International Primate Rescue (Long-term volunteer)

International Primate Rescue (Long-term volunteer)

What is: International Primate Rescue (Long-term volunteer)

International Primate Rescue was founded in March 1996 in Polokwane, South Africa by Sue Mousley. The sanctuary, received its first monkey, an eight-month old Common Marmoset named "Cheeky", in April 1996. After a report on national TV (Carte Blanche) in South Africa, the sanctuary was inundated with requests to receive problem monkeys. In 1998, the sanctuary was offered a very disturbed Bolivian Squirrel monkey, and 15 month old Bobby became the first primate other than a Marmoset to be cared for at International Primate Rescue. By September 2001 Sue and the primates had to relocate to a larger property in order to accommodate the growing numbers of primates in need. A Patas monkey, Iris became the first international rescue case and was flown from Israel to the sanctuary in South Africa in February 2002. The rescue was widely reported, and IPR has since received numerous requests to assist in international rescues. In recent years we have received primates in need from as far afield as Mali, Germany, Hungary, France and Israel. International Primate Rescue currently cares for over 90 exotic primates, consisting of Marmosets, Squirrel Monkeys, Capuchins, Macaques, a Mona Monkey, a Grey Mouse Lemur, Tamarins, Owl Monkeys and a Ring Tailed Lemur. Most of our primates are ex-pets, but we also care for ex-lab and ex-zoo primates. Our non-primate animals include a Fennec Fox, Skinny Pigs and Sugar Gliders. Many of our monkeys are hand reared ex-pets who arrive with behavioural problems and require rehabilitation from psychological disorders. As none of our primates are indigenous to South Africa and cannot be returned to the wild our time and focus is aimed at ensuring all enclosures are as suitable and comfortable for each individual as possible, and that they receive the care and attention they seek to ensure a good quality of life. The demand for this service is growing relentlessly; we receive a constant stream of requests to rescue homeless primates inSouth Africa and abroad. Through this, the sanctuary is expanding on a daily basis in order to keep up with the demand. International Primate Rescue is not open to the public and does not engage in any kind of animal trade. All primates received by the sanctuary are considered permanent




💵 From 0 USD/week

Staying time

⏳ From 52 weeks to 52 weeks

Language spoken

🇬🇧 English

Accommodation provided

🏡 Yes

Food provided

🥗 No


🇿🇦 South Africa


🌍 Africa

Type of habitat

🌱 Grassland


Typical day at the center

Typical day You will be responsible for all aspects of primate care as outlined below: • Food preparation and feeding • Distributing supplements, primate pellets and conducting health checks on the primates • Cleaning and maintaining the enclosures • Enrichment • Observations and monitoring • Recording behaviours and concerns in the daily observation book


On a weekly basis, tasks are appointed on a rota system. Volunteers usually get two days off per week. If we are short staffed, this may be reduced to one day a week. Your working day will usually be from 8:30 to 17:00 with a 2 hour lunch break. However, this is dependant on which duties are allocated to you on the rota. Morning feed in mid summer begins at 4am, with bowl collection at 7pm. For this reason, there are no set working hours for long term volunteers.

The volunteers in this animal rescue center generally get 2 day(s) off a week. In regards to working hours, the volunteers work per day 8.5 hours/working day.

Food and accommodation

No food provided


The animals they take care of in this center are:

Monkeys, Other small mammals


Qualification required

No previous experience is required, however you need to be fit and healthy and at least 18 years of age. You should be able to speak and understand English sufficiently to get around. You must not be scared of getting down and dirty and must obviously be extremely passionate about animals in general and monkeys in particular. Hard work is a guarantee, but the rewarding experience you will have with us is also guaranteed! If you are passionate about animals, especially monkeys and want to make a difference in their lives, then volunteering at International Primate Rescue is for you. The rewards and benefits are two-fold, we give you an experience of a lifetime and you assist us with the daily care of the animals. Volunteer at IPR and help us to help them!! It doesn’t matter if you are looking for work experience, a student on a gap year, want a break from your office job, are retired, or you just want to get away from it all for a while. Join us and experience a unique once in a lifetime opportunity!

How to apply?

Website: Email:

Practical information

Internet access

The sanctuary doesn’t have internet or phones available for volunteers to use. There is however, a shopping centre 40 minutes away (by taxi) where volunteers can purchase a sim card and a data package, this can be used on your phone and you can also use it as a hotspot for your laptop/tablet if needed.

Cost details

Long-term Volunteer (52 weeks) R2,000 deposit is payable on arrival. This deposit will be returned to you on successful completion of your year. Your deposit will not be returned to you if you break or damage sanctuary belongings, or if you leave the project early for any reason.

How to get there?

International volunteers travelling to the sanctuary will need to arrange a flight to Johannesburg, O R Tambo Airport. Transfer to the sanctuary is only available from Johannesburg, O R Tambo airport or Pretoria Bus Station at the cost of 1050 rand, and can be arranged through the sanctuary upon request. IPR uses an independent transfer service called Bosveld Tours. It is advisable for you to use this very safe means of transport to the sanctuary. A Bosveld Tours representative will meet you personally at the airport and transport you directly to the sanctuary which will take about an hour. You may also request a stop at a shopping centre along the way to purchase groceries. Bosveld Tours also organises a number of excursions which can be booked during your stay, and acts as a taxi service for shopping trips.

Is there a minimum age?

To volunteer in this center you will have to be at least 18 years old

When can volunteers join?

This location didn't provide us with any information for this point


Explore a few pictures submitted by the organisation:

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On the web