Description: Volunteers can get hands-on experience here at A.P.E.S. which is a working Primate Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre we are based in the Midlands of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Our mission is to treat and assist all forms of wildlife and domestic animals that are sick, injured or orphaned. Wild animals that are sick or injured are treated hospitalized if necessary and then returned to their natural habitat within the shortest time possible.
Domestic animals that have been assisted, treated, hospitalized if necessary, then when well enough only then are they are returned to the owners without charge. Special discounts for spaying and neutering by our vet are arranged by us through our local SPCA.. When necessary APES also assist the rural people by administrating rabies injections and medication to their domestic animals. Animals that are not recovered enough are homed in the best way possible avoiding zoo type environments all this is done with charge.
APES is unique throughout the rehabilitation world for their methods the care and correct management of the rescued, and or injured vervet monkeys these are returned back in to their known territory depending on the circumstances or on site. Here they are totally free to either remain or go back into the wild. The infants are given prenatal care and spend the first few weeks in doors they are then gradually introduced to the free outside troop and eventually the juveniles stay out permanently, we do not keep them in permanent captivity they are free to live at APES or leave whenever they wish.
Unfortunately there are times that some Monkeys that have been badly injured cannot be re released as they would not be able to cope and would not survive in the wild. These are given the best of both worlds, their enclosures are as natural as possible and they are able to interact with the outside troop, these monkeys are also visited monthly by our vet. Volunteers are able to enter the enclosures to interact with them, thus allowing the volunteer to observe their behaviour at close quarters this unique factor being of particular interest to students studying zoology, botany, environment, veterinarian, primatology, Anthopology, and other animal sciences
.Other tasks at APES include maintenance work, assisting with house chores, fence repairs, snare patrols, game counts and many other projects, the volunteers must be willing to muck in with daily life at the centre, and not be afraid to get their hands dirty. During the school term there are opportunities for volunteers to visit a rural school, to interact with the children on a cultural and educational level that includes environmental education and assisting the teachers. Many of these children walk long distances to get to and from school and look forward to meeting volunteers from overseas.
There are also many other exciting opportunities for volunteers; including overnight stays at other venues that are connected to APES, hiking trails, visits and overnight stays with traditional Zulu families learning some of their culture including basic Zulu language. Volunteers can be assured of a truly memorable African experience. This centre also encourages volunteers to visit other areas of KwaZulu-Natal. For example, trips to Hluhluwe Game Park to see the Big 5, St. Lucia (a world heritage site), hiking in the Drakensberg, visit the Battlefields, Durban's Shaka land and Seaworld, educational tour to the Shark Research Centre and many more . If the volunteers require assistance in regard to visiting these and other points of interest we offer assistance helping to make their stay at APES a memorable and happy one.
No special skills or previous experience are required. All that is needed is a great love of the environment, animals both domestic and wild. APES has many exciting environmental and educational projects to offer please contact us for more information in this regard. Volunteers are appreciated and do make a great difference by helping us continue our work in the future for the primates and other animals that need help.
Project Location: Central Kwazulu/Natal on the Battlefields route, east coast of South Africa
Period: Year round
Who can volunteer? Adults of both sexes 16+ (younger persons will be considered)
Commitment: 4 weeks minimum
Cost: A donation to the sanctuary of £610 per volunteer for a 4 week period is required and covers everything including board and lodging laundry, free internet in Greytown.
Visitors (eco-tourists) planning a shorter stay will be required to make a donation to the sanctuary for accommodation, meals and services (laundry etc). Please contact APES for more information,
Notes: Volunteers are collected by a staff member at the coach terminal in Mooi River
Wish List: Fridges; fencing; poles; shade cloth; food and food containers; steel tables; old bedding; telescopic ladders; computer consumables; etc. ANYTHING THAT MIGHT BE CONSIDER AS JUNK OR THROW AWAY (The biggest wish of all is that we get volunteers enabling us to continue our work here at APES.)
Finally we the Founders of APES pride ourselves that we are not out to have a huge personal bank balance but to keep on going with the work we do, not only for the animals in our care but also the rural people and their domestic stock as well.