animal protection & environmental sanctuary

A non-profit organisation specialising in Primate rehabilitation and rescue,
based in Kwazulu Natal - South Africa



Working volunteers and Eco-tourism opportunity at APES


APES is a unique destination for volunteers, back-packers and wildlife enthusiasts seeking enviro-experience and eco-tourism opportunities in Southern Africa.

Our home is now on a game farm /nature reserve called, Khobotho Game ranch, with a Bush camp included. This is situated in central Kwazulu/Natal on the Battlefields route, on the east coast of South Africa.

Khoboto is a 3000-acre property with abundant indigenous bush, which includes a great variety of birds and wildlife. There are lush rolling pastures, surrounded by towering hills mostly covered   with timber forests cliffs and crevices. A river also runs through this property, its source being a natural spring.

Approximately 10kms from us is a small rural school where the volunteers are able to assist the staff in environmental education and integrate with the pupils, Volunteers and Tourists alike are also able to meet and participate in the Zulu culture, They are able to stay overnight with a traditional Zulu family.

APES is approx 100kms from the Central Drakensburg and is on the Natal Midlands Amble and the Battlefields Route. This area has a temperate climate and is a summer rainfall area. Vegetation is varied from thornveld, grasslands to lush indigenous bush. This is truly rural Africa.

APES is unique throughout the rehabilitation world as we rescue orphaned and injured Vervet monkeys (from a matter of hours old) and with care and correct management release them when they have healed or reached maturity, back into their known territory or on site.

This unique factor is of particular interest to students studying related subjects of zoology, botany, environmental, veterinarian and animal sciences, primatology etc. Students get hands-on experience within a working primate sanctuary &  rehabilitation centre and also have the opportunity to broaden their experience by visiting a host of associated animal welfare centres.

APES has the recognition and acknowledgement of;
CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife)
WRC ( Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)
IPPL (International Primate Protection League), London
Dr Kate Harrison.(Primateologist St Andrews University), Edinburgh
Rt Hon Narend Singh (Minister of Culture & Tourism)
Rt Hon Maurice McKenzie (MP)
Chief Minister M.G. Buthelezi
Durban Metro Police, Durban City Parks Dept and various other municipal authorities.

The following facilities and activities are available within the region;
Nature Reserves & Protectorates: Hulhluwe(200km), Umfolozi, St Lucia wetlands.
Wildlife Centres:  Natal Sharks Board(170km), Port Shepstone snake park and venom collection centre(200km),MUDEN Crocodile farm 35kms from sanctuary.
Game Farms/Bush Camps/Back Packing:  Bams(150km), Dhlangana.
Beaches:  Natal North Coast resorts(170km).
Nearest town:  Greytown(25km) - includes medical facilities, police, banks, post office, shopping, hotel, restaurants and sports facilities.
Airport:  Durban International(170km)
Coach Terminal:  Pietermaritzburg(100km),Mooi River(80kms)
Harbour:  Durban(170km) - deep sea fishing, sailing, bay trips etc.
Theatre/Cinema/Casino/Clubs: Durban(170km) and  Pietermaritzburg (80km).
African arts & crafts:  Midlands Meander(20-80km), Sani Saunter, Boston Beat, Midlands Amble.
Places of interest: Sangoma (traditional African Healer), Drakensburg 
(rock climbing, mountaineering, hiking, abseiling, white water rafting, nature trails, golf, bowls, squash, tennis, trout & bass fishing, skiing, mountain biking, horse riding).


Working Volunteers

Volunteers wanting full exposure to the day-to-day activities of the sanctuary should consider staying for a period of at least 4 weeks. A donation to the sanctuary of 610 per volunteer for this period is required and is all found excluding your travel costs.

Visitors planning a shorter stay will be required to make a donation to the sanctuary of £195) per week for accommodation, meals and services (laundry etc).

Visitors and volunteers to the sanctuary will be collected from and returned to Mooi River Coach Terminal by sanctuary staff.

To book your visit and get more information on your activities and the sanctuary's projects, contact Dawn by email or
telephone 072 306 5664 / 033 413 2219.

Local Volunteers
Local volunteers are welcome, to book your visit and get more information on prices, your activities and the sanctuary's projects, contact Dawn by email or
telephone 072 306 5664 / 033 413 2219.

Day Visitors
Local youth, educational and company groups are invited to visit the sanctuary on open days or for exclusive tours by prior appointment. Contact Dawn by email or on 072 306 5664 / 033 413 2219 for more information.

Testimonials from our Volunteers

My daughter Danielle Enright is currently volunteering at APES , South Africa, She has been there 2 out of 3 months so far and is having the most rewarding fantastic experience of her lifetime.
The quality time she is spending there has enriched her stay and reflects very positively on Dawn and Rodney, who have kept me secure knowing that they are looking after her best interests both her practical experience there and providing care, food etc.
Danielle has grown very fond of them and intends to return there again in her primate-orientated career.
We hold the highest regard for Dawn and Rodney and the committment they have running APES is to be admired and supported!
Our hope is many more people have the chance to volunteer and lend their valuable time and talents to such a wonderful conservation purpose.
Below is an email Danielle has sent to Volunteers for Africa very recently.
Kind Regards,

Pauline Enright

I wanted to thankyou for refering me to APES (animal protection and environmental sanctuary) in kwa-zulu natal, South Africa. I thought it prudent to send this email now as i have heard that a past volunteer at this sanctuary was unhappy with her stay and has since set out to defame the sanctuary. So i thought i would get a word in and say that i have had a wonderful 2 months in South Africa at APES. Dawn and Rodney, though very careful with their money as the monkeys come first, have made my stay so wonderful that i am planning on returning in the near future for a much longer period. The said volunteer should keep in mind that this project is based in a 3rd world country and everything is being done to help the primates. This means that she should obviously not expect her usual standard of living!
The love Dawn and Rodney have the vervet monkeys is evident, especially in the way they live their life; everything is based around the care and welfare of these primates, the vervets lives depend on the founders of the sanctuary; who feed them and fight for them!
That someone would set out to ruin those who only want to do their best for their animals, the vendetta this lady has started against APES can only turn out badly for the animals involved.
Thank you again for having APES on your website, it has led me to one of the best experiences of my life and in that i have found a love for primates , and a great relationship with Dawn, Rodney, and all other involved.
Keep up the good work,
Danielle Enright
Volunteers4Africa member.



Working Volunteers  & Eco-Tourists

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“THE HAMPTONS WILDLIFE CARE CENTRE” For More Information Please Contact Us At Apes




Apes, 2001         last updated  October 28, 2004           webmaster