Conservation & Rehabilitation Experience
2 - 12 weeks
Up to 12 people
Age 16 +
2 - 12 weeks
Up to 12 people
What's the project about?
This combination conservation volunteering experience enables volunteers to contribute to endangered species conservation within a private conservancy, and help rehabilitate primates at a small animal sanctuary. Volunteers experience the thrill of witnessing Africa’s most iconic animals close at hand, as you support a world-renowned rhino conservation organisation. You will then transfer to Bulawayo to work at Zimbabwe’s only dedicated primate rehabilitation centre.
How will I be contributing?
Volunteers on these two conservation programmes have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play an important role in the daily operations of a rhino conservancy, where you will experience a wide range of game park management and anti-poaching activities. At the wildlife sanctuary you will support local staff in all areas of animal care, rehabilitation and release. Each volunteer plays a vital role at both projects, whether it be looking after orphaned monkeys, or monitoring rhinos and elephants.
What makes this project ethical?
The human-wildlife conflict is the greatest issue faced by conservationists today. Private conservancies and small organisations play an enormous role in finding solutions. Through these two conservation volunteering projects, you will participate in the protection of vulnerable large wildlife, plus care for and rehabilitate orphaned and injured small animals, readying them for their eventual release. The focus of both projects is to enable their wildlife to live back in the wild, or as natural a life as possible.
Our Rhino & Elephant Conservation Programme gives volunteers the opportunity to live on a 10,000 acre private conservancy, 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 first-hand, day-to-day life in Africa. In return you will contribute to an important conservation cause. The experience will be life-changing.
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, please see our Rhino & Elephant Conservation Programme page.
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