primate behaviour and care as well as providing enrichment for rescued monkeys. Ideally located for free time activities and travel in South Africa.


Key Info

key info
  • Location: Pretoria
  • Start dates: Any date
  • Duration: 1 – 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £475 / €570 / $640 - see fees table below

Project Information

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 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.

Working days and hours

Volunteers normally work five days per week with 2 days off. Generally volunteers start at 6am and finish at 5pm with regular breaks through the day.

Other volunteers

There are usually 4 - 10 volunteers at the project at any one time with a maximum of 30.

Volunteer reviews

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

Why are volunteers needed?

By volunteering at the Monkey Rescue project you will helping to improve 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 important 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

How is the project making a difference?

Establishes in 1996, the sanctuary is the first of its kind in South Africa and currently cares for over 100 primates of varying species. These include 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 they require.

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

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 just a few steps away from the monkeys. You will be in a shared dorm style room with access to a shower, washing and cooking facilities. There is good phone signal onsite, but no access to WiFi.

Due to the projects 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:

  • 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

On your placement:

  • 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
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

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 is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
1 week £475 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £195 GB Pounds

Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see


monkeys rescued

"Pod is a no nonsense volunteer organisation looking to change lives"Cian


Pod UK Specialist

Ellie has visited the project, apply and you'll hear from her soon!

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



  • South Africa Monkey Rescue – Anja

    “This really was the best time of my life. The people were so welcoming; there is a real sense of team spirit and of being part of something really valuable. I got to spend so much time with the monkeys!”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • South Africa Monkey Rescue – Braden

    “My time at the Monkey Rescue project was great. Everyone was really friendly and helping out with all aspects of the monkeys was really interesting and rewarding. I would definitely recommend it!”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • South Africa Monkey Rescue – Caitlin

    “Everyone at the Monkey Rescue was incredibly welcoming and friendly from the first moment I met them! I loved every second I spent at the project. I'm so glad that I chose this project to get involved with!”

    Read more volunteer reviews


We have other projects you may be interested in

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife Rescue

Dog and Cat Rescue

Dog and Cat Rescue



You can also combine projects to make the volunteering trip of a lifetime!

Horse Rehabilitation

Horse Rehabilitation

South Africa FIND OUT MORE
Cheetah Centre

Cheetah Centre

South Africa FIND OUT MORE


  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal