Gap Year Conservation: Monkey and Baboon Rehabilitation in South Africa

Company : Oyster Worldwide
Activities: Career Break / Animal Volunteer Projects / Conservation Volunteer Projects
Country: South Africa
Location : Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: 1 week to 3 months
Approx Costs: 750 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Provide care and affection to orphaned or mistreated vervet monkeys and baboons in the world's largest primate rehabilitation centre, helping them on a journey back to life in the wild.

This is a truly inspirational and highly regarded project. As a volunteer you can lexperience the important rehabilitation process, feeding the monkeys and nurturing them back to health. You can take part in the fantastic process of setting monkeys back to the wild once they are fit, healthy and able once again.

Tell me more!

Sadly vervet monkeys are often considered pests in South Africa, and can be shot and killed if acting in a way that is undesirable. This leaves many orphaned young or severely injured adults. The rehabilitation centre takes in all such primates with the aim of rehabilitating the animals until they are well enough to be released in to the wild, where they can lead a full and entirely natural life.

The centre is located in the beautiful African bush and couldn't feel further from the hubbub of modern city life. You will be living with volunteers from around the world in this close family atmosphere. You will be welcomed with open arms by both volunteers and monkeys alike, instantly feeling at home and happy in this beautiful corner of the world.

As well as some 400 vervet monkeys there are smango monkeys, baby baboons and bush babies freely and happily interacting with others of the same species

What will I be doing?

You will be working hands on with the monkeys every day. Daily tasks include feeding, interacting with and playing with these cheeky creatures, watching and generally getting to experience and understand them. Many of the orphaned baby monkeys need feeding every two hours - it would be your job to hold them in your arms and nurture them back to life. You will also be cleaning enclosures and preparing food for the adults. This work is crucial, as it allows for the smooth running of the centre and means that more monkeys in distress can be cared for. Throughout all your experiences you will have the privilege of knowing that you are contributing to their release back into the wild, and may even get the chance to witness a release. 

What can I do in my free time?

Volunteers love the centre’s comfortable cabin style accommodation, complete with pool table and swimming pool. There is a friendly town 30 minutes drive away. The surrounding area boasts numerous attractions and natural wonders, including natural parks,elephant back rides, microlite flights over crocodiles and hippos, and a trip to the Kruger National park to see the Big 5 in their natural environment.

Start Dates

All year round

Costs / Benefits

2 weeks = £847 (excluding flights)
Additional weeks = £200

We provide full support whilst in the UK and out in South Africa. Transport from the airport is arranged for you and accomodation and food is included.

Booking / Enquiry

Apply Online Visit Website

Oyster Worldwide Gap Year Conservation: Monkey and Baboon Rehabilitation in South Africa Reviews

Monkey Volunteering

Real "hands on" working with monkeys. The project is properly organised with very dedicated staff and animal well being at the heart of what they do. It's good to feel part of a worthwhile project, helping vulnerable animals. Most people arrived on their own, but by working in teams we all got on.

Take seriously the warnings about being very cold at night time! In August it starts to get dark and cold around 6pm, although every day was warm and sunny by late morning. My only criticism is that there was not much provided for lunch and opportunities to go shopping are very limited.

I wanted to use Oyster as I felt it gave me a level of security about my project.

By: Amanda
Nationality: UK
Age: 59

Definitely a worthwhile project!

I can honestly say the experience had a profound effect on me, definitely inspiring me to pursue a career in animal welfare. The preparation provided through Oyster is as good as you can get, and I owe you a lot for arranging the whole experience for me – I think as a company you are brilliant. Thanks again for everything you’ve both done for me – I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it!

By: Tamzin
Nationality: UK
Age: 20

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