Conservation & communities
2 - 8 weeks
8 - 12 people
2 - 8 weeks
6 - 12 people
6 - 12
What's the project about?
Two of our favourite volunteer projects in Africa – combined! This experience gives volunteers the opportunity to contribute to wildlife conservation within a private conservancy and experience the challenges of community life in Victoria Falls. Conservation volunteers get the thrill of seeing Africa’s most iconic animals close at hand, while supporting a world-renowned conservation organisation. In Victoria Falls, the Greenline Africa Trust are dedicated to long term community action, supporting vulnerable people and their families.
How will I be contributing?
This volunteer project combines rhino and elephant conservation work with community projects in rural areas near the world-famous Victoria Falls. Volunteers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience and learn about wild animals in a safe and natural environment and undertake practical conservation activities. You will also contribute to community projects focusing on education, poverty alleviation and skills training. This could include school feeding programmes, agriculture projects, water aid and early childhood education.
What makes this project ethical?
The human-wildlife conflict is possibly the greatest issue currently faced by conservationists. Through these two volunteer projects, you will participate in the protection of threatened wildlife and also work towards an Africa where communities and animals peacefully co-exist. Poverty alleviation and education programmes are critical for long term conservation, ensuring that the responsibility for Africa’s wildlife is placed in the hands of its communities.
Our Rhino & Elephant Conservation Programme gives you the opportunity to live on a 10,000 acre private conservancy and learn about endangered species and their battle to survive.
Volunteering at Imire is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a new country and culture, and experience day-to-day life in Africa. In return you will contribute to an important conservation cause. The experience will be life-changing.
The conservancy has wonderful local guides, dedicated to the conservancy’s wildlife and experienced at teaching volunteers to understand the bush.
Volunteers will usually get involved in some or all of the following activities:
Wildlife conservation and animal interaction:
- Learn about rhino conservation from experienced local guides, and what the reserve is doing to support the species in Zimbabwe;
- Learn to track and locate white rhino using telemetry;
- Identify the different tracks and signs of animals, as you take guided nature walks through the bush;
- Collect observational data on rhino and elephant behaviour, health, movements, interactions and browsing activities.
Anti-poaching and security:
- Provide additional manpower for foot patrols and snare sweeps;
- Secure, repair and check boundary fences;
- Conduct weapons training and anti-poaching simulations;
- Communicate anti-poaching messages to school children.
Get a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes operation of a large conservation area.
- Deliver feed and nutritional supplements to sable, zebra, buffalo and other plains game. Help feed the lion;
- Meet Murwi, star of the Anti-Poaching K9 Unit;
- Undertake game counts and herd studies on foot, by vehicle and on horseback
- Carry out indigenous tree planting, and invasive and alien species removal
- Maintain fences, roads, fireguards and equipment
Culture and community projects:
Community engagement is the essence of sustainable conservation, and Imire is a long-time champion of local employment, education and poverty alleviation projects in the local community. The project are dedicated to the surrounding villages and work hard to emphasise the importance and benefits of protecting wildlife and the environment. Volunteers will:
- Experience Shona culture first-hand. Go on home visits, learn to cook traditional meals and move your feet in traditional dances;
- Meet members of the local community and share ideas and experiences;
- Brave the ladder and climb to the top of Castle Kopje, as you learn about the conservancy’s rich history from local guides;
- Visit the local schools and experience how African schoolchildren learn;
- Get involved with organic gardening, tree planting and beekeeping.
For more details about our project at Imire, please see our Rhino & Elephant Conservation Programme page.
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