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ZIMBABWE

WALK WITH LIONS: THE LION RESEARCH, REHABILITATION AND RELEASE PROJECT, GWERU, ZIMBABWE

Work hands-on with Lion Cubs on a Game Reserve near Gweru. The Gweru location is a 3,000 acre Game Reserve and tourist spot about 10 kilometres from Gweru. The main camp facility - made up of thatched African rondavels and buildings - rests on the shores of a beautiful lake and is a Game Reserve with many species of wildlife and bird-life.

There are no predators in the Game Reserve, making it an idyllic location in which to take the lion cubs for a walk in order to monitor their behaviour. If you can ride a horse, it's also delightful to explore the Reserve on horseback. It's amazing to ride up to some Giraffes and find yourself close to their head height, with their disconcerting brown eyes gazing at you in curiosity!

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £1,495 for 2 weeks
£380 for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & 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 other Monday. See list of start dates under "Work Content" below.
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 Zimbabwe 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, never-to-be-forgotten overseas volunteering holiday into Africa and the Zimbabwean culture.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping lions in Africa and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of different cultures, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN ZIMBABWE info@travellersworldwide.com

ANY QUESTIONS?

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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Experience the African bush in a very special way on this private reserve. Explore the savannah grasslands on horseback.
  • Bottle feed and help take care of younger lion cubs, should there be any in camp at the time
  • Undertake important research on the behaviour of the African Lion
  • Assist with numerous activities related to the care of these majestic beasts
  • Assist staff at our local orphanage to care for the many children in their care.

WORK CONTENT:
Some of the work on this project is quite unusual, to say the least. (Where else would you take lions for a walk every day to exercise them and to familiarise them with a game reserve environment!). On the walks, the lions are 'free roaming' - no leashes - they romp, they play and they stalk, and you may frequently be lucky enough to have a large cub sitting on your lap sucking your thumb.

Duties are fairly varied and you will be expected to turn your hands to whatever is required at the time you're there. Generally, your work would include some or all of the following:

LION WALKS: Spending time with the lions in the wild each day is an essential part of the cubs upbringing. If the cubs are to be successfully released it is important that they spend time out in a natural environment. They need to adapt to it, learn from it, understand, observe, feel and smell the wild.

Since the start of this intensive lion walking programme, they have noted a marked increase in the lions’ awareness of their natural surroundings, as well as an improvement in their hunting skills. The larger cubs are now able to take down smaller game species whilst out on walks, and these abilities are being enhanced each day whilst under the supervision of volunteers. These are invaluable discoveries, which have earned us further support for our world first endeavours.

Alongside the walks you will be involved in the care of the animals which overnight in enclosures. They need feeding, cleaning, and occasionally will need veterinary care to ensure that they are kept in the best of health. NB. With the lion breeding programmes, you'll also take part in meat preparation, stuffing the raw meat with vitamins and minerals to feed to the lions; this is a compulsory activity.

Join the team of professional guides and other dedicated volunteers, gain a deeper understanding of the King of Beasts and assist us in gathering vital information that will facilitate their eventual release back into the wild.

RESEARCH: As part of the program they conduct a number of research activities to better understand lion behaviour and ecology. The lion walks offer unique opportunities to observe lions close up in their natural environment with the data collected assisting us to make the best decisions for the animal’s welfare and eventual release.

Volunteers will assist the research technician in gathering and analyzing this vital data.

ELEPHANT: You will also have the opportunity to spend time with our orphaned African Elephants and their trainers. The elephants at the Park were saved from certain death during a severe drought that ravaged Zimbabwe’s South Eastern Lowveld in 1991 and 1992.

FREE ROAMING WILDLIFE: The few remaining areas of wildlife sanctuary in Zimbabwe are extremely precious and must at all costs be protected. Part of your project will involve assistance with the wildlife management scheme such as finding and removing snares (‘snare sweeps’) within the game park and checking for holes or fence cuttings on the boundary fence (‘Boundary Patrols’) and repairing them. These activities are usually conducted on foot, within the Park and accompanied by one of our trained guides.

OTHER DUTIES: You may also be asked to assist in any other duties at the game park such as:
cleaning the lion enclosures;
preparing meat for the lions;
building and painting new lion enclosures;
cutting and collecting firewood;
daily schooling and exercising of horses;
basic repairs and maintenance;
fire brakes;
any other wildlife or camp related activities that involve the assistance and development of the lion programme.

There is also an opportunity to visit children at a local orphanage and interact with them. They love to have the care and attention shown to them that they so richly deserve.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A VOLUNTEER:
Every day is different as animals rarely operate to our schedule. We ask that you remain flexible, but here is an example of a typical day on the project, as a guideline only:

  • 6:30am – 8:00am Meet the guide and their clients and join them for a lion walk, taking cubs from 7 months to 18 months out into the bush. If there are no clients then volunteers and staff will be involved in taking the lions out for their walks. Observe and take data notes as the cubs practice their hunting skills. Or possibly spend the morning training the elephants and going on a ride.
  • 8:30am – 9:30am Breakfast
  • 9:30am - 12:30pm You could be involved in various duties including enclosure cleaning, cub walking, boundary patrols or meat preparation, snare sweeping, bush walks, enclosure maintenance.
  • 12:30pm – 2:00pm Lunch
  • 2:15pm - 4:00pm Your afternoon duties could include cub sitting, horse rides, cub descriptions, elephant herding, or more enclosure cleaning and maintenance if needed.
  • 4.00pm – 5.30pm Take the cubs out into the ‘bush’ again for their afternoon walks.
  • 6.45pm Briefing by your volunteer coordinator about the following day's activities. in winter months briefing meetings are held at 6.00pm and dinner is at 6.30pm.
  • 7.00pm The volunteers socialize at dinner and around the cosy camp fire pit under the stars. On some nights we take out the larger cubs for a night hunt and watch as they stalk, chase and catch prey – a vital stage in their development and training for release.

START DATES:

For 2016 the start dates are:
Jan 4th, 18th
Feb 1st, 8th, 15th, 29th
Mar 14th, 28th
Apr 4th, 11th, 25
May 9th and 23rd
Jun 6th and 20th
Jul 4th and 18th
Aug 1st and 15th and 29th
Sep 12th and 26th
Oct 10th and 24th
Nov 7th and 21st
Dec 5th and 19th

The start dates for 2017 are:
Jan: 2nd , 16th and 30th.
Feb: 13th and 27th
March: 13th and 27th
April: 10th and 24th
May: 8th and 22nd
June: 5th and 19th
July: 3rd, 17th and 31st
August: 14th and 28th
September: 11th and 25th
October: 9th and 23rd
November: 6th and 20th
December: 4th and 18th

ACCOMMODATION

The setting of your accommodation is not only very beautiful (with almost all the buildings thatched and very African), it's also very conveniently located just yards away from where you work, eat, swim and play. Nothing quite like waking up to the sounds of lions roaring or falling asleep to the sounds of the African wildlife.

Accommodations are a mixture of comfortable twin or quad thatched rooms at the main reserve camp with clean shower and toilet facilities located adjacent to the sleeping area. You will be sharing room with your fellow volunteers. Your room will be cleaned daily by the housekeeping staff and you will have weekly laundry services provided.

The dining area is beautiful - there's no other word for it. Again it is set under an open-sided thatched roof and overlooks the lake and the sweeping plains of the game reserve, as well as the beautifully kept grounds of the main camp.

There is also a lovely swimming pool on the lake shore that looks out over the lake and the game reserve.

Other facilities include internet access (access can be sporadic due to our remote location). Accommodation upgrades are available, please speak to us for details and prices.

FOOD:
All your meals, unless you happen to take a packed breakfast into the park on a long lion walk, will be served at the main camp and are guaranteed to leave you feeling nourished and happy! 3 meals a day will be provided. Coffee shop and bar is available for snacks and drinks

You'll eat the same food as is prepared for the tourists, and the quality and standard is very good. At Gweru there is an almost constant stream of overlanders camping on site and they have the choice of either barbecuing for themselves or having meals in the dining area. There are lots of socialising opportunities with the overlanders, which is great fun because they come from all over the world.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Got any questions? Please email us: info@travellersworldwide.com

THE GAME RESERVE AT GWERU:
The Gweru location is a 3,000 acre Game Reserve and tourist spot about 10 kilometres from Gweru. The main camp facility - made up of thatched African rondavels and buildings rests on the shores of a beautiful lake and is a Game Reserve with many species of wildlife and bird-life.

The species in the reserve include non-predatory animals like Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Impala, Kudu, Warthog, Jackal, Duiker (and many other species of buck and antelope), as well as 150 species of birds. The 3 Km lake in front of the camp is also host to an abundance of bird life, including the great African Fish Eagle.

Because the animals in the Reserve are all non-predatory, this makes it a safe place to explore and view game either on foot or on horseback, or even riding on an elephant or in a mule-drawn buggy. If you like jogging every day, what better place to run around than a reserve where you jog past zebra, wave to a curious giraffe, or watch a group of warthogs cavorting in the grass.

And you're not short on modern facilities either. This is one of the only places where you have nearly all the modern facilities you could require and yet you still feel as though you're camping in the middle of the African bush.....

One minute you could be in the office surfing the Internet, the next you could walk outside, pour yourself a cup of coffee in an open-sided, thatched roof dining area and go and sit on the grass with a spectacular view of the lake in the forefront with swooping vultures, and the rolling expanse of the game reserve in the background.

To make sure that you're totally spoilt(!), there's also a lovely swimming pool on the lake shore where you can cool down and do some serious sunbathing while looking out at the magnificent view of the lake and the game reserve. This is paradise at its tranquil best.

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.

TRAVELLERS' SUPPORT AND BACKUP: Read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your programme.

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

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

We'll get back to you very shortly, but if you haven't heard from us within one working day, please check your Junk Mail / Spam folder. Thank you.

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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 ZIMBABWE info@travellersworldwide.com

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

During your stay at the Park, you'll be able to enjoy an excursion to some of the other spectacular spots that Zimbabwe has to offer. Day trips are offered to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins as well as Granite Ridge in the beautiful Matobo National Park, and once a month a trip to the Victoria Falls is organised for those volunteers who are interested. These trips are also a great time for volunteers to interact and get to know each other better.

The expedition such as the example trip outlined below (to Victoria Falls) will cost you approximately US$500 (at time of writing). This includes National Parks fees, transport, meals (excluding meals in Victoria Falls), and accommodation.

  • Day 1: Leave after breakfast from Antelope Park for Miombo Safari Lodge (Hwange National Park); the largest national park in Zimbabwe. Enjoy a game drive in Big 5 territory where you could get up close and personal with a herd of elephant, buffalo, a pride of lion and many more.
  • Days 2-4: Leave after breakfast from Miombo for Victoria Falls, adrenalin capital of Africa! You have the option to bungee jump, white water raft, visit the Falls, gorge swing across the Batoka Gorge below the Falls or just enjoy the great social atmosphere at this tourist hot-spot! Dinner at the amazing “Boma” Restaurant is included whilst at the Falls.
  • Day 5: Depart early morning from Victoria Falls to return to Antelope Park.

This particular trip only operates with sufficient volunteer interest and is only available to volunteers joining the project for a minimum of 3 weeks.

There is also the option of a day trip to Great Zimbabwe – the ancient founding city of modern day Zimbabwe or to Matopos – a National Park to go on a wild Rhino tracking safari. The costs of these trips are dependent on the number of people going.

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

AMANDA GINSBURG
American
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Gweru

I always knew I had a passion for animals and wildlife conservation, and this trip only further served to build this passion within me. What I did not know and what I discovered on this trip was my passion for building relationships with fellow humans from various cultures.

The local Zimbabweans blew me away with their intelligence, positivity, determination and devotion to the conservation cause. These people deal with civil unrest, poverty and famine in their lives and yet they betray no sign of bitterness - quite the opposite in fact, as they work with a vigor that betrays their dedication to saving the animals that represent their beautiful country.

I derived so much pleasure from watching these people work, from working beside them and most of all from getting to know each and every one of them personally. It was difficult to tear myself away from the community when it was time to go home.

Furthermore, on my placement I developed a real knowledge and understanding of the program's larger goals of increasing the African lions populations and numbers throughout the continent.

It is amazing to see and be a part of a project with such lofty goals and actually get to witness all the prerequisites and baby steps needed to actually achieve this larger goal. It puts things into perspective and really made me realize that the success of a program such as "lion rehabilitation and release into the wild" rests not only on a good plan for a long-term goal, but also the daily carrying-out of the smallest details that lay the foundation for success.

ANNA-FRANCIS TOMAN
British
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Gweru

The information for me was spot on, it painted a perfect picture of what we were going to be doing. A little bit more information on the actually project itself and what they are trying to achieve would make it even better.

All the staff were so friendly and welcoming. They provided us with such good information and knowledge of the programme and the wildlife around us. I couldn’t have asked for better staff.

I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I knew I was going to be out of my comfort zone but I didn’t realise how much enjoyment I would get out of it. From walking lion cubs every day, to working with the highly intelligent elephant, to working surrounded by fully grown lions.

Nothing could have ever prepared me for the experiences I had in Zimbabwe. I met some of the most interesting and genuine people, both the staff and fellow volunteers. To see what the project is trying to accomplish and to know I have done my bit to help them achieve their goals is something I am very proud of. To witness a female lion hunting a herd of Zebra on a day encounter and realising how their hunting skills are so instinctive to them, really proved to me that even lions not in the wild are perfectly capable of hunting.

This was one of my greatest memories, as well as watching the 4 lions grow and learn to stalk, hunt and play in their natural habitat.

MARY DONARUMA
American
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Victoria Falls

I was privileged at my age to participate in the program Walking with Lions. I learned so much about lions and other wild animals as well as Zimbabwe. I was unsure about travelling to Africa. Now I cannot wait to return. I was able to...

  • interact closely with the lions,
  • pet a cheetah,
  • went to an orphanage twice,
  • visited a village and made sudsa with them,
  • had language, culture and herb lessons and
  • got to know a wonderful group of people, the handlers and the volunteers.

I never imagined what a wonderful adventure this would be for me.

I have gained a great respect for the wildlife of the planet and for the strength of the Zimbabwe people. I also have learned a lot about Sweden and Ireland and made a great friend in England.

I can say without reservation that everyone should experience Africa like this!!

DI HANSON
British
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Gweru

I gained a greater confidence when working with animals and also a greater respect for them. The best thing was meeting new people, comparing and sharing experiences and being able to work so closely with the lion cubs.

I would definitely recommend this placement. The staff here are very supportive and helpful. Volunteers worked well as a team and made new volunteers feel very welcome. Facilities are excellent and extra spending money is very minimal.

Can you describe a typical day?
►6.30 feeding bottles to cubs.
►7.00 activity - often lion walk with or without clients, grooming horses, assisting elephant training etc.
►8.30 breakfast.
►9.30 / 10.00 walking / horse riding / drive / elephant ride - boundary patrol, checking fences, snare sweep, game count, cleaning enclosures. rotated duties depending on what needed doing. feeding small cubs and playing with them. Also canoes available to check around the edges of the lake.
►13.00 lunch
►14.00 similar to morning activities.
►16.00 walking cubs +/- clients.
►17.00 dinner
►18.00 feeding older cubs bottles, meat alternate days
► Evenings usually free - could attend on night drives if room or if someone was needed to hold spot light. TV lounge.

Although we were busy all the time the work was relaxed and fun. Mostly there was someone else to work with rather than alone. It was not a problem taking time off if wanted but most people joined in every day!

NEIL MUNRO
British
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Gweru

My flight to Jo'burg and Bulawayo were interesting as we flew lower than usual so could see the ground the whole way. There was a 'to do' at Jo'burg when my pliers/Swiss army knife showed up on the x-ray of my hand baggage! I spent a night in Bulawayo so arrived here last Wednesday after an 8-10am bus ride to Gweru where I was picked up.

After lunch I spoke to the elephants then watched them swimming with guests and finally chasing a crocodile from the lake. Amazing stuff! I have done a boundary fence check on horse back and the next day had a riding lesson. Now my nights are set on the Grand National in April!

Had a day trip to Great Zimbabwe Ruins with 3 girls and a guide driving. They are fascinating structures - a fortress on huge rocks reminiscent of Edinburgh Castle and massive stone structures. One of the girls, Suzanne, is from Edinburgh so we are becoming good friends ...

I am by far the oldest volunteer [70-something], the next one, AP (for Accident Prone), is 35. They are all good fun and we get along well. The guides, administrators and staff are all super and easy to get on with. Bobbie (male) the head guide is amazing with the lions and was teaching me today to bond with 4 lions about 1 year old - 2M, 2F & about the height of big Alsatian dogs, but with much bigger heads, legs and paws.

I am losing my apprehension as I am working with them and indeed have some confidence now.

I spend most time with 6 week old quads who don't see properly yet nor co-ordinate too well. They are very sweet. Also Casper and Cleo, who are 3 months & also still bottle fed. These two are devoted to each other, having lost 3 siblings. This devotion is touching but is making it difficult to bond with them. I hope I am making progress, though.

So it's all go and most of the nights I am in bed early then up at 5:30 or 6am. I am beginning to adjust to the heat and altitude (3000 feet) so the daily exhaustion is easing off.

Everything is great, food, accommodation, laundry, with mostly comfortable temperatures. It is hot for a couple of hours a day but that is easy to bear. Everyone is waiting for rain so that will be interesting. I will try to get to Gweru soon to see what is on the go there.

Never has so much been crammed into my first 7 days. It is certainly hard to believe. I will try to report again soon.

IAIN ROBERTSON
British
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Gweru

I had an amazing time on my project and met some really great people who made my stay so much more special. Thanks for getting me out there and giving me an experience I'll never forget!

What experience do you feel you gained?
A lot! I learnt about working outside and helping to maintain the park. I gained experience of cutting up dead animals to feed to the lions, something you really need to give a try as it's not something you may ever have to do again. I learnt a huge amount about lions, especially about cubs, and I was able to pass this information on to members of the public when they came to handle the cubs.

I gained a lot of experience of caring for young animals and about having to be on hand ready to feed them as they do need a lot of attention when they are very young, something they have in common with children!

Overall I got to do such a wide variety of different things that I gained a whole host of different experiences, even just living in Africa for 5 weeks was very special for me.

What was the best thing about your placement?
Playing with lion cubs everyday or the atmosphere within the volunteers house and the friends I made.

Would you recommend this placement to anyone else?
Absolutely, no doubt!

What type of person do you think this placement would suit?
Anyone who is adventurous enough to give everything a go. Friendly people who are able to contribute to the team and make the experience as amazing as possible for everyone involved. Even for people who don't have a huge interest in 'mothering' the cubs, there's still plenty of work around the park that they can go off and do during the days. You get a lot of input as to what you will be doing each day.

Can you think of any improvements that could be made to the placement?
As long as you are prepared to go and give everything you have then you will get a huge amount back and will enjoy yourself greatly.

Was there anything that you weren't told by Travellers before you went away that you think future volunteers should know?
No, nothing.

Can you describe a typical day?
Most people get up at 7.00 to go up to the restaurant for breakfast at 7.30. Everyone makes their own breakfast, usually just cereal and toast during the week. At breakfast you decide who is doing what in the morning and then afternoon.

If you stay up at the top in the morning then you will have to make up cub milk and porridge to feed to the cubs.

You will then need to feed and possibly pee/poo any cubs depending on how old they are. After this you will be around the tea room doing handlings for the public and doing the cub feedings which can be up to every 2 hours, as well as any other jobs which may need doing.

On busy days you may be asked to help clear up in the restaurant. Lunch is from 1-2pm, and everyone makes their own on most days.

After lunch, if you spent the morning up top then you will go out in the afternoon. You will help the staff do any maintenance around the park such as fixing fences or removing thorns from enclosures. You may well get the opportunity to go in with some older lions when you do this, up to the age of around 10-11 months.

Work finishes at 5.00 and you decide what you are going to do for dinner. Most nights everyone cooks together unless some people want an early night.

After dinner you clean up, lock up and take the cubs down to the owners house, then head on down to the volunteers house where you can stay up and chat/watch TV or go to bed, as you please.

MARTHA LAGE
Australian
Zululand Wildlife & Game Reserve Conservation Expedition
Plus Lion Breeding and Release in Zimbabwe

It was brilliant. I want to go back in the future. I enjoyed both South Africa and Zimbabwe working with the lions. The lion project was perfect.

In South Africa, monitoring the wild dogs and rhinos was a fantastic experience. By monitoring for 2 weeks, I got to know the personalities of the dogs. It was fun to see which one would come out to greet us.

I learnt to use the monitoring and GPS equipment. We did cook for ourselves, so some idea of cooking meals is a bonus. My manager taught us about the various types of birds in the area as well as the vegetation. When I am home and viewing various TV series about Africa, I can tell others about the birds that are singing and vegetation throughout the country.

In Zimbabwe I worked with the Lions out of Gweru. The people were excellent. The food was cooked for us and very yummy. It was good to take an early morning walk with the cubs. We baby-sat them during the day and went on another walk at the end of the day. Other times of the day we would clean the pens out and prepare the food for all the lions. The volunteers were given various tasks during their placement. This enabled us to examine all aspects of the lion breeding program. The staff were friendly and fun to work with.

MADELEINE ROBERTS
British
Lion Research, Rehabilitation and Release Project in Victoria Falls

Just a quick note to say that I am having a wonderful time here. The volunteer programme here is just what I was after – plenty of hands-on activities, working closely with animals and helping in the conservation of a species.

There are 5 volunteers here at present (there were 7 until this morning) but there is plenty of work for everyone. The work is varied and enjoyable, and the staff here are very friendly.

The owner of the Park makes an effort to speak to the volunteers and to thank them for the work they are doing, which is really nice to hear. He also listens to volunteers’ views and suggestions and encourages feedback on every aspect, from the work to the food to our accommodation.

I have only taken half a day off, to do some shopping, in the 3 weeks I have been here because I enjoy the work so much and want to make the most of my time here.