The Mighty Roar

Primate Sanctuary and Monkey Rescue Assistant

Pretoria, South Africa show on map
The Mighty Roar
Coordinator | Michelle
Coordinator | Michelle
Join us at this amazing monkey rescue sanctuary that will provide you with a unique experience to interact with the primates and to assist with their daily care. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:

Volunteers will play a vital role in continuing the success of protecting these beautiful animals and ensuring their welfare is of top priority. You will leave the sanctuary having made lasting friendships with the staff and other volunteers as well as fantastic memories of an unforgettable experience.

You will get hands on experience with all of the many different primate species that are currently at the sanctuary, including; Capuchins, Macaques, Patas Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Mona Monkeys, Tamarins, Marmosets and Grey Mouse Lemurs.

The sanctuary was the first of its kind and setup in 1996 with the aim to provide a safe haven for these vulnerable monkeys to come and interact with each other. The project is not open to the public to ensure the primates get peace and quiet to provide a life that is as close to normal as possible.

The need for such an important sanctuary has come about due to the common practices of primates being hand reared and kept as domestic pets in South Africa. The lasting effects this process has on the primates is not fully understood or managed well by the owners and leads to the monkeys becoming more aggressive, confused and agitated. This in turn means the primates are then neglected, passed on to unwitting new owners or even euthanised.

Typical day

Your days will be hands on and you will get to experience all of the work that goes on around the sanctuary. You should be prepared for a lot of hard work and we can ensure you that you will get dirty! A typical day may involve the following.

Feeding – A large operation in itself is the feeding of all primates currently housed at the sanctuary. This can be anywhere between 50 and 100 monkeys and volunteers are integral for keeping everyone fed. You will be responsible for buying the food from the local market, cutting and prepping all of the meals and then delivering each specific meal type to the enclosures. A few popular choices are porridge, fresh fruit and marshmallows!

Cleaning and Maintenance – There are 45 enclosures within the project site and keeping them all well maintained and clean is crucial to ensuring the hygiene and wellbeing of the primates. This can include sweeping the floors, removing weeds and even building new enclosures.

Medication – You will be in charge of dispensing and delivering the medicines for any unwell monkeys as well as recording any updates on the primates health conditions. The primates will need out smarting though, as they are often wise to the smells and taste of the medicine so you will have to learn different methods on getting around this.

Observation – After only a few days on the programme you will get to know the different personalities across each species and will even be on first name terms with the primates. It is important to observe and record the behaviours, actions and daily routines of the primates to monitor trends and to identify early any health changes or problems.

Socialisation – Introducing new primates to enclosures is a very delicate process and requires a lot of observation and monitoring. You will need to see how they settle into their new enclosure and interact with the other monkeys and check on their behaviours.

Interaction – A major highlight of the week is the opportunity to get up close and personal with the monkeys within their enclosures. This provides you with an amazing opportunity and is the perfect time for photos. The monkeys love this time as it is different from their normal routine and they get some special treats.

Monkey Assistance – There are times when baby monkeys can arrive at the sanctuary who need a lot of care and attention. You will get to assist in this process and ensure that the monkey is in a strong enough position to integrate with other monkeys. This includes going to ‘monkey school’ where they will learn in small parts to have interaction with the older monkeys.

Details on Arrival

1st and 3rd Sunday of every month

You should arrive to Johannesburg Airport (JNB) on your selected start date, being the 1st or 3rd Sunday of each month. You will be met by one of our local team members who will be holding a named sign and will then transport you to the project site.

Free-time activities

Weekends are free days where we actively encourage you to go and explore this beautiful country. We can help arrange all kinds of trips to game reserves, beaches and more.

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if The Mighty Roar cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Mighty Roar.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
The Mighty Roar (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by The Mighty Roar

Fees include accommodation and the registration fee of $180

No meals are included within the programme fee and as such the accommodation is operated as a self-catering format. There is a fully fitted kitchen where you can prepare and cook meals and plenty of fridge and cupboard space to keep your items.

Volunteers will normally travel into town or a nearby supermarket a couple of times per week to buy food and other supplies, so nearly all dietary requirements can be catered for. You are also more than welcome to eat out in Pretoria, which offers a vast array of options.

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

You should arrive to Johannesburg Airport (JNB) on your selected start date, being the 1st or 3rd Sunday of each month. You will be met by one of our local team members who will be holding a named sign and will then transport you to the project site.

The programme will end on the Sunday of your final week where you will need to arrange a return airport transfer. Our local team can arrange this for an additional cost.


The accommodation offers a friendly and lively atmosphere and although basic, it is comfortable and clean. You will be staying with other volunteers from around the world, so you can be sure to make new lasting friendships.

You will be sleeping in mixed gender shared rooms in either a single bed or a bunk bed with up to 8 people per room. All bedding is provided, although you are advised to bring some warmer clothes as the temperature can drop during the night. There are shared bathrooms that have western style toilets and hot showers (although intermittent).

Dorm Room
Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.
Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 550
2 weeks
$ 786
3 weeks
$ 1,023
4 weeks
$ 1,259
6 weeks
$ 1,732
8 weeks
$ 2,205
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 3,150
Average fees
$ 406 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Pretoria/South Africa between 1 week and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Mighty Roar will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with The Mighty Roar during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Southern Africa South Africa  Pretoria, Plot 20 Boundary Road

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