Who Can You Help?

6th June 2010


Clearly not everyone can dedicate their lives to the plight and care of wild animals as we do, but many people would like to do something, and be part of the "Happy ending process". There are so many ways to help; we are in constant need of services, especially with the new sanctuaries, which we have embarked on.

If you would like to become part of what we do, and you have a service you can offer, or if you wish to donate a few hours of your professional time, or skills please contact Lara at info@monkeyland.co.za or lara@monkeyland.co.za Tel: +27 (0)44 5348906 or Fax +27 (0)44 534 8907 or Mobile +27 (0) 82 979 5683



Position Descriptions:

Inexperienced volunteers will be considered if they are hard-working, fast-learning, enthusiastic and prepared to cheerfully fulfil tasks such as walking tourists from our entrance gate to the reception to explain the basic rules on the way, working in our curio shop or helping out at reception. However, we are particularly keen to fill the following positions:

1. Multilingual rangers/guides

Monkeyland funds itself through revenues from tourists who take educational tours in our 12ha free-roaming indigenous forest environment which houses over 400 primates. Each tour is one hour long and must leave the tourists with general primate knowledge, information about each of the species that could be located in the sanctuary and an understanding that primates do not make good pets but are happier in the trees with peers of their own species. German guides are particularly in demand, but any knowledgeable person who can use entertainment to further environmental awareness will be considered. We have recently opened the world's largest aviary with around 200 bird species, so any interested parties with bird knowledge and experience will also be considered.

2. Fundraiser/grant proposal writer for TAMHF

The "Touch a Monkey's Heart Foundation" is the sole custodian of all the primates at Monkeyland. It is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (008-464 NPO) and actively works towards providing primates with a better and more natural life. TAMHF is also involved in educational and environmental projects such as the Bushmeat Crisis Africa (www.bushmeat.org.za). The most vital TAMHF project at present is the creation of a Special Monkey Home for primates who are disabled, orphaned, elderly, blind or otherwise unable to live happily in the 12ha Monkeyland forest. Our goal is for this project to include an education centre especially for children to learn about nature, recycling, gardening, pollution, conservation and of course primates. There are many projects to be done, but the main skill currently lacking at TAMHF is fundraising and grant proposal writing in order to generate the necessary funding.

3. Students with photography/filming skills for documenting primates

A comprehensive catalogue of all the Monkeyland residents has not yet been made and most of the information about our primates exists only in the notebooks and minds of our two primate keepers. Compiling and typing up this information, along with taking photographs and film footage of individual primates is an important big project that we would like to begin ASAP, but volunteers would need to bring their own photographic equipment. Ideally, the applicants for this position would also have experience in collecting and analysing behavioural data about each primate. Close cooperation with our knowledgeable primate keepers is imperative and will certainly be highly educational for any
primate enthusiast.

4. IT specialist

There’s a whole bunch of equipment that needs servicing and regular up-grading and fixing in our Monkeyland and Birds of Eden offices and our websites need constant updating. So if you have extensive working knowledge of computers but nonetheless wish to live in a beautiful natural environment with a chance to help out on outdoor projects whenever computers and time allow, then this is the perfect place for you.

5. Public relations/Marketing

Monkeyland and Birds of Eden depends on visitor interest to fund itself. Therefore, PR and marketing are extremely important for raising awareness about our projects. Stories can be written about our primates from a myriad of different angles for a huge variety of readerships and publications. This position would be ideal for a young wildlife journalist who would like to gain experience in writing, photography, getting published in different sorts of publications, writing press releases (e.g. when new primates are born or arrive at the sanctuary), encouraging professional journalists to write about us, taking journalists on special tours etc. Monkeyland takes a very modern approach to publicity and 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. Working closely with our marketing manager will prove to be fun and enlightening for any primate enthusiast with a gift for writing.

6. Volunteer coordinator

There are many vital tasks and projects (such as primate cataloguing, behavioural observations, escorting tourists into the sanctuary to explain the rules or taking guided tours, gardening and maintenance etc.) that can be completed by volunteers, but requires someone to organise and monitor the volunteers. The volunteer coordinator position includes working with the primate keepers to prioritise projects, organising for the right volunteers to work on these projects, mediating between volunteers and management, picking up new volunteers from town, taking volunteers to go shopping, determining sleeping arrangements in volunteer accommodation and helping with organisation of entertainment in the local area on off-days.

NOTE: a valid international driver’s licence is essential.

7. Volunteer veterinarian

Although we are extremely happy with the skills and enthusiasm of our local vet in Knysna (approximately 50km from Monkeyland) there is no on-site vet and the primate keepers must often tackle medical issues themselves. Regular monitoring of the health of over 400 primates of 13 different species could be a full-time task. Since we advocate leaving the animals in their free-roaming environment (a 12ha indigenous forest) as much as possible, medical intervention would only occasionally be necessary.


Therefore, any applicant for this position must also be happy to fulfil other tasks such as guided tours. Our volunteer vet must be experienced and able to work closely with our local vet, which will be a highly enjoyable and educational experience.


Genuine interest in primates and fluent English are vital for each Monkeyland volunteer. If you are interested in any of the above positions, please send us your CV and describe what knowledge/experience makes you the right candidate for the job.
Salary/funding: None

Support provided for volunteers:

Volunteers are provided with accommodation in our volunteer houses & park home. There are singles, doubles and dormitories, and allocation depends on availability of space and length of stay.

Meals cannot be provided, but the accommodation includes a fully equipped kitchen, and around R250 () per week will be more than enough for food if you stick to the local farms & supermarkets as opposed to restaurants in town.

Transport to South Africa must be paid for by the volunteer, though we can arrange pick-ups from the local bus station or airport in Plettenberg Bay (advanced notification is essential).

Basic ranger uniform is provided, but any khaki-coloured clothing you can bring will come in handy, especially in winter.

Term of Appointment:
Ongoing, minimum 2 to 3 month stay
Application Deadline: Rolling

Contact Information:
Lara Mostert
P.O. Box 1190
Plettenberg Bay 6600
South Africa
Telephone Number: +27 (0)82 979 5683

Fax Number: +27 (0)44 534 8907