1 - 8 weeks
Max 12 people
1 - 8 weeks
Max 12 people
What’s the rhino & elephant project about?
When you join the rhino & elephant project at Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe, you’re making life better for these amazing animals and the human communities they share their environment with.
Your project is dedicated to the conservation of African wildlife, with a focus on the endangered black rhino, elephant, and cheetah.
The project’s mission is to ensure is to ensure the long term future of Africa’s natural heritage, using a three-pronged approach to conservation
- Wildlife protection
- Positive community involvement
- Responsible tourism.
Sounds good? Read on for more info on this life-changing opportunity!
How will I be helping out?
When you join the rhino & elephant project at Imire, you become part of a dedicated, passionate volunteering family.
This unique wildlife conservation volunteer programme combines rhino and elephant conservation work with community empowerment and education projects, conservancy management and wildlife research, focusing on the project’s two re-wilded cheetah.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to volunteer with rhinos and play an important role in the daily activities involved in the operation of a wildlife conservancy.
Whether you’re hammering in nails or tracking rhino calves, you’re contributing to something very special.
Is this an ethical volunteer project?
It is indeed.
Private conservancies like Imire are vital in helping endangered species survive and thrive.
The human-wildlife conflict is probably the biggest issue we face as conservationists.
But you can make a difference. By volunteering at Imire you’ve got a hands-on role protecting threatened wildlife and you’re contributing to a conservation success story – where communities and conservancies coexist peacefully and productively.
Our Rhino & Elephant Conservation Programme takes an integrated approach to conserving endangered wildlife. Volunteers like you are key to protecting Imire’s eleven rhinos and elephants, through a variety of different activities and projects. You’ll work closely with local employees and community members.
This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in day-to-day life in Africa. In return, you’ll contribute to an important conservation cause. It’s truly life-changing.
Wildlife conservation volunteers are involved with tasks like:
- Working closely with rhinos, elephants and a range of other wildlife.
- Participating in conservation activities including game counts, wildlife research and animal tracking.
- Helping anti-poaching efforts to ensure the continued safety of the animals.
- Educating local school children about conservation, wildlife and the environment.
- Learning about wildlife conservation and the threats to African wildlife, and experiencing the huge responsibility of managing a wildlife conservancy.
Volunteers will usually get involved in some or all of the following activities:
Rhino and Elephant conservation:
- Observing wildlife and collecting data on rhino and elephant behaviour, health, movements, interactions and browsing activities.
- Feeding and walking alongside the rhinos and elephants while you gather data.
- Learn from experienced rangers about the challenges these animals face to survive.
- Repairing elephant damage.
- Cutting browse for night time feeds.
- Learning to use telemetry and identify rhino tracks and signs in the bush.
· Maintenance of feeding bomas and elephant beds.
Anti-poaching and security
- Provide additional manpower for foot patrols and snare sweeps.
- Securing, repairing and checking the boundary fences.
- Conduct weapons training and anti-poaching simulations.
- Communicate anti-poaching messages to school children.
- Deliver feed and nutritional supplements around the conservancy, focusing on sable, giraffe, lion, elephants and buffalo.
- 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.
Imire has been closely involved with the Wedza community since its foundation and community engagement is the essence of our conservation philosophy. This is can be seen in our long-running involvement in local employment opportunities, education support, healthcare and poverty alleviation projects. Volunteers will get involved with:
- Education projects focusing on English literacy and conservation education.
- Organic gardening and tree planting.
- Homework and computer training for older children and adults.
- Cultural exchange experiences through traditional home visits and Shona culture evenings.
Covid-19 - how you can help
Why Wildlife & Communities Need You During Covid-19
There’s no denying that Covid-19 has impacted every community worldwide.
But in Zimbabwe’s rural settlements there’s a much more malignant and menacing enemy: starvation.
The average Zimbabwean tourism worker supports 10 family members with their wages. No tourism means no money and empty bellies. It also means that poaching increases and vulnerable communities are pushed even further into precarious positions where simply surviving is an endless struggle.
By volunteering you’re injecting funds into communities where tourism is their lifeblood and providing practical help when it’s needed most – which is why we’ll welcome you with open arms.
Zimbabwe’s rural communities and delicate ecosystems need people like you. If you can’t travel, but would like to help, please get in touch.
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