Volunteer at Bambelela Monkey Rehabilitation Centre

Recently, I decided to explore the rehabilitation programs available in South Africa for introducing Baboons and Vervet Monkeys back into the wild. I found myself at the Bambelela Monkey Rehab Centre in the Limpopo Province.

This baboon put on his best weekend face after I disrupted his afternoon nap by passing by.

Bambelela in Zulu means to "hold on", and Silke from Germany has dedicated her life and savings to the conservation of these baboons and vervet monkeys in South Africa. The program is reliant on volunteers from around the world who are passionate about giving monkeys that have been abused and orphaned a second chance at life. It is incredibly sad to see how many monkey's they house that have been victims of the Illegal pet trade {Animals that have been captured by shooting the mothers}.

One of the "wild" vervet monkeys that have been released back into the wild, but found its way back to Bambelela, and stayed there ever since. Monkeys are territorial, so once they are released into an area they tend to stay in that area.

It is estimated that there are only 250 000 vervet monkeys left in South Africa, and could possibly be one of the next species to face extinction. They are currently having a huge problem with habitat loss, and are being squeezed into smaller and smaller areas, so although there are so few left, they are still common to see in certain environments.