Zimbabwe Rhino and Elephant Conservation

From £1,449.00

Highlights

Get up close with majestic rhino

Trip Highlights

  • Get up close to majestic Elephants and Rhinos
  • Experience some of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful scenery
  • Play your part in the conservation of Zimbabwe’s most endangered wildlife
  • Get  a behind the scenes look at life on an African game reserve.
  • Live in the heart of the Zimbabwe bush

Trip Summary

Live in close contact with Zimbabwe wildlife including black and white rhino, African elephants and buffalo on the 10,000-acre private game reserve. You’ll have the opportunity to spend time with rhino and elephants and be involved in valuable conservation work which will help towards securing the futures of these endangered species in Zimbabwe. You will get a behind the scenes insight into the running of a privately owned African game reserve.

You may also have an opportunity to meet some of the local children and community leaders as you spend time at one of the nearby schools; teach them a little about conservation or even help them out with their veggie patch! This programme and country is bound to capture your heart and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!

Trip itinerary

Your time at this project will be divided into spending time with the wildlife learning about and spending time with the animals, in particular the black rhino and elephants and getting involved with the game park, and spending time at the at the local school close to the project. The emphasis is very much on wildlife conservation and the majority of your time is spent in the game park but part of the programme includes educating the community on its importance. 

No two days are the same and some of the activities you will be involved with include:

Spending time with the Black Rhino on the reserve

Monitoring their behaviour, social activity, interactions and breeding behaviour. Your duties here may include:

  • Maintenance and cleaning of the rhino beds
  • Walking with the rhino and collecting data on their behaviour

Working with the elephants
Undertaking anti-poaching and snare patrols, teaching co-operative elephant handling, observing their family interactions, monitoring and assessing browsing behaviour. It is an amazing experience to spend time with these magnificent animals and their experienced handlers and you will get many opportunities to interact with these beautiful creatures. Your duties here may include;

  • Maintenance and cleaning of the elephant beds
  • Work around the game park involving the elphants as required, e.g. deliveries, wood collection
  • Observing the elephants in their natural habitat and spending valuable time in their company whilst gathering data

You may also be involved in the following activities:

  • Assisting in the general running of the game park- including; animal feeding, anti-poaching patrols, bush clearance, removal of foreign plant species, game counts and maintaining vegetable gardens
  • Undertaking community projects with local schools and pre-school in permaculture, gardening, conservation education, sports and general teaching assistance
  • Helping with special projects around the game park and having unexpected adventures!
  • In your spare time you can go fishing, canoeing, camping in the bush, undertake rifle training or just relax by the pool at the volunteer house with a cold beer! You will have the opportunity to go horse riding in the bush - an amazing way to experience the wildlife! For those who enjoy hiking the in-country team can arrange walks both on and off the reserve, visit local cultural sites or go and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Harare.

How have previous volunteers helped the project? We asked our in-country team…

"Volunteers have played a massive part in helping us with a number of different projects. In the last year we have achieved;

  • 24,856 volunteer hours
  • Distributed 111 tonnes of game cubes for elephants, buffalo, rhino and antelope
  • Delivered 7,800 hay bales for animals around the game park
  • Dipped 1400 cattle every month to prevent and reduce the number of ticks and other pests within the game park
  • Spent 173 hours monitoring and research Elephants
  • Spent 198 hours monitoring and research Rhinos
  • Received 1,326 hours of Shona culture lessons (learning to cook traditional meals, traditional songs, language and dancing)
  • Maintained 3 vegetable gardens
  • Spent 884 hours giving additional maths and English lessons to a local school
  • Cleared the vegetation away from 14km of perimeter fence and made repairs when necessary to assist with boundary monitoring and anti-poaching
  • Carried out 52 snare patrols on foot and found 16 snares – an amazing reductions from over 80 snares in the previous year, showing the effectiveness of increased horse and foot patrols
  • Spent 1,326 hours removing invasive species from the game park
  • Carried 120 horse patrols

Without volunteers, we would not have been able to achieve all of this!!"

Destination Information

Zimbabwe borders Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. It is a diverse and exhilarating destination with some of the most beautiful and well-protected game reserves in the world. These privately run reserves are on a mission to protect the bio-diversity and wildlife that Zimbabwe is home to.  

There are over 10 large National Parks and numerous private reserves across Zimbabwe.  Your time in Zimbabwe will be vital to the protection and conservation of many endangered animals and their surrounding environment, which is conducive to their survival.

This project is based on a private farm, approximately 105 km from Harare, set in rolling bushveld landscapes offering a unique experience and that is not to be missed!

Trip Notes

What's Included

  • Help of trained guides
  • All accommodation
  • Meals throughout your project
  • 24 hour project support
  • Arrival orientation

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers (US$100 per person each way, US$200 total)
  • Visa costs and departure tax

Additional Information & FAQ's

Minimum Age & Eligibility

Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on potential participants’ health.

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

Accomodation & Meals

The accommodation on this project is fantastic! You will be staying in a double storied farmhouse, which is situated at the centre of the ranch and on the edge of a dam. Sometimes Elephants, Rhinos and Hippos will come to browse in the garden, which is a stunning sight.

You will be staying in a shared bedroom (either double or four people sharing) with shared bathrooms. Hot water and electricity is available but power cuts are quite normal, so remember to bring a torch! The house has a large dining room, two communal sitting rooms with fireplaces in each and a kitchen. In the evenings volunteers can meet in the sitting room to relax and talk about the day’s events.

Three meals and basic house keeping duties will be provided for you each day.  You will be required to help with keeping the house clean and tidy, maintaining the garden and the vegetable garden. 

FAQs

What Is The Accomodation Like?

The accomodation is of a good standard, twin share, flush toilets.

How Much Spending Money Would You Recommend I Take?

We generally recommend that you take around £70-£80 per week plus US$200 (US$100 per person for more than one person) for your airport transfers which are not included in your programme fee.

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.

Upon Arrival, How Long Does It Take To Get To The Project?

You will be met and transferred from Harare airport which will take around 2 hours.

Do I Need To Take A Sleeping Bag?

No, all bedding is provided.

Do I Need To Take A Mosquito Net?

No, mosquito nets are provided

Will There Be A Safe/safety Deposit Box Available?

Yes, there will be a safe available for you to use.

Extra Notes

Visa Information

If you are a UK passport holder you will be able to get a tourist visa on arrival into Zimbabwe as long as you fulfil the following requirements:

  • Hold a passport valid at least six months on entry with one blank visa page
  • Hold proof of sufficient funds
  • Hold proof of onward/return flights
  • Confirm with your airline that boarding will be permitted without a visa

We recommend that all travellers check with their airline prior to departure that boarding will be permitted without a visa. There is no guarantee entry will be allowed.

For all other nationalities you can check individual requirements with your local Zimbabwean embassy or use our preferred visa partner Visa Central for assistance and advice. Just enter your nationality and where you are travelling to into the homepage plus "tourist" as your reason for travel.

Consider this! You may consider obtaining a double entry tourist visa on arrival, if you plan to visit Victoria Falls during your time in Zimbabwe as this may entail crossing the border into Zambia.

Visa courier service

If you prefer to use a specialist visa courier service to apply for your visa on your behalf, we recommend Visa Central who can offer you assistance and advice, making your visa application straight forward.

To investigate costs for this service click here to select the country or countries that you wish to travel to.

Reviews

Overall Rating: (10/10)

5 Reviews

I've done this trip

Write review

Katrina Wilson

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Hands on volunteering with the elephants and an elephant ride as a bonus :-)

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

No

Tips for other travellers?

1. Bring work gloves. 2. Bring hand sanitizer 3. Involve yourself in everything

Any other comments?

Met some great people - other volunteers and the people who worked on the reserve and looked after the volunteers 24/7! I have done a few volunteering experiences and this is by far my favourite - I would highly recommend this trip to others.

hannah champion

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Being so close to the animals and being part of a team that helps ensure these animals are well looked after and protected. The people I met were amazing, both staff and other volunteers! Great food, lovely accommodation, awesome solar showers :-)

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Nope!

Tips for other travellers?

1)Take donations for the school and community if you can, they reallyyyy appreciate it. 2)Get ready to get dirty and stuck in, it can be hard work but it's worth it. 3) stay as long as possible, 2 weeks flew by and wasn't enough!

katrina fox

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Spending time with the elephants and the amazing team of handlers that worked with them. Making friends with the children of staff and visiting them to play games.

Any other comments?

Would not recommend a trip over Christmas for this particular trip if you are a committed and serious volunteer. Inappropriate use of the volunteer house by the owners meant strangers who hadn't paid were permitted to party all night (past 3am) and sleep in our house when we were working the next day at 6:30. This happened twice! It was beyond difficult to say anything about it as this is their house, yet it seemed incredibly rude and inappropriate.

jane burnett

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

where will I start, I loved every minute of every day

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I would have loved to see some big cats, but I understand why it wasn't possible on this trip.

Tips for other travellers?

remember this is Africa, there will be spiders and bugs no matter how much cleaning Don't take posh clothes, you wont need them take a waterproof coat/jacket, especially now.

Any other comments?

Bright, our guide for the week, was absolutely marvellous, he was so knowledgeable, patient and kind. He made the trip for us. change your brochure advice from high level of fitness required to moderate. I nearly didn't book cos of this and yet I managed just fine. everybody was so kind. especially Tony and Bright.

How would you rate your overall experience?

What were the highlights of your trip?

volunteering on the ranch was amazing and while there were some things not so enjoyable (game count!) the fact that you get to handle the animals - elephants and rhinos in particular and get to really know them and the handlers is a rare opoortunity. Although now in Nepal I really miss Imire and the camaradarie created by the family run ranch and a few of us are planning to go back next year! Loved it!!

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