Zimbabwe Wildlife Sanctuary
Join a small team of dedicated vets and conservationists at this incredibly rewarding, family-run animal rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in rural Zimbabwe. The sanctuary is a safe haven for a wide variety of large and small mammals plus farm animals, birds and lots of dogs and cats! Animals at the sanctuary have been rescued from all over Zimbabwe either by the team or through their network of conservationists. From lions to serval cats, donkeys to owls, their beloved animal family will live the lives they deserve whilst in the sanctuary’s care.
You will live alongside permanent staff and get involved in day-to-day activities, from feeding and vaccinating up to 50 local dogs at the clinic each week, sitting with and monitoring lions or helping with injured or traumatised animals and birds. You will be given your own project or animal to work with during your stay which is an incredible rewarding and fulfilling experience. The sanctuary has a strict hands-off policy when it comes to animals that can eventually be released back into the wild once they have recovered from their injuries or trauma. Volunteers are also not allowed to handle the lions.
What sort of things will I be doing?
You will be responsible for the daily care and feeding of the animals which are at the wildlife sanctuary plus go on snare and fence patrols to check for evidence of small poaching. Your days will be very busy as you get involved in absolutely everything which goes on!
Small animal care:
- Prepare meals for animals in the mornings and evenings - this might be dry food and fruit for monkeys or you might need to go our and collect browse for the bush babies
- Feed the reptiles and check on their enclosures
- Clean out enclosures and cages and refill water bowls
- Clean wounds and tend to injured animals
- Sit with older and sick animals, monitor their health and behaviour and reassure them with your presence.
- Help settle newly rescued animals into their rehabilitation enclosures which are in the garden of the volunteer house
- Bottle feed small orphans and keep them warm (this is often a nighttime duty as well as you babysit tired monkeys!)
- Try and keep track of 34 tortoises
- Help with domestic animal rescue - currently there are 12 dogs and numerous cats in residence at the sanctuary
Lion care (hands-off work):
- Help with habitat enrichment for rescued lions to keep them healthy and active
- Exercise younger animals to keep their weight down
- Monitor their behaviour and interactions
- Prepare food and help with feeding (often a dirty and noisy task!)
Building and maintenance:
- Fix and maintain rehabilitation and night enclosures
- Check the lion enclosures and secure
- Build new enclosures for rescued animals and birds (unfortunately a never-ending task)
- Help repair roads and paths
The sanctuary provides a Wednesday community outreach clinic where dogs in the local area can come with the owners to be vaccinated, spayed and given a general health check. Some dogs come unaccompanied because they know they will get a free meal!
- Prepare the food for the clinic, which feeds up to 500 dogs every Wednesday
- Help veterinary staff prepare for injections and help with health-checks
- Veterinary students can get very involved with rounds and help is always needed with de-worming, dipping and sterilising dogs.
- Build activity centres for primates to enable them to run, jump and climb
- Make toys for the primates to stimulate foraging
Wildlife conservation activities:
- Patrol the boundary of the farm and check for snares
- Learn to track and identify animals
- Enjoy hiking through the park or relaxing with the older animals with a book
- Get to know local people and experience a new way of life
- Help with conservation lessons in the local school
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.