Get up close with our rhinos and elephant herd where you will be involved in valuable conservation work that will help towards securing the futures of these endangered species.
You will get a unique behind the scenes insight into the running of this family owned 10,000 acre African game reserve in the heart of Zimbabwe. Learn about the animals, birds and trees that surround you and take a moment to savour the space and serenity that are so unique to Africa.
This hands-on diverse experience will see you studying and learning about the animals behaviour, undertaking anti poaching patrols to ensure the continued safety of the animals, helping to educate local school children about conservation, light veterinary work and general maintenance around the game park to camps out in the bush and night drives – no two days will be the same!
With 4 of Africa’s Big 5 game; lions, elephants, rhinos and buffalos along with a huge range of other wildlife including; sable, kudu, wildebeest, crocodile, hippo, giraffe and zebra this is an animal lovers paradise! You will hear incredible stories, learn about their history, witness amazing animal relationships and help with research projects to further everyone’s knowledge of the animals.
Get many opportunities to interact with these beautiful creatures where the emphasis is very much on wildlife conservation and the majority of your time will be spent in the game park.
Internationally renowned for their black rhino breeding programme, you will see first-hand the impact that your time and effort brings to the game park and the community.
Experience some of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful scenery while working on the front line of rhino and elephant conservation. This programme and country is bound to capture your heart and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime!
In the 1980’s during a period of Zimbabwe’s worst poaching, rhino numbers crashed from 10,000 to less than 1,000 in just a few years. The department of National Parks & Wildlife moved the remaining wild rhino into the custodianship of private conservancies, called Intensive Protection Zones – one being our game reserve!
Ivory and rhino horn poaching is rife throughout Africa and to protect these endangered animals they need the safety and security that we provide.
The elephants living here were orphaned in the wild at a very young age. We rescued them and have since provided them with an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible where they are able to flourish and live in ‘wild’ like conditions.
You will play a role in their continued protection and security as you enjoy getting to know their personalities.
Zimbabwe is one of the most underrated yet beautiful countries of Southern Africa that remains unspoilt. From the moment you arrive you will experience the friendliness and welcoming nature of the Zimbabwean people.
You will have the opportunity to go horse riding in the bush – an amazing way to experience the wildlife. For those who enjoy hiking we can arrange walks both on and off the reserve and you can also visit local cultural sites or go and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Harare.
If theres one thing you can be sure of, it’s that no two days will ever be the same and something unexpected is always around the corner!
You will get to learn all about these amazing animals from experienced handlers where you will get to observe and record their behaviour for important research projects.
You will get to interact with these iconic animals close up during feeding time and when you walk them back to their bomas in the evenings. Go out on morning scouts in search of our white rhino and use telemetry sets to identify tracks and signs of rhino movement and identify spoor.
Clean out their beds to ensure they are comfortable and clean and make any necessary repairs to their enclosures.
Monitor the movements and behaviour of our herd of elephants to identify patterns and relationships between each elephant and learn about their personalities and responses to different stimuli.
You will have the opportunity to walk with the elephants in the mornings and evenings where you will learn about these famous animals from their knowledgeable handlers and understand the threats they face and what we’re doing to protect them.
Clean out the elephant beds and repair their enclosures and any damage they may have caused while out and about in the game park.
Anti-poaching and Security
Undertake snare sweep patrols around the game park, looking for evidence of poaching and collect any snares / traps.
At least once per week you will head out on horseback and carry out herd monitoring off the beaten track and boundary patrols (fence checks etc…).
Camp Under The Stars
You will get to experience at least one camp-out during your stay here (depending on the weather) where you will cook over an open fire and sleep out in the game park under the stars. Looking up into the clear milky way, hearing the animals around you is an amazing experience!
Game Park Management
Help maintain fences, roads, fireguards and park equipment while also participating in tree planting, bush clearance and removal of alien tree species. You will get to monitor the animals and plants while carrying out regular game counts by foot, vehicle and on horseback.
Community and Teaching
Just outside of the game park there is a primary and secondary school where you will get to assist with English lessons, educate the children about the game park and conservation as well as be involved in sports and games! This part of our programme only runs during school term times.
In your free time you can go fishing and canoeing, enjoy camp-outs in the bush or relax by the pool at the volunteer house with a nice cold beer! You can head off to the nearest town where there are plenty of markets and shops. If you enjoy hiking then we can arrange trips to Wedza Mountain and trips to see the Bushman paintings at Markwe Caves. You will also have the opportunity to go on more horse rides (additional cost). If you wish to go further afield, then you must travel to the famous Victoria Falls!
Your home will be a thatched two-storey house that has a nice relaxed family atmosphere. Situated in the heart of the game park on the largest dam, this idyllic spot has a nice swimming pool, a braai area and plenty of opportunities for fishing.
There is a fully stocked bar on-site where you can sit and relax and watch the sun go down while listening to all of the wildlife around you.
You will be sharing your bedroom with up to 5 other volunteers (single sex) with comfortable single or double beds where you are sure to make new lifelong friends!
Be spoilt for choice with the three western style bathrooms and the three outside solar showers that provide amazing views over the dam! There’s even the luxury of hot water.
We are lucky enough to have a borehole that provides fresh spring water for drinking.
You can take advantage of the free laundry service every 2-3 days and use the Wi-Fi for a small additional charge.
Wifi – Yes (additional charge)
People per room – Up to 5
Single sex rooms – Yes
Airport Transfers – 90 minutes
All meals during the week (Mon-Sat) are provided within the programme fee, served buffet style, and are aimed to be as varied as possible. On Sundays our chefs have the day off so volunteers are responsible for preparing food for themselves or the group. Food is provided for this. Alternatively volunteers are welcome to book to have a delicious 3 course meal at Imire Lodge for just $20.
You can expect some of the following meals:
Breakfast – Eggs, toast, baked beans, fruit, cereal, porridge
Lunch – Spaghetti bolognese, pizza, salads
Dinner – Beef, chicken, vegetables
With prior notification we can cater for Vegetarians. Other dietary requirements such as gluten free/dairy free/sugar free will require you to provide your own foods and our chefs will happily prepare them for you.
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers from any background, religion and nationality, as long as you have no criminal convictions and are able to supply a clean criminal background check.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it dose not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive to Harare Airport (HRE) on your selected start date, being any Monday. You will be collected from the airport at 15:00 so please ensure your flight lands before this time. If you cannot find any suitable flights, please arrive a day before and check into a nearby hotel – you will be responsible for making your way to the airport the next day.
Our local team will be waiting in arrivals with a named sign and will then take you to the project site – around a 90 minute drive.
On your last day, you will be transported back to the airport for 09:00.
Are there any age restrictions for solo travellers?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 17 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 – 25, although this is by no means definitive and we regularly have volunteers of all ages.
What is the minimum age for travelling with my family?
If you are travelling with family and at least one member is aged 18 years old or over, then we welcome anyone from 5 years and up.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise all volunteers to apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates.
Generally speaking, you need to book at least 60 days before your programme start date, although if you are wanting to apply after this, please contact us and we will do our best.
What duration would you recommend?
On gaining feedback, we believe 2 – 4 weeks is the ideal time to get settled in and really involved in the placement. This also allows you to make the most of free time and explore the local areas and participate in any activities.
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are.
The majority of volunteers that we host, come from the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
You can travel and volunteer with friends, family and / or your partner.
If you are wanting to request to stay in the same accommodation please outline this in the special requirements section within the application form.
Is it safe to travel to these destinations?
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of £129 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due to less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payments methods, such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application was successful.
How do I arrange my travel insurance?
We have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy that is suitable for all of the programmes we offer. You will receive information about this policy along with your volunteer handbook.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, that all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try are best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would effect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that effect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. Its recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that £50 – £100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week..
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
There should be plenty of time to travel while on your placement and we actively encourage that you do! The local coordinators will be able to give you lots of travel tips and provide any help needed for your independent adventure.
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