Join a project, supported by some of the world’s leading ecologists, focused on lion breeding and rehabilitation with the aim of producing quality, disease-free lions. In 1975, over 200,000 lions used to roam Africa, but current research estimates that only 23,000 to 39,000 remain. Lion populations are continuing to decline due to in-bred genetics. There are three stages to the programme; pre-release (involves teaching the lions survival skills), initial release (lions are put in a semi-wild environment to hone their hunting skills) and final release (lions are released into the wild). One pride has been released into an area to start breeding under observation. The cubs’ upbringing is an important element of this project. The local team works to adapt the babies to the wild, so they can eventually live there on their own and continue the future of this impressive species.
Why choose this project?
As a volunteer, you will provide extra assistance with data collection activities. You will learn from professionals about research work and the function of high profile conservation programmes. If wildlife research and/or conservation are your field of study, this is a great experience and opportunity for you to build your CV/resume.
Role of the volunteer
You will take part in lion walks to help cubs gain confidence in the natural environment, experiencing the thrill of watching young cubs learn to stalk their prey. You will also participate in cleaning enclosures, preparing meat for feeding times, and making toys for sensory and predatory enrichment of the lions. You may be asked to ride horses as part of boundary patrol and snare sweeping activities.
There are no specific skills required for this program. You should be of good health with a decent level of fitness. Any previous experience of riding horses would be an advantage.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To better understand lion conservation
To prevent a decrease in the African lion population
To spend time in the home to some of the most iconic wildlife in Africa
You will be staying at a 3,000 acre game reserve in the centre of the country. Living in the heart of a game reserve means your roommates will include 95 lions, orphaned elephants, horses… and other volunteers, of course! The reserve is situated a few kilometres outside the city of Gweru, but you’ll enjoy the tranquility of this remote location. In your free time, you can relax by the swimming pool and at night you’ll gather around the camp fire to listen to the sounds of the wild bush over dinner. Internet access is available as well.
On your weekends, you can adventure to Victoria Falls, a natural wonder of the world. Local staff can help you sign up for white water rafting, bungee jumping or night safaris!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2-12 weeks
- Cost: £1500 / $2625 for 2 weeks
Additional weeks’ cost can be found in the drop-down menu
- Requirements: age 17+
- Location: Gweru, Zimbabwe
- Project activities: feeding cubs, daily lion walks in the bush, enclosure cleaning, boundary patrols, meat preparation, snare sweeping, enclosure maintenance
- Working Hours: 06:30 – 17:30, Monday – Friday
- Project availability: runs year-round
- Arrival day: Sunday into Harare or Monday into Bulawayo, every second weekend
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room in a volunteer house with swimming pool
- Food: 3 meals a day
- Weekly laundry service
- Airport pick up and drop off
- Training: pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Support: on-site coordinator providing 24-hour support
- Activities: staff help organise weekend activities (prices may be extra)
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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