Lion Rehabilitation, Antelope Park
Leave your imprint on Africa by playing a vital part in conserving the African Lion. You will learn about lion behavior and help with research data while living and working in an authentic game park in the beautiful Zimbabwe midlands.
Over the past 40 years, the African lion population has decreased by a devastating 80 – 90%, with an estimated number of lions in Africa to be as low as 32,000. African Impact volunteers will join ALERT’s ground-breaking African Lion Rehabilitation and Release into the Wild Program and be involved in on-the-ground operations and work with lions to help conserve and rehabilitate them to the wild.
As a conservation volunteer in Africa, you will be involved in the vital research of lion behavior and enjoy hands-on volunteer work with lions on the world’s only significant program for their release into the wild. Lions play an important role in attracting many foreign tourists to enjoy safari experiences and therefore generate much needed income for many impoverished regions in Africa.
Lions are also vital in the maintenance of biodiversity as they fulfill their role in the food chain by regulating more dominant herbivore species. The aim of the Lion Rehabilitation Program is to release healthy new prides into the wild and therefore restore lion populations within Eastern and Southern Africa through a staged program that will also provide social benefits to surrounding communities.
Through these stages this project’s aim is to preserve the African Lion by producing quality gene pools, increasing the number of lions, and introducing off-spring back into wild environments. With the help of wildlife volunteers in Africa the project has made amazing progress and established programs across 2 more countries in raising captive-bred lions as self-sustaining wild animals.
As you work with lions in Africa you will spend time in the wild with them daily to familiarize them with their natural environment. The lions need to adapt to, learn from, understand, observe, feel and smell the wild. Since the start of this intensive lion walking program there has been a marked increase in the lion’s awareness of its natural surroundings, as well as an improvement in hunting skills.
Antelope Park is also home to our first stage 2 release area called Ngamo. This was the first place captive bred lions have successfully been release as a pride and have given birth to cubs effectively born in the wild. As a volunteer you will spend time helping on the research of these lions.
Antelope Park also gives you the perfect setting to experience and enjoy wild Africa and there are plenty of opportunities for other exciting activities like horse riding, playing polocrosse, canoeing and fishing. Join the team of professional guides to gain a deeper understanding of African lions and assist in gathering vital information that will facilitate their eventual release back into the wild.
VOLUNTEER WORK AND IMPACTS
Alongside walks with lions to familiarise them with their natural environment, you will be involved in daily lion care activities which could include feeding, enclosure cleaning and occasionally helping wildlife veterinarians in their provision of healthcare.
This project works in partnerships with the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Authority and a number of research activities are conducted to better understand lion behaviour and ecology. As a wildlife volunteer you will assist research technicians in gathering and analyzing wildlife data which is needed in making the best decisions for the animal’s welfare and eventual release.
The research studies being undertaken whilst on your placement will vary depending on the needs of the project at the time but may include looking at hunting development, character traits, spoor sizes or mane growth. You will also learn about prey species and reserve management. You will 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.
You will have the opportunity to spend time with the rescued orphaned African Elephants in the park and their handlers and may be asked to assist in the daily duties with the elephants.
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 volunteer work 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 and repairing them.
These activities are usually conducted on foot, within the Park and accompanied by a trained and experienced guide. You may also be asked to assist in other duties at the wildlife reserve 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 as well as basic repairs and maintenance
Reserve maintenance duties will include erosion control, removal of alien plant species, road maintenance, game counts, game feeding, bird surveys, boundary fence repairs, tree planting and maintenance of a wormery.
Conservation education community work
Lion conservation volunteers are often involved in elements of community development, particularly at the ALERT Conservation Education Centre where you will help youth learn about wildlife, animal habitats and why it’s important to preserve the environment. You’ll also have the opportunity to head out into rural communities and help out with games and food for street kids at a local Drop-In Centre, which will open your eyes to a whole new way of life.
* Enjoy hands-on work and extremely close encounters with the young African lions
* Join African Impact on our ground-breaking and globally recognised Lion conservation project
* Walk alongside lions in the African bush and experience being part of a hunt as the young cubs learn to stalk their prey
* Get to know the African bush - explore the savannah grasslands either on horseback or whilst riding our African Elephants!
* Experience local Zimbabwean culture, and visit the local orphanage weekly
* Optional trips are available to see more of Zimbabwe’s natural wonders and wildlife areas such as the world famous Victoria Falls
* Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the program
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. African Impact should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.