We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Volunteer Bambelela”

Bambelela Wildlife Care&Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation Farm
Ranked #2 of 14 things to do in Bela Bela
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Volunteer Bambelela”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Since I have come home I have told everyone that I do not regret going to Bambelela... I loved the hands on with the animals, and even loved that we had a variety of animals there as well. You were able to feed the baby vervets, play with the 2 Capuchin monkeys, and much more. One thing they have going for them is that they are very hands on.

This brings me to my main concern. Saying I do not regret paying to go there and volunteer, if I was given an option to go back there I would flip them the middle finger (excuse the graphic gesture). I would not pay to go back to a slave camp. One of my favorite parts of the day was cleaning the cages and sitting with the pink face vervet monkeys, but having us work 7 days a week from 7 in the morning sometimes until 9 at night is so ridiculous it actually makes me laugh now when I think about it. You are fed food that is sometimes not edible...(but I understand that they cannot afford to feed us nice things so that's OK)...but what isn't ok is that you only have 2 meals a day. Yes the website said only 2 meals, but conveniently enough it doesn't warn you about the portions. But you probably don't want a big portion anyways because the kitchen they cook it in is a cesspit. No volunteer has a set day off.. you are responsible to ask for your own days off, and more then likely they will decline it... or come up with a reason why you cannot have one. Many of the people who were volunteering there were unhappy with the work load, hours and food! Back to the days off.... they say you can have half days on sundays and I think maybe Saturdays.... this is not true. There was one night where one of the girls had to work until past 10 pm because Silke was leaving the farm. This brings me to Silke. She is helping monkeys and I commend her for that..... but she is a manipulative liar who I heard talking badly about volunteers when she didn't think I was listening. We pay to come and donate or time to those animals while shes having us work 12 hours a day and driving around in a nicer truck then my mom owns! Her staff is out of control. Belinda was absolutely lovely and so was Adelle and Minette but the rest of them had bad attitudes. Silkes daughter... well there are many words I can use here but I will resist, I can't remember one morning she actually smiled and said good morning. R.j does absolutely nothing, which made alot of volunteers angry seeing as they are paying to get worked down to the bone.... but many people especially one girl who was there thought Sue was the worst of them. She yelled at you, treated you like you were in the army, and threatened not to feed some of the volunteers any dinner one night if they didn't finish there chores (I was not here for that but I heard from other volunteers, and it wasn't just one volunteer it was several). I've run out of room, so this is the end of my rant. Thank You!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Cuddly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

100 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Enkosini is a big lie what”
Reviewed May 31, 2013

I spent almost 2 months volunteering at Bambelela wildlife & vervet monkey sanctuary and let me tell you that what Kelcey from Enkosini is saying is not true. What is advertised and what you get are not the same thing. The only animal you will definitely see there are monkeys and that's it. I was lucky because some baby lions arrived so I took care of them. That was the only good part. The monkey are nice but you clean the enclosures so you will pick up droppings all day....Is it worth the money ... NO
The food is not really good because you will have NO fruit & Vegetables. The dorms and kitchen are full of cockroaches.

Visited March 2013
6 Thank travelforthebest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
76 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Volunteer Worker at Bambelela”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

I spent several weeks volunteering at Bambelela Wildlife & Vervet Monkey Sanctuary and really enjoyed the hands on work. The infant monkeys are adorable and we were fortunate enough to have some lion cubs in need of TLC as well. Bambelela seems somewhat unique in that paying volunteers are directed to work like full time employees, with an expectation of around 55 hours a week. Getting your day off can also prove difficult. The care given to the animals is beyond reproach but there is rather less compassion for the volunteers. The food was well prepared but lacked fresh fruit and vegetables which did not help when some of the volunteers got sick. The atmosphere varied from great to very fraught indeed - and there is no independent way of leaving the property unless you have a car. For all the negatives, there were many positives, and with a little care, it could be a fabulous adventure. Overall then it was a very mixed experience, although met some wonderful people.

Visited January 2013
6 Thank BristolButterflyRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Craigavon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“If you care about wildlife conservation, it's a must!”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Bambelela cares for lots of different wildlife, but mainly vervet monkeys. The aim is to help them to form new troops which can eventually be released into the wild again. Many of the baby monkeys have had their mothers killed by cars or shot - very sad.

You had an excellent and very informative tour by Sue around all the various animal enclosures and then we spent time in the Monkey Kindergarten, with all the babies. They were all over us! One went inside my husband's shirt while another tried to pinch my glasses and we bottle fed them milk. We did get a bit grubby (although were able to wash out shirts in the washing facilities) so you need a change of clothing with you! We didn't mind in the slightest - it was a fabulous experience. We also saw a kudu, Capuchin monkeys, baboons and banded mongoose.

There are three lovely chalets you can stay in, with an excellent swimming pool. You need to be prepared to have a really quiet, relaxing time, enjoying the animals and the peaceful surroundings. It's a long way down the track to get there, but very well worth it.

There are toilet and washing facilities and you can buy water.

We took away the information about becoming a Guardian Angel to a vervet monkey, to help pay for its feeding and care. When we got home, we acted on this and now are Guardian Angels to two monkeys.

Well done to Bambelela for making a difference to all of these rescued animals!


Visited April 2012
2 Thank Joy7mr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great value for money. Well worth a visit”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We visited on the 30th Dec 2012 and were shown around by Sue. Learned a lot and got to see some amazingly cute monkeys, epsecially the pink faces who were about 4-6 weeks old. If you are in the area, go and see them. Not easy to find but worth the effort! :-)

Visited December 2012
Thank Damon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Bambelela Wildlife Care&Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation Farm also viewed

Bela Bela, Limpopo Province

Been to Bambelela Wildlife Care&Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation Farm? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing