Volunteer With Monkeys On A Unique Family Vacation In South Africa

Volunteering at Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Amy, a baby baboon
The world offers many excellent choices for a fun family vacation in exotic climes with beaches, water parks and more. But how about having a really great time, while volunteering to work with baby animals? The Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa specializes in the rehabilitation of five primate species. Here, they care for chacma baboons, vervet monkeys, samango monkeys, lesser bushbabies and the thick-tailed bushbaby.

Once the orphans are grown, they are then reintroduced into their natural native habitats. This is a truly rewarding experience for parents and children alike.

Volunteering at Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Volunteering at Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Baby monkey
While visiting South Africa, you can truly take the whole family off the beaten track, heading to a primate rehabilitation center. Parents and children alike can work hands-on with baby monkeys and baboons, preparing them for life in the wild. Set in the African bush, this is a life-changing and rewarding experience for everyone.

Volunteering at Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Baby baboon
The rehabilitation center hosts around 400 rescued monkeys and baboons, preparing to be released into the wild. As volunteers, each day you and the family will help prepare food for the cute, hungry primates. You will then have the fun of feeding the cheeky monkeys before cleaning out their enclosures. This includes bottle-feeding the very young monkeys and cuddling them as they fall asleep.

Volunteering at Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Baby monkey
Meanwhile, you can take the baby and juvenile primates to the pool and act as a lifeguard, watching over them as they learn about life in the bush. Moreover, the whole family will work with the primates to prepare them for life as part of a troop.

Best time to volunteer with monkeys

The Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre needs volunteers all year round, as there is always plenty of work to be done. However, the busiest season for babies is from November through February. During this time, you can act almost like a surrogate parent to a cute baby monkey. Meanwhile, baboons are born throughout the year, so you can volunteer pretty much any time you wish.

Volunteering at the center has a wonderful family feel, with all volunteers sharing their meals together. In the evening, volunteers relax on the terrace, usually with a number of monkeys, cats, dogs and other rescued creatures surrounding them.

~Volunteers at Riverside Wildlife Centre, South Africa
Volunteers at Riverside Wildlife Centre
The center has an outdoor swimming pool and plenty of spots to relax with a book. Meanwhile, the center is convenient to Kruger National Park, where you can go on a fun safari after your volunteering experience. In fact, many families have spent two weeks of their vacation volunteering at the center before heading off on safari in the park.


Cooling down with a #swim #baboonwalk #primatesoftiktok #baboon #wildliferehabilitation #nopets #wildlifelover

♬ Swim – Chase Atlantic

Volunteering with the baby monkeys and baboons is a truly rewarding experience for adults and children alike. It helps you understand a different culture and experience bush life in South Africa. Find out more about Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on their official website.

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Anne Sewell

Freelance writer and travel writer who has lived in Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa, now living happily on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain.

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