Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls
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From £1,299, 2 weeks, Zimbabwe Trip code: ZILR

  • Adventure 3 out of 5
  • Relaxation 2 out of 5
  • Culture 3 out of 5
Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria FallsZimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria FallsZimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls

Trip Highlights

  • Work with beautiful African lions
  • Help care for the lions while recording important data
  • Work with the local children in conservation workshops
  • Knowing that your hard work will see some of these lions released back into the wild

Trip Summary

See full itinerary

This programme of lion rehabilitation is a combination of two project areas; working on our lion breeding and rehabilitation programme along with the local African community development initiatives. 

 

This scheme is an exciting development initiative, which will involve you working 1 ½ to 2 days a week within local schools carrying out important conservation workshops with the children, who are an absolute pleasure to teach. We firmly believe that one of the best long-term sustainable solutions for solving the conservation crisis that Zimbabwe is currently facing is by educating the local children and communities.

 

Check out RG's Hannah's blog post on her visit to the Lion Rehabilitation project


When do I want to go?

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24 November 20142 weeks£1,299Limited AvailabilityCall Us 01273 647220
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What will I be doing?

  • The Lion Rehabilitation Programm (2 to 4 weeks)

  • Conservation and Education Initiative (2 to 4 weeks)

  • Your typical itinerary (2 to 4 weeks)

The Lion Rehabilitation Programm: 2 to 4 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

Zimbabwe borders Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. Zimbabwe is home to one of Earth's biggest waterfalls, Victoria Falls, and the wild Zambezi River. During your time on the programme you will be based on the outskirts of Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe, within walking distance of the magnificent waterfall. The town in full of hotels, restaurants and bars catering for people on budgets as well as more luxurious options. There are also plenty of adrenaline activities on offer to make you think twice about leaving town immediately after stopping to see the falls.

  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

You will work on our lion breeding and rehabilitation programme as well as providing conservation education to the local community. Your time will be divided between these areas, which are outlined below:

 

The Lion Rehabilitation Programme
250,000 lions used to roam the African continent. Latest estimates are that between 12,000 and 15,000 remain. The end objective of the Victoria Falls lion project is the reintroduction of captive-bred lions into the wild by means of a three-stage process, which you will learn more about during your involvement with the project.

 

This breeding and rehabilitation project is revolutionary and is supported by the world’s leading ecologists in this field. You have the unique chance to walk and work with African Lions, to be involved in in-depth research and data-collection activities, as well as to work with the project staff towards the eventual release of lions back into the wild. Spending time with the lions in the wild each day is an essential part of the cub’s upbringing. If the cubs are to be released into the wild it is important that they spend time out in a natural environment - they need to adapt to it, learn from it, understand, observe, feel and smell the wild.

 

Since the start of this intensive programme, a marked increase in the Lions’ awareness of their natural surroundings has been noted, as well as an improvement in their hunting skills. The larger cubs are now able to take down smaller game species whilst out on walks and these abilities are being enhanced each day whilst under the supervision of volunteers. These are invaluable discoveries, which have earned the project further support for their pioneering endeavours.

 

You will be joining the team of professional guides and other dedicated volunteers, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the king of beasts and assist in gathering vital information that will facilitate their eventual release back into the wild.

 

Please Note: In order to raise vital funding and awareness for the continuation of the lion release efforts there is also a commercial tourist aspect to the lion programme in Victoria Falls. The lion programme offers tourists the chance to walk with the lions through the wild and experience the programme first-hand. As a result tourists might accompany you on a portion of your lion walks as a volunteer. 

Conservation and Education Initiative: 2 to 4 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

Zimbabwe borders Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. Zimbabwe is home to one of Earth's biggest waterfalls, Victoria Falls, and the wild Zambezi River. During your time on the programme you will be based on the outskirts of Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe, within walking distance of the magnificent waterfall. The town in full of hotels, restaurants and bars catering for people on budgets as well as more luxurious options. There are also plenty of adrenaline activities on offer to make you think twice about leaving town immediately after stopping to see the falls.

  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

We believe that your work would be incomplete without involvement in the local community. This new scheme is an exciting development initiative, which may involve you working 1.5 to 2 days a week within local schools carrying out important conservation workshops with the children, who are an absolute pleasure to teach. We firmly believe that one of the best sustainable solutions for solving the conservation crisis, that this country is currently facing, is by educating the local children and communities.

 

You will find that the children flock to the lessons and look forward both to the interaction with the volunteers and to the chance to learn more about what is going on around them in the conservation arena. We are keen to help educate local communities about conservation and their wildlife heritage, and are extremely excited by the positive results that have already been reaped in the Victoria Falls programme.

 

The aim of this scheme is to educate children on the following topics:

 

  • The diversity of plants and animals
  • A brief outline of the history of the world and evolution
  • What DNA is, where we find it and what it does
  • Food chains, food groups and medicines from plants and animals
  • Poaching and the extinction and endangered species
  • Class activities

Please note that this syllabus is a guideline and depending on the needs of the project, may change without prior notice.

 

Alongside your involvement with the lions and our conservation education initiatives, volunteers may also have the unique chance to visit the sister project in the midlands area of Zimbabwe. It is a 5 day trip and travels through Hwange and Matopos enroute to the project; whilst at the project there will opportunities to enjoy a number of different excursions including an elephant ride, elephant swim, boat cruise, etc; these additional activities will be at your own cost. Please note that this 5-day tour is only available to volunteers joining the project for a 4 week placement and is an optional activity, which is subject to a sufficient amount of volunteer interest in order to go ahead. The cost varies depending on the number of volunteers wishing to participate, but will typically cost around US$500 per person payable locally.
 

Your typical itinerary: 2 to 4 weeks

Destination info

Zimbabwe borders Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. Zimbabwe is home to one of Earth's biggest waterfalls, Victoria Falls, and the wild Zambezi River. During your time on the programme you will be based on the outskirts of Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe, within walking distance of the magnificent waterfall. The town in full of hotels, restaurants and bars catering for people on budgets as well as more luxurious options. There are also plenty of adrenaline activities on offer to make you think twice about leaving town immediately after stopping to see the falls.

  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Your project managers are responsible for organizing your daily activities, which will vary from day to day depending on whether you are with the lions or working with the local community. Please note; you may not be working with the lions on some days although these will certainly be in the minority, due to the conservation education that takes place in the local schools approximately once a week. 

 

A typical day with the lions may look like this:

 

06.30 – 09.00: Join a lion walk with clients, or spend time in camp with the younger cubs, preparing their feed

 

09:00: Breakfast

 

10:00–12.00: Duties that may include enclosure-cleaning, data capture, feeding the cubs or heading to the local community development initiative.

12:00: Lunch

 

14:00-18.00: Afternoon duties activities may include community project work, games and education with local children, lion interaction or enclosure maintenance.

 

19:00: Dinner

 

Please note: Itineraries and activities are subject to change.

Trip Notes Download

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Trip Notes include a full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather. By filling in your details you'll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Transfers to and from Victoria Falls Airport
  • Arrival orientation
  • 24 hour support
  • Wildlife education talks
  • All accommodation and meals
  • Tea, coffee and juice throughout the day

What's not included?

  • All flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas for Zimbabwe
  • Elephant orphanage visit

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum age 17 years with parental consent.

 

Minimum numbers required on this trip

There are no minimum numbers on the trip.

Please note: you may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us

 

Accommodation

Your accommodation is situated 1km, a short 10minute walk from the beautiful town of Victoria Falls. The premises have a lovely braai (barbeque) and pool area for you to relax and chill out in on hot summer days!

 

You will be sharing this lodge with your fellow volunteers. There are 12 Rooms which are en suite bathrooms. The dining area is very spacious and there is a lovely restaurant and bar area. There is also internet access at the lodge. The premises are very secure with 24 hour security patrols. There is a safe at our office in town, which you can access at any point.  There is internet available for $1/half an hour in town.

 

Rooms will be serviced daily. If you do not feel comfortable with this, please let your Project Manager know and you can attend to your own room. 

 

Meals

You are provided with three meals a day during your placement in Zimbabwe. Breakfast and lunch are usually at the project where the lions are based. The evening meal is served back at the volunteer accommodation when you return at the end of the day. 

 

Is this trip for you?

An interest in and passion for wildlife and conservation is important. Due to health and safety requirements, all volunteers must be 155cm, or 5ft minimum to work with the lion cubs. All volunteers must have a reasonable level of health and fitness.

 

When traveling to Zambia at anytime during your time in Victoria Falls, you are required to have a yellow fever injection and have the paperwork to prove it.

You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. However, you will still have the full support of your in-country team and those at the project. If you are looking for a group volunteering experience we have plenty of options for you to consider.

 

Project Orientation

Upon arrival at the Victoria Falls project, you will receive a full orientation, which will cover the following areas:

  • You will receive your volunteer's manual, which includes information that will help with your integration into the project.
  • Introduction to all accommodation and project staff and heads of department
  • Familiarisation of the work areas
  • Introduction to the lion and cub enclosures
  • Briefing on completing data capture forms and entering data
  • Further information on the lion breeding programme and our ultimate objective of free releasing lions into the wild
  • Familiarisation with all duties you will be involved in and the basic tools you require to carry out your duties.

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

 

You will be assigned a personal travel advisor who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our UK staff at any time should you need to.

 

FAQ

1. What is the accomodation like?

You will be based in hostel accommodation of a very good standard, twin share, flush toilets and will have access to a swimming pool for your freetime.

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2. Does the accommodation have access to the internet?

Yes you will be able to email family and friends, but please be aware that it may not be as fast as your home computer!

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3. How much spending money would you recommend I take?

We generally recommend that you take around £70-£80 per week.

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4. I am a first time traveler, and a bit apprehensive about travelling on my own. Do many people do this by themselves?

The majority of our participants are solo travelers, so you will be one of many in the same position. We e-mail out a buddy list 2-3 weeks before you start, so you can begin to get to know one another beforehand.

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5. Will I be able to touch the lions?

This is a very hands on project so the majority of volunteers have the pleasure of experiencing this!

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6. Do I need to take a sleeping bag?

No, all bedding is provided for you however if you wish to bring one for extra warmth then you can.

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7. Will there be a safe/safety deposit box available?

Yes, there will be one available for you to use. It is also recommended that you bring a lock to lock your bags/cupboard.

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DBS

You have booked a programme which requires an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check to be completed. We can carry this out for you and your travel advisor will explain the charges at the time of booking.

What will I see in Victoria Falls?

17 photos

What other travellers thought

I've done this trip

Write review
Overall rating: (9/10) (7 reviews)
Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls

Jennifer Taylor - June 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Life changing, extraordinary experiences, wow!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The genuine open caring and friendliness of all the locals. Their generosity in sharing their lives and culture with us was amazing. The entire staff out at Masuwe were our family. Our brief times at the Rose of Charity Orphanage were life changing and truly memorable. The beautiful little people there really touched our hearts. And then there are the lions....what an experience! Absolute respect and love for these gorgeous creatures we were so privileged to work with so closely. Our volunteer group were amazing and are still in contact with each other - one big happy family despite our various ages and backgrounds.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Embrace the atmosphere and way of life. Leave the stress behind. Be open to new experiences.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls2013-06-12

Harriet Merrony - December 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Fantastic experience, great friends, miss it all the time :-)

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Everythhing was the highlight of my trip. The people, staff, volunteers, lions, Vic Falls..... Everything The food was brilliant too :-)

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1/Bring plenty of sun cream 2/Bring plenty of mozzy repellant 3/Go to Devils Pool :-)

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls2012-12-29

Gillian Dobbin - February 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Amazing time, didn't want to leave, want to go back!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The people working at the Lion Encounter welcomed me in with open arms. They completely made my trip worthwhile!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1) Don't pack anything valuable in your suitcase and always put a lock on your checked bags (a few people lost their suitcases for a few days on their way to ZImbabwe) 2) Book for more than 2 weeks -- you'll want to end up staying forveer 3) Try to be outgoing right from the beginning. It helps so much if your talking with the guides form day 1, then you settle in faster!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls2012-02-24

Robyn Holland - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The genuinely warm, generous, and caring natures of everyone we met, but especially the "gorgeous boys" at Masuwe. The Lions of course - if you haven't been there you just can't understand what a life changing adventure it really is. Being older could have been awkward for us in the Volunteer House - but not so - such a great group - we were all one big, happy family. The country and wildlife - breath takingly beautiful. Rose of Charity Orphanage - the most beautiful children and carers that will always be in my heart.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Double the amount of time you think you want to go for - so much to do and time just flies - you will not want to leave! Embrace the Zimbabwe lifestyle - de stress - go with the flow but remember to respect the local culture. Take plenty of memory cards for your camera - you can NEVER have too many photos of lions!!!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls2011-10-11

James Condon - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The highlights of my trip included; hands on experience with the lions, meeting life long friends, interacting with the locals and seeing Victoria falls.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Visit the falls and it's surroundings Eat in as many local resturants as possible Travel alone, you'll make loads of new friends

Would you travel with our company again?

No

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls2011-10-11

Victoria Grantham - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Very interesting, I learnt so much, Amazing lions, Friendly people.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(6/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Going to an orphange and meeting the new lion cub (Chete, f, 7-11 months)

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Bring factor 50 suncream (for neck and arms). Watch out for overly friendly/very forward Zimbabweans. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask for activities you want.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls2011-07-04

Eloisa Cackett - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

met unbelievable new friends, time of my life, never forget

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Working with the lions Meeting new people

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Travel on your own, not with friends! Make the most of it Keep in touch with the friends you've made

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Zimbabwe Lion Rehabilitation - Victoria Falls2011-07-04

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