International Primate Rescue
In my research, I came across an interesting sanctuary in South Africa that, while I have not personally visited, I still wanted to share with you. The International Primate Rescue is a small charity based near Pretoria that takes care of 160 primates. Most of these primates were rescued from the pet trade or labs.The IPR host both long- and short-term volunteers all year round to help them run the program.
Their volunteer program gives you a true wildlife experience while learning about primate behavior and animal care. You will get hands-on experience with all the different species of primates at the sanctuary. They currently have capuchins, macaques, patas monkeys, squirrel monkeys, mona monkeys, tamarins, marmosets, and grey mouse lemurs.
No previous experience is required to join the volunteer program. However, you need to be fit, healthy, and at least 18 years of age; be able to speak and understand English sufficiently to get around; and you can’t be scared of getting down and dirty, as help is needed in cleaning cages!
The best part — Monkey Time! Once a week volunteers can spend time in the enclosures with monkeys who really enjoy human company. For the monkeys, this is a nice change from their normal routine, and they get some special treats. For volunteers, it is an amazing opportunity to interact with the monkeys. I can tell you from personal experience that nothing beats having a monkey sit on your shoulder!
The fee is 175 pounds per week per person, which covers your accommodations but not meals. There is, however, a full kitchen provided for cooking, and there are restaurants nearby.
While I have not visited IPR, I have been to South Africa a few times and recommend it! I went there for my 40th birthday specifically to spend time with baby monkeys, at the time the #1 thing on my bucket list.