Zimbabwe - African Wildlife Orphanage
Volunteer at one of the largest and most successful wildlife rehabilitation and release centers in Africa! Volunteers on this project work with a range of animals, anything from monkeys to lions. Experience beautiful Zimbabwe while making a positive impact on the delicate African ecosystem.
|Location of Project||Bulawayo, Zimbabwe|
|Project Length||Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Bulawayo Airport|
|Volunteer Work||Handling the animals, preparing animals' food, cleaning out enclosures, promoting environmental education|
|Number of Participants||2-15 international volunteers|
|Age||17 - 80|
|Accommodation||Includes housing in cabins|
|Food||3 meals a day|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Included from the Bulawayo Airport|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Orientation||All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival|
|Travel Insurance||Comprehensive travel & health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage|
What's Not Included
The Zimbabwe wildlife orphanage is located in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe. During your free time experience the exciting nightlife on offer, or escape the city and explore the diverse landscapes all around. Nearby lies the Mapotos National Park which has the highest concentration of leopards of all national parks.
About the Project
2. Education: to educate the Zimbabwe public, especially young children, with the aid of live viewing of many species not easily seen in the wild. Provide relevant lectures, film and slide shows for visiting groups. Thus providing a local resource centre for children to appreciate the important value of Zimbabwe's natural heritage.
3. Nature Conservation: to teach people and especially children, to appreciate the wonder and variety of indigenous wildlife and not to take it for granted; that these animals or their environment will not always be there for their enjoyment without the correct management of our natural resources.
4. Research: to observe and record useful zoological information on captive animals such as body growth and development, nutrition, dentition and gestation periods. Relevant research and field surveys are undertaken in the wild, under natural conditions in National Parks and protected areas.
5. Cooperation: To provide a link between local and governmental authorities thus being able to offer assistance to organizations like SPCA, National Parks, schools, and private individuals wherever problem animals are concerned.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Upon arrival, volunteers will be met by a staff member who will take them straight to the orphanage (about 45 minutes). No experience is needed to work with the animals as all the training will be provided. All we ask is that volunteers are enthusiastic and dedicated to working with animals. During the first week, volunteers will be getting to know how the orphanage runs. During this orientation period, volunteers will work with different teams. Volunteers will get an introduction to working with the carnivores, primates, birds of prey, snakes and domestic animals. The main duties will include:
- Preparing food for the animals (keeping in mind the different diets of the various animals, including meat preparation)
- Feeding the animals
- Cleaning out enclosures
- Contributing enrichment ideas for the animals
- Helping to build and maintain enclosures
- Giving tours and educating the public
- Hand rearing orphans (comfort them when they cry, feed them when they become hungry, and generally just play with baby animals. However, this can also be very tiring as they may need feeding during the night or just need a cuddle when they get scared.)
Schedule: Volunteers are expected to work 6 days a week, with Mondays off. Volunteers will work 8 hours a day (8:00 to 16:00) but will always be on call during fire season and when we have babies in. Baby shifts will be shared between the volunteers as we would not expect them to be awake with them all night.
Accommodations: volunteers will be provided with cabins (1-3 people per cabin). The rooms will be equipped with a comfortable bed, mosquito nets, 2 shelves, wardrobe, bed side table, and electricity. Additionally, volunteers will be provided with clean sheets, blankets, and a swimming towel. The site has hot water showers, flushing toilets, braai (BBQ) area, kitchen, and a swimming pool available for volunteers. At the main house there are comfortable sofas and a TV. There is also a lounge especially for volunteers containing a DVD player, bar, and library.
Laundry Services: laundry is done for you twice a week and freshly ironed by the staff.
Internet: internet is available in the main house and costs $20 for the duration of your stay. Bring your own computer if you wish to access the Internet.
During the stay at the wildlife orphanage, volunteers may be taken on excursions related to the goals of the orphanage. These are included in the fees.
Outside of the volunteer placement, Zimbabwe has much to offer travelers. Feel free to explore the majestic Victoria Waterfalls, world class safaris, or luxury boat cruises on Kariba Lake to ancient historical sites of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
Harare: Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe and is full of history and culture. It is the perfect place to learn about Zimbabwe's past struggles and triumphs.
Victoria Falls: the options here are extensive. Go bungee jumping off the bridge at Victoria falls or white water rafting on the mighty Zambezi river. Take a leisurely walk around the Victoria Falls National Park to see "the smoke that thunders" one of the wonders of the world. To finish off the day, go on a nice relaxing sunset cruise and witness the animals bathing in the river.
Lake Kariba: Lake Kariba is the world's largest artificial lake or reservoir at a massive 220 kilometers long and up to 40 wide. It is very popular with the tourists who enjoy using the lake as a mini cruise. Volunteers can rent a house boat or use the ferry to get from Binga to Kariba. Is it a good place for fishing but also for wildlife watching as the animals come to the edges to drink. It is not advised to swim though as it now has a population of Nile crocodiles and hippos.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins: The Great Zimbabwe ruins are an ancient village built of stones on a hill top. This is where the name of the country was derived from, Dzimba dzemabwe (houses of stones).
- Good Level of English
- Motivation to work with animals
- Vaccinations, please consult doctor before departure
- Flexible attitude and hard-working
- Minimum age 17 years old
Here's an excerpt of Winnie's experience:
Check out our Volunteer Blog at blog.goeco.org
"I loved working with so many different types of animals and felt like I was making a difference to the Orphanage! I can’t say enough about how fabulous the Wilson family are who own the place - they take you in and treat you like a member of the family. You eat home cooked meals with them, work alongside them and sponge their free WIFI off them! The Wilsons help with anything you need - nothing is too much trouble - they booked our trip (including buses and accommodation to Vic Falls for us), they assisted others with Visas or seeing a doctor. I went for nearly 3 weeks but it wasn’t long enough (especially if you take a few days out to go on a trip somewhere) - 4 weeks would be a better time frame to really have the opportunity to do everything you want to do! I would love to go back one day..." Patricia Wilson 2012