Oyster Reviews: Volunteer with monkeys South Africa

Find out what Oyster volunteers have said in these reviews of our monkey and baboon rehabilitation programme in South Africa:

SA monkeys“The best experience of my life! Can’t wait to go back”

Charlotte Glastonbury, 4 weeks March 2018

Monkeys hugging each other “We had a wonderful time there, especially for Darinka a lifetime dream came true as she was always mad for monkeys. The whole trip was an unforgettable and wonderful experience where we met many amazing people from all over the world and were able to learn about the monkey‘s situations, needs and behavior. Everything went absolutely fine and this was the basis to make our experience an overall success!”

Andreas Fieber, 2 weeks March 2018

monkeysI loved every second I was in Africa! The vervets and baboons were so much fun, and Riverside is a really great family.”

Maria Heiselman Albanese, 5 weeks January 2018

volunteer with monkeys“The experiences I made were so fantastic and I can´t really say how happy I´m that I have done this. Amazing working with the monkeys, being part of this whole project and to meeting many new friends”

Janus Koerner 1 weeks January 2018

“The hands on interaction with the primates is incredible and so is the brilliant comradery between volunteers.”

Grace Leong, 4 weeks January 2018

“the process of booking my trip and making it happen was extremely smooth. I was able to do it all within a week. It was really special to be able to work so closely with animals like monkeys and baboons every day.”

Sarah Renkey, 4 weeks December 2018

A volunteer bottle feeds a baby primate in South Africa on the rehabilitation project

“I had a fabulous time and I am already looking when I can go back! The sense of community there was wonderful, a home away from home, and even though the work was tough it was so rewarding when you saw the effect it had on the animals (as well as just cuddling them). Thank you very much for all your help with this project – I am very grateful.”

Bryony Cannon, 1 week December 2017

monkeys south africa“I enjoyed my whole stay there, but I loved the trips and the amazing things we saw and experienced there. I also enjoyed the contact with the monkeys. Being able to actually feed them, carry them around, playing and cuddling with them. Thank you very much for the great communication!”

Floriane Ziegler, 3 weeks October 2017

volunteering with monkeys” I really have nothing to say on the oyster aspect. For real, your website and your organization is 1000 better than a lot that I have found on the internet. Everything is there and everything is so clear and my agent answer me really fast on the email that was really good and make me very more at ease about the project”

Florence Lemay, 4 weeks October 2017

baby monkey in South Africa in hand of volunteerThe pre-trip info on My Oyster was excellent very comprehensive and answered many questions and gave lots of advice regarding what to expect/items to pack. All arrangements regarding our stay and pick up ran smoothly and all the advice given regarding the project was accurate. My son, Louis, enjoyed the project so much he wants to return again next summer!”

Deborah Humphreys & Louis, 1 week September 2017

south africa monkey conservation“The bond I formed with the animals and the other volunteers was much more emotional then I thought it would be. All the information I learnt was more then I expected and the leaders of the project where very open about their work and answered every question I had about these animals.”

Megan Strobel, 4 weeks June 2017

“I’ve been having a fabulous time becoming acquainted with people from all over the world here and learning all about the Vervet Monkeys and Baboons of South Africa!  I can’t believe that I have finally had the chance to explore the world of South Africa!”

Katie Hatfield, 4 weeks June 2017


volunteering with monkeys in South Africa“It was a wonderful experience. I met some amazing people and learnt a lot about the baboons and vervet monkeys. It was a highlight meeting some amazing new people and being accepted into the family – despite being so much older than all the other volunteers. This was an amazing experience, and I’m so glad I plucked up the courage to go and do it. I’ve never volunteered before.”

Sarah Miller, 2 weeks May 2017

volunteering with monkeys“The highlight – taking the baboons on river walks and seeing them play together in a large open space.Thanks to Anne for answering any questions I had whilst booking this trip.”

Ellis Woolgar, 2 weeks March 2017

feeding a baby monkey“Life changing doesn’t even do it justice. Thank you isn’t enough. Our time with the huge family of volunteers, monkeys, dogs, drake and more was overwhelmingly loving, and very worthwhile.”

Jill Grieshaber Graff, 2 weeks January 2017

Andy Holmer review“My time was absolutely amazing. I’ve had the chance to bond with so many wonderful people and beautiful animals. It’s so different being home again and so strange to adapt to the priorities of city life. Somehow people forgot that cuddling and grooming is top priority! Thank you for the opportunity and all the support!”

Andy Holmer, 4 weeks October 2016


“The highlights were being able to work directly with the monkeys and build relationships with them, meeting and working alongside other like-minded volunteers and learning about animal behaviours. This is an experience that you cannot simply do in your day to day life back in the UK. You gain a great knowledge about the monkeys in such a short period of time, and the time you spend with them is such a unique experience and almost therapeutic! ”

Francesca Rider, 10 days August 2016

Volunteer with a monkey“Real ‘hands on’ work with monkeys. The project is properly organised with very dedicated staff and animal well-being is at the heart of what they do. I was able to go on a 2 day safari to Kruger (for an extra fee) which was stunning, as well as a one day trip to see more of the country’s amazing landscape.”

Amanda Counsell, 2 weeks August 2016

web“We are having an amazing time! Everyone is so friendly and Joseph is loving it. The work they do here is fabulous; I am still a bit nervous about the baboons, but the smaller Vervets are wonderful. We have done all sorts, from food prep to collecting oranges and sitting on top of them on the ride back. The project hosts are lovely warm people – I just wish we were staying for longer.”

Vicky Mchugh and son, 2 weeks August 2016

web“I can honestly say the experience had a profound effect on me, definitely inspiring me to pursue a career in animal welfare. The preparation provided through Oyster is as good as you can get, and I owe you a lot for arranging the whole experience for me – I think as a company you are brilliant. Thanks again for everything you’ve both done for me – I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it!”

Tamzin Gatehouse, 4 weeks August 2016

web“Being able to see the physicality of what a ‘love of animals’ really means has been encompassed in everything that the sanctuary is and stands for, and I feel as if their commitment to the animals, and the laborious nature of their care, parallels and exceeds what I wanted to achieve at the project. This is nothing like I have ever done before in my life, and will probably ever be able to recreate again. The sanctuary is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.”

Liberty Crawford, 3 weeks July 2016

image (1)“My highlights included: walking with the baboons from Monty enclosure up to either the dormitories or the river; preparing the food for all animals, including baboons, vervet monkeys, geese, donkeys and bush babies; having Kiwi the baby overnight and then, after morning chores, having her in my care for the day; learning how and why these mostly orphaned and abused monkeys arrive at the sanctuary in the first place, and how the main aim is (if possible) to release them back into the wild one day. People of all ages should do this if they truly care about the welfare and future of these primates that don’t have a voice! This is an amazing experience and I highly recommend it! The centre relies on volunteers for both financial reasons and the sheer volume of the work load. Our money as volunteers goes to buying food for all the animals, without this I’m sure the sanctuary would not be able to continue the great work that it does. And the work we do as volunteers is PRICELESS! And the personal rewards are life changing. And the bonus is that you are among other volunteers and you will make friends for life!”

Lorraine Punter, 8 weeks May 2016

web“The project was amazing – I met so many great people and still miss the baboons and vervet monkeys a lot. I’d love to go back one day. It was definitely the best experience I’ve had so far. Thanks again for everything.”

Rachel Ober, 2 weeks May 2016

web“I didn’t know how much I would get out of this experience. I have always loved monkeys but this just confirmed it even more. It was a fantastic hands-on experience and I’ve learned some new skills. It is so easy to fall in love with them all, which makes it less like ‘work’ and more like spending time and having fun. I loved the ‘family time’ at dinner. The sanctuary hosts would sit with us and tell us stories. They were great hosts! It is an incredible experience which is rare to find anywhere else, unless you have previous experience with animals. It is also a great way to meet new and interesting people from all over the world.”

Penelope Borgonon, 10 days March 2016

web 1“I’d rate our holiday as excellent, and would recommend it to anyone.”

The Jeanes family, 1 week February 2016

web 111“It’s been great – I really enjoyed my time at the sanctuary, it was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m in fact hoping to save up enough money to go back there for a year. I want to say a big thank you to you and the rest of the Oyster team for your help in preparing for this trip because I am ever so glad that I went.”

Kojo Acquaah-Harrison, 6 weeks March 2016

web“I learnt so much from my trip and enjoyed (almost) every moment of the volunteering experience. It was way more hands on than I expected, which was fantastic. It is an excellent place to learn about not only the primates, but also about oneself. By participating wholeheartedly in all the activities, I was able to determine new boundaries and limits for myself and see what sort of a person I could be when pushed out of my comfort zone. It is also an incredible project to really get involved in – the rehabilitation of the primates, and an excellent way to work in a very hands-on manner with the animals.”

Hanna Lake, 12 weeks January 2016


“The sanctuary was amazing and the work that they do out there is totally overwhelming. I really loved my time there and definitely want to go again. I am certainly missing the monkeys and all the animals. It truly was the most amazing experience that I will never forget. The sanctuary hosts are remarkable people, and I admire their ethics and total devotion to the project – I just wish I could do more to help. I am going to be looking into a career with the rehabilitation of animals or helping animals in some way. I’ve always loved animals, especially monkeys, and this has certainly spurred me on to do that.”

Jaz Harrison, 3 weeks March 2016

Sharing dinnerI loved almost every second! Making amazing friends, feeling completely immersed in the lifestyle and looking after such an incredible species hands-on. Being outside all day in the sun and being busy all the time. It’s so much fun! I learnt so much about myself and others, including about the native culture and other volunteers’ cultures. Thank you for helping me organise the experience of a lifetime!

Emily Rees, 2 weeks February 2016

Dom Tutino

“I had very high expectations for the trip but it exceeded all of them in every way; from the centre I visited, to the volunteers I worked with, every day was educational and, more importantly, fun. I felt like I was making a difference every single day. The highlights for me were the interactions with the animals; from taking baboons to the pool, to feeding the baby vervets and baboons. Having some one-on-one time, and developing bonds with the animals and seeing how they became more comfortable with you everyday, was priceless.”

Dominic Tutino, 4 weeks January 2016

12472261_10156452590710243_6691335544439675182_n“The people here are amazing and the babies are super cute. We have around 25 babies at the moment which is just so cool! It’s very hard to tell them apart though – I think I can recognise about a third of them so far!”

Hannah Lake, 12 weeks January 2016

web“This was the best experience of my life to date. Getting up close and personal to the monkeys made the daily graft (work) worth it. I loved it.

“I absolutely loved my time looking after the monkeys and getting stuck into the work. I really enjoyed my time there – it was hard work and hot but it’s exactly what I was expecting. The sanctuary hosts were amazing, and I am truly inspired by their dedication.”

Joanne Cornfield, 2 weeks November 2015

Amelia Stubbs“The management were amazing, very welcoming and friendly. I loved the hands on experience, learning new skills and knowledge, and sighting some South African animals on Safari.”


Amelia Stubbs, 2 weeks September 2015

Primate volunteering“The trip was amazing – I really enjoyed both working with the baboons and spending time with the other volunteers, and I was really sad to leave at the end. I am already missing life on the project a lot, and also missing the other volunteers who I feel I got to know really well over the three weeks. Thanks a lot for helping me to choose and get ready for the project, it was an incredible experience.”

Miles Fryer, 3 weeks September 2015

Monkey volunteer“My time in South Africa was absolutely amazing and I can’t believe it’s all over! I really miss the monkeys and baboons… and the other volunteers obviously. It was an incredible experience, I learnt so much and have some great memories.”

Lizy Gill, 4 weeks September 2015

Volunteering with monkeys“Overall, it was a very good experience for me, especially for my personal development. It was indeed very hands-on, which made it so much more valuable. There were very many positive moments, meeting very nice people, including the sanctuary hosts, going to Kruger park, enjoying the Saturday night braai’s, going to town with the truck…Thank you very much for your personal support!”

Cynthia Senden, 3 weeks August 2015

Catherine Fleming“I met a lot of amazing new people, and learned about different cultures. I really helped to do something good. Making a strong bond with one specific baboon was my number one highlight. It’s great fun and very rewarding – enjoy every moment and don’t skip out on any opportunities you have. Thank you very much, I couldn’t have done it without Oyster.”

Catherine Fleming, 6 weeks August 2015

Amelia St-John Wallis“We really had an amazing experience. It was so well organised and everyone we met there was so lovely and down to earth. Thank you for organising everything!”

Amelia St-John Wallis, 2 weeks August 2015

Monkey rehabilitation“I’m having a great time! I have met lots of new people and, of course, the monkeys are lovely. I personally love the baby vervets, and love sitting in their enclosure with them. The baboons are great too – there’s a baby baboon here at the moment called Blossom and he’s so cute! It is such a lovely place, and the sanctuary hosts are amazing people who are so caring and make you feel very welcome. I can’t believe how quickly these 2 weeks have gone!”

Amelia Stubbs, 2 weeks August 2015

Natasha Stevens“It was an incredible experience and I have gained so much from it, including meeting new people and being able to work with these amazing animals.”

Natasha Stevens, 2 weeks August 2015

Monkey in SA

“I loved spending time with the monkeys and meeting lots of amazing people from around the world. It is a great way to meet new people and learn about other parts of the world whilst working for a worthwhile cause with a definite cute factor.”

Rachel Rose, 2 weeks July 2015

Volunteering in South Africa“I loved every aspect, from the hard work to the people, not to mention the animals. Caring for the baboons and being part of the team to look after them was brilliant. Everyone made an important contribution to the project.”

Hannah Parry-Ridout, 2 weeks July 2015

Volunteering with monkeys“I’m having a really good time. The place is lovely, the sanctuary hosts are very kind and welcoming, and I am leaving on Monday after a wonderful month in South Africa. Thanks for all your help.”

Katie Mckay, 4 weeks July 2015

Monkey rehabilitation“I can honestly say it was the best experience of my life, and I was so sad to leave! It was so much better than I could have ever imagined. I have been missing the monkeys ever since I left them – I bonded really really close with one of the baby baboons and I actually feel a bit guilty for leaving him haha. I have so many good photos – I just keep looking at them everyday. I’m currently just working at the moment and trying to save some money, and hoping the blues wear off!”

Luke Birch, 4 weeks July 2015

Volunteer with monkeys“South Africa was beautiful. I honestly had the best two weeks of my life. Now I’m back, I’ve asked for a career break from work for a year so I can travel more and volunteer again on this project. Thanks for the opportunity! Really the best time.”

Tom Peace, 2 weeks July 2015

Monkey rehabilitation volunteering“After my last South Africa trip through Oyster my expectations were really high, but this project definitely lived up to it! It was such an incredible experience interacting with the monkeys daily, especially when they began to recognise you and become more playful! I really didn’t want to leave!

I’m missing the monkeys loads. While I was out there a baby samango was brought in. I was with her a lot as she didn’t react well to the other monkeys, so I would feed her and sit with her in the afternoons. It was sad to leave her behind! It feels strange to be back at home, and the 4 weeks flew by so quickly. It was also my birthday while I out there, and the sanctuary hosts brought me a cake and put balloons and banners up which was really nice!

Thank you to you and oyster for organising this trip for me – it was amazing and I really hope I can go back in the future!”

Hannah Wilson, 4 weeks June 2015

Volunteer with monkeys“It was amazing thank you! I’m so glad I did it and yes I miss them all so much, I really want to go back again next year!”

Holly Miles, 3 weeks June 2015

Volunteering“We had a wonderful time in South Africa and we are now definitely missing the overall team and lovely monkeys out there! We also had the chance to visit Kruger Park, and it was absolutely fantastic to watch the beautiful wildlife living in the park!”

Sohely Rakotoharisoa, 2 weeks April 2015

Volunteer in South Africa“I had a great time in South Africa. It was amazing working with the monkeys. If you love animals you’ll love this volunteer work. You can’t help but fall in love with them. Amazing work. Well done!”

Laura Lockhard, 1 week March 2015

Emma Pound - volunteering with monkeys“Getting to handle monkeys and really see them and learn about them, meeting new people and learning about their background were the real highlights of this trip. People should do it because it opens your mind to other people’s lives and the way the world works, and how far people will go to save animals and their homes. Thank you so much for everything; I wouldn’t have done that trip if I was slightly worried, but I had no concerns at all as Anne was there whenever I needed to ask a question or just talk about the trip.”

Emma Pound, 4 weeks March 2015

Monkey rehabilitation“Thanks a lot for helping me to arrange this! I enjoy my holidays as a volunteer at the monkey centre.”

Alex Willem, 4 weeks March 2015

Monkey volunteering“South Africa was just amazing! I absolutely miss the life there, the monkeys and the people. The sanctuary hosts are two incredible people; thanks to them we were all feeling at home and got a 2nd family. I wish I could have stayed longer – it was really hard to say goodbye. I learnt so much and am really proud to have lived this experience.”

Yasmine Zarouali, 2 weeks March 2015

Monkey rehabilitation volunteering“I loved the monkeys and baboons, and I like the way the facility is run. Swimming with baboons, having time to bond with the monkeys and baboons, and preparing food and bottles for them was just great. Go into it with an open mind!”

Sara Herscher, 2 weeks February 2015

Monkey volunteering“We had a really rewarding time and loved being with the monkeys. We met some fantastic people, both volunteers like us and workers out there – everyone made us feel very welcome. We are definitely missing some of our special little monkey friends.”

Louise Chapman, 2 weeks January 2015

Monkey rehabilitation volunteering“I really enjoyed my time in South Africa – it’s an amazing place and the centre we were working at is so interesting and the people were really friendly! I am missing the monkeys so much already!! It feels weird walking around without 2 little baby baboons attached to my leg! Just want to say thank you so much for all your help with booking this trip and for being really easy to talk to about the smallest little things. It felt nice to know you were there if we needed you. I really enjoyed booking through Oyster and I’m sure I will do again in the (hopefully) near future!”

Alice Wills, 2 weeks January 2015

Monkey rehabilitation“My trip was amazing. It’s possibly the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m definitely missing the monkeys. I knew it was going to be hands on, but I didn’t know the extent, and I really couldn’t have hoped for a better experience. All the people I met were great, the first couple of days are overwhelming, but once I got past that, I really felt comfortable there and had such a great time.”

Katie Rees, 2 weeks December 2014

South Africa volunteering“It’s good to have different experiences in life. The staff were very helpful, nothing was too much trouble for them. Expect to do some very dirty work, and to get very messy. Well worth volunteering, no matter what age you are!”

Julie Fay, 4 weeks November 2014

Monkey volunteering“I’m already missing the monkeys! It’s such a special place – it really does feel like home after a while and I could have stayed much longer! I really enjoyed helping the team and being a part of such a great group of volunteers.”

Chris Harvey, 3 weeks November 2014

Monkey conservation“My time in South Africa was amazing! Best experience ever and I’m missing the monkeys like crazy haha. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Other people should do this because it will not be something that they will regret. The people that own the sanctuary couldn’t be any more welcoming. Being with the monkeys is just amazing. Waking up everyday to spend time with them and knowing that you’re helping a little bit each day in their rehabilitation is amazing! Also the amount I learnt in such a short time is incredible – I can’t imagine the things I would have learnt if I had been there longer (I wish I had stayed longer!)”

Joanne Maguire, 4 weeks October 2014

Monkey volunteering“My time in South Africa was amazing and I am definitely missing the monkeys. The two main highlights for me were looking after the baby baboons and going to Kruger National Park. Pool time with the baboons is also very fun. If you enjoy working with animals, and love the thought of having monkeys climbing all over you, then you would definitely enjoy this project. I had a brilliant time working with the monkeys and I met some wonderful people.”

Ruth Beckwith, 4 weeks October 2014

Gap year volunteering“The whole trip was amazing. We didn’t want to leave. We met some amazing people and some even more amazing monkeys! I miss them so much… I’m definitely going back there one day!! Thank you so much.”

Jess Sykes, 2 weeks September 2014

Monkey volunteering“I’m Back in the UK after almost 6 weeks in Africa. The highlight was definitely working with baboons and monkeys!”

Harry Firth, 2 weeks August 2014

Monkey volunteering“We had the most amazing experience in South Africa – the centre was incredible and we had so much fun there. The monkeys and baboons were so adorable and we met some great people. We wished we could have stayed for longer, but we had already booked the Baz bus for afterwards, and we still had such a good trip, but this was definitely the highlight! We would love to go back sometime in the future! Thank you very much for all your help for preparing us before we went, we really appreciate it!”

Lizzy Parfitt, 2 weeks August 2014

Monkey rehabilitation in South Africa“Thank you so much for helping me with my trip! I had such an amazing time and met such amazing people! Thank you for everything! I will never forget my time in South Africa, I can’t believe it is over!”

Rose Kirtley, 2 weeks August 2014

Volunteering with monkeys in South Africa“I had an absolutely amazing time!! Yes, deffo missing the monkeys. Especially the little 2 week old ones that arrived while I was there! I truly had an amazing experience and thanks for all your help.

Amanda Lister, 2 weeks August 2014

Monkey rehabilitation volunteering“I had the most amazing time. The trip suited me down to the ground and I don’t think I’ve known 3 weeks pass so fast. I love the concept of a working holiday as sitting on a beach has never been my thing. I’ll definitely do more volunteering. I met some extremely special people of all ages, and enjoyed the fact it didn’t matter who we were, where we came from or how old we were, we were all there to do an important job. Thanks so much to Oyster for making it such an easy process.”

Sara Lee, 3 weeks July 2014

Monkey rehabilitation volunteering in South Africa“I am so glad to be home after a couple months away, but I miss Africa already. It was a really amazing experience – I learnt a lot about myself. I plan now to focus on my last year of high school and hopefully to study veterinary medicine in college soon 🙂 Thank you!”

Jasmine Hanafin, 2 weeks July 2014

Volunteering with baboons“South Africa was incredible, thank you. Yes we’re absolutely missing the monkeys! We took the trip to Kruger national park and were exceptionally lucky with the things we saw – tons of elephants, giraffes, buffalo, warthog, zebras, all kinds of colourful birds, a cheetah, and two male lions right by the road side. We were also lucky to have been there around the time of the release of a troop of vervets – Holly and I were part of the team taken to the release site to make the final arrangements, and they have now taken the troop out!”

Zoe Coxon, 2 weeks July 2014

Monkey rehabilitation “The whole experience was just incredible – everyone there was so friendly, and I learnt so much about monkeys and South Africa’s laws. I will definitely be looking into doing more volunteer work with animals in the future. Every day we took the baby baboons down to the pool to play for an hour or so, it was just a once in a life time experience to have baboons coming up to you for a hug and a play. Not only is it a fantastic experience, but it’s great value for money, and you are getting a trip where you come away feeling a sense of achievement, as you have made a huge difference to the centre, which would struggle to run without the volunteers.”

Holly Coxon, 2 weeks July 2014

South Africa volunteering“I’m missing it everyday! The tears when I left were not expected, but it’s a family out there. I loved every second of the experience.”

Tammy Giddings, 2 weeks July 2014

Monkey rehabilitation“You really need to spend a month there to get the most out of it. Get excited to spend time with a whole variety of different people because it’s so much fun 😀 Everything was a lot more relaxed and fun than I was expecting. Highlights included getting to spend time with the baboons by the pool, playing games with the other volunteers at the weekend and going out to the pub on Friday nights 🙂 Wish I’d stayed longer!”

Megan Cliffe, 2 weeks July 2014

Volunteering with monkeys“This was simply life changing. You feel you can make a real difference. Any time with the animals was just incredible.”

Becky Watts, 3 weeks July 2014

Monkey rehabilitation“Our time was challenging and hard work, but we learnt a lot about the monkeys AND about ourselves and it’s been an enriching experience. We met some great new friends and have some amazing photos. Thank you!”

Angela and Phil Crossland, 2 weeks July 2014

Volunteer with monkeys“Thank you for all of your help getting us out there! I would love to return… and am hoping to go to Thailand next year!”

Rebecca Coatesworth, 4 weeks June 2014

Oyster reviews“The education I received on the monkeys was beyond what I expected, and the complete joy and bond I had towards these little animals were better than anything! Highlights included bottle feeding the babies throughout the day, taking the baboons to the pool for an hour each day and getting to watch them interact, getting to sit and play in the baby cages, visiting the release site where the Vervet group would be released, being able to sit and watch the main Baboon camp and see the adults interact and go about their daily lives, and the social evenings with the other volunteers.”

Charlotte Gannon, 8 weeks May 2014

Volunteering with monkeys“An amazing opportunity to be around such fascinating monkeys and really spend time with them and interact with them. I came back so much happier and stronger, and I will go back. I can’t believe how rewarding the release was – I did this in my last week and it was such an emotional and amazing time to be part of actually releasing these wild animals back in to their natural habitat, where they belong.”

Cheryl Aston, 6 weeks May 2014

Monkey conservation south africa“I have had a great time – even better than I expected! The project itself is very worthwhile and we had so much hands-on experience. I enjoyed meeting a variety of different people from different countries and cultures. The set up there is very welcoming and everyone works as a team. Thank you so much for all your help, it really was a fabulous trip.”

Harriet Andrews, 6 weeks, May 2014

Monkey conservation South Africa“I really enjoyed it out there – probably one of the best, if not the best, month of my life. I’ve got some really great memories and some really good friends out of it. I’m missing the monkeys and the lifestyle already. It was a really good experience that I’m never going to forget.”

Liam Baldieri, 4 weeks, April 2014

Animal welfare in south africa“I am having a great time and have extended until beginning of June. I still haven’t been chosen by a baboon yet though which is annoying!”

Tory Worthington, April 2014

Animal welfare in south africa“I really enjoyed the experience and am already trying to plan a date for when I can go back. The people were all really nice and accommodating, and I miss them and the volunteers more than the monkeys.”

Laurence Walker, 2 weeks, March 2014

volunteer with monkeys“I had an absolutely amazing experience in South Africa and thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with the monkeys. I soon learned the routine, fitted in and loved every moment. I feel I grew as an individual, gained life experience and had the most incredible month of my life.Thank you very much for making this experience possible, it is certainly a trip I will never forget and has gave me many amazing memories.”

Charlotte Pond, 4 weeks, August 2013


Oyster reviews: volunteer with monkeys in South Africa“It was an incredible experience! Having contact with primates every day, and going to Kruger National Park for three days, were definite highlights.”

Dom Sutton, 3 weeks August 2013

Eleanor and Monkey“South Africa was incredible. Such an experience. Thanks for helping me sort it all out. The monkeys were so fun to work with and it’s so hands on that you actually get to play with them and even take them to shower with you. I had a really good time and got to see a bit of the country as well.”

Eleanor Buchanan, 2 weeks August 2013

Volunteer with baboons in South Africa“The 3 weeks with the monkeys were amazing – I have never had such a brilliant and hands on time with animals before in my life. The monkeys were beautiful – I totally fell in love with the baboons, as well as with a 1 month old baby Samango monkey who arrived 3 days before my departure. I am missing the monkeys so much now! It was an experience of a lifetime and I am so glad to have done it!”

Lee Quek, 3 weeks February 2013

“If you care about animals, and are prepared to work hard but also to join in and be sociable with other volunteers (there’s a lovely atmosphere there), then it’s an amazing opportunity.”

Charlotte Feld, 2 weeks March 2012

Oyster volunteer with baboons in South Africa“I am so glad that I got a chance to spend time with the baboons, they are incredible; how can you not fall in love with each and every one of them, even Yopi who has a habit of using your hair as a bungee jump! The reps were brilliant and very knowledgeable. One afternoon we got to see a mother and baby hippo having a swim – it was an awesome experience. Thanks again for all your help – best experience ever.”

Sarah Smith, 2 weeks November 2011

Oyster volunteer receiving love from a baboon“The placement was fantastic. I was able to work with and learn about primates, which was exactly what I expected. I enjoyed it immensely and value the experience. Go with an open mind, prepared to enjoy yourself. Don’t take clothes you care about too much, and remember that monkeys like to play with jewellery, so be careful!”

Lucrezia Slinn, 2 weeks September 2011

“The pOyster volunteer feeding a baby baboonroject more than lived up to my expectations. It really is quite surreal to go for a walk with 5 baboons, 2 vervets and 5 or 6 dogs, but that was my daily experience there. Being able to get so close to the monkeys and baboons was very special – they were real characters and it’s great to know that one day they will be released as part of a large troop.”

Catherine Carey, 6 weeks September 2011

For more information on this great project, see our baboon and monkey rehabilitation webpage.


6 Responses to “Oyster Reviews: Volunteer with monkeys South Africa”

  1. anne franklin

    can a family of four volunteer, my children are 16 and 11

    • Anne Smellie

      Hello Anne, yes of course you can. I shall send you an email with some details now!

  2. Maria Khan

    I would love to come do this after I’ve saved enough money
    (Proabably during my 1st year of university as a treat) and whilst I would love to volunteer with all the monkeys, I feel like it would be a special treat to cuddle a baby monkey/baboon.
    Is there a certain baby season/ month that would be a great time to visit?
    And would love he summer holidays (july to mid September) be a good time to see lots of ages/ types of monkeys?
    Also what’s your policy on taking photos with the monkeys?

    Thanks and sorry for all the questions.

    • Anne Smellie

      Hi Maria, thanks for your message. It is great to hear that you are keen to do something like this 🙂

      Baboons are born throughout the year, so there are always baby baboons coming in. Whilst the birthing season for monkeys is November – February, this obviously doesn’t stop them being tiny babies for at least another 6 months so you will always have baby monkeys around too, just in various stages of baby-hood. Volunteers work closely and hands-on with the monkeys until they are about a year old, so you will be hands on with all of them until about that age.

      June- September is a fine time to go there and there is always lots to do with the monkeys and baboons! As you can see from all of our pictures, photos with monkeys are almost mandatory 🙂

      I hope that helps!


  3. Alice

    Hi, I’m hoping to studying vet med at uni and so was wondering how often volunteers assist with veterinary procedures

    • Anne Smellie

      Hi Alice, thank you for your message. Unfortunately that question is not an easy one to answer, as it really depends on the medical needs of the primates at any one time, and how long you would choose to stay for. I wouldn’t go with the idea in mind that you would be taking part in any veterinary procedures, but if they come up, then you could certainly participate. With over 400 primates, that does happen quite a lot. This project is fantastic to use for veterinary experience as it is so hands-on, and many people have used it for work experience before.


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