Wildlife Volunteer

Join our team at the Lion and Cheetah Park in Zimbabwe, caring for orphaned, rescued and rehabilitated animals.

At this unique sanctuary you can make a real difference with both hand-on and hands-off animal management and care. Get stuck in with sustainable and ethical work and ongoing conservation efforts. Dive deep into African culture, live on a beautiful game reserve and use your time and skills for a great cause.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Work at a unique sanctuary specialising in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

  • Get hands on raising orphans, bottle feeding and nurturing them back to health

  • Join the onsite vet providing care and treatment to animals

  • Support conservation through educating the local community

  • Learn how to manage various aspects of a game park from snare removals to grassland management

  • Game drive, horse ride, camp under the stars and make friends for lif

The property consists of a 1000 acre wildlife reserve with a sanctuary and rehabilitation centre located at the heart of it. Volunteers asssit with both the reserve and the sanctuary, so the work is always fun and varied. This lifechanging experience will allow you to work closely with lions, white lions, jackal, monkeys, warthogs, zebras, wildebeest, giraffe and antelope, as well as non-native species like camels and wolves, who have found a safe haven in the sanctuary.

 

The project also runs a snake and reptile rescue centre that is open to the public, with a wide variety of snakes, chameleons, scorpions, tortoises and terrapins. This project is popular with those perusing or hoping to peruse a career with animals either through conservation, veterinary or nursing, charity work, zoo work and domestic animal care.

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The park strives to provide large,  high welfare enclosures for all of the animals, with a focus on behevioural enrichment and world class care of all species. The reserve and sanctuary are open to the public every day of the week. Visitors come to drive around the game reserve and take a tour of the sanctuary enclosures. This is a wonderful way to educate Zimbabweans about the importance of conservation, rescue, rehabilitation and animal rights. School groups often attend to see the animals and learn about preserving the natural world.

As a volunteer you will undertake a variety of activities, such as:

  • Morning/evening checks of all animal enclosures. A fantastic time to be alone with these great animals before the busy day starts and to stand just feet away as the lions roar at dawn and dusk

  • Feed and nurture orphaned and injured animals

  • Cut, weigh and supplement meat, then feed  the lion, wolves, jackal, crocodile and hyena

  • Enclosure cleaning and maintenance

  • Making toys and enclosure enrichment

  • Assisting with educational tours

  • Behaviour monitoring and research

  • Game counts and snaresweeps on foot or horseback

  • Sunset distribution of supplemented herbivore feed in the reserve. Done off the back of a 4x4 vehicle. This is a great chance to get very close to the animals who come within inches of the car as you are stood in the back. Often you are looking up at the underside of a giraffes head!

Volunteers play a central role in caring for the orphaned animals. Such youngsters take a lot of time, care and commitment in order to thrive and stand a chance of wild release. Often volunteers are assigned "primary caregiver" role for one or two animals during their stay. This allows both you and the animal to form a deeper level of trust and bonding.  It is not unusual to have to take the animals you are raising home with you in the evenings and feed them in the night. If the idea of sharing your bed with a little monkey, bushbaby or warthog is right up your street, this is the project for you.

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WHAT ELSE WILL YOU BE INVOLVED IN?

 

 

You will be able to assist with daily training of the young rescued wolf puppies. The woves have been raised by the team from 8 weeks old and are friendly and thrive on human interaction. When veterinary care and treatment occurs, you will be encouraged to assist and learn from the vet. This can include game translocation and captures that can happen at any time of year. 

 

You will also have a chance to hone bush skills with our guides, including tracking, spoor analysis, learning about the properties of plants and trees used for human medicine, navigation and camp set up.

NOTE: Daily activities will vary depending on what is needed at the time. The above is an indication and may vary depending on the needs of the animals.

FUN ACTIVITIES

During your stay you will be able to participate in a range of fun experiences to help you really get a feel for life in Africa.  These are all included in the cost of your stay and are scheduled in to your weekly plan and help volunteers bond with each other and the staff, and work together as a team.

· Braai in the game park

· Sundowners (drinks at sunset in the bush)

· Lunar horse rides under the full moon

· Town trips for dinner out

· Bush skills lessons

· Discovering ancient bushman paintings

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DAILY SCHEDULE

The day to day activities may vary depending on the time of the year and the animals in the sanctuary. The events of a day may change the night before, or even during the day, so we ask you to be flexible and able to adapt to changing plans in order to put the needs of the animals first. 

7.30 am —Enclosure checks and feed the animals

9.00 am — Enclosure cleaning, maintinance, behavioural enrichment. Care of orphaned or injured wildlife

12.00pm— LUNCH

2.00pm — Bush patrols and tracking lessons. Feeding animals in the game park. Care of orphaned or injured wildlife.

4.00pm —Educational tour for schools

5.00 pm —Work finishes

7.00 pm — DINNER

Evenings are at your leisure and are spent around the outdoor fire pit, having movie nights, going for a drink in town, card games and bonding with fellow volunteers.  Monday is your off day when you can choose to relax, shop and head to town.  Each Monday we also aim to arrange an optional extra trip or activity , so you really make the most of your time in Africa.

ACCOMMODATION

 

Your accommodation will be within the beautiful colonial thatched volunteer house on the boundary of the game park. There is hot and cold running water with both showers and baths for your use. A central kitchen allows you to make your meals and there is comfy living room with couches and a TV. The TV takes DVD’s and hard drives and you are welcome to bring your own supply.

Bedrooms may be shared if there are a number of volunteers at the time, with a maximum of three people. Rooms are same sex, unless you are a couple and wish to be in a room together.  All bedding and sheets are provided. You will need to bring your own towel.

House keeping will come to the house every day, clean your room, make your bed and do any clothes washing that is needed. All your laundry is included in the price of your stay.

FOOD

All your meals are included in the cost of your stay. Breakfast is self served and ingredients like milk, cereals, fruit, tea and coffee are provided in the kitchen. Lunch will be made for you and eaten at the volunteer house or in the garden. Lunch may consist of salads, burgers, pizzas etc. Dinner will also be prepared for you and eaten at the volunteer house. Dinners can include lasagne, stews and a cultural “braai” experience, which is a meal of meat (or vegetarian alternatives) cooked over an open fire. We can cater for most diets but need advance warning, so please highlight your requirements when making your booking.

STAYING IN TOUCH

During your stay you will be given a portable wifi dongle that you can load with data whilst with us. Most volunteers spend about 15 USD a week on their internet, depending on usage.  The internet in Zimbabwe may be slower than what you are used to at home, so we suggest you download any films and music before you come! You will have no problems sending messages, and uploading photos and videos to social media. 

You will also be able to assist with the  horses at the stables, enjoying rides in the bush, horseback game counts and snare sweeps and helping to keep the horses fit.

START DATES

 

You can join this project any week of the year. Volunteers fly in to  and out of Harare International Airport on Sundays. We can help you book the correct flights and also cater for alternative start dates, so if your travel plans are not able to fit the normal dates, please contact us for more information.

PRICE

In order to cover your accommodation and food, we ask for a volunteer fee to cover these aspects of your stay.

1 week -   £570

2 weeks - £1,140

3 weeks - £1710

4 weeks - £2280

5 weeks - £2,800

6 weeks - £3,370

7 weeks - £3,940

8 weeks - £4,510

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED

 

Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:

· Pre departure assistance with planning and flights from one  of our destination specialists

· Shared accommodation

· All horse riding and lessons

· Airport pick-up and drop-off from Harare International Airport

· 3 meals a day

· A fulltime housekeeping service and all laundry

· Onsite 24 hour volunteer coordinator 

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

 

· International or domestic flights to and away from the project

· Visas

· Insurance

· Extra activities on your day off