Teaching & Big 5 Conservation

Conservation Travel Africa  »  Teaching & Big 5 Conservation

Teaching & Big 5 Conservation

from £1,275
Duration: from 2 weeks to 4 weeks
Countries: Zimbabwe
A great combination of teaching and conservation. Teach English to rural children and experience life in a Big 5 wildlife conservation area.

Teaching & Big 5 Conservation

A unique combination of rural primary school teaching and Big 5 wildlife conservation. Volunteers deliver an approved English literacy programme while living and working within Africa's largest privately owned wildlife conservation area. This project splits your time between teaching assistance in the local school and working within the game park - learning about wildlife conservation and assisting in the daily running of the conservancy.

The project is located in premier big game and plains game country; the area is famed for its huge leopards, majestic antelope, large lion populations and huge elephant and buffalo herds. There are strong populations of the endangered African Wild Dog and the area is also home to both black and white rhino. Truly an animal-lovers paradise.

Volunteers spend mornings in the local rural primary school, the only one within the Conservancy, delivering an approved literacy programme to smalll groups of eager-to-learn schoolchildren. You will form strong relationships with these amazing children, who will feel like your second family in no time! 

Programme aims and objectives

Rhino poaching has been a huge problem in Zimbabwe over the past twenty-five years, and what was once a healthy population has been depleted to critical levels. This project has a healthy percentage of the remaining few hundred rhino in Zimbabwe and volunteers get involved in monitoring and tracking these animals as well as joining anti-poaching patrols. We believe education and opportunity is key to reducing poaching and we are very proud to work in the only school within the Conservancy helping children understand the importance of preserving wildlife and caring for the environment.

Volunteer Teaching and Literacy

The school has 600 children from Grade 0 (5 years), up to Grade 7 (12 years). Volunteers use teaching materials from the Happy Readers reading programme, a project endorsed by the Ministry of Education, which teaches children basic English vocabulary and grammar in a fun and interactive way. Volunteers also help the children learn about conservation and the importance of the environment.

- Deliver an English literacy programme to small groups of friendly and eager-to-learn children!
- Help with computer classes
- Run conservation education lessons both in the classroom and around the conservancy
- Help with gardening, sports and games!

Big 5 Wildlife Conservation

A big part of this volunteer project involves assisting with the day to day running of the ranch, a massive undertaking with 150,000 acres to cover. Volunteers get involved with a huge variety of activities:

- Go on patrols with the scouts and rangers checking for snares and evidence of poaching
- Track rhino through the bush with the Lowveld Rhino Trust scouts
- Monitor African Wild Dog den sites (there's a den right behind the volunteer house!)
- Track the locations of Wild Dog packs using telemetry
- Learn to track and identify big game
- Monitor the movements of other collared animals including lions, rhino and elephants
- Road, river and fence maintenance, especially during and just after the summer rains
- Help in the workshop - learn to change a tyre, Africa-style!
- Night drives - learn about the nocturnal animals and witness the amazing night skies

Jimmy the Rhino

Jimmy the rhino was found as huddling close to the ground hidden under a bush near to his recently shot and killed mother. He was transported back to the ranch house and put under the watchful eye of owner, Anne Whittall. Named after James Whittall, little Jimmy soon became one of the family. Jimmy has since been released back into the bush and has grown into a full-sized healthy rhino, still regularly seen in around the conservancy, but very definitely wild! 

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 £1,275

Programme Highlights

- Become one of the family and get involved in daily life around the reserve
- Help improve the education and opportunities for local schoolchildren - inspire them to great things!
- Get involved in local projects and learn about the challenges faced by rural communities
- Learn about conservation from expert guides in Africa’s largest privately owned wildlife conservancy
- Join anti-poaching patrols and help protect Africa’s endangered wildlife
- Experience true African wilderness and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush
- Witness incredible animal sitings far off the beaten track

What's included?

The cost includes the programme fee - financing which goes back into the programme including funding for equipment, supplies, and vehicles, car transfers from Harare, accommodation and food including laundry, training and orientation plus 24 hour support from volunteer programme staff.

Do I need experience?

No experience is required! Just a passion for conservation and an interest in children and teaching. No teaching experience is required and full training will be given on the use of the Happy Readers programme. Volunteers must be able to communicate in English.

How old do I need to be?

The minimum age is 17 years.

Do I need a visa?

You will almost certainly need a visa to enter Zimbabwe. Most nationalities can get this on arrival in Harare, but please check BEFORE you travel!

What will the weather be like?

Zimbabwe has sunshine for 90% of the year (honestly!) and has an excellent climate.
Winter, May - August, has chilly mornings and evenings and lovely sunny days (average 25 degrees) - bring layers!
Summer, November - March is hotter (up to 35 degrees) with the occasional shower to cool everything down and make the grass lush and green.

When can I come?

This programme has flexible start dates - we like volunteers to arrive in Harare on a Sunday for transfer to the project on Monday morning, but please ask if that doesn’t fit in with your plans!

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

Off for sundowners and a camp-out
Welcome with a traditional song and dance
Children at the local school
Buffalo pushing their way through the bush
A rhino on an evening walk-about by the trail camera
Our dedicated and passionate anti-poaching team
Baboons crossing the Turgwe River
A curious nyala takes a good look at the camera trap
Elephants enjoying unwanted citrus fruit from the farm
Enjoying a sit-down after a hard day!
One of the Turgwe Hippo Trust mothers and her calf
Enjoying a game of touch rugby in the river bed
Nothing better than a beer and a fire
A beautiful leopard off for its nocturnal hunting
Jimmy the rhino with surrogate mother, Anne
Leopard tortoise crossing!
Beautiful young male lion
Removal of a snare from a lioness
Why did the rhino cross the road?
Packs of African Wild Dog are often seen around the reserve
Image 21 of 21 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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