Spleen-intact and splenectomized Saimiri monkeys of Guyanan origin were examined for their potential suitability for Plasmodium falciparum protection studies. The animals could be readily infected with adapted strains of P. falciparum (Indochina 1/CDC and Uganda Palo Alto FUP strains), but spontaneously recovered without drug treatment and without development of severe clinical disease. In intact animals, peak parasitemia prior to recovery generally ranged from 0.1% to 10%, whereas in splenectomized animals the peak parasitemia was generally higher so that some animals were given drug treatment to assist in recovery from infection. In reinfection studies, previously infected spleen-intact monkeys demonstrated sterile immunity to the homologous parasite strain but not to a heterologous strain. However, in monkeys infected with the heterologous strain, the peak parasitemia was less than in the first infection and of shorter duration. Splenectomized animals did not demonstrate sterile immunity although the peak parasitemia achieved was less than in the previous infection of each of these monkeys. While the lack of major clinical disease indicated that these monkeys did not provide a good animal model for human malaria, the development of protective immunity was consistent with a useful role in evaluating candidate vaccine antigens.