Hands-On Rhino & Elephant Conservation

Conservation Travel Africa  »  Hands-On Rhino & Elephant Conservation

Hands-On Rhino & Elephant Conservation

from $1,695 USD
Duration: from 2 weeks to 8 weeks
Countries: Zimbabwe
A unique opportunity to contribute to the protection and conservation of the African elephant and endangered Black Rhino. Get hands-on experience with these amazing animals.

Hands-On Rhino & Elephant Conservation

Live in the heart of a beautiful conservation area, get hands-on with both black and white rhino and help secure the future of the species in Zimbabwe. Work closely with elephants, observing their behaviour and social interactions and make a real difference to our conservation efforts.

In the 1980s, a decade of the worst rhino poaching in African history, the project was awarded guardianship of seven orphaned baby black rhino which were hand-reared until they reached maturity. Since then, it has become a world-renowned Black Rhino Breeding and Release Centre, with 15 black rhino born and released back into National Parks across Southern Africa.This is your opportunity to be part of an amazing story and help continue the breeding programme today.

As well as black and white rhino and elephants, the project is also home to a wide variety of animals including lions, buffalo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, wildebeest and is also a breeding centre for the rare sable antelope. As a volunteer you will get hands on experience in running a game park, learn more about conservation and help ensure that the work can continue.

What exactly will I be doing?

Black Rhino conservation:
Help the black rhino breeding and release programme continue and help educate the local community about the importance of rhino conservation. 
- Observe the behaviour and social interaction of black rhino
- Monitor the baby black rhino (born November 2014)
- Feed and walk with the rhino and their experienced handlers
- Learn about rhino conservation issues and communicating them to school children
- Maintain and clean rhino beds

Elephant conservation:
You will conduct studies into the interactions of the elephant herd, especially involving the baby elephant's socialisation.
- Teach co-operative elephant handling
- Observe family interactions and monitoring browsing behaviour, repairing elephant damage
- Maintain and clean elephant beds

Anti-poaching and security:
Help ensure the park is a safe and secure environment for all the animals and people within its boundaries and help create a safe area into which animals from other areas can be released. 
- Provide manpower to assist with anti-poaching foot and vehicle patrols
- Carry out snare sweeps
- Assist with fence building and repair
- Communicate anti-poaching and conservation messages to school children

Game Park Management:
You will get insight into the running of a game reserve and provide assistance to the Game Park Manager.
- Carry out deliveries of feed and nutritional supplements focusing on sable, giraffe, tsessebe, lion and hyena
- Assist in game counts and herd composition studies
- Undertake reforesting and the removal of alien species
- General road maintenance and fireguard building

Community Education:
We encourage children to have a sense of pride in their animals and environment and help them understand why they should be protected. 
- Teach lessons on different animal species, focusing on the black rhino
- Take small groups of children for additional reading lessons
- Help with gardening and teaching about permaculture (organic gardening)
- Sports and games

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Conservation Travel Africa should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.


Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from $1,695 USD

Programme Highlights!

- Support an organisation and species who really need your help
- Get involved in a programme set up for the long term conservation of the black rhino with a clear vision to re-introduce the animal to Africa’s wild areas
- Immerse yourself in the wildlife around you as you live by a dam in the heart of the game park
- A small, friendly programme where you get to form bonds with the animals, set in a safe, family environment
- A huge range of activities from conservation to tree planting, game management, tracking and teaching
- An amazing opportunity to see a variety of wildlife in their natural environment - up close!

What's included?

Return transfers from Harare International Airport (or Harare city itself)
All food and accommodation (including laundry) while you are on the programme
Practical instruction in wildlife identification, tracking and animal behaviour
All transport and equipment required to do your work
24 hour support and guidance from volunteer programme staff

Do I need experience?

As long as you are reasonably fit and mobile and can communicate suitably in English then no experience is necessary. We welcome all volunteers with an interest in wildlife conservation and animals!

How old do I need to be?

We take volunteers from 17 years.

Do I need a visa?

Yes, you will almost certainly need a visa. Many nationalities can buy a visa upon arrival at the airport but please check with the Zimbabwe embassy in your country of residence BEFORE you travel!

What will the weather be like?

Zimbabwe has one of the best climates in the world with 90% sunshine!
During the summer (October - March) temperatures reach just over 30 degrees and there can be intermittent heavy showers, so please bring a light waterproof jacket.
During the winter (April - September) the weather is dry and sunny with average temperatures around 25 degrees. Mornings and evenings can be cool and we suggest bringing lots of layers, a woolly hat and socks.

When can I come?

Our programme takes volunteers every Monday of the year including over Christmas and New Year.

Do you accept non-UK residents?

Yes, we accept volunteers of all nationalities.

About Conservation Travel Africa

Conservation Travel Africa was established to help restore Africa’s wilderness areas, working with existing organisations and conservationists to achieve long term goals through conservation, education and wildlife research. These projects need volunteers to support their work and we pride ourselves on providing meaningful and responsible volunteer programmes which are beneficial, necessary and, most of all, fun!

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Photo Gallery

Volunteers get hands on with one of our black rhino
Get up close to our elephants and learn about their behaviour
There's nothing quite like an African sunset!
Help monitor our white rhino
Learn about black rhino conservation in action
Help monitor births and locate babies
Enjoying an al fresco breakfast with the elephants!
Brand new baby black rhino
An escaped black rhino gets inquisitive
Mac and Kutanga enjoy a moment together
Enjoy magnificent scenery
Enjoy walking with the elephants around the game park
Image 12 of 12 images
Email Enquiry

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Conservation Travel Africa should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

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