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ZAMBIA

THE LION RESEARCH, REHABILITATION AND RELEASE PROJECT IN LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

The alarming rate at which lions in Africa is decreasing is heartbreaking. This programme enables you to assist in research and rehabilitation, and to have extremely close encounters with lions!

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 another 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. Your work will assist in helping this project to continue and, over the long term, will also hopefully contribute to preventing the decrease in the lion population in Africa.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £1,345 (approx. US$1,770) for 2 weeks
£320 (approx. US$415) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 4 weeks, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates and Availability: All year round - you choose your start and finish dates. Projects start every Monday.
Requirements: Minimum age 17. No qualifications needed. You should be willing to muck in with anything.
NOTE: You must be a minimum of 1.55 metres (5 feet 1 inch) tall to participate on this project.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to and from your Project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in animal care and animal conservation and lion rehabilitation. Also suitable for anyone wanting to study abroad and learn about the practice of conservation and animal care overseas.
Also available as a summer placement in Zambia or Africa or for someone who can only afford the time to take a short break.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of knowing that your work is contributing to wildlife conservation and that you made a difference.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ZAMBIA info@travellersworldwide.com

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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.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 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.

START DATES:
For 2016 the start dates are:
Jul 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th
Aug 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th
Sep 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th
Oct 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st
Nov 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
Dec 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th

The start dates for 2017 are:
Jan: 2nd ,9th, 16th , 23rd and 30th.
Feb: 6th,13th , 20th, and 27th
March: 6th,13th and 27th

ACCOMMODATION

Just a stone’s throw away from the Zambezi River, you'll love the beautiful location of your newly built accommodation. You’ll share a room for two, in one of our ten brand spanking new rooms! After a long hard day’s work, you can kick back and relax outside listening to the sounds of the African bush or take advantage of its spacious outdoor space with a game of football or two.

The modern but basic house has a common lounge room and recreational area, as well as toilet and shower facilities.

With Victoria Falls close by, and Livingstone just down the road, there’s no shortage of breathtaking and exciting activities to get stuck into on your days off!

Wi-Fi / Internet: There is Wi-Fi / Internet access available at the project base, but you will need your own device and they charge around ZMW 15 ($3) per day. There are also a good number of internet cafés but the connections don't seem to be very reliable. On average you will pay around ZMW 15 (US$3) per hour. There is also a bakery which offers free Wi-Fi if you have a laptop.

FOOD:
Food is included on this project. Three delicious meals a day are prepared and eaten at a restaurant which is on the same property. Don’t worry if you need to eat out because we offer packed breakfasts and lunches depending on what fun activities you get up to.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

THE AIM OF THE PROJECT IN LIVINGSTONE:
To contribute to the welfare and rehabilitation of the cubs as they undertake pre-release training in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park; take part in a research program to better understand the ecology of elephants in the Park and join our conservation education and community programs to involve communities in conservation as part of our holistic approach. Enjoy time spent walking with the lions along the banks of the mighty and beautiful Zambezi river, with the potential of witnessing them chasing down game in the National Park as well as getting involved in important tasks related to the conservation and preservation of this noble beast.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Your Arrival: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of staff who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ZAMBIA info@travellersworldwide.com DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

ANY QUESTIONS?

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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Coming Soon!

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.

SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ZAMBIA info@travellersworldwide.com

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

It'is an unbelievable experience to go down the river on a boat and watch a herd of elephant bathing in the shallows and throwing water in their with their trunks while they keep a wary eye on you to ensure you don't get too close to their babies - it's an experience you never forget. I never have!

LOCATION - LIVINGSTONE AND VICTORIA FALLS:
All our projects take place in Livingstone town, a quaint but lively area very close to Victoria Falls. You'll have plenty of opportunities to participate in the multitude of activities that surround the Falls, from white-water rafting and canoeing on the magnificent Zambezi River to bungy-jumping or game spotting in the Reserve.

Livingstone is the capital of the Southern Province and is situated just north of the Zambezi River, which forms the border with Zimbabwe. It is a major tourist centre serving visitors to Victoria Falls, but the main streets of this colonial town, Mosi-oa-Tunya, are lined with classic colonial buildings, with Victorian tin roofed houses and wooden verandas.

he spectacular Victoria Falls Bridge is only about 10km away from Livingstone, and the area surrounding the Falls and Livingstone town have given it the name of ‘adrenaline capital of the world’.

Livingstone is a fun town where tourists come for adventure, sports and an adrenalin kick. Being so close to the powerful Zambezi River, water sports are everywhere!

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES:

  • White water rafting is a must! If you are keen for the ultimate thrill then a multi-day trip along the Zambezi is it! The Zambezi provides the best rafting trip on the planet! You'll crash through some of the biggest commercially run rapids in the world. Batoka Gorge provides one of the most intense sensory thrills imaginable. Its twenty three whitewater rapids and striking scenery deep within the sheer black cliffs afford the adrenaline junkie a wild roller coaster ride along a route carved over millenia by the Great Zambezi.
  • Bungee Jumping for the very brave: The highest commercial bridge jump in the world in the most spectacular setting over the Zambezi River! This must be the ultimate adrenaline rush. It’s an indescribable feeling that will probably change your life!
  • And more: You can do riverboarding, abseiling, kayaking, canoeing, walking safaris, elephant back safaris, fishing, flights over Victoria Falls, quadbiking, golf and scuba diving. This is a real adventure playground!
REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

RACHEL STUCK
American
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Zambia

Nothing can describe what it is like to get up and be with lions every single day for a month. It was amazing to have the lions get to know you and come up to the fence to try and greet you.

Even the work with meat prep and enclosure cleaning was worth it to be knowing you were feeding a lion and helping save such an amazing species.

I was fortunate to be there when they had cubs which was of course cute and adorable, but also so amazing to see how even when they are so small they still have such amazing natural instincts!

I cannot wait to celebrate world lion day on August 10 and think back on all the great memories I have made!

PATRICIA BARROS
British
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Zambia

I have learnt lots about lions, their behavior and how they are now endangered in Africa. I have also learnt about the local culture and a lot about the other wild life in the national park.

2) What is the best thing about your placement so far? Taking the lion cubs out on walks most days and helping move the lions to a bigger enclosure (they had to be sedated for this and the volunteers played a big role in assisting). I have also got to 'cub sit' 1 month old lion cubs to get them used to humans which has been amazing. But everything about it is pretty good to be honest!

3) Would you recommend this placement to anyone else? Yes, most definitely I love it!

4) What type of person do you think this placement would suit? Someone who is passionate about animals and wildlife in general. Also someone who doesn't mind a bit of manual labour - though it is shared out equally between everyone.

5) What, if any, improvements could be made to the placement? Can't think of any to be honest.

6) Can you describe a typical day? We meet in the main house at 6.45am to discuss the day. We start the day at 7am usually most of us go out on a lion walk first thing. We have an hour breakfast break between 9.30-10.30am, where we have a cooked breakfast. We go out on our second activity at 10.30am which can be a number of different things. We stop for lunch between 1-2.30pm which is cooked for us. We then go on our last afternoon activity until 5.30pm. We get served dinner around 5.30pm. Every day is different as all the activities are shared out between everyone.

7) Any other relevant comments? Everyone here is very welcoming and friendly and go out of their way to do anything to help. It's really a lovely place.

KYM STANLEY
Australlian
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Zambia

Even though the sole purpose for me was to be up close and personal with the Lions in Zambia, there were many other experiences while I was volunteering on this program that made my time a special one.

One of these moments was when I was part of a group that needed to head into the National Park and execute a snare sweep. This was something new to me however, I knew this occurred throughout Africa. Some locals still do not realize that these creatures of Africa provide tourism and therefore money to their countries. When it comes to feeding your hungry family and saving an animal that they do not see is important, then you can see why this still occurs.

Education is vital there to stop snares being set up. So when we all stood in a line and started walking forward together one meter a part it was such an over whelming feeling when the first snare was found by one of the volunteers. We marched forward together in a sequence again. Once again a yell was heard a few meters away from us, another snare had been found.

It was bitter sweet, to be finding these snares was wonderful as we were saving one animal every time we found one however on the other hand it was still a huge problem that in this day and age that needs to be eliminated.

The Local scout that I was walking along side had tears in his eyes when each snare was found. His passion for saving African animals was evident and maybe a glimpse of hope that in time this barbaric practice will soon come to an end.

At the end of our short trek through the National Park, we found 15 snares, these were handed to the ZAWA officers that was with us. The smile on his face was hard to miss, he to realized that we had saved 15 animals lives that day.

This experience just proved that I was volunteering in a program that not only cared about the Lions they were raising but were also interested in the local community and the other creatures that lived along side their reserve.

DANIELLE EVANS
British
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Zambia

1) What experience do you feel you are gaining? Whilst at the placement I am learning new skills everyday regarding the lion breeding programme requirements and developing effective teamwork and communication skills to working alongside others.

2) What is the best thing about your placement so far? Meeting incredible staff and volunteers at the placement and being able to learn and work alongside lions of differing ages.

3) Would you recommend this placement to anyone else? This placement is incredible and would highly recommend it and would definitely save money to return.

4) What type of person do you think this placement would suit? This placement is suitable for anyone with an open mind, a good work ethic who is willing to get involved in any practical tasks asked of them and for people not afraid of getting their hands dirty.

5) Can you describe a typical day? The day starts with a 6.45am meeting to discuss the days events and rota, you do 2 hrs in the first session i.e this could be a lion walk, then breakfast break for an hr.

At 10-12.30 the second session runs which could be meat prep or enclosure cleaning for the lions before lunch 1-2.30. 2.30-5 the 3rd session runs which may be another lion walk if you are lucky or it could be taking part in research on one of the sites or maybe even teaching in the community.

The rota is varied which helps you develop lots of skills and gain lots of experiences.

8) Any other relevant comments? An outstanding project which will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime...the most pleasurable placement that I could ever imagine doing with animals, will be difficult to beat.

PETA SUTHERLAND
Australian
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Zambia

Considering where I was, I couldn't have asked for better facilities. Although the accommodation wasn't what I was necessarily used to, I really enjoyed the accommodation and was overwhelmed by how friendly and helpful all the staff were!

Deciding to embark on a volunteer experience in Africa was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Traveller's Worldwide made the process of choosing what project I volunteered with easy and we're very helpful and supportive throughout the entire pre-departure stage.

The project is a magical place. The commitment of the entire project team to the re-introduction of the African Lion cannot be compared.

I enjoyed every minute of my time there and would recommend it in a second to anybody who has a passion for wildlife and conservation of some of the most amazing and precious animal species on the planet. I took away with my many memories that I will cherish forever. Being able to give a healing hand to a worthy cause is something that I am very proud of.

The team at the Project allow you as a volunteer to get very involved and up close with the lion cubs both physically and emotionally. One of my favourite memories was playing tug-of-war with 2 lion cubs using a tree branch. I can never quite believe that I was able to be that close and that comfortable around the king of all beasts!

Absolutely amazing!