Join us on a world first lion breeding and rehabilitation programme in Zimbabwe, supported by some of the world’s leading ecologists in the field. The project activities are part of a comprehensive study of lion breeding, with in-depth research and data collection being used to help rehabilitate lions back into their natural environment. The aim is to produce quality, disease-free lions. There are three stages to the release 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). Thus far, one pride has been released into a fenced wild area to be monitored as they breed cubs of their own. There are currently four cubs going through the process and the project hopes to move them to the next stage in approximately 18 months time.
The project also looks at other key conservation issues in the area, such as poaching, the movement of species and the impact of alien species on the local habitats. Join the local team of professionals to gain a deeper understanding of the King of the Beasts. Assist in gathering vital information that will facilitate the preservation of this impressive species within their natural habitat.
Why choose this project?
Over 200,000 lions used to roam Africa in 1975, since 2002, numbers are down to 39,000. Volunteer support is essential to supporting this project’s research with the end objective being to rehabilitate captive-bred lions into a natural environment. Focus on the lions cubs’ successful reintroduction into the wild will contribute to the continuation of this animal’s future. Volunteers will gain insight into the functioning of large scale research projects, great for any CV/resume.
Role of the volunteer
You will take part in a number of important activities, such as:
- Lion walks with qualified rangers to help familiarise lion cubs with their habitats, enclosure maintenance and feeding duties, preparing enrichment activities for the development of the lions skills
- Monitoring character traits, mane growth, hunting development and spoor sized (training provided to you)
- Maintaining the national park through waterhole development, snare sweeps to remove wires set by poachers and invasive plant removal
- Educational activities to address lion/human conflict
- Game counts to monitor the presence and movement of species within the habitat
Each day is full of excitement and learning! Read this blog to learn more.
There are no specific skills required for this program. You should be in good health with a decent level of fitness in order to wake up early and spend a lot of time outside. You will need to follow health and safety rules in relation to interacting with the lions.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To visit the world famous Victoria Falls
To learn about the ethics of lion rehabilitation and release
To be able to enjoy exciting activities in your spare time
The project is located in a town a stone’s throw away from the magnificent, thundering waters of Victoria Falls. Volunteers will stay in a volunteer house on the private game reserve of Masuwe. The accommodation has a swimming pool, barbecue and lovely green lawns! At night, you’ll relax viewing the animals at the watering hole from the lodge, and catching up with your fellow volunteers before your early morning starts.
The house is walking distance from town and the falls. You can sign up for adventure activities like helicopter rides and bungee jumping over the falls. Alternatively, venture further afield and participate in a trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana to see wildlife in abundance!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2 – 4 weeks
- Cost: £1473 / $2578 for 2 weeks
Additional weeks’ costs can be found in the drop-down menu
- Requirements: age 17+, max age decided on participants’ health
- Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Project activities: lion walks, research, work in the national park, teaching conservation classes, preparing food for lions, cleaning enclosures, game counts
- Working hours: 6:30-17:00, Monday – Saturday, hour break for breakfast, hour break for lunch
- Project availability: project starts every second Monday and runs year round
- During the months of June and July, this project is only available for a maximum of 4 weeks.
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room with en suite in a volunteer house with shared dining area, a braai (outside BBQ) and pool
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Airport pick up for flights arriving into Victoria Falls (time restrictions)
- Weekly laundry service
- Training: pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Daily transfers to and from your project
- 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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