Primate Sanctuary experience

founded in 1989
Vervet Monkey Foundation
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Coordinator | Dave
Coordinator | Dave
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Get to expierence the day to day work involved to maintain and run an established primate sanctuary
Work with a local team, sharing experiences and learning a bit about there culture and life at the foundation
meet fellow volunteers from around the world, form new life long frienships, share your experience with like minded people
Enjoy unbelievable vegan meals making a diffrence not only for the life of the animals, the environment but to you aswell
vist the local tourist attraction, the Verbet Monkey Foundation is only and hour away from the famous Kruger national Park
Gain first hand knowledge rehabilitating indigenous vervet monkeys back into a natural environment, be part of a team making a diffrence This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

We currently care for over 500 monkeys, and we take in many orphans each year. You may be involved with hand-rearing orphans (in baby season) and be lucky enough to see them with their foster mums, watching them become real monkeys. In addition you will help the monkeys further by general husbandry, feeding, building new enclosures, observations and maintaining the upkeep of the foundation. Longer-term volunteers may become involved with integrations of monkeys into social groups which is very rewarding and a lot can be learned about their behavior.

You will sleep in a wooden cabin and eat delicious vegan (cruelty free) meals. We are situated close to the Kruger National Park and local places of interest such as Blyde river canyon, Debengeni waterfalls, the Great Letaba river and beautiful tea gardens which you can visit during days off.

No previous experience is necessary although you must have an interest in conservation. We welcome volunteers over the age of 18. This is an ideal project for anyone who has ever dreamed of working with monkeys. Be prepared to work hard and experience working under the African sun with this threatened, intelligent and indigenous primate of Africa - The vervet monkey

Typical day

You will not need any prior experience as we will teach you everything you need to know – just come with enthusiasm and an interest in conservation! If you have any specific skills or interest we are happy to try and utilize them during your stay. No matter what you do, you can expect that it is hot, dirty and hands on! Typical activities include:

 • Collecting, chopping and delivering food for monkeys.

• Hands-on care-giving of baby monkeys (baby season only), helping in our sickbay

• Monitoring and report writing of monkeys around the Sanctuary

• Cleaning monkey cages, washing feed bowls & plates and cleaning blankets

• Assisting with introductions and rehabilitation of new monkeys.

• Assisting with basic medical practices and administering medications.

• Clearing vegetation for fire breaks, looking after the volunteer village.

• Assisting with education outreach programs

• Participating in fundraising, newsletters, we can also use graphic design skills

 During the baby season (Nov – Feb) there is a possibility volunteers will work with baby monkeys, nearly all orphaned and traumatized. We introduce them to foster mothers ensuring each baby is stabilized, healthy and able to drink from a bottle when handling them.

 During the juvenile season (Mar – Oct), you may be able to see juniors being integrated into a troop within our rehabilitation program or participate in other integrations. Baby rehabilitation involves volunteers handling or observing the babies in their outdoor playpen, mixing up bottles of milk, preparing foods and administering medicine if required. You will feed and monitor them throughout the day, constantly checking their progress. 

Free-time activities

There are some beautiful waterfalls and rivers in the area that a great to spend time at, there are variouse sight seeing area aswell as a fantastic lodge just down the road with a spa and swimming pool, Kruger national park is only an hour away, the famouse Blyde river canyon and potholes with a gorge swing



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 (basic level)
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, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

What's Included

Services by Vervet Monkey Foundation

55% of your fees goes towards your accommodation and food, 45% goes to caring and looking after the monkeys at the foundation, which would cover veterinary bills, the purchase of over a ton of variouse food items for the monkeys on a daily basis, maintenance of enclosure and improvements

You will sleep in a wooden cabin, usually with 1 other volunteer. We provide a mattress, table, pillow and sheets but please ensure you bring a sleeping bag. There is no electricity in the village as the foundation tries to be as environmentally friendly as possible and runs on solar power accessories can be charged at the cottage.
You may wish to bring a small battery powered or re-chargeable camping light to light up your cabin at night for reading etc.
The volunteer village houses a warm, gas-heated shower, eco-toilet (composting toilet), washing sink and a campfire, which is great for an evening under the stars or a traditional braai (South African barbecue!).
Laundering is provided free of charge Mon - Fri. You can bring your own detergent for extra hand washing of small items.
Food & Beverages

We provide delicious vegan (cruelty free) meals prepared by our  chef, tea, coffee, filtered water, volunteers share cooking on weekends

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
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.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

You will arrive at Johannesburg Airport, we recommend you get in contact with Sandy from Travelbuggz at time of booking, who for a small fee will arrange to meet you at the airport and safely transfer you to the bus, she can offer overnight accommodation if you arrive to late for the bus or if things dont go as planned, you will be met by one of the foundations staff at teh local bus stop and taken to the foundation, you are shown your accomodation and possibloe room mate, a short orientation is given on arrival while you introduced to fellow volunteers and sit down to the eveining vegan meal, where you can comfortably listen to there stories of the day. the following morning you will meet up with the volunteer co-ordinator and go through the main orientation with everyone else who arrived. We do prefer volunteers to arrive on a Sunday or Monday to help fsacilitate the orientations.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
11 weeks
19 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$292 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Vervet Monkey Foundation will let you know about the final price during your application process.
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 Vervet Monkey Foundation during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
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Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Vervet Monkey Foundation cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Vervet Monkey Foundation.

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Primate Sanctuary experience

Gain first hand knowledge rehabilitating indigenous vervet monkeys back into a natural environment, be part of a team making a diffrence


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