Monkey Helpline Volunteer Program

So, you’re thinking of volunteering in Africa, and you’re particularly keen to work with monkeys but also want to have some time off to sightsee, get into the social scene and, of course,  also enjoy our world famous beaches and just generally have an exciting, unforgettable volunteering experience.  Well, the fact that you are reading this page means you’ve already taken the first step towards reaching your goal, and its called Monkey Helpline!!! Wait until you hear what we have in store for each one of the volunteers that make their way over to Monkey Helpline in Durban, South Africa.

Keep reading to find out just what Monkey Helpline is all about and see how you could be well on your way to enjoying a truly life-changing experience, whilst at the same time also serving a huge cause!

What happens to the monkeys after they have been caught

Once a monkey has been rescued, it will be taken to either the MHRSC or to one of our trusted veterinary clinics depending on the extent to which the monkey is injured. More often than not monkeys will be taken to the vet immediately in order to fully assess the health and wellbeing of the animal and for treatment, and then transported to a high care clinic on our property where it will settle into the beginning stages of rehabilitation.

By far the largest and most well known dedicated monkey rescue project in KwaZulu-Natal, Monkey Helpline is available to carry out rescues 24 hours a day, every day, including Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, every other public holiday and weekends! But, in order to be able to do this,  Monkey Helpline needs YOUR, THE VOLUNTEER’S, SUPPORT!. We rely on your support, compassion and generosity to help us continue being able to help the monkeys!

Volunteer Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Willing to adhere to the centres policies, rules and regulations
  • Comfortable working in a fast paced and everchanging environment
  • Able-bodied and willing to perform physical tasks

What we look for in volunteers:

  • Friendly and truly caring people who have a passion for life and for animals
  • A willingness to learn and to follow instructions carefully
  • Hard workers who are reliable and able to use their own initiative
  • Team players, who must also able to perform independently when necessary
  • The ability to stay calm around wild animals and in stressful situations

Work Content and description

Run by a highly dedicated and experienced team, our rehabilitation centre takes responsibility for the care of over a thousand displaced, orphaned and or injured animals each year.

Unfortunately we see this number rise steadily each year, so it is therefore up to us (yes that includes you, future volunteer!), to make sure we do everything in our power to help the injured get back on their feet and into the wild again, and to help as many as we can to escape a life of misery, torment or even death.

Volunteers of all levels of experience are welcome, as it is our mission to educate and provide you with the skills necessary to become a bonified animal rescuer! We aim to send you home with tonnes of knowledge and confidence in your ability to really make a difference in the world – as you will have already made a huge one here with us.

Under proper supervision and as a “hands-on” member of our organisation, you’ll get to be responsible for assisting us with:

  • Rescues, research and releases
  • Preparation of food and clean water for animals living in the rehabilitation and sanctuary enclosures
  • Preparing milk bottles and helping us feed the injured, orphaned and baby animals
  • Regular inspections, maintenance, building and cleaning of enclosures and *** cages
  • Performing Daily enrichment and stimulation activities
  • Administrative and record keeping duties of both our monkeys and the various wild troops that we’re acquainted with
  • As well as a number of other tasks Monkey Helpline performs on a regular basis, such as helping us educate the community, attending talks with us at schools and spreading awareness about these beautiful creatures

Expected work hours

On your time off:

Due to the nature of our work, all working hours and times are estimates as we cannot predict when or where an animal may need our help. Volunteers are expected to start working from 8am and to finish sometime around 4pm, however we may require extra help after hours on some days and even if we don’t, you’re welcome to stay on and help us anyways, or even late night rescues as these can lead to exposure to lots of the other exciting wildlife rescues we are called out to.

Volunteers are guaranteed a fair bit of time off of work, as we really want you to enjoy being in this beautiful country of ours and to experience everything it has to offer, so as a thank you for the great job we know you all are going to do, we have taken it upon ourselves to prepare tonnes of incredible after-hours activities  for you to choose from.

For example, those of you who are keen to get out and see some more of the stunning wildlife our country is known for, we have activities such as visiting game reserves in which the famous big five can be found, helping our friends out at the husky and wolf rescue sanctuary, going on night walks to observe chameleons, frogs and other nocturnal critters, joining another friend of ours on snake rescues and talks (if you’re brave enough!) and even shark cage diving, to name a few.

Others who are keener to get out and experience everyday living in a South African city are welcome to go out and see the flea markets, historical and cultural sites, and even our local nightlife!

To go along with these, our wonderful city of Durban boasts loads of its own unique attractions which we will help you organize and get to experience.

Volunteer accommodation

We have a very nice, safe, secure and comfortable volunteer house situated in Westville, Durban from which volunteers will be collected and transferred to their work stations on a daily basis.  A cleaning lady comes in at least once a week to make sure the house is kept clean and tidy, but it is the volunteers’ responsibility to wash their dishes and make their beds and to keep the house in an acceptable state of cleanliness.

The house has 2 bedrooms that share a bathroom, with each of these rooms having 2 beds.  There is also a large bedroom which has 6 beds (3 x double bunks) plus an en suite bathroom,. Currently we can comfortably accommodate ten volunteers at any one time.

Set in a large, lush garden with green lawns, this Cape Dutch-style volunteer house also has a beautiful swimming pool that volunteers will relish relaxing and playing in after a hard day’s work.

All bed linnen will be provided.

Volunteers will also camp out by spending some exciting, random nights in tent accommodation in the “bush”, actually on the MHPRSC, where, during evenings, we will sit around the camp fire in relaxed conversation and enjoying good food off the “braai”. 


NB. All food strictly vegan, and delicious!


Toast, cereals, fruit, etc provided by Monkey Helpline


Sandwiches, fruit or salads, etc provided by Monkey Helpline


Vegan meals will be prepared by Monkey Helpline for the volunteers to enjoy!

Volunteer Costs:

The costs include all meals eaten at the volunteer accommodation. If volunteers go on outings they must pay their own food costs. Outings booked with tour companies are paid for by the volunteer and will not be covered by your contribution.  Monkey Helpline. Days that you choose to be away from Monkey Helpline to go on tours will not be reimbursed to you.

Cost of volunteering – ZAR 400 per day.

Payment for the full duration of your stay must be received in the Monkey Helpline bank or PayPal  account one week prior to your date of arrival and proof of payment must be emailed to .  Bank and PayPal account details can be found at .