International Primate Rescue


Our mission at International Primate Rescue is to provide a home for unwanted primates and to give them the best possible standard of care at our sanctuary. We also strive to provide help and awareness and educate people that wish to, or already own a primate. Our target is to develop a near wild experience for our primates and eventually make the facilities available to help any apes in need in the future.



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Yes, I recommend this program

I love monkeys, and it was great to work with them up close. IPR definitely has the best interests of the monkeys at heart, they don't stress them out with over handling but you do get to have monkey time every week where you can hang out with the friendliest monkeys for an hour or two! Most of the daily tasks involve giving the many monkeys their supplements, which is quite fun because they are cute little guys. All of the volunteers were lovely and friendly and helpful as well.

What would you improve about this program?
We had a bushfire when I was there, and the firebreaks were breached. I would at least double the size of them, and have more water storage points, and make sure to regularly brief people on fire procedures and update the fire fighting infrastructure, no matter how boring a job it is for volunteers. If it saves monkey lives, not to mention people lives, it's definitely worth doing.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

I was nervous about travelling on my own but didn't need to worry. Between the wonderful staff and long term volunteers, & the family run Bosveld tours (who run the excursions & transfers) I couldn't have asked for more, & was treated like family, they did everything they could to make our stays amazing. Every excursion imaginable is available,& I can't wait to go back, armed with sturdy string, nuts and cable ties!
The owners, staff and friends of IPR are an inspiration and live for animals, every penny is spent on them. The facilities for humans as a result are basic but manageable. And rightly so. Take repellant, a net& a sleeping bag, and everything on their advice list! Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the animals care, and site maintenence/building. So you are able to bond with the animals and help ensure their future, & that of others. I can't recommend the programme enough, and I plan to go back repeatedly. I could babble for ages about my amazing time there, but in short, you should go! You won't regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
Days off could be organised at a meeting to allow volunteers to book trips etc... I know the long termers were constantly being asked about days off. And although I didn't have any problems it might save some of their time and headaches!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I have volunteered here twice now. As a mature woman I first felt a little out of place as most other volunteers were university age, but this didn't last long. Everyone is really friendly and great lifelong friendships can be born.
Volunteers will have hands on experience with all aspects of work involved with these wonderful primates.
Sue Mousely is a small but mighty force of nature when it comes to the love and care of her charges.
It is a truly inspiring place to volunteer. I have already volunteered there twice and am saving to go again.

If you want to eat, sleep and breathe primates.....then this is the place for you.

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Yes, I recommend this program

i had an amazing time at IPR! These monkeys often come from very troubled backgrounds and volunteers are essential to their wellbeing and happiness. It is so rewarding to know you are making such a profound difference in thee lives. The staff and other volunteers were so friendly and fun. I made many new human and monkey friends!! I recommend this program to anyone looking to do something different that truly helps others!

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Yes, I recommend this program

When we got to Johannesburg airport we were greeted by a lovely women who had our names on a card and she took us to the rescue centre. When we got to the rescue centre it was quiet late so everyone was in the living area playing games so we joined in trying to get to know all the other volunteers. The next day we got stuck in. Painting fences and feeding the animals. We met chino and he was lovely.while we stayed at IPR we helped build an area for 2 new monkeys agnushka and her son. We saw them arrive and it was beautiful. They did escape though and we had to make sure they didn't completely leave the trees around their enclosure. We fed and walked with lions and also went on a horseback safari. I wouldn't change my time here for the world and I'll be returning in 6 weeks and again next October. When you found a place like this it's hard to leave behind.

What would you improve about this program?
The volunteers house was pretty poor but that may have got better and I'll be able to see in November. But you can't ask for luxury from a charity who doesn't have to put you up in the first place.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Tanya Branagan

Why did you decide to go abroad with your provider?

I picked Original Volunteers because many providers charge up to €2000 for 2 two or three weeks at an animal sanctuary, and these guys charged €600, which all goes to the sanctuary. Having gone to the sanctuary, I found out that you can book your stay directly with a sanctuary, which can be cheaper and more beneficial to the sanctuary.

How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, academically, etc.).

I'd never properly traveled abroad alone before, and had been spending the last couple of years trying to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people and do new things, and going to a country and a continent and spending time with people I'd never met before for three weeks was incredibly enriching and confidence building for me.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

This is ridiculous, but since I was a child, I've really like Capuchin monkeys, like the monkey Binks, who was one of the monkeys who played Spike from Ace Ventura, Marcel from Friends, and the little ebola monkey from Outbreak, so I really wanted to meet one of these monkeys.

When I got to International Primate Rescue, I met a little monkey called Chino who didn't like a lot of people, but he really liked me and would do a cute little lip smacky thing whenever he could see me, so I would come over and tickle his belly. He was great.

What was the best place you visited outside of your home-base city?

Kruger Wildlife Park was incredible. We spent three days there and stayed in an incredible wooden cabin, and spend our days driving around the par. We saw the Big Five: Elephants, Buffalo, Leopards, Lions, Rhino, and my personal Big Five: Meerkats, Warthogs, Hyenas, Hornbills and...also Lions. I also saw a mongoose!

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

I had so much great food, but it wasn't so much the type of food as the fact that they cook everything on a braai in South Africa. And instead of a side of chips they have a ham and cheese toastie. They're onto a winner there. I went to a restaurant called Karnivore one night, which was incredible, but so as not to offend any vegetarians I won't say which or how many animals I ate.