A Primate Saving Photo Initiative

Photographers are needed to help document all the monkeys at this monkey sanctuary just outside Plettenburg Bay in South Africa. The sanctuary is open to the public and the monkeys in the sanctuary roam freely as they would in the wild. The aim of the project is that visitors leave with a greater understanding of the primates of the world and the threats they are facing.

One of the main goals is to educate the public about the adverse effects of keeping primates and birds as pets, in terms of both physical and psychological health. Also important is to teach visitors about the rapid decline of natural habitats due to logging, mining, agriculture and human settlements.

Visitors are also encouraged to buy goods wisely, ranging from second-hand or antique wood-products, to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics that were not tested on animals.

Around 450 apes, monkeys and lemurs live at the sanctuary, including gibbons, capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, miniature monkeys, vervets, saki monkeys, howler monkeys, two species of langurs and three species of lemur.

Expect costs in/around $1600 for a 12 week commitment ($20/day). Will fluctuate with currency exchange rates.

Costs cover single or shared room (depending on availability) in a volunteer house on-site, airport transfers from George Airport, pre-departure information pack and onsite orientation provided, 24-hour emergency support, and fundraising tips & tools.

Pre-Apply Now

What to Expect?

A comprehensive catalogue of all the sanctuary’s residents has not yet been made and most of the information exists only in the notebooks and minds the keepers, curators and founders.
Compiling and typing up this information, along with taking photographs and film footage of individual primates and birds is an important on-going project that will take a long time to complete, it is something that the staff at the sanctuary simply do not have time to complete.

Volunteers will be responsible for photographing and documenting the primates that reside in the forest. You will be thoroughly trained on the species at the project so that you are able to recognise each species. Close cooperation with the knowledgeable on-site keepers and curators is imperative on this project and will certainly be highly educational for any wildlife enthusiast.

For the most part, volunteers are largely self-led and are free to capture and edit their pictures as they see fit. 

In addition to the photography aspect to the project, you may also be required to get involved with some other tasks around the centre such as helping with giving guided tours to the tourists that visit or cleaning the enclosures of the primates that are being rehabilitated.

Skills Required

Ideally, the applicants for this position should have experience in collecting and analysing behavioural data about primate and/or birds. Volunteers will need to bring their own photographic equipment; SLR cameras are preferred but are not essential. Volunteers with photographic experience are highly sought after but all will be considered for the role.

The project is located 16kms outside the popular tourist destination of Plettenburg Bay. Plettenburg Bay (or Plett as it is known by locals) is one of the major attractions on the Garden Route. Its location on the Indian Ocean coast is one of extreme natural beauty. Originally christened “Bahia Formosa” (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay offers visitors miles of sweeping, unspoilt golden beaches, a dramatic rocky peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests and unpolluted rivers and sea.

A few of the activities that you can try out in your free time are: whale watching, sea kayaking, diving, fishing, canoeing, bungee jumping, sky-diving, mountain biking, motorcycle adventures, canopy tours, scenic flights, game reserves, and golf.

If you prefer something a little calmer, there are miles of stunning beaches in the area and plenty of hikes and walks you can make in the surrounding area including the fabled Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains with an abundance of birdlife and vast expanses of Cape flora.

  • Program ID: # 2547
  • duration:
    1 to 3 Months
    More than 3 Months
  • location:
    Plettenburg Bay
    South Africa
    33° 59' 51.9432" S, 23° 20' 43.764" E
  • Fitness level:
    Light Impact
    Moderately Fit
    Very Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    George, South Africa (GRJ)
  • Costs From:
    $1000 to $1500
    $1500 to $3000
  • Program Type:
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
  • Click Here for More Info

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