After extensive research, I decided to volunteer at the African Wildlife Orphanage project. I was very excited to begin volunteering because I love animals and wanted to help them. I decided on the orphanage because of the diversity of animals living there and the volunteer work sounded interesting. After a very long flight, I was greeted by the staff and was given a tour of my new home. I was ready to work from day one! I wanted to begin feeding and interacting with the animals as soon as they would let me. After meeting the staff and my fellow volunteers, I realized that I was not alone in my love for animals. All the volunteers were just as enthusiastic as I was to be there and wanted to help the animals living at the orphanage.
Each week the groups were designated to work in different teams like carnivores, primates, antelopes, and babies. We started the day early in the morning with breakfast and then depending on your group you were assigned other daily tasks. Since everyone loved feeding the babies, it was rotated each week to a different group. The first week I was in the group that fed the babies. They were so cute and sweet, but needed a lot of attention. Once we finished with the babies we then worked on the other tasks that we were given. I had a variety of responsibilities such as cleaning cages, feeding the animals, going for food, or maintaining enclosures. Once I finished my chores in the morning, I was given an hour to interact with any animal I wanted. It was so much fun and I made sure to pick a new animal every day. Around noon, we all had lunch in the dining room then went and rested and talked about the morning events.
In the afternoon, we continued working around the orphanage and helping with any other tasks that needed to be done. When the day finished, I would usually relax in my cabin until dinner, which was usually followed by a huge bonfire. The bonfires were so much fun because we would all gather around and have a great time talking about the day or share stories. This was a great time to get to know the other volunteers and learn about where they came from and why they were in Africa. I really enjoyed volunteering in Zimbabwe at the wildlife orphanage and would go back in a second!