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Introducing our 2023 Volunteer Grant: Apply for two weeks and enjoy a 3rd week for free!
Limited grants are available for start dates between October 1st till December 31st.
Schedule a phone interview to evaluate eligibility. Make a lasting impact.
Volunteer at one of the largest and most successful wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation centers in Africa! Volunteers on this project work with a range of animals, from monkeys to lions. Experience Zimbabwe’s natural beauty while making a positive impact on the delicate African ecosystem.
Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment):
Arrival Day, Sunday: Arrive at Bulawayo Airport (BUQ). You will be picked up by the local team and taken to your accommodation in Bulawayo. If you arrive on an early flight, you will be taken on a tour of the Orphanage after settling in, otherwise you will have the opportunity to rest and then meet the rest of the crew at dinner.
Days 1-2, Sunday-Monday: You will typically have Sunday afternoon and Monday off to rest, explore and enjoy your Zimbabwean experience.
Days 3-7: Tuesday-Saturday: You can expect to volunteer about seven hours a day. Participate in such tasks as feeding the animals and cleaning their enclosures in the morning, spending quality ‘Animal Time’ getting to know the birds and animals before lunch, and resuming daily duties in the afternoon. Please note that you will always be on call during fire season and when babies are on-site. Baby shifts will be shared among the volunteers (you will not be expected to stay up all night with the babies).
Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Tuesday-Sunday mornings and having Sunday afternoons and Mondays free. Departures are on a Sunday.
Location of the Project: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Project length: Minimum 2 weeks – Maximum 12 weeks
Arrival Airport: Bulawayo Airport (BUQ)
Volunteer Work: Handling the animals, preparing animals’ food, cleaning out enclosures, promoting environmental education.
Age: 18-80. Age Exceptions: this project accepts volunteers who are 16-17 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.
Number of Volunteers: 2-15 international volunteers
Important Note: Family option: this project accepts families with children as young as 12 years old.
Accommodations: Includes housing in cabins
Food: Three meals per day are provided
Airport Transfers: Airport pickup and airport drop off is included included
Orientation: All necessary training and introductions are provided upon arrival
Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.
What’s not Included
Flights, entry visa (between $50-$100 USD depending on nationality), travel health insurance, personal expenses. *You will need a double-entry visa if you plan to visit Zambia.
Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second largest city and home to more than 650,000 people. This city is considered the business and industrial capital of the country. The wildlife orphanage is located about 30 minutes from the city and set on a beautiful, family-owned property. Nearby lays the Matopo National Park, which has the highest concentration of leopards of all national parks, including Victoria Falls.
The orphanage is a haven for animals that have little hope for survival in the wild. These are creatures which have been orphaned, abandoned, injured, born in captivity or brought up unsuccessfully as pets. Additionally, it is home to an increasing number of animals that have been confiscated from illegal wildlife traffickers. The orphanage has been featured in countless documentaries and is now world-renowned for its pioneering work and is famed as one of Africa’s largest and most successful wildlife rehabilitation/release centers.
This project was established in 1973 by a former game ranger and is family-run. The wildlife orphanage is not a zoo. Wherever possible, rescued animals and birds are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. If safe release into their natural habitat is not possible, animals are cared for and kept for educational purposes and zoological study. In the case of endangered species, captive breeding programs may also be undertaken.
The five primary goals of the orphanage are as follows:
Upon arrival, volunteers will be met by a staff member who will take them to the orphanage. No experience is needed to work with the animals as all relevant 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 staff members to get an overview of working with the carnivores, primates, birds of prey, snakes and domestic animals on-site.
Some of your tasks may include:
Please note that volunteer tasks depend on the current needs of the community and the wildlife and also upon the volunteers’ length of stay. Volunteers may only participate in some or all of the tasks.
Typical Schedule: Volunteers are expected to work six days per week, with Mondays off. Volunteers will work eight hours per day (8:00 AM to 4:00 PM) but will always be on call during fire season and when there are babies on-site. Baby shifts will be shared between the volunteers, as we would not expect you to be awake with them all night.
2021 Achievements: Throughout 2020 the orphanage stayed open and functioned throughout COVID. We assisted the local communities with the capture and relocation of several animals. This included a brown hyena, leopard several snakes, genets, civets, and white-tailed mongoose
We successfully released:
With the help of volunteers, we completely renovated our kudu enclosure.
Internet: WiFi is not available, but the local team will help volunteers purchase a SIM card locally.
Laundry: Laundry is washed and freshly ironed by the staff twice per week.
Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in two-person cabins. The rooms are equipped with a comfortable bed, mosquito nets, shelves, wardrobe, bedside 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 to use during the summer months. 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.
Food: Three meals are provided per day. Most meals include meat dishes but vegetarian meals can be arranged. Dinner is usually eaten together with the team of volunteers and/or local family. Tea, coffee and cold water are available throughout the day. If the volunteers wish to cook for themselves or have a braai (BBQ) they are more than welcome.
*** NOTE: At the moment, the project team cannot accommodate volunteers with a strict vegan or gluten-free diet.
Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:
Volunteers often travel before, during or after their volunteer placement. Some places you may want to check out include:
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