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