Volunteering in Zimbabwe – Wildlife Orphanage

Posted by: Winnie

Going to Africa was a lifelong dream of mine. My experience at the African Wildlife Orphanage project was worth all the long flights and excruciatingly painful layovers in the world. Upon arrival at my destination, I was greeted by two lion cubs at the orphanage. There was a 5 month old male & a 20 month old female. It was such a magical encounter.

To be able to interact with a wild animal like that freely (especially the huge lioness) left me in such awe, I’ll never forget how it felt. Being in Africa felt really surreal to me. It took a full week for it to sink in that I was really there. Sure, I wasn’t too thrilled with all the bugs and creepy crawlies that came in and out of my cabin so freely, but it was all worth it since I had such great time there.

My first trip to africa wasn’t all work and education. There were some fun and wild adventures as well. I got to visit the Hwange Game Reserve and saw many beautiful animals, free in the wild. I was also able to visit Victoria Falls. It’s no wonder that the falls are one of the seven natural wonders of the world. All I can remember was saying, “Wow!”  During my time at the Vic Falls, I got to brave the class 5 rapids on the Zambezi River. Despite our raft being capsized by the rapids, I survived… and saw a crocodile on the side of the river after we all got back on the raft.  *gulp*  I was also crazy enough to do the gorge swing.  It was such an adrenaline rush to drop 70 meters and swing across the gorge.  Too bad I wasn’t able to swing all the way to the Zambia side, but I totally recommend doing the swing.

Like all good times, they all end too soon. I remember saying goodbye to all the animals my last morning at the orphanage. I couldn’t keep the tears from my eyes. I really appreciate the owners and staff members at the orphanage for giving me such a great & memorable experience. I hope my stay there had contributed to their endless effort in saving these beautiful animals and I hope more and more people can help their cause in the future.