Umpalazi: Community & Wildlife Project

baby vervet monkeyThe Umpalazi: Community & Wildlife Project incorporates local community upliftment, including skills training, environmental education and aid work; with the rehabilitation of injured and/or orphaned wildlife for future release and monitoring. Umpalazi also provides sanctuary for other displaced animals. Volunteers are needed to keep this project going.

Volunteers will have a unique opportunity to work closely with South African wildlife, primarily the South African Vervet Monkey. Volunteers will have a direct and positive impact on the conservation of wildlife and the environment through snare/trap clearing;game counts; bird watching; invasive weed removal and other environmental management activities. There are also opportunities to live with a Zulu family (for a day etc.), and visit other attractions in KwaZulu-Natal (i.e. CROW, Game Reserves, St.Lucia Wetlands etc.)

The Umpalazi: Community & Wildlife Project relies on volunteer fees to survive, thus without them, there would be no project. Therefore if you volunteer at Umpalazi, you are directly conserving South Africa's wildlife (particulary vervet monkeys) and environment. Numerous orphaned and injured vervet monkeys are rehabililtated at APES (project partner) and, thus Umpalazi, and as a volunteer you will provide the resources and help to give these beings a chance at a better life.

The local Zulu community also benefit greatly via employment, skills training (an upcoming project, again depending on the number of volunteers due to limited funds), environmental education and aid work.

Getting There:
Visit our website at or email for a volunteer application form. Once accepted into the project you will get detailed instructions on how to get to Umpalazi, all included in the volunteer info pack. Usually international volunteers travel to Johannesburg airport and are met by our contact at Shoestrings Airport Lodge; you will be booked onto the 'Baz Bus' and take the 6 hour journey from the backpackers to our pickup point, Mooi River. From there Co-founders, Dawn and Rodney, will take you to Umpalazi.

Cost/Fees: (GBP): £610 per month
* 50% deposit is required upon acceptance to the Umpalazi Project.
* The remaining 50% is required at least 2 weeks before intended arrival date.

Cost Inclusions:
* All meals are provided (excluding snacks, sweets etc.)
* Basic but comfortable accommodation is provided.
* Volunteers will initially stay at the Animal Protection and Environmental Sanctuary (APES) until Umpalazi is up and running.
* Male/female accommodation is separate unless travelling as a couple.
* Laundry will be done once weekly.
* In-country orientation/Training
* In-country staff support

Available days/best time to come: This volunteer opportunity is ongoing, volunteers are asked to stay for a minimum of 4 weeks.