The following volunteering opportunities are available at Monkeyland-KZN.
All volunteers are expected to help in the general running of the sanctuary. We welcome enthusiastic, hard working volunteers who are willing to get involved in a range of activities. These may include:
- Welcoming visitors to the sanctuary;
- Cleaning and stocking feeding stations around the Monkeyland-KZN forest;
- Maintaining the forest and surrounding areas, keeping them clear of litter;
- Planting indigenous trees and shrubs at the reception site and/or forest;
- Removing alien vegetation in the forest;
- Assisting with marketing;
- Explaining sanctuary rules to visitors;
- Supervising media visits;
- Helping with food preparation in the monkey kitchen;
- Helping with general maintenance, cleaning walkways and bridges;
- Helping out in the restaurant and/or souvenir shop;
- Assisting visitors at the environmental theatre.
In addition to the general duties, volunteers are welcome to train to be a Sanctuary Guide. We also welcome volunteers with specialist skills and experience who can lead or become involved in a number of different projects or help us with those wish list items that we never quite make it to. This includes, in particular, photography and film-making, those with experience in fundraising or applying for grants, IT specialists and web designers, social media experts, people with an interest or skills in journalism, marketing or public relations and people with trade experience, whether it be electrics, plumbing, carpentry etc., there's always lots ot do to maintain our buildings and forest.
General qualifications and/or experience needed:
No specific qualifications are required to volunteer at our sanctuary. The only requirements are that you can speak English, have a genuine interest in primates and other wildlife and are willing to get involved.
If you are currently studying a related discipline or have recently graduated and are looking for a more vocational internship, please contact Global Work Experience to discuss internship opportunities at Monkeyland-KZN.
When you volunteer at Monkeyland-KZN, you pay only for your accommodation package. You can find more information about what's included on our Volunteer Accommodation page.
Monkeyland-KZN funds itself through revenues from visitors who take educational walking tours in our forest, which is home to a variety of primate species who roam freely through our 23-hectare forest sanctuary.
The tours are for around one hour (usually a little more as none of us are in a hurry to leave the forest) and leave our visitors with general primate knowledge, information about each of the primate species in our sanctuary and an understanding that primates do not make good pets but are happier in the trees, forests and wild habitats with peers of their own species. We also teach visitors about the idigenous flora and fauna of the forest.
Tours are primarily conducted in English although if you are not a native English speaker you may also be asked to conduct tours in your own language if we have overseas visitors.
Volunteers wanting to work as Sanctuary Guides must stay for a minimum of 4 weeks to ensure there is enough time for them to be fully trained.
Monkeyland-KZN is still a relatively new sanctuary and therefore we are keen to compile a stock of photographs and video footage of our exotic primates and the indigenous flora and fauna that occur naturally in the forest sanctuary. We need a large stock of media to use for brochures, social media posts, youtube, shutterstock and to share with media organisations, tours operators etc. Volunteers would need to bring their own photographic/filming equipment and laptop as we don't have such equipment at the sanctuary.
In addition to needing to build our stock of photographs and video footage and share it through the many available platforms, there are always specific photographic/filming projects on our wish list. These projects change all the time but could include:
- photographing particular tours of the forest, e.g. school groups;
- photographing and/or filiming specific primates or events for our websites, Facebook pages, FlickR accounts, YouTube etc;
- photographing and documenting indigenous flora and fauna so our sanctuary guides can continue to expand their knowledge of the forest;
- documenting volunteers at work and/or off work, exploring KwaZulu-Natal province; and
- producing films for marketing purposes.
The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA) is the sole custodian of all the primates at Monkeyland-KZN as well as all of the animals at our sister sanctuaries in Plettenberg Bay.
SAASA is constituted under Section 21 of the Companies Act as a non-profit organisation and actively works towards providing primates and other rescued animals with a better and more natural life.
Some of SAASA's current and ongoing projects include:
- our Special Monkey Home in Plettenberg Bay which is for primates who are disabled, orphaned, elderly or blind and are unable to live happily in the Monkeyland forest. We also welcome disabled primates from other locations in South Africa and countries abroad to come and live out their lives with us;
- the relocation of primates from various locations around the world to our newest sanctuary, Monkeyland-KZN, is another ongoing and costly activity;
- our African Grey project where we are in the process of building a specific aviary for the hundreds of African Greys that need a safe, forever home, either because they have been rescued from the trade or because they have been left behind as they have outlived their human owners;
- our project to purchase the forest that is the current site of Monkeyland so that all of our current and future primates are guaranteed a safe home and the land cannot be sold.
There is much ongoing and new work to be done so that we can continue to provide a safe forever home for all of the animals in our care and those still to find their way to us. However, all of this costs an awful lot of money. We don't currently have anybody within SAASA with the skills and experience of fundraising or grant proposal writing which is needed to generate the necessary funding.
The ongoing development and enhancement of our websites, along with troubleshooting the odd technical issue means there's always areas we could use technical experitise that we don't have in-house. If this is you and you are happy to share your knowledge but also have the opportunity to help out on other outdoor projects, this could be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you.
Currently our Social Media Manager in Plettenberg Bay handles most of our group's website updates and our Marketing Manager in Plettenberg Bay handles the SAASA page. Together with our Monkeyland-KZN Volunteer Coordinator, they handle the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts but a bit of extra help would be more than welcome.
We also always appreciate help with other media and social networks, such as TripAdvisor, MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia, Wikitravel, Blogs, LinkedIn, Shutterstock etc.
Monkeyland-KZN, like all of our sanctuaries, relies on visitor interest to fund itself. Therefore, public relations and marketing are extremely important for raising awareness of our projects. Stories can be written about our primates from a myriad of different angles for a huge variety of readerships and publications.
This kind of work would be ideal for a wildlife and/or travel journalist or blogger who would like to gain experience in writing and being published in different sorts of publications, writing press releases (e.g. when new primates arrive at the sanctuary or are released into the forest), encouraging professional journalists to write about us, taking journalists on special tours of the sanctuary etc.
At Monkeyland-KZN, we try hard to balance out entertainment and education to reach as many people as possible in our quest to educate the general public about the plight of primates and other wildlife.
Volunteer carpenters, gardeners, electricians, plumbers, painters etc. are always welcome as there's always lots to do at the reception site, the forest and even the volunteer house.
Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, for more information or to check availability.
Or simply download and complete the application form below and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.