Family Volunteering -
Conservation & Communities
2 - 8 weeks
Up to 8 people
2 - 8 weeks
Up to 8 people
What's the project about?
This combination project gives family volunteers the opportunity to contribute to wildlife conservation projects, and experience the challenges of community life in rural Zimbabwe. Volunteers experience the thrill of witnessing Africa’s most iconic animals close at hand, while supporting a worthwhile conservation organisation. The Greenline Africa Trust in Victoria Falls are dedicated to long term community projects – supporting and uplifting vulnerable communities.
How will I be contributing?
This family volunteer project combines rhino and elephant conservation work on a private conservancy, with community projects in Victoria Falls’ rural areas. Family 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 then contribute to community projects focusing on poverty alleviation and skills training. This could include school feeding programmes, agriculture projects, water aid and early childhood education.
What makes this project ethical?
Private conservancies play a vital role in protecting endangered species. The human-wildlife conflict is possibly the greatest issue currently faced by conservationists, and through these two volunteer projects, you will participate in not only the protection of threatened wildlife, but also work towards an Africa where communities and conservancies peacefully and beneficially co-exist. Poverty alleviation and education programmes are critical for long term conservation to succeed.
Our Rhino & Elephant Family Volunteer Programme gives your family 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 for your whole family.
The conservancy has wonderful guides, experienced at teaching children to appreciate and understand the bush, and help them develop leadership and empathy towards people from different cultures.
Family 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;
Get a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes operation of a large conservation area.
- Go on snare patrols to check for evidence of illegal poaching and trapping, and report your findings;
- 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;
- Assist with fence building and repair;
Develop new skills:
Your guide will teach you how to survive in the bush; how to find water and how to navigate without using a map or compass – all activities great for developing leadership skills. Take part in practical conservation lessons, learn how to work as a team and practice your new skills in fun training exercises!
Culture and community projects:
Community engagement is the essence of sustainable conservation, and Imire has been a long-time champion of local employment, education, healthcare 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. Family 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.
- Help in the community vegetable gardens.
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