Protection and study of primates in Benin


Restoring the primate habitat in the Mono Valley, Benin

This mission immerses you in an eco-development program in Benin. The project aims to set up a primate ecotourism circuit in the Mono Valley. With a local NGO, you participate in the identification of species of monkeys, plants and habitats, and awareness of the population of the region. No special skills are required to participate.

DUREE : 15 days minimum

DATES : all year

ACTIVITY : Wilderness

SPECIES : primates



INVOLVEMENT : 5 days a week, 8 hours per day

PUBLIC : any public over 18 years, individuals, eco-solidarity holidays, students,



The Mono valley is full of many relict forests which are today the refuge of three species of monkeys: the Vervet, the Mona, and the Red-bellied Monkey whose IUCN conservation status is today "in danger of extinction. ". Growing anthropogenic pressure is endangering primate populations, which nevertheless have great utility in balancing tropical forest ecosystems. This project aims to act locally in favor of primate populations and biodiversity in general. The chosen strategy, in order to preserve the natural potential of this region of Benin from destruction, is to promote the development of ecotourism activities and thus promote local ecodevelopment.

It is in this context that ecovolunteers participate in this mission in southern Benin. Their intervention involves assisting an NGO and local guides in the identification and enumeration of local flora and fauna to identify all the plant species that characterize the habitat of monkeys and to identify sites of predilection. for monitoring. Ecovolunteers are also involved in sensitization and primate protection activities in schools and villages where the project started the program.

The missions carried out in Kpétou Forest and Possotomé have revealed a population evolution ranging from 12 Mona Monkeys (2009 inventory) to 20 individuals (2018 inventories). The area of ​​the forest is insufficient to house a large number of individuals, hence the importance of restoration and expansion for the reception and development of a viable population of primates.

In addition to scientific monitoring, ecovolunteers take part in awareness-raising activities for local populations and in the development of future ecotourism activities. The meeting with the local inhabitants also makes it possible to collect the points of view and to recover detailed information in particular on the vegetable species of predilection which intervenes in the food of the monkeys.

This minimum 15 mission will take place on two sites: Possotomé and Kpétou at first and then in the reserve of the "Bouche du Roy".

Location / Habitat

The Mono Valley enjoys a sub-equatorial climate. The area is covered with vegetal formations including grassy savannah, marshy mangrove swamps and some islands of dense forest. The main activities are agriculture, fishing, livestock farming, processing of agricultural products, handicrafts and trade. There is also small livestock, an intense marketing activity of agricultural products, and craft activities related to their transformation.

Agriculture, fishing and hunting are the main activities carried out by the people of the valley. Population growth and game hunting are increasing the pressure on forest resources and thus increasing the threat of extinction to monkeys. It is therefore important to act to conserve and preserve the natural potential of the valley, especially around Lake Ahémé, where the forest resource is increasingly threatened. 

For more information on local weather conditions


There are more than 8 species of diurnal primates in Benin: grivet (Vervet) Erythrocebus patas (Patas) Papio anubis (Baboon) Cercopithecus mona (Mona) Cercopithecus erythrogaster spp erythrogaster (Red-bellied monkey) Procolobus badius (Red colobus) Colobus vellerosus (Colobus magistrate) and Colobus verus (Olive Colobus). These animals are active in the maintenance and renewal of the rainforest: Dissemination seeds, regulating tree growth canopy, forest regeneration, etc.

Located in the southwest of Benin, the Mono valley is full of many relict forests which are today the refuge of three species of primate including the vervet, the mona and the red-bellied monkey (a subspecies endemic to Benin). Many monkeys die, injured by the traps set by man. Others are killed by hunters who sell the meat in certain markets and / or consume it directly. During periods of food crops (maize, cassava, etc.) the monkeys invade the fields often trapped by the peasants, which explains the increase in the number of monkeys victims of traps or injured by the peasants during this period.

Their conservation status, according to the Red List of IUCN, ranging from "Least Concern 'to' endangered 'to the Cercopithecus erythrogaster spp erythrogaster.

Involvement ecovolunteer

The ecovolunteers are involved in all the activities carried out by this program, supervised by members of the NGO they will quickly carry out certain tasks autonomously. Ecovolunteers are involved in:

  • Inventories of primate populations and plant species;

  • The identification of new sites of predilection for the monkeys of the Mono valley;

  • The development of monitoring mechanisms or local conventions for the protection of primates.
  • Reforestation activities of the forest and feeding areas of monkeys;

  • Information, awareness and education actions for community organizations;

  • Planning activities for sustainable vision tourism around primates;


The project accepts trainees' participation in an agreement signed between the school (or university) and the project. The trainee must participate for a duration of 6 minimum weeks and show a great maturity and autonomy in his work on site. The subject of the internship should be related to the activity of the mission (see detailed list in the document to download)

Requests must be made at least 6 months in advance and will be accepted on a case by case basis, depending on availability and the candidate's profile. Trainees benefit from reduced travel expenses (see above).

Internship applications must be made to Cybelle PlanèteWe will help you in your efforts.

Requirements and constraints

To participate in this mission:

  • You must be between 18 and 65 years with a good physical condition (you must walk several kilometers a day and move on a motorcycle).
  • No other skills are required, apart from being able to live and work in forest areas and wetlands.
  • You must know how to demonstrate a good autonomy.

Before you register:

  • It is important to take detailed documentation for download (see right of this text).
  • You will need to return the medical fitness form (attached to the detailed documentation) completed and signed by you and your attending physician.
  • You must send us a CV and a motivation letter (by email This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Language (s) used (s)


Conditions for minors

Minors are not accepted.


Each ecovolunteer carries out at least one mission of 15 days:

  • 1 Day: Arrival and reception at the airport by a member of the project, night in Cotonou

  • 2 Day: Presentation of the project and the work schedule. Supervision, preparation and appropriation of fieldwork tools. Journey to the project

  • 3 day at 6: Field work at Possotomè and Kpétou

  • 7 day at 14: Field work in the reserve of the "Bouche du Roy"
  • 15 Day: Rest, preparation and travel back


The day of your arrival you will be accommodated in Cotonou (included in the mission expenses), and the next day you will be transferred to the project at 75 km. During your mission you will first be hosted in Possotomè, then in the village of Avlo.

You are staying in a cottage at 85 km Cotonou with room and bathroom, with a private room. 

Depending on the distance from the cottages to work sites, you will go there every day on a motorcycle (driven by the guide).

Complementary refueling races will be done two or three times during the mission (15 days) on foot or by bike.

The catering takes place in restaurants not far from the accommodation, it is also possible to prepare meals. Vegetarians are welcome.


The project can accommodate up to 4 volunteers at a time.


Registrations are possible from July 2021.

The ecovolunteers choose their dates of participation, subject to acceptance by the host team. Volunteers are welcomed at any time of the year.


Due to the pandemic, Cybelle Planète has set up specific conditions for participation. Please consult our conditions of participation before signing up for a mission.

See information related to Covid-19

Travel Information

You go to Cotonou airport on your own. A member of the project will meet you at the airport and escort you to the site or in the hotel (depending on your arrival time). The first night at the hotel is included in the price.

The accommodation village (Possotomé) is located 85 km from Cotonou airport. The transport time to reach Possotomé is 1h30.


Your eco-volunteering mission involves your voluntary participation in the project as well as your biodiversity donation. For each mission, the amount of the Biodiversity Donation is calculated according to the needs of the project and the time you will spend there. 70% of your donation is donated to the hosting project, it will largely be used to cover its material and personnel needs for its sustainability, and also to cover the hosting costs of eco-volunteers. learn more about Don Biodiversity

The costs of the ecovolunteers' missions consist of : your biodiversity donation and your membership in the mission, and non-tax deductible costs (ex: insurance, additional heating costs, over-classification of your accommodation - if offered)

Compensation for the impact of your trip

Cybelle planet pledges to reduceimpact of long-haul flights on the environment. In order to offset greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of your trip, Cybelle Planète has set up specific measures :

  • We no longer accept entries of less than two weeks involving long-haul travel.
  • Flat-rate contribution of 200 € to a territorial and carbon compensation fund for missions of less than 3 weeks.

We consider that a stay of at least 3 weeks, during which you have a positive action for local biodiversity (ex: eco-volunteering mission), and where you adopt a responsible mode of travel, partially offsets your emissions at the regional level. 

Amount of Don Biodiversity

  • 2 weeks of participation: 1200 €
  • 3 weeks of participation: 1260 €
  • Each additional week: 260 €


  • 1 month minimum: 579 € per month

tax deduction : For individuals, participation entitles you to a tax deduction of 66%. So a donation of 1200 € will only cost you 408 €.

For companies, the participation of your employees entitles you to a tax deduction of 60%. So a donation of 1200 € will only cost you 480 €.

Annual fee

Cybelle Planète is a French law association 1901, ecovolunteer stays are reserved for members who are members of their annual subscription of 50 €. This membership automatically gives you access to insurance (including liability, repatriation, medical expenses). Membership in Cybelle Planète is subject to a tax receipt. Learn more about memberships

Your budget

The hosting project supports:

  • accommodation, food and water,
  • supervision by members of the project,
  • your transfer from the airport A / R,

You remain at your expense:

  • your trip to Benin,
  • expenses incurred (drinks, restaurant, ....) that remain at your expense,
  • your complementary travel insurance (mandatory), including a Cancellation, Air / Train Delay, Baggage, Interruption of Stay.

Travel arrangements

You must organize your own trip to the project: transport, visa, vaccinations if necessary, ....

You will find on our website information concerning visas.

Cybelle Planet can arrange for you to book your airline ticketsThis service is optional.

Conditions of participation

The general conditions of participation in eco-volunteering mission from Cybelle Planet are available online.

Commitment ecovolunteer

Before committing yourself as a Volunteer, you must have read and accepted the charter of ecovolunteers.


In addition to the insurance included in your membership, you must take out cancellation insurance, loss or damage to luggage, and flight delay. Cybelle Planète will offer you insurance during your pre-registration or you can subscribe one by yourself. A certificate of insurance will be required before departure. To learn more about insurance

ethical commitments Cybelle Planète

The Cybelle Planet associationcommitted to the ecovolunteering charter. We have always chosen sharing, equity and solidarity for all our actions.

Tax deduction

Participation in our eco-volunteering mission is reserved for our "support" members.

Ecovolunteers pay Cybelle Planète a Biodiversity Donation in addition to their commitment in the field. 

Only the Biodiversity Gift and membership entitles you to a tax deduction (For companies or persons subject to corporation tax or income tax in France).

Medical fitness form

Your registration can not be validated unless we have received your medical fitness form completed and signed by you and your attending physician.

In order to avoid possible difficulties, we ask you to describe to us, as honestly as possible, your physical and emotional state.
Regardless of the medical situation, all projects are designed to accept as many participants as possible. For this reason, they remain attentive and are very understanding of the various health problems a candidate may have. All solutions are considered to enable the candidate to participate in the project, regardless of his or her state of health, and to the extent possible.
The consequences of misleading and / or omitted medical declarations can be very restrictive for the entire team involved in the mission, and in some cases dangerous (missions on the high seas, in very isolated sites, etc.). So, Any false declaration, omission or false information may be sanctioned by the immediate and definitive exclusion of the participant At its own expense and upon the exclusive and unilateral decision of the project. 

Download the form for a francophone mission

Download the form for an English speaking mission


An ECOVOLONTAIRE T-shirt is offered for any registration to an ecovolunteer mission.

Note that no resumption or exchange is possible, we invite you to consult the description and the size guide .

Testimonials for this mission ecovolunteers