Baboon Orphan Caretaker

Help hand-raise baby baboon orphans, assist with their bonding to baboon surrogate mothers, clean enclosures, food/bottle preparation, and much, much more!

C.A.R.E. is located within a stunning private nature reserve, nearly bordering the Kruger National Park. Our volunteer program provides a unique experience working with the beautiful chacma baboons of South Africa alongside other iconic African animals. You may wake up one morning, look towards the electric fence and see an elephant, grazing peacefully on an Acacia tree. You'll hear the rutting of the impala, the call of jackals, and even the low growl of lions. Located 45 minutes from the nearest town, C.A.R.E. is truly out in the bush and offers an escape from the bustle of everyday life. 

C.A.R.E. greatly needs volunteers to help hand-raise baby baboon orphans, assist with their bonding to baboon surrogate mothers, assist with the rehabilitation of baboons who have spent up to 13 years of their life in a lab-cage, and to help animals which have been rescued from all sorts of circumstances. To be part of the animals healing- to bond with the baboons in a way that is incomprehensible to most, to watch them grow in confidence, and to witness them becoming wild, sociable animals again, is an experience with unparalleled rewards that our volunteers will never forget.

Whilst the main bulk of the volunteering program involves caring for the orphan baby baboons, some ex-laboratory sanctuary baboons and the husbandry of the adult baboons, there are other essential aspects and additional experiences you'll partake in to ensure C.A.R.E. is achieving its broader goals of helping the communities and environment on a greater scale.  Here are some of the activities you may be involved in, depending on how many volunteers there are available at the centre and which staff are available.  The volunteers are always assigned to the raising of the orphans, and if we have enough hands we enjoy getting our other projects off the ground too.

 

  • Hand Rearing Orphan Baby Baboons
  • Being a Primate Keeper for Adult Baboons  
  • Enrichment Programme
  • Husbandry of adult baboons undergoing rehabilitation
  • Veterinary Experience
  • Behavioural Observations
  • Data collection
  • Enclosure Maintenance & Design
  • Collecting natural vegetation for feeding
  • Collecting natural items for enrichment and feeding
  • Cleaning enclosures
  • Husbandry for the smaller animals including adorable rescued guinea pigs
  • Walking the rescued dogs
  • Cleaning and organising all areas of the centre
  • Tracking
  • Alien and Invasive Plant Removal
  • Community Outreach for 2017
  • Opportunities to go on excursions; e.g. the Kruger National Park next door, the Panorama Route (Blyde Canyon, waterfalls etc.), horse riding safaris, nearby attractions.

 

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

Working with a large number of wild animals means that your day can change in an instance but generally your day will include the following:


7AM  Wake up and begin enclosure cleaning or head to breakfast
9AM  Bottle/food preparation 
10AM  Enrichment
11AM  Nursery supervision of youngest orphans
12PM  Lunch
1PM  Sanctuary enclosure cleaning/enrichment observation/data
2PM  Nursery supervision of youngest orphans
3PM  Bottle/food preparation
4PM  Playtime with the youngest orphans along the banks of the Olifants River
5/6PM Your day is done! Time to shower and hang out with the other volunteers 
7PM Dinner! A great time to catch up with everyone and then get ready to start another day!

In addition to the activities above, other duties may include: assisting in our veterinary clinic, bark/browse collection for troop enrichment, taking care of our rescued guinea pigs/chickens, construction work including building large swings to install in enclosures, spending time with "Patats"- one of our sanctuary baboons who needs social enrichment, observations of the wild baboon troop, games drives, gardening, and much, much more!

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Required Documents
CV for long term applicants, Enrollment form, Indemnity form and Proof of insurance
Other Skills
Qualifications and previous experience isn’t something we necessarily look for; we are looking for people with a passion for nature, desire to want to make a positive difference, a love of animals, a strong work ethic and enthusiasm for new experiences.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 - 17:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in South Africa? Volunteer World directly connects you with C.A.R.E.

Baboon Orphan Caretaker Our new accommodation, the"Volunteer VIllage" Playtime in the nursery Large enclosure cleaning The Olifants River, in front of C.A.R.E. Visit Kruger National Park to spot "The Big 5" Supervising orphans in the nursery Caring for young orphans Cheeky chacma Caring for young orphans Elephants often visit C.A.R.E. Bonding time at the river Bonding orphans to surrogate baboon mothers

Free-time activities

Looking after 440 baboons is a huge task and a 7 day a week job! However, we know that our volunteers need time off so we encourage it! The days at C.A.R.E. can be long and hot so it's essential that you rest and reboot so you can continue helping the baboons.


Many volunteers take a day off each week and head to the lodge next door to swim, relax, and enjoy delicious meals. As we are located so close to the Kruger National Park, a safari is also a must! We can help arrange 1, 2, or 3 day safaris in to the park. There are other excursions near by that our volunteer visit as well including, a reptile park, Jessica the Hippo, a rehabilitation centre focusing on indigenous African animals, visits to the Blyde River Canyon (Panorama Tour) and curios shopping. We can schedule all of these activities for you- it's a great way to see more of South Africa and enjoy a much-deserved day off!

Volunteers will generally have at least one hour off each working day to relax, read, socialise with other volunteers, do laundry, or nap. That time is your own! 

Swimming
Safari/Zoo
Riding

Services

What's included?
The volunteer fee covers: accommodation in a 2-4 person room, food (except "luxury" items), electricity, water, and a donation to the animals you will be caring for. 

The fee does not cover: flights, visas, travel insurance, or vaccinations. It also does not cover a one-time conservation fee of R50 (about $4) due to our location on a private nature reserve. 

Internet is available within the volunteer accommodation: 500MB for R35 (about $2.50- you can buy multiple vouchers)

We are always interested in long-term volunteers so please contact us to discuss fees.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

We do provide airport pickup from the local Phalaborwa airport (PHW). We can also pick up at the bus station in Phalaborwa. There is a one time fee of R300 (about $20) for your pick-up and drop-off from Phalaborwa.

Accommodation

We have just completed our new "Volunteer Village". The village consists of 6 rooms, each sleeping 2-4 people. The rooms are situated around a communal garden space. There are new showers, toilets, and a small volunteer kitchen. We also have a games space, equipped with a pool table, ping-pong table, darts board, TV and DVDs. There is a braai area (South African BBQ) where we often cook and sit around a campfire as well. The Volunteer Village is located inside a secure electric fence.

We provide bedding. Please bring your own towel and mosquito net. 

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

We provide foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the moment, the volunteers cook their own breakfast and lunch (with food provided by C.A.R.E.), and dinner is cooked on a rotating, communal basis. However, we will soon be providing all three meals in our new dining space. We are able to cater for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free, and many other dietary requirements. Please let us know if you have any restrictions as we are unable to accommodate extreme food allergies (i.e. peanut allergy).


"Luxury" food items such as crisps, chocolate, soda, etc., are not provided by the Centre. We do have a tuck shop where volunteers can purchase these items. There is also a weekly shopping trip to town where volunteers can purchase other luxury items. 

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
Costs
2 weeks (min. stay)
$895
3 weeks
$1043
4 weeks
$1191
5 weeks
$1339
10 weeks
$2079
18 weeks
$3263
50 weeks (max. stay)
$8000

You can volunteer at the project site in Phalaborwa/South Africa between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. C.A.R.E. will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$304/week
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 C.A.R.E. during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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Airport
The nearest airport is Phalaborwa (PHW) in Phalaborwa. 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.
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Free-time
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Phalaborwa, 1390 Phalaborwa, South Africa