C.A.R.E. for Orphaned Baboons Near the Kruger Park, South Africa

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C.A.R.E. (Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education) is a unique project, the only primate rehabilitation centre in South Africa that is in a Big 5 Nature Reserve that borders the Kruger National Park; elephants can roam through the reserve and hyenas, lions and other animals can be heard at night. It borders the world renowned Olifant's River and is in the heart of the beautiful African bush, for a real African Safari experience yet with great accommodation, Wifi available in your bedroom and you are actually needed to make a difference for the most incredible animals.

With purpose built facilities we are committed to the rescue, care, rehabilitation, release and protection of wild animals, no animal in need is ever turned away. We rely solely on the generosity of caring individuals to fund the centre, and also volunteers to help us run the centre too. Hands-on experience with primates is just incredible, and observing/collecting scientific data also ensures you learn too!

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9.75 Rating
based on 4 reviews
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  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.8
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Yes, I recommend this program

An awesome experience

My daughter, a friend and I all went for 3weeks in 2019. It was an amazing experience. Working to improve the lives of the baboons was rewarding and interesting. It is hard work but you sleep well! Seeing orphaned baboons learn to play and bond with their new baboon mom gave us an appreciation for the social structure in a baboon troop. We had fun getting to know the other volunteers as well as Steve and Samantha. We took a two day break and traveled through Kruger National Park. We also brought funds to get some birth control for the captive baboons and got to watch how the implant was done. We had a wonderful time.

What was your funniest moment?
The volunteer village has bedrooms, a kitchenette, and open air showers. One night I was taking a shower and happened to look up. A wild monkey was sitting up on the wall watching me. Freaked me out at first but I had to laugh...it was a male.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience!

My first time traveling to CARE was rather nerve racking as I was only 19 and had never traveled before. My anxieties were quickly squashed once I arrived at CARE and was quickly welcomed by all of the staff and volunteers. Everyone took their time to ensure I felt welcomed and knew what I was doing.

I spent a year at CARE over 3 separate trips and was given the opportunity to be a full time caregiver for 2 baboons prior to them being integrated into a troop. Working so closely with these primates completely changed my life. Being able to make an impact on these little creatures and be part in their journey back to the wild was a humbling experience.

Sadly some so called sanctuaries have sinister sides that volunteers do not see. Many are linked to canned hunting and some have unnecessary human interaction with animals who do not need it, meaning the volunteers are the only ones who benefit from this experience. CARE steers clear of this and puts the baboons best interests first at all times. The volunteers work with the orphan baboons who need constant care until they are ready to be be weaned and go to the next stage of their rehabilitation.

The centre is simply magical, I often spent my mornings drinking coffee while watching the wild baboons babies playing and giggling together. There is never a dull moment at CARE and the volunteers are given a variety of different tasks and responsibilities. It is the perfect place for anyone who loves working with animals and meeting new people!

What would you improve about this program?
CARE has changed so much from my first visit in 2013 to my last in 2015. The centre is constantly improving and growing. They have recently finished the new volunteer accommodation and education centre which will be used to educate local schools on wildlife and how to live in harmony with them.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience for anyone that loves to help animals!!

I spent 6 weeks at C.A.R.E and it was the most amazing experience I ever had and I cannot wait to go back!! The staff are some of the best people in the world and truly care about the baboons, as well as the volunteers! You will get hands on experience in caring for these orphans and are sure to gain a wealth of knowledge about them! Be prepared to get dirty and have fun while doing it! You will help to not only look after the babies, but also will help with a variety of tasks that keep the center running! Some of these include cleaning enclosures, assisting with maintenance of the grounds and enclosures, creating enrichment for the baboons, and observing and collecting data. C.A.R.E relies on the help of volunteers in order to successfully run the sanctuary and without them it would be nearly impossible to help so many baboons! I highly recommend this to anyone that loves to help animals and wants to make a difference!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Best 6 months of my life.

I had always wanted to do something in life that makes a difference to someone or something and I've always had a love for animals, in particular monkeys as they're so entertaining. When I first looked into going to CARE I had no idea what to expect. I got plenty of help with all the questions I needed answering which prepared as best as possible for my trip to come. I arrived at CARE a little nervous as this was something I'd never done before. I was warmly welcomed and soon settled in.
I can honestly say that I never expected to fall in love with a place that I've worked at but CARE really is a magical place. If you give your all and immerse yourself in what they do there you'll be rewarded by a huge sense of achievement and fulfillness. Not only do you get to care for and work with baby baboons but you see the incredible animals that South Africa has to offer, most days. It's a place I certainly intend to spent a lot more time at.
You'll also enjoy falling asleep to the sounds of the African bush with the occasional roar of a lion in the distance or a laughing hyena.
Volunteers of all ages thrived in the atmosphere CARE provided with most saying they'll be back to help the beautiful baboons get the chance to be free again.

What would you improve about this program?
This program is currently in the process of improving. A brand new volunteer area has just been build and is so close to being finished. Once the kitchen there is up and running it will complete an area that comprises volunteer accommodation, veterinary clinic, games room, education centre, baby baboon nursery and much more.
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