||This Project runs from beginning of August
through to end of March every year. You
can choose your start and finish dates during this
1 week to 24 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
||No qualifications needed, just a big heart and a
love of animals and their conservation. Minimum age 17.
Full Price List
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
Transfer from Durban Airport to Ballito Bay on arrival
►Two nights' accommodation in Ballito Bay (one on
arrival and one at the end of your placement)
►Transfer from Vryheid to the
project and back again
transfer from Ballito Bay back to Durban Airport at the
completion of your placement
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Flights, travel insurance, cost of visa,
bus return from Ballito to Vryheid and back again
Who can do
This project is open to all nationalities and all ages
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out,
grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in
conservation and caring for animals and working with
wildlife overseas. Good if you want to learn about
rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife and doing
primate and monkey voluntary work, projects abroad or
Also available as a summer placement in South Africa or
a short break activity.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many
diverse cultures in South Africa
The enormous satisfaction of helping abused, orphaned or threatened
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market.
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
This Rehabilitation project is run by a non-profit organisation
take in rescued
Vervet Monkeys from all around the country. The work they do is
genuinely to help the monkeys, so there is little hands-on work because
it's important that the monkeys aren't human-habituated.
Too much human/monkey interaction
significantly reduce the possibility of releasing
into the wild - which is the Center's primary aim.
The Vervets are
kept safely in enclosures until they are ready to be released
into the wild, far from human habitation. This usually takes about two
to three years but, depending on the amount of human contact the monkeys
have had, the de-humanising
could perhaps take a little longer.
During this time the monkeys are
gradually weaned from close human contact and the troops are built up to
ensure that they form a coherent relationship. Vervets are very social animals and cannot be released individually.
releases start to take place from September (which is Spring in South
Africa) and continue
through the summer months. After they have been released, the Vervets need supplementary feeds for two to three weeks
until they learn to completely fend for themselves. They are also
monitored for two to three months after their release.
As these Vervets are being prepared for “the
outside world” and by necessity have to be kept in cages until they have
been cared for, rehabilitated and prepared for release, the contribution
you can make to improving their daily pre-release lives is enormous. The
range of work is quite diverse and varied, and wide-ranging, including:
Feeding the Monkeys:
This includes not only feeding, but also food preparation. You'll spend an hour or two chopping
fruit and vegetables to feed to the Vervets in the outdoor enclosures.
Growing the food to feed
the Monkeys: Bruce and Sandi, who run
the Center, buy the fruit that the monkeys need, but the gardens grow a constant
supply of vegetables which need to be looked after. If you have green
fingers, they will come in handy (but not to worry if you don’t, the
monkeys won’t notice!) You can help to sow seeds when necessary,
keep the veggies well watered and harvest them when they are
ready to be eaten ... and you'll then have the undying devotion of the Vervets, who are always hungry!
Some of the most satisfying work you
can do will be to provide some enclosure enrichment and mental
stimulation. This is an essential part of keeping the Vervet Monkeys
happy and occupied. You can use your creativity
to provide useful “toys” and games for them and offer them a different
element to the usual daily routine. The monkeys take great interest and
delight in new areas to explore and will really enjoy your contributions
to this facet of their enforced enclosure until they can be released.
(We provide our volunteers with an in-house guide to suggestions for
enclosure enrichment and you may be able to use or adapt some of the
suggestions for Vervet Monkeys.)
Records of all the monkeys and the releases have to be kept, so if
paper-work or collating data is your forte, your assistance will be
appreciated in that department.
The Center's Facebook and
Social Networks: Bruce tries his level
best to update the Center’s Facebook page on a daily basis, but he
doesn't always get the
time. You can use your computer skills to keep the Facebook page fresh
and interesting as well as helping with the web site.
Monkey Releases - freedom
at last! The older Vervet Monkeys start to be released from September through to
the early summer and you would be required to assist with these
releases. You may stay on the release site for a few weeks to monitor the
integration to normal Vervet monkey life and to ensure a successful
rehabilitation and release.
Post-Release Feeding is necessary whilst the
Vervets get used to their new “home” and learn where the natural food
sources are, and you'll help by taking food to the feeding
stations if you are on site. The Vervets usually need to be given food
for about 2 or 3 weeks after their release.
Post-release Monitoring: The newly released troop must also be
monitored to check for any injuries or members that have been excluded
from the troop. Monkeys who are in such situations could possibly have a slim chance of survival due to
their injury or isolation. In extreme cases, re-capture may be necessary
the best interest of the individual concerned. Each release poses its
own set of circumstances and you'll have a very important role to play
in the monitoring.
Your work schedule may vary. The number of
Vervets on site or being released would affect the volume of work you
would be doing.
The description given is of a typical day.
This is purely an example – you may sometimes need to start work earlier
than 7.00. The animals don’t keep to the same timetable as us humans.
Wake up, wash and get ready
Back to work
Relax , watch DVD’s, read, contemplate the meaning of
Hours of duty and Work Schedule
The average working hours are from 08h00 until 16h00,
inclusive of tea and lunch breaks.
This placement is definitely for nature loving enthusiasts
who are willing to work hard and aren’t afraid of getting their hands
dirty, but the rewards are well worth it:
You'll get a wonderful and varied experience with many
You'll get to experience the headiness of looking after animals that
are totally helpless and reliant on you take care of them.
You'll leave feeling very proud of yourself for having contributed
to the quality of life and well-being of previously abused and battered
You'll learn much more than you can imagine, particularly about the
importance of conserving wildlife, and hopefully you'll help to raise
awareness by talking to friends and colleagues on your return home.
This project will be an excellent entry on your CV!
Baby Monkeys – Special needs
During the summer months when monkeys
give birth, many newborn baby monkeys are either abandoned or taken away from
their mothers by ignorant humans who would like them as pets. When people
realize they don't have the skills to care for these animals, they abandon them.
These baby monkeys require 24 hour care, regular feeding and cleaning,
For the duration of your stay you
will live in the house with Bruce and Sandi. There are two
bedrooms and one “room in the roof” for volunteers . You will
share a bathroom with other volunteers and the rest of the house
is communal. For the hot African summer months they have a
swimming pool right next to the house which you can cool off in
at any time.
There is no landline on the property, but all cell
phone networks are picked up without any problems. It is,
however, recommended that you get your cell phone unblocked for
South Africa to be able to use local sim cards - these are
available at most stores.
There is wireless internet which
can be used for a small fee.
On your days off you can either
get a lift into town or simply spend the day relaxing next to
the pool with a good book whilst you top up your sun tan.
Please note that there are two
wonderful, friendly dogs on site that everyone loves! They are a
part of the family, and allowed inside the house. If you have a
problem with dogs, this may not be the best project for you to
You'll join Sandi and Bruce at
meal times and you can let them know if you have any particular
food preferences or allergies, e.g. if you are a vegetarian or
vegan. You will be provided with three basic meals per day.
You'll be asked to prepare one main meal per week for everyone
in the house.
are provided, but not 'extras' like biscuits, sweets, soda pop
or alcohol, any specialty food or drinks. You can purchase
extras while on trips to town and there is fridge- and cupboard
space for personal food items. The evening meal is the main meal
of the day and you'll prepare your own breakfast and lunch from
the provisions provided.
Got any questions? Please email us:
"I feel thankful for such
a wonderful opportunity to help those that can't currently help
themselves! ... An experience I will never forget, I can see why
people get attached to the babies & want them as pets, but after
seeing 5 pre-released monkeys in the wild, all females pregnant,
it proves how worthwhile this cause is."
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be
met and taken you to your accommodation, which is on the project
site. Here you'll be introduced to everyone and settled in.
During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
You will have weekends free and this will also allow some time for travelling
and sight seeing.
SOUTH AFRICA ON THE WEB
Everything you want to
know about Port Elizabeth:
And more stuff about
Port Elizabeth (with nicer photos):
Tourist information on
the Eastern Cape:
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
The best advice you'll get from us
is to try to see some of the country while you're in South
Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting
and very, very beautiful.
Cape Town is probably
the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up
KwaZulu-Natal comes a very
close second, albeit very different.
where South Africans go on vacation, which gives you some idea of
how lovely the region is.
EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
KwaZulu Natal is renowned for its Game Reserves and
traditional Zulu Culture
The attractions in KwaZulu
Natal (KZN) range from vibrant cities to the gorgeous Land of a Thousand
Hills, from tranquil beaches to outstanding Game Parks and Nature
These are just some of the sites you
- Big Five Game Reserves (elephant,
lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino - and lots more, of course) and Travellers
volunteers are able to work in many of them, including Tembe
St Lucia Wetlands
with its Crocodile Center and Wetlands
- Numerous nature parks,
- Fantastic beaches for swimming and
diving. The beaches are truly golden.
- Lively Durban where South Africans
go to have fun,
- The San Art Park for a collection
of astounding rock paintings,
- ... And much, much more!
Durban (Tekweni in Zulu) is the ancestral home of the Nguni people. Africa's
bewitching seaside playground in the sun with radiant golden sands and lush
balmy weather all year round, making it a perfect vacation paradise.
Durban International Airport is only
a 10 minute drive from the City.
Sophisticated and cosmopolitan, Durban Metro after dark
buzzes with elegant lounges, funky taverns and cozy inns, distinctive local
theatre and live music, and trendy clubs, pubs and discos. This is nightlife in
a modern, authentic African metropolis!
Read more about
KwaZulu-Natal and its
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.
Hippos caught in the sunset in the