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Baboon and Vervet Monkey Rescue and Rehabilitation

Animal Care Volunteers South Africa Plettenberg Bay


Help orphaned and injured Chacma Baboons and Vervet monkeys survive in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

This project is dedicated to the preservation of South African primate species. Our programs include the rehabilitation of vervet monkeys and research into wild baboon and monkey troops to find out the impact of human intervention and behavioural aspects that will contribute to knowledge about the most appropriate rehabilitation processes – habitat, natural food source, behaviour etc.

Our volunteer program which brings international and local students to our site, has a couple of community based programs for example, anti-poaching and educating local children. We offer advice to local residents about human/animal conflict management; and improvements to wilderness release sites that enable animals to be reintroduced to the wild.


  • Chopping food.
  • Cleaning enclosures.
  • Acting as human enemies to show what humans are capable of.
  • Collecting branches and insects for monkey food.
  • Observing integration/socializing from a fair distance while attempting to remain passively non-communicative (to encourage monkeys to mingle with their own kind)
  • Observing the behaviour of the monkeys here - noting hierarchy changes, vocalizations and their context, the working out of new relationships, each individual's particular personality and how s/he interacts with everyone else etc.
  • When monkey mothers are not available, a volunteer may be required to act as surrogate mother for at least 3 months. But it is always in the best interest of the monkeys to choose a surrogate monkey first if possible.
  • Fetching food from Plettenberg Bay
  • Monitoring wild troops for male/female ratios, behaviour etc.
  • Researching what the vervet monkey and chacma baboon eat naturally in this area.
  • Anti-poaching patrols.
  • Hikes - The Garden Route where we are based has spectacular scenery and world renowned hikes like the otter trail. We are a few minutes away from various animal awareness exhibition centres for those who seek a hands- on experience with captive wildlife.
  • Building/maintaining enclosures
  • Blogging about your activities for our website.
  • Writing awareness articles about the plight of non human primates in this province - your experiences as a visitor to this country - for our local newspaper.
  • Fundraising ideas/activities; for example holding an awareness stall at a local flea market every Saturday Morning.

The Vervet monkey and Chacma baboon are severely persecuted throughout South Africa. Rehabilitation centres do not get government support and rely solely on the public for help. Without our help, orphaned and injured wild primates would be "euthanased" as they have been in the past. The DPG is the only official rescue centre in the Western Cape, making our work crucial to the survival of these species here. We need volunteers to help us establish our education programs as well as to help with the primate related activities.

Key Info




Stormsriver is 25 kilometres away.

Plettenberg Bay is 20kms away.

Knysna is 50 kms away from us.

Is the area safe?

We live in an area that has an extremely low crime rate, do not lock our cars and have never had any problems here.

What other attractions are there?

We live along the Garden Route, one of South Africa's most sought after tourist areas where a great variety of activities are offered.

What you will need (Dependant on which country you are from)

You may need to provide your South African embassy with:

1. A cover letter from the D.P.G

2. Birth Certificate

3. Medical Certificate

4. Valid passport

5. Police Clearance – dependant on your country; you can ask your embassy whether this is necessary. (in the UK, this requires asking your local police station to access information held about you on their computer - this certificate acts a substitute for a police clearance certificate.)


Updated tetanus and polio injections are the only ones required. Please ask your doctor about covering any eventualities before you travel here.


Most of South Africa is malaria free and unless you are planning to travel into a malaria zone you are unlikely to need malaria medication. Anti Malaria medicines are freely available here - as are many effective mosquito repellents - for anyone wanting them.


We do ask that our volunteers take out a policy that covers repatriation in the event of a medical emergency.

What to bring?

  • A head torch. This helps at night as we rely solely on candles.
  • Sunblock, hat, sunglasses, good walking boots, strong rugged clothing.
  • Sleeping bag etc.

R2500 or US$280 a week to cover costs.

Contact Project: Baboon and Vervet Monkey Rescue and Rehabilitation

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