Volunteer in Zambia and contribute to the welfare and rehabilitation of lions as part of programme in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park; aimed at their long term survival. Over 200,000 lions roamed the African continent as recently as 1975. In 2002 two surveys provided evidence of a dramatic decline estimating that only 23,000 to 39,000 remain, with the lowest estimate being just 16,500. This represents an 80 to 90% population decline in less than 30 years. The end objective of the project is the rehabilitation of captive-bred lions into a wild environment so that their cubs, raised by the pride, can learn the skills necessary to ensure their successful reintroduction into the wild. At the present time 1 pride has been released into fenced wild areas and are already having cubs of their own.
The project focuses on the needs of the lions, their habitats and education of local communities who live alongside the lions. There are 3 important stages of their development which does not involve hands on human contact; pre-release. release and the wild. At the site in Zambia lions have been split into groups and those that can be released as a pride identified. The project is waiting for approval for another release site to enable this new pride to move to the next stage of the release program. The project also focuses on other elements such as maintaining a good quality of life for the rescued lions who are remaining in captivity, environmental research, habitat conservation and providing education support for the local communities. Volunteer with us on African lion rehabilitation and release project and help the local team with their research and associated duties while learning about amazing wildlife, habitats and communities in Zambia.
Why choose this project?
As a volunteer on a research based project your time will be spent working on activities that contribute to a bigger project which is labour intensive. You will learn about the challenges facing the African Lion and the steps being taken to protect them. Community education is really important and the project recognises this. By volunteering you can help increase the amount of time spent educating communities about the importance of conservation as well as doing hands on conservation work to protect the habitat. As an individual you will develop team-working skills and a respect for our natural environment as well as learning about a leading research project. What a great addition to your CV/Resume.
Role of the volunteer
The involvement of volunteers on the African lion rehabilitation and release project is paramount to achieving the aims of the program. You will spend 70% of your time focusing on the lion conservation elements and the remaining time on conservation and community education activities. Days will be long, but you will also be able to end each day knowing that you have given something back to Africa; having made a difference to the animals and people that you come into contact with. Your primary task will be to assist the team of guides, handlers and scouts in all aspects of care for the animals in their charge; giving them the opportunities to develop their natural instincts in preparation for their release into the next stage of the program. This may include behaviour enrichment through the development of toys, enclosure cleaning and meat preparation (lions eat a lot!). Research and education are significant aspects of your role; collecting data not only on the development of the lions, other species, assisting in the education of local communities, snare sweeps (45 snares found in one outing in July 2016) and the removal of alien vegetation. Join us and be a part of important conservation work in Zambia.
To learn more about game counts, an important conservation activity, read our blog.
There are no specific skills required for this program but you must have a passion for wildlife. You will need to have a decent level of fitness and not mind getting up early!. Aside from that enthusiasm and willingness to do what is required during daily tasks is the exact attitude for the project. If you have a particular area you are studying please discuss this with your Kaya Placement Advisor as you may be able to get involved in one of the incredible internship placements.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To assist with important African lion conservation research efforts
To help the local team to educate communities about the importance of conservation and living alongside lions
To spend time experiencing the wonder of the African bush and understanding the need for its preservation
You will be living inside the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, a stone’s throw from the lion enclosures and the mighty Zambezi River. and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls. There are a range of adrenalin activities, River boats, and game viewing opportunities, including on horse back! The evenings are spent in the house and you will be surrounded by African bush with its interesting residents – such as elephant, buffalo and hippo. The house is about a ten minute drive from the centre of Livingstone so getting into town for an evening if desired is possible. Livingstone is a large town with a wide range of amenities including Internet Cafes, a bakery, Ice-cream parlour, ATMs, supermarkets, local markets and restaurants serving international and local cuisine. Livingstone is situated in a prime location between some amazing countries so why not add on some extra time or build in weekend trips to Zimbabwe or pop over to Chobe National Park in Botswana for a day of ultimate game viewing.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 4 weeks
- Cost: £1339 / $2343 for 2 weeks
Additional weeks’ costs can be found in the drop-down menu
- Requirements: age 17+
- Location: Livingstone, Zambia
- Project activities: Monitoring the behaviour of lions, enclosure cleaning, elephant monitoring, boundary patrols, meat preparation, snare sweeping, teaching, preparing class materials
- Working hours: 07:00 – 17:00, Monday – Friday, with a 2-hour break for lunch
- Project Availability: Projects start every other Monday of each month and run year-round.
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared room in a volunteer house, common lounge, recreational area
- Food: 3 meals per day – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (packed lunch some days)
- Airport pickup and drop off Livingstone International Airport.
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site Orientation and project induction provided
- Laundry service
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator
- Activities: Staff help organise weekend activities. (Activity price may be extra) such as Bungee Jumping, White Water Rafting on the Zambezi, and Helicopter Flights over Victoria Falls, Zambezi River Cruises
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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