Volunteering in Zimbabwe – Monkey Cuddles All Around!!!

Posted by: Trish

I would love to talk about my experience volunteering in Zimbabwe at the African Wildlife Orphanage project. I had booked for a three months placement. I was met at the airport by the lady of the family, Nicky and was housed in a cute little brick cabin by myself as requested. It had a bed and a dresser which was enough. The bathrooms were about 50 feet away.

There were all kinds of snakes and poisonous frogs and plants everywhere….my first glance at everything and I’m thinking to myself, omigoodness what did I get myself into for so long! There were 6 other volunteers there… all younger except for a married couple, but nice.

Our day started at 7am with making our own breakfast. We would meet with all the staff at 8 for the day’s work which would continue until 4 or 5. We were assigned different jobs with different staff and animals every day. We had baby monkeys which were so cute, but bratty; we took turns bottle feeding and playing with them as well as a little dyker and springbok. We cleaned cages, mucked out lion enclosures, cut fruit, and hauled branches for the antelope. We had tea break at the house at 9:30, lunch for an hr at noon, and supper at 6… where we were all glued to our internet for hrs!  We could either have baby time for an hr in the late morning, which meant hands on visiting with the baby monkeys, antelope, a lovely little serval called Prince, a lioness, or a sweet little jackal called Jackie.

I’ll never forget all the awesome friends I made… and the wonderful side trips we took to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Ruins, Matopas, and the safari as well. Everyday with the animals and people was a learning experience, I enjoyed every minute of it… loved the animals to death and when I win the lottery I will go back and build them all some awesome enclosures.