Volunteering in Zimbabwe – Lion Rehabilitation and Conservation

Posted by: Alida

As the plane touched down in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, I could not have been more excited to start my time volunteering in Zimbabwe with the Lion Conservation in Victoria Falls project. I was welcomed with open arms (and paws) and quickly settled into life at the project.

Starting every morning with the beautiful sunrise, a quick cup of tea followed by a bushwalk with the cubs; is something I will always cherish. Watching the first sun of the day, light up the golden grasses of the bush, and seeing the lions basking on rocks and enjoying the warmth is truly an indescribable feeling.

Getting to interact and observe the lions is amazing, each lion is so unique and it is a blast getting to know their different personalities. There was never a dull moment during my stay on the project.

The wide range of daily tasks and animal sightings kept everyday new and interesting. For example, one day you may do a lion walk, enclosure cleaning, and a snare sweep and then the next day you might visit the local orphanage, make toys for the lion’s behavior enrichment, and get a history and culture lesson.

Not only are the project activities fun and interesting, the town of Victoria Falls is just as exhilarating. You get Sundays off, which allows you to explore the town and do things like zip-lining, bungee jumping (if you’re brave!) or simply sleep in, relax and read a book. What surprised me most about this experience was how incredibly close I became with the staff and other volunteers. I knew I was going to adore the lions, but I did not expect to form such close bonds and friendships with the other people on the project.

I feel so privileged to have met so many wonderful people from all over the world. The people I met made every day so enjoyable and taught me so much. Overall, this project was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone.This project was the adventure of a lifetime.