Volunteering in Zimbabwe – Truly a Dream

Posted by: Elise

My time at the Lion Rehabilitation in Antelope Park project feels like a dream. I only had 2 weeks there but they were hands down the best 2 weeks of my entire life. I cried when I left because I was leaving the place that I knew had changed me forever.

No one day was ever the same at AP. Each morning we would get up and be ready for morning activities at 6:30a.m. The morning activities could be something like walking the lions or working in the elephant boma. Then you would eat breakfast at 8a.m.

Usually the rest of the day’s events were varied and could be anything such as cleaning out lion enclosures, giving the lions water, prepping meat and feeding the lions, watching the elephant interaction, going to the children’s orphanage, or even going out on research to watch the adult lions.

Sure, at the time did cleaning out lion enclosures seem glorious? No. But it was actually just as memorable for me as walking the lion cubs. When I first arrived at AP I knew that these were going to be people that I considered friends for years to come. I am generally a little shy and I was incredibly nervous but I was welcomed with open arms into this diverse group of animal loving people. They were the ones that made the dirty tasks enjoyable because we would laugh through it all together.

On the weekends I enjoyed playing polocrosse and going on horse safari rides with the horse manager, Ted. I am so glad I did these extra activities. You don’t have to be experienced in riding to have a great time playing with the horses. In the safari we came across so many different animals that allowed us to get really close because they didn’t fear the horses we were on. I would also hang by the pool or go canoeing in my free time. Each night we sat by the fire and warmed our toes (it was mid-winter). Those talks by the fire are unforgettable.