Family Volunteering -
1 - 12 weeks
Up to 6 people
1 - 12 weeks
Up to 12 people
What's the project about?
This family volunteering project is based at Zimbabwe’s only dedicated primate rehabilitation and release facility, purpose-built to support the ongoing care and eventual release of primates. The facility has grown, and now has an open-door policy to almost all wildlife species in need of care. The focus remains the protection and rehabilitation of primates, who are the often-forgotten victims of the human-wildlife conflict.
How will I be contributing?
This small wildlife sanctuary programme relies on volunteers to support local staff in all aspects of animal care, working alongside conservationists dedicated to the welfare of their wildlife. There is one goal in mind – the care and release of Zimbabwe’s vulnerable wildlife. Family volunteers of all ages can play an important role in the rehabilitation process, whether it be raising baby monkeys, assisting with release preparation or working with animals that cannot be released.
What makes this project ethical?
The project’s mission is for there to be no captive primates in Zimbabwe. It has a successful and well-documented release programme, and has relocated many once-captive baboons and monkeys into the wilderness of the Matopos National Park. Other smaller animals including pangolins, servals, birds and bush babies have been released into a local nature reserve. The focus of the sanctuary is wildlife release and education.
Our Primate Conservation Family Volunteer Programme gives your family the opportunity to experience small animal care and immerse yourself in the close-knit sanctuary family. The project is the sister programme to our popular Primate Conservation Programme, with some activities adapted to make it suitable for younger children.
Family volunteering is a unique way to immerse yourself and your family 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. Family volunteering in Africa will be a life-changing experience for your whole family.
The sanctuary has wonderful staff, 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:
Small animal care:
- Work hands-on with wildlife orphans and vulnerable animals;
- Raise baby and juvenile primates, including bottle feeds (often through the night), bush walks, troop reintroduction and eventual release;
- Work with a range of species including zebra, ostrich, owls, raptors and bush babies, plus a range of domestic animals and birds;
- Assist with food collection, preparation and feeding, encompassing herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.
- Experience the joy of accompanying primates (and usually a few other special guests!) on bush walks, stimulating them to explore their natural habitat, forage, play in water, jump and interact as a group;
- Build toys, platforms, playgrounds and other enrichment objects;
- Become part of the troop as you engage and interact with young monkeys and baboons.
Rehabilitation and release:
- Learn about the rehabilitation process and how it applies to a variety of small animals;
- Play a part in individual animals release strategies;
- Monitor released animals (on foot, by vehicle and on horseback).
Become a Wildlife Warrior:
The sanctuary staff are experienced at teaching children the importance of wildlife and environmental preservation. Each day, you and your children will learn about a difference species, meet and interact with the resident animals and birds, learn about their tracks and signs, and have talks about endangered species. There will be practical activities, where children can put their new tracking skills into practice, undertake project work, recreate insect and bird habitats and lots of other fun educational activities – tailored to your children’s ages.
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