Why volunteer on this project?
This is a truly unique wildlife experience. Volunteers share in daily life on a 10,000 acre private conservancy, and get involved in every aspect of wildlife conservation, focusing on the reserve’s five black and three white rhino, and four elephants. Every activity makes a difference and the range of experiences you will have is huge.
What will I be doing?
Interact with each of the five black rhinos, getting to know the animals and understanding why they came to be at the reserve. Support their dedicated handlers and observe their relationships to help predict their behaviour and responses to different stimuli.
- Learn about rhino conservation and the work being done in Zimbabwe to secure the future of the species
- Observe and record behaviour and feeding patterns
- Monitor the two baby rhino
- Clean out the rhino beds and repair enclosures
- Learn to use telemetry and to identify rhino tracks
Work with elephants
Monitor the behaviour of the four elephants, identifying patterns and relationships.
- Observe elephant movements and feeding patterns
- Repair elephant damage around the conservancy
- Clean out elephant beds
- Learn about these ancient animals from their experienced handlers
Anti-poaching and security
Join the Anti-Poaching Unit on patrol and train alongside them as they do weapons drills and physical training. Assist in the detection of small animal poaching to allow the APU to focus on the protection of larger wildlife.
- Conduct snare sweeps and patrols to check for security breaches
- Carry out fish netting patrols
- Fence and boundary monitoring on foot and horseback
- Night patrols
Game Park Management
Volunteers play a vital role in supporting the Conservancy Manager and his team in the general upkeep of the conservancy, and help ensure it is well-maintained and able to safely support the animals.
- Maintain fences, roads, fireguards and equipment
- Undertake tree planting, bush clearance and removal of alien species
- Conduct game counts of animals on foot, by vehicle and on horseback
- Check on the health and number of animals. Report accidents and sick animals
- Feed nutritional supplements to antelopes, elephants, buffalo, plains game, lion and hyena
The conservancy assists with two local schools, and supports the children of reserve staff with the provision of a Learning Centre within the park.
- Assist with the delivery of an official English literacy programme in the primary school
- Help older children with homework and computer skills in the Learning Centre
- Participate in cultural exchange – visit homes and learn to cook and dance from the experts!
- Play sports and educational games with younger children
Where will I stay?
Your home is a thatched two storey farmhouse in the heart of the conservancy, in an idyllic spot on one of the largest dams. The is electricity, hot and cold running water, twin rooms and dormitories and a pool. There are no more than 12 volunteers at a time, which ensures an intimate volunteer experience. The house has wifi on a token basis and cell phone signal is good.
Three meals a day and provided, plus unlimited tea and coffee, juice and drinking water. Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements can be catered for.
“As I was driven into the conservancy I already felt overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery and the fact I had already seen rhinos, an array of antelope and some cool birds. The managers always ensured that the volunteers had a well-rounded and rich experience, and were always doing something useful and productive. We learn something different every day and it never got monotonous. Every activity we did had background information and reasoning behind it. I will 100% be spreading the word and hope to return again.”
Isabella, UK, September 2017
“For me this will always be my home away from home. This was my second visit and it felt like I had never left. From elephants to rhinos, you really do get a once-in-a-lifetime experience with them, every day. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with all the staff, and a huge part of me stays here when I go home. I can’t wait to come back again!”
Shae, Ireland, September 2017