We need you

Volunteer Programme

The JGI South Africa is launching a new volunteer programme in order to build on one of its key mission statements: Improving global understanding and treatment of great apes through research, public education and advocacy.

What does Volunteering for JGI (South Africa) involve?

1. Activities (dependant on the needs of the sanctuary at the time of your stay as well as your skills)

  • Observe the chimpanzees from a viewing platform & learn how to use behavioural data sheets.
  • Maintenance tasks for the JGI volunteer compound, and other work that the animal keepers and staff need to have done.
  • Talk by sanctuary manager Phillip Cronje. (Bring your chimp questions!)
  • Cut up food and sort donated fruit for the chimpanzees.
  • Behavioural enrichment activities for the chimpanzees.
  • Help out with the general growth of Chimp Eden – in whatever way we may need help at the time.
  • Please Note: Due to the safety, health and wellbeing of the chimpanzees and volunteers, there will be no direct physical contact with any chimpanzee, and safety rules distancing volunteers from chimps must be strictly adhered to. There will be specific areas prohibited to physical access of volunteers at all times.


2. Length of JGI Volunteer Programmes

Minimum of 3 nights.

3. Age

Volunteers must be 18 years or over.

4. Accommodation

Volunteers will stay in our rustic cabins.

There are 2 beds per cabin for a maximum of 4 volunteers sharing.

5. Meals and Beverages

The cost of the JGI Volunteer programme includes all meals (usually 3 per day).  Excluded are: Any meals or snacks whilst doing any local trips or excursions, and any meals which volunteers choose to have in any restaurants.

6. Other Activities in the Area

Some local activities include: Kruger National Park, Sudwala Caves, Lowveld National Botanical Gardens, Panorama Route, and Elephant Sanctuaries.

7. Prices for JGI Volunteer Programmes

Type of Volunteer



(US dollar)


(book before 31st jan 2015)

From outside of Nelspruit area

< week

on application


From outside of Nelspruit area

1 week

$ 805


From outside of Nelspruit area

2 weeks

$ 1540

$ 1400

From outside of Nelspruit area

3 weeks

$ 2205 

$ 2000

From outside of Nelspruit area

4 weeks

$ 2800

$ 2500

From outside of Nelspruit area

5 weeks

$ 3325


From outside of Nelspruit area

> 5 weeks

on application


Local Resident with own accommodation

On application

On application


All prices are per person sharing accommodation

Prices include pick-up and drop-off in Nelspruit

Prices exclude transport to Nelspruit for personal reasons

*Prices are subject to alteration. Reasonable advance notice will be given in the event of changes for any bookings made.


8. Transport to Nelspruit

There are a few options for transport from Johannesburg and OR Tambo Airport to Nelspruit via air, private mini bus, or long distance bus. Travelling time is between 2 – 4 hours.  

Transfer from your arrival point in Nelspruit to the sanctuary will not be charged for.

9. Indemnities, Medical Insurance,  Personal Information

The Jane Goodall Institute will require all volunteers to sign indemnity forms and supply detailed personal information which may be needed in an emergency.  We will also ask you to supply proof of good medical insurance for the period you are a volunteer with the JGI. We require the results of a tuberculosis screening no more than 6 months before you are due to volunteer here.

10. Deposit and Payment

Please note that JGI will require a 50% deposit to be paid to secure your booking, and confirmation of full payment must be made at least 4 weeks prior to your arrival. The deposit is non-refundable.

11. Contact & Bookings

You are welcome to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with any enquiries about volunteering. JGISA will send you all the necessary application forms and other relevant information.