Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education
This is one volunteer programme that can absolutely guarantee hands on experience with orphaned baby primates (so long as you are fit & healthy and ready to be groomed, lipsmacked, have the occassional playful nip, groom & lipsmack back & offer a warm lap to sleep in).
You will spend your time here caring for the centre's orphaned monkeys - the charming, often misunderstood, beautiful baboons. Being situated in a nature reserve, in the stunning South African bush you will have the opportunity to see other wildlife such as giraffe and elephants all around. Being the largest baboon rehabilitation facility worldwide, we unfortunately recieve a high volume helpless orphan baboons throughout the year due to them being orphaned at the hands of farmers, road accidents, poisoning, the pet trade and cruelty. We need a high volume of volunteers all year round to help take care of the babies, prepare food for the adult troops awaiting release and help fund the care of the baboons housed at the sanctuary.
A typical day in the life of a volunteer:
Volunteers take the babies out of their sleeping cages at 6-7am and they go to bed at around 5 or 6pm (in otherwords dawn and dusk), whilst in the nursery they have a human volunteer present all day as they are all babies and being left alone is scary for them & the smallest ones need assitance with drinking milk & shelter when the other orphans get too much for them and they need a sleep. This is taken in shifts. The idea is that the humans act as the 'aunties' and do exactly what their mothers and aunts would in the wild: privide a secure place for sleeping, making sure no one gets picked on, ensure they have access to milk and food and basically make them feel secure and safe. In the nursery they learn how to be a baboon, they make friends and become a cohesive troop. After the age of around a year, they are weaned from human contact, and contact is restricted.
Typical volunteer day shifts:
7am - get up, take babies to the nursery.
7am feed room - prepare food for the resident captive troops who are awaiting release into the wild - usually involves filling crates with the food items available.
8am - clean up - cleaning sleeping cages/bottles/blankets etc
Some one (usually 2 volunteers) take bottle shifts to make the orphans bottles and fresh food, usually at about 10am, 12, 2pm and 4pm.
Play room shifts - volunteers take it in turns to sit in the nursery from dawn til dusk.
The day normally finishes about 5pm
- If students wish to conduct non-invasive research projects, these can usually be accommodated.
CARE is looking for students especially interested in conducting research or projects which involves; parasitological, genetic comparisons within the chacma species, design and building enclosures and structures etc, marketing and PR, the effects of castration on behaviour, contraception. If you are interested in conducting a project at CARE we ask you to present us with a research proposal for approval and you must fund all your own research and accomodation costs.
No qualifications are required, although we favour individuals with some experience or qualifications within the animal or caring fields! You must have a love for nature and a passion for animals, any age can volunteer above 18 years old.
You must be physically fit, the work is not really hard but some lifting of food and maintaining enclosures is required and the baboons will jump on you whilst playing in the nursery, they will pull hair and it is likely you may get bitten by the babies at some point.
You must be healthy with no infectious medical issues. You must be free from hepatitis (all forms), TB, herepes, AIDS, coughs/colds, eye infections & all other infectious diseases as our primates can catch human diseases/infections.
CARE receives no funding from governments and grants are limited, therefore we rely on volunteers. You must pay to volunteer here as it will cover your food and resource expenses. All the money raised through volunteers supports the care for the babooons - from handrearing orphans, feeding captive troops, filling the vehicles with fuel to pick up food, building and maintaining enclosures, medical care, planning & implementation of releases and post release monitoring - all these things need funding. CARE receives no government help at all and relies of funding from volunteers.
Accomodation/Food/Resouce use fee is US$450 per week (this is the equivalent of £285 per week). We charge this for the first 8 weeks then it is discounted by 20% = $360 per week.
Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
All meals and accomodation are provided.
- The Volunteer Accommodation*
Volunteer accomodation is shared and simple.
Our luxury is the fact there are usually hot showers, usually electric and trips to town once a week to buy groceries (only space for one or two volunteers to join so it is not guarenteed you can go).
CARE is in the middle of a private nature reserve, so there a wild animals EVERYWHERE! From wild baboons, elephants and kudu to snakes (some poisonous), scorpions, lizards and a whole range of creepy crawlies!) but you are living in the African bush and get to experience breathtaking and wonderful wildlife encounters!
Considering we are in the bush, the accomodation isn't bad and we will provide you with a proper bed with a nice matress and a mosquito net/tent to keep you safe from any bugs or other house friends at night.
Volunteers are provided with all meals (luxury items such as chocolate and alcohol can be purchased in the 'tuc shop'). Volunteers prepare their own breakfast and lunch and often take it in turns to cook evening meals. The meals are usually very good, consisting of vegetables, potatos, pasta, rice, cereals, yogurt, milk, eggs, cheese, vegetarian soy products and occassionally chicken and mince for non-vegetarians.
Please bear in mind you are living in the bush, so encountering rats, snakes, bugs and more should be expected.
Volunteers must just cover the costs of their flights or bus to Phalaborwa (South Africa, Limpopo), we will pick you up from there and return you on your depature. Volunteers will pay for their time at CARE, this donation is towards their food and resource use, plus a small donation to pay for the monkeys food.
Please visit the website: www.primatecare.org.za for more detailed info and please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. for costs.
Term of Appointment:
Minimum stay is usually one month.
Open - we are desperate for help all year round.
CARE is offering a Bush Training Survival course additional to the volunteer program at an extra cost receiving training from qualified field guide. This includes Bush Survival Skills, snake handling and a certificate.
Educational and site seeing trips to various places like the Kruger National Park, cheetah/lion experiences, zip lining and more can be arranged at an extra cost when you are staying with us. For these trips pick up and return back to the sanctuary can be arranged.
You can see videos here:
Written by longterm volunteer Samantha Dewhirst, please contact volunteer co-ordinator Katie to book and for enquiries.
Limpopo CARE, PO Box 1937, Phalaborwa, 1390, South Africa
+27 (15) 769 6251