Volunteer at SAASA

Volunteer at 1 of South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance’s 3 sanctuaries (Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Birds of Eden & The Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary)


Volunteers will be considered if they are hard-working, fast-learning, enthusiastic and prepared to cheerfully fulfill tasks such as welcoming tourists at our entrance gate, informing visitors about our animals as they assist them to the reception, explain the basic rules regarding our sanctuaries (no touching, etc), assisting with caring for the primates, birds, and other wildlife.

Here at SAASA we are particularly keen to fill the following positions:

1. Multilingual rangers/guides

Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani funds itself through revenues from tourists who take educational tours in our forests which houses over 550 primates, more than 3500 birds and 50 plus predator cats, reptiles and other wildlife.

The tours at each of SAASA’s sanctuaries are one hour long and must leave the tourists with general primate, wildlife and/or bird knowledge, information about each of the species that could be located in the sanctuary and an understanding that primates, birds and apex cats do not make good pets but are happier in the trees, forests and wild habitats with peers of their own species.

German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Hebrew, Portuguese and Swedish guides are particularly in demand, but any knowledgeable person who can use entertainment to further environmental awareness will be considered.

2. Fundraiser/grant proposal writer for SAASA

The “South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance” is the sole custodian of all the primates at Monkeyland the birds at Birds of Eden as well as the predator cats and other wild animals at Jukani.

The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA) is constituted under Section 21 of the Companies Act as a non-profit PBO 2000/000667/08 and actively works towards providing primates with a better and more natural life. SAASA is also involved in educational and environmental projects such as the Bushmeat Crisis Africa (www.bushmeat.org.za). The most vital SAASA project at present is our Special Monkey Home for primates who are disabled, orphaned, elderly, blind or otherwise unable to live happily in the Monkeyland forest. We also welcome disabled primates from other locations in South Africa, and countries abroad to come and live out their lives with us. Similar projects have been implemented at Birds of Eden, and will soon be implemented at Jukani.

Our goal is for SAASA is to include an education center / museum especially for children to learn about nature, recycling, gardening, pollution, conservation and of course primates, birds, predator cats and other wild animals like the ones we host. There are many projects to be done, but the main skill currently lacking at SAASA is fundraising and grant proposal writing in order to generate the necessary funding.

3. Students with photography/filming skills for documenting primates

A comprehensive catalog of all the SAASA residents has not yet been made and most of the information about our primates, birds and apex cats exists only in the notebooks and minds of our keepers, curators and founders.

Compiling and typing up this information, along with taking photographs and film footage (for YouTube and our archives) of individual primates, birds and apex cats is an important and big project that we would like to begin ASAP, but volunteers would need to bring their own photographic equipment, since the sanctuary video camera was stolen and our current budget does not allow for a new one.  A Sponsored one would come in handy one day.

Ideally, the applicants for this position would also have experience in collecting and analyzing behavioral data about primates, birds, apex cats and/or other wild animals. Close cooperation with our knowledgeable keepers and curators is imperative and will certainly be highly educational for any wildlife enthusiast.

4. IT specialist

There’s a whole bunch of equipment that needs servicing and regular fixing at our offices, 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. Currently Lara Mostert lara@monkeyland.co.za handles most of our website updates, and Vijver Jonck info@saasa.org.za handles the SAASA page. Together the two of them handle the Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and all the other loose bits, but a bit of extra help will be more than welcome.

We also need someone to assist with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tripadvisor, MySpace, Youtube, Nutshell mail, Wikepedia, Blogs, Linkedin etc.

5. Public relations/Marketing/Journalist

MonkeylandBirds of Eden and Jukani 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, birds, apex cats and other wild creatures from a myriad of different angles for a huge variety of readerships and publications.

This position would be ideal for a young wildlife journalist or blogger who would like to gain experience in writing, photography, getting published in different sorts of publications, writing press releases (e.g. when new primates and/or birds 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, birds, apex cats and other wild animals. Working closely with our marketing manager will prove to be fun and enlightening for any animal enthusiast with a gift for writing.

6. Volunteer veterinarian

Although we are extremely happy with the skills and enthusiasm of our local vets in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, there is no on-site vet and the keepers and curators must often tackle medical issues themselves. Regular monitoring of the health of over our 550 primates of 13 different species, not to mention the birds, apex cats and other wild animals, could be a full-time task. Since we advocate leaving the animals in their free-roaming environment as much as possible, medical intervention would only occasionally be necessary. Therefore, any applicant for this position must also be happy to fulfill other tasks such as guided tours. Our volunteer vet must be experienced and able to work closely with our local vets, which will be a highly enjoyable and educational experience.

7. Volunteer handyman

Volunteer carpenters, gardeners, electricians, plumbers, painters etc are always welcome.

General Qualifications and/or Experience needed:

Genuine interest in primates, birds, apex cats and other wildlife is vital. Fluent English is vital for each MonkeylandBirds of Eden or Jukani sanctuary to volunteer at. 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. Applications can be send to Vijver on info@saasa.org.za

Salary/funding: None (by law)

Payment of Deposit: Though we do not charge our volunteers we do have a Deposit of R800 that needs to be paid to receive your uniform/booklets/keys/etc.  This deposit can be paid in Cash or Credit Card.  The deposit will be refunded on the return of all items.

Uniform:  Ranger shirts, epaulettes and a fleece/jersey will be provided.  Please ensure to bring your own khaki shorts/pants/skirts with.  Brown/Khaki shoes are a must so please bring these with you.

Accommodation for volunteers: Please contact Vijver on info@saasa.org.za regarding accommodation options for short and long term volunteers.

Term of Appointment: Ongoing

Minimum Stay Requirement: No less than 4 weeks

Application Deadline: Rolling

Contact Information: Vijver Jonck on info@saasa.org.za

If you feel that Volunteering with us is not 100% the right move for you but you still wish to assist us in some way please feel free to donate money, services and/or goods to assist SAASA.  You could do so by contacting us info@saasa.org.za

Our banking details are:

The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA)


Account number: 62057839733

Branch code: 210-514

Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

Here is a fun photo collage of our volunteers in their off time:

SAASA Volunteer Advert – ENGLISH

SAASA Volunteer Advert – SPANISH

SAASA Volunteer Advert – FRENCH

SAASA Volunteer Advert – GERMAN

SAASA Volunteer Advert – ITALIAN

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