WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION
This outstanding project where you'll work with lions takes place in Livingstone, Zambia. The involvement of volunteers on the project is paramount to achieving our aims on all fronts. You can expect days to be long, but you will also be able to end each day knowing that you have given something back to Africa; having made a difference to the animals and people that you come into contact with.
Your primary task whilst on placement will be to assist management and their team of guides, handlers and scouts in all aspects of care for the animals in their charge; giving them the opportunities to develop their natural instincts in preparation for their release into the next stage of the program.
Research is a significant part of your role; collecting data not only on the development of the lions, but also joining the elephant monitoring team in the National Park.
You'll also help them with our various community programs that may include conservation or health education as well as a number of other projects that you will be told about on arrival. To give you an idea of how your time will be split between the different aspects of the program, the following should be taken as an approximation:
- Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Program 75%
- Conservation work within the National Park 20%
- Conservation Education & Community Development 5%
YOUR DAILY TASKS MAY INCLUDE:
CONSERVATION: As a volunteer you will get involved in the daily care of the lions. This can include preparing their food (you need to be able to handle raw meat), cleaning and building enclosures, and behaviour enrichment.
RESEARCH: A large part of the project will involve you conducting vital research, from the smallest to the largest members of the animal kingdom! You’ll find yourself observing our pride of lions who’s wild born cubs are due to be released into the wild. Our research activities are aimed at better understanding lion behaviour and ecology, in your time as a volunteer, you’ll focus on collecting data on a variety of social, territorial and hunting behaviours of the pride.
Assisting in collecting insects and also in the surveying of small mammal populations, are just some of the exciting conservation activities which you’ll get stuck into on this project.The research studies being undertaken whilst on your placement will vary depending on the needs of the project at the time. You’ll receive all the training you need in order to ensure that you are able to provide valuable input to this program regardless of previous experience.
ELEPHANT MONITORING: Conflict with humans is a major issue for elephants in the region, but understanding how to mitigate the conflict first requires an understanding of the ecology of the species within the National Park. Volunteers will join the research team to identify individual elephants, to track seasonal changes, score body condition, record location and group sizes; all so that these data can be correlated to crop raiding incidents. Through this program they hope to be able to find patterns in elephant use of the Park to understand why the conflicts arise and therefore be able to provide reasonable solutions to reduce the conflict.
CONSERVATION EDUCATION, TEACHING AND SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT: The rural schools serving the communities with which we work are severely lacking in resources. As part of our responsible development approach, you'll assist these schools in a number of important ways:
• Assist the teaching staff in lesson planning, producing teaching aids and providing pupils with more individual attention during lessons;
• You'll also prepare and give lessons yourself in a variety of subjects to these eager children. We work with all ages - from preschoolers to school-leaving age;
• You may help to upgrade school facilities through refurbishment or building projects to provide a better learning environment.
In addition to our support of daily, basic education, we also undertake a variety of course within communities to support classroom teaching; all of which are intended to uplift these poor rural communities, and give them greater opportunities in life. You’ll be involved in preparing and leading this programmes, which include conservation education, as well as vital literacy and numeracy skills.
- Experience the African bush in a very special way as you spend time out in the Mosi-oa-Tunya
National Park. You will be actively involved in a number of conservation activities.
- Immerse yourself in local Zambian culture.
- Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the programme.
- Join the conservation education team in local schools giving you a wonderful insight
into the community.
- Optional adventure activities, from white water rafting on the mighty Zambezi River;
bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge or a helicopter flight over the Falls.
- Optional trips to spectacular wildlife areas in neighbouring Botswana or Zimbabwe,
including the enormous Hwange National Park, Chobe National Park, walk with Rhino
at Matopos National Park and the Lion Programme at Gweru Park.
The project starts every Monday of the year.