Become a Guardian of the Wild at this primate rehabilitation centre in South Africa! Here, your compassionate heart and helping hands will play a crucial role in the journey of orphaned baboons, giving them a second chance at a life in the wild. Imagine yourself immersed in the heart of a dedicated team, caring for these precious primates who have faced the challenges of encounters with humans. From car accidents to hunting, each rescued baby primate arrives at the centre seeking solace and care.

Since the early 2000s, a dedicated team of animal welfare experts has spearheaded this noble cause. Their commitment extends beyond the immediate care of baboons, reaching into the realms of education for both locals and volunteers. This initiative strives to shed light on the critical need for solutions to wildlife-human conflicts—a predicament echoing across the globe. By fostering understanding, the centre paves the way for harmonious coexistence, where people and primates share the landscape, with locals embracing the responsibility to safeguard their wildlife for generations to come.

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Within this sanctuary, specialized facilities weave a tapestry of hope for these cheeky companions:

  • Semi-Wild Havens: Four semi-wild enclosures provide a transitional haven for baboons as they journey towards rehabilitation and eventual release.
  • Knowledge Oasis: An environmental education centre and an outdoor classroom serve as hubs for enlightenment, fostering a deeper connection between humans and the natural world.
  • Safe Havens for the Vulnerable: Quarantine facilities and an orphan quarantine nursery offer a nurturing space for the most delicate members of the baboon family.
  • Bonds Beyond Boundaries: Bonding enclosures create a supportive environment for the delicate process of forming connections between baboons and their surrogate caregivers.
  • Healing Hub: The veterinary clinic stands as a beacon of healing, ensuring the well-being of each baboon under the watchful eyes of skilled professionals.

As you immerse yourself in this life-changing experience, seize the opportunity to explore the renowned Kruger National Park. A seamless one-day, two-night Kruger Safari awaits, complete with transfers, delectable cuisine, and luxurious accommodations. Enrich your journey with the sights and sounds of the wild, creating memories that echo the vibrant spirit of this unique baboon rehabilitation centre.

Internship Role

As a guardian, your responsibilities will be diverse and impactful:

  • Milk Kitchen Marvels: Engage in daily food prepping shifts in the milk kitchen, ensuring the little ones receive the nourishment they need for growth.
  • Troop Enrichment Adventures: Participate in ‘Troop cleans,’ maintaining enclosures by adding new enrichments, hay, and ensuring a clean and safe environment for the primates.
  • Feeding Frenzy: Extend your care beyond baboons by feeding other centre inhabitants, including rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, snakes, and lizards.
  • Enriching Moments: Craft enrichments and witness the joy as baboons interact with these stimulating additions to their environment.
  • Gentle Grooming Sessions: Enjoy spending time grooming older baboons who, due to various reasons, cannot be released, forming bonds that transcend words.
  • Nursery Nurture: Care for nursery orphans in the quarantine, providing the love and attention crucial for their early development (available when there are babies in care)
  • Bonding Facilitation: Assist in the bonding process of infants with adult baboon surrogates, ensuring a seamless transition for these little ones.
  • Observation Odyssey: Join staff in monitoring baboon behaviour, social structures, and troop dynamics, gaining valuable insights into their fascinating world.
  • Wilderness Adventures: Explore the Big 5 reserve on game drives, relishing sundowners at the Picnic Spot and river trips for wildlife spotting
  • Veterinary Vigilance: Observe and assist in the veterinary clinic, contributing to the health and well-being of the baboon residents.
  • Rehabilitation in Motion: Witness the transformation of these once-vulnerable babies into independent, thriving primates. The rehabilitation process involves meticulous care, integration with surrogate families, and the gradual formation of troops. After a dedicated rehabilitation journey, these troops are released into the wild, ready to embrace their newfound freedom.

Embark on this extraordinary adventure, where your dedication becomes the guiding force behind the wild resurgence of these remarkable beings. Join the primate rehabilitation centre and be a Guardian of the Wild – making a lasting impact, one baboon at a time.

Quick Facts

  • 2 – 12 weeks
  • Fantastic 1 day 2 night Kruger Safari available
  • Available starting most Mondays throughout the year
  • 17+ years for solo travellers
  • Prices start from £1282 for two weeks including accommodation, food and transfers to the site

Testimonial – Read more here

“As soon as I arrived I had a brief but in depth tour of the phase 1 area by Jo who was super friendly and smiley. Everyone there was super nice so you’ll fit in easily and there’s always enough people to be with or not if you like to be alone! After lunch I had 2 nursery hours, meeting the older baboon called Patats. There were two babies there during the days I volunteered.  Stella will start bonding soon so she’s with a surrogate mother to help encourage the baboons into their natural state early on. They have a designated area for the babies and pair human mums to sleep with and take care of them but everyone spends time with them in the nursery area during the day. The most amazing part is that it is in Kruger National park with wild animals all around! We saw elephants, wild bore and baby gazelles in just the two days I was there. I felt very safe and looked after at this centre” – Mia 4 weeks.

Apply – find out more here