Vervet Monkey Volunteering in South Africa: Wildlife Volunteering with IKPVA

Rescue orphaned Vervet Monkeys: Make part of the vervet monkeys animal conservation volunteer program in South Africa. Therfore, we  need help with the integration of the foster moms of 23 little orphans back into the troops.

Give a Loving Home to Orphaned Vervet Monkeys from other places

Gijs van Suijlichem - Volunteer in South Africa
Gijs van Suijlichem

Join the family at this amazing primate sanctuary in South Africa. At this special initiative, orphaned primates come from near and far and are given a loving home where they are rehabilitated and cared for until they can be released back into the wild.

With over 500 cheeky monkeys in care at any one time, this sanctuary always needs an extra pair of helping hands. Your participation will help to ensure they are all well fed, cared for and loved; and will help raise funds to maintain the place up to scratch for its gorgeous guests.

Care for Orphaned Vervet Monkeys in South Africa

This is an incredible option for those who go bananas for animals as you will get the chance to work hands on the vervet monkeys, under the guidance of experienced professionals.  At other occasions, you will be helping to carry out all the back-stage tasks which really ensure the monkeys’ wellbeing.

At the same time you will get to experience the amazing wildlife in the African bush, and make friends you will remember forever – some furry and some a little less so.

Your Role as Wildlife Volunteer

These little Vervet Monkeys need your help so that they can grow, develop and hopefully enter the wild where possible. The project also needs a hand to keep running smoothly and provide clean, safe facilities for its cheeky little monkeys. So you’ll be asked to help out with a variety of tasks. Be prepared to get stuck in and get your hands dirty, it’s lots of fun!

Volunteers help with:

  • Caring for orphans – in baby season, between November and February, many Vervet monkeys are orphaned. They need constant supervision and care by volunteers to get the best start in life.
  • Care of monkeys and their enclosures – providing much-needed water under the hot African sun, preparing food, feeding, de-worming, administering medications, grooming. You’ll be able to enjoy one-on-one time with monkeys and help to integrate them into new troops, a very important part of the rehabilitation process. The longer you are here, the more you can become involved with.
  • Observation, monitoring and research – this is an important job as you will help to monitor and observe each monkey within the sanctuary, checking for any injuries, stress or sickness, reporting information back to ‘base’ to ensure the monkeys stay in the best of health.
  • Construction – you might be asked to help with building new enclosures, maintenance, fencing, eradicating invader plant species, collecting new branches for cages. All of these tasks are really important to ensure the monkeys get the best care possible.

Highlights for Volunteers working with the Monkeys

  • You must be 18+ years old.
  • Working and living with Vervet Monkeys.
  • Enjoying the bush life of South Africa
  • Meeting amazing people from all over the world.

Location, Start Dates & Arrival

  • Location of project: Near Tzaneen, 6 hours drive from Johannesburg.
  • Arrival Airport: Johannesburg (airport code JNB) you need to arrive by 4.15pm at the latest.
  • Project Duration: Min 2 weeks – Max 12 weeks.
  • Airport Pickup: Included on arrival date, please ask us for details if you will be arriving earlier.
  • You need to organise: flights, insurance, visas, return airport transfer, local transport.
  • Activities: Various types of work with the animals, including making milks for the orphans, being a baby mum to the orphans (in baby season Nov-Jan), observing monkey foster mums with the orphans (Jan-Mar), observing integrations of monkeys into social groups (all year round), collecting forage for the monkeys, disinfecting cages, changing waters, assisting in the sickbay area or other sections, helping with feeding, and maintenance of the other park facilities.Working Hours: Flexible; one day off per week worked, plus 1 touring day per week worked (if you stay a min of 4 weeks)Getting to the project: You will be based on site.




  • The program fee is paid directly to the host organization.
  • All of the projects incur a registration fee of  U$ 149.00 on top of the program fee.

Prices 2019


What is included in the volunteer program fee?

  • Airport Pickup
  • Orientation
  • Accommodation for all projects
  • Meals are included in most programs (please check the description of your chosen project)
  • Support from local staff & Program supervision
  • In-country 24/7 support throughout your stay
  • In-country administration costs
  • Donation to support the local project

There are no hidden costs. Most of these projects are the most affordable to volunteer in South Africa.

Iko Poran is an NGO based in a developing country. We are dedicated to helping you help others, at the lowest possible price. We are interested in making volunteering abroad more accessible so that more people can help do really important work.

Participants in our South Africa programs normally find US$100 to be sufficient for weekly expenses in the country.

The program fee should be paid to the host country and it is due 30 days before the project start date.


Accommodation & Meals

  • Accommodation: Shared wooden cabins at the park.
  • Food: All meals included (vegan food only – prepared by an African maid trained by a professional chef) Monday to Friday). Types of delicious meals include shepherds pie & gravy, veggie burgers and chips, Soups, lasagne, schnitzels, sausages, salads, hummus and guacamole sandwiches, wraps with veggie strips and more.
  • The food has had excellent reviews from non-vegans and vegans alike


Qualifications & Requirements

  • You must have a Tuberculosis (TB) test, or a free letter from a medical professional to state that you don’t have it – This is really important as it if for the safety of the animals.
  • All participants in our volunteer in South Africa programs must have adequate travel insurance and are required to provide a criminal background check to local staff on arrival in South Africa or during orientation,
  • You must be willing to get your hands dirty and really give your all. You will be required to help with a broad variety of tasks from observation & research, to the construction of new enclosures, maintenance, or eradicating invader plant species.
  • You must be passionate about primates and love animals, you must be committed to taking care of them.




“I’m having a wonderful time here and there is nothing that I don’t like.” Gijs van Suijlichem in our South African program


More South Africa Volunteer Programs

Find out about all the opportunities for wildlife volunteering in South Africa here.

If you enjoy caring for animals, check out the project for rehabilitating wounded or orphaned wildlife in Port Elizabeth.

In Cape Town, you can also do a marine biology internship at the aquarium. There is another project in Kleinbaai to protect the Great White Shark in marine conservation.

Veterinary students can go for the veterinary science internship, with wildlife of the African Bush.

In addition, there are also educational projects, such as early childhood nursery, or teaching assistance at a primary school, also on the southern peninsula of Cape Town.

Animal Conservation

Visit our page with all the Wildlife Volunteer Abroad programs. For instance, you can volunteer with elephants in Thailand.