Wildlife Orphan Rescue
This hands on project involves assisting a wildlife rescue sanctuary as they nurture, rehabilitate and release a wide variety of African patients. The sanctuary is the first in Zimbabwe specialising in primate care. They house a number of baboons and vervet monkeys as well as zebra, antelope of all shapes and sizes, warthog, bush babies, birds and a few horses and dogs too!
Enjoy hands on work with wildlife orphans
Help raise baby monkeys, from bottle feeding to bush walks
Work with a range of species from zebra to bush babies
Join the team when veterinary or rescue work is carried out
Understand the rehabilitation process
See animals released into the wild
Help monitor released animals (car/horse riding/GPS tracking)
Enjoy the stunning national parks of Zimbabwe in your free time.
This project will see you helping to care for all sorts of animals in need. You don't need any past experience to volunteer, and anyone is welcome to join our work as we drive for animal rescue, rehabilitation and release. Volunteers are involved in the hands on care, feeding and treatment of ill and recovering patients and those unable to go for release. The vet clinic is just 30 minutes away and when animals are attended to, volunteers are encouraged to assist.
This sanctuary is not open to the public and their aim is to save and release as many animals as funds allow. As a registered trust, volunteers play a big role in generating funds for the work of the sanctuary and every new volunteer allows numerous animals to be saved. Many animals brought to the sanctuary are not suitable candidates even for a ‘soft release’ due to mental and physical issues relate to their past, but all those who can be are released into the trust’s associated release sites when they are ready.
Dealing with traumatised animals can be emotionally hard, yet every day at the sanctuary is full of fun and joy brought about by working with these beautiful animals. Bringing innocent animals back from the brink of trauma, to become healthy and balanced individuals is something that stays with our volunteers for a lifetime, and they form close bonds to the animals in their care.
KEY VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
• Participate in the regular bottle feeding of orphaned animals
• Nutritional planning for variety of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores
• Daily food prep and feeding of all animals
• Bush walks with the orphans, stimulating them to explore their natural habitat
• Build toys, platforms and playgrounds
• Become part of the troop as you play with the young monkeys
Rescue and Release
• Help nurture and raise orphaned wildlife
• Undertake snare sweeps and boundary patrols of release site
• Horse riding in release site
• Care for the permanent residents who can not be released
• Monitor released animals as in their life of freedom
You may also be present to help with exciting rescue missions. From scooping suffocating fish out from a drying up lake, to driving across the country to pick up a traumatised little monkey, the days are variable and exciting.
You will live on site at the sanctuary, allowing you the amazing opportunity to be able to check on your animals overnight and even have orphans living with you in your house if required. The current volunteer rooms are at the top of the sanctuary and were built brand new in 2019. They consist of twin rooms with all bedding provided and easy access to a new bathroom. There is a communal living space and kitchen for cooking in a nearby building. Here there is also a big living room with comfy sofas overlooking the adult baboon enclosure.
All of the buildings on the project are powered by solar energy to be as carbon neutral as possible. This does mean on cloudy days that you may not always be able to fully charge your electrical items and we suggest bringing power packs if you use your phone a lot. You can use the WIFI for 20 US dollars for 2 weeks. Some volunteers choose to register to use their own sim card abroad, others opt to buy a local sim card and purchase data bundles. The signal at the sanctuary is good enough to upload images and make voice calls (and sometimes video calls) to keep in touch with people at home.
Laundry is included in the cost of your volunteer fee and is returned to you clean, pressed and folded by the housekeeping team. Volunteers are provided with food to make their own 3 meals a day. Often the team goes out for dinner once a week. We tailor to your diet as much as possible and on arrival you will be asked what food you enjoy. We can deal with most dietary requirements so please discuss this when booking.
Zimbabwe is based in the middle of Southern Africa. At present there is no quarantine requirements on arrival so you can head straight to the project from the airport. It is renowned by locals as being the best place to do a safari because there are considerably fewer tourists, and the nature reserves are much more wild and free. It is home to Victoria Falls, one of the 7 wonders of the world, and the largest waterfall in the world, being 2x higher and wider than Niagara Falls, and a hot spot for adrenalin sports like skydiving, rafting and bungee jumping. There are some of the largest national parks in Africa, the largest man-made lake in the world (Lake Kariba), fantastic fishing, beautiful cities, endless horizons and cultural diversity. “Zimbos” (as they call themselves), are friendly and love showing volunteers their way of life, culture, and history.
The project is based 15 minutes drive from the old colonial town of Bulawayo. This friendly and close-knit town is clean and safe. Nestled among wide green leafy avenues, rumour has it that when the colonial settlers first arrived from South Africa, they planned the streets of Bulawayo to be wide enough to turn their ox drawn waggons around in! Today the curving street lamps and green parks around town still hold a magic feel that draws travellers back over and over again.
2 weeks £1322
3 weeks £1833
4 weeks £2344
Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:
3 hearty meals a day
24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
Tea, coffee and filtered water
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
All airport collection and returns ($30 each way, in a private taxi we will arrange for you)
Medical and travel insurance
Flights to your chosen destination
Weekend trips and other non-project activities
This project starts every Monday of the year, with volunteers arriving at Bulawayo airport. Most people come via Johannesburg and arrive on Monday morning. There is no quarantine requirements when flying in to Zimbabwe and it takes 20 minutes to reach the sanctuary from the airport.
WHAT IF I CAN’T ATTEND DUE TO COVID?
Don’t fear! We have FLEXIBOOKINGS in place for all our projects. If you book a trip with us and have paid for the trip (deposit or in full), we have protocols in place to ensure you don’t miss out. Our main aim is for you to be able to attend your project in a safe and convenient manner so the FLEXIBOOKING system allows free and unlimited date changes if Covid prevents you from attending your planned trip. In the case of the following problems, you can reschedule until the end of 2023 at no cost. N.B if the project price rises between years, we will ask you to make up the difference before travel.
A) Your home country cancels flights to the project location, or your government advises against “all but essential travel” to the destination due to Covid.
B) Destination country cancels flights or closes borders to your home country due to Covid.
C) If you get Covid before travel or have a positive PCR test before your flight, wherever possible we aim to reschedule your project free of charge. In a few instances, the project may request a repayment of the non-refundable deposit, for example Safari Vet Internship project, where there are a set number of volunteers are needed to run the course.
If you choose to cancel your trip for other reasons, refund value depends on the time left until your project start date. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further.
If the idea of helping rescue and rehabilitate African wildlife gets you exited for your next adventure, Just fill in the form below and we will be in touch with you right away.
"My family and I had a happy and memorable week at the sanctuary in Bulawayo this Summer. We babysat tiny baboons, built enclosures for bush babies, got to know monkeys and dodged out of the way of Terry the one-winged vulture. From the oldest of us to the youngest, we had a wonderful time, and felt we were helping a special place with an important mission. We were made to feel welcome and part of the team, we all did things we didn't know we could do, and we left with a treasure trove of memories and photos. We will be back!!
"This project is so brilliant. To be so hands on rehabilitating and raising injured wildlife is more than I ever expected, and I left knowing I made a difference. The friends I made, made the experience even better. Don't hesitate, just book and go. You will love it.