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Please Note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Africa or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.

Over the last 40 years, the African lion population has drastically decreased by 80-90%, from about 200,000 in 1975 to as low as 32,000 today. In an attempt to offset the rapid decline, the Antelope Park lion rehabilitation program works to reintroduce the offspring of captive-bred lions into the wild so they can one day have their own wild-bred offspring, a process that volunteers will learn more about during their involvement with the project. Spending time with the cubs in the wild each day is an essential part of developing the cubs' natural instincts, which is this project's priority. If the cubs are to be released into a wild environment it is important that they adapt to, learn from, understand, observe, feel, and smell the wild.
Location of the Project:  Antelope Park, 10km from Gweru, Zimbabwe Midlands
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 8 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ) or Harare International Airport (HRE)
Volunteer Work:  Management of the lions’ daily needs including food preparation, feeding, maintenance of enclosures and community work and conservation education
Age:  18-60. Age Exceptions: Volunteers aged 17 may apply with parental consent. Volunteers over the age of 60 require a medical certificate.
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 30 international volunteers
Important Note:  Suitable for groups and couples. Volunteers staying longer than five weeks will require a “temporary residence permit." This costs an additional $500-600 USD, to be paid upon arrival.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Twin or quad rooms at volunteer camp
Food:  Three meals per day are provided
Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are included on both arrival and departure days
Orientation:  Orientation upon arrival in Antelope Park includes meet and greet, introduction to Antelope Park, project overview and any training that is necessary before beginning the project.
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, business visa (between $30 - $75 USD depending on nationality), travel health insurance, personal expenses
This project takes place at Antelope Park, a private game park located 10km from the Gweru town center, in the heart of the Zimbabwe Midlands.
As a volunteer, you will get a chance to learn about and get involved in the three-step process of this lion rehabilitation program: the pre-release stage, the release stage, and the wild stage.

Some of your tasks may include: 
  • Making toys from natural materials for the young cubs as part of behavioral enrichment to stimulate their predatory and sensory behaviors
  • Observing and collecting data on the cubs' hunting skills 
  • Cleaning lion enclosures
  • Preparing meat for the lions 
  • Species counting on the reserve
Internet:  WiFi is available for a small fee, though can be sporadic due to the remote location.
Laundry:  Laundry will be washed, ironed, and folded free of charge.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will be staying in comfortable twin or quad rooms in thatched accommodations at the main reserve camp. Volunteers have separate, clean shower and toilet facilities located adjacent to the sleeping area. The rooms will be cleaned daily by the housekeeping staff. Room upgrades are available at an additional fee.
Food:  Volunteers are provided with 3 meals a day.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18 (or 17 with parental consent)
  • Police clearance
  • Basic level of English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Motivation to work with animals
  • Patience and enthusiasm
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
During their stay at Antelope Park, volunteers will have the opportunity to enjoy excursions to some of the other spectacular spots that Zimbabwe has to offer. These trips are also a great time for volunteers to interact and to get to know each other better. Some of the available activities include elephant rides, sunset cruises, horse rides, overnight safaris, and Polo Crosse games. 

Project Orientation (Included):
On arrival at the Antelope Park project, you will receive a comprehensive orientation, including:
  • Meet and greet with your Volunteer Coordinator, Volunteer Manager, Scientific Researcher and all senior project staff
  • Introduction to Antelope Park and surrounding area
  • Overview of the project and volunteer manual, which includes information that will help with your integration into the project
  • Familiarization of the work areas – including lion and cub enclosures, rivers, internal roads and tracks, and some of the wildlife species
  • Safety briefings and cultural introduction
  • Any extra training that you will need for volunteer duties such as data capture
  • Further information on the lion breeding program and our ultimate objective of releasing lions into the wild
4-Day Victoria Falls Excursion Trip (Not Included)

During the low season, for an additional fee, volunteers may havew the opportunity to participate in a 4-day/ 3-night trip to Victoria Falls. This trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World offers the chance to bungee jump, go white water-rafting, ziplining, sunset cruising and more! 
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