Ah Victoria Falls, a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The incredible and breathtaking waterfalls have to be seen in person to be believed, so when we found out you could work at a lion rehabilitation program with Go Eco in the same area, we were very quick to pack our bags.
Lion Rehabilitation Program
Unfortunately, the lion population in Africa has drastically decreased by 80-90% in the last 40 years which means that something needs to be done before they creep too close to the endangered list. This program was created for general conservation and research on the lions.
Volunteer Contribution to the Lions
Here at the project your primary tasks include helping the staff at the centre with cleaning the lion enclosures, preparing food as well as getting to feed the animals. In the morning you can go out on lion walks which are used to observe the behaviour of the lions for research. You take note on how they interact with one another, what do they seem interested in whether it be playing, running around or just laying in the sun and even monitor where they decide to urinate.
As these lions work through the release program we need to take notes on their hunting habits, character traits and even how long their mane is growing.
National Park Research
Once you have finished your morning tasks you head out into the park to work with rangers on several development and renovation projects. These include assisting with snare sweeps, removing invasive species and assisting the local community.
Visiting Victoria Falls
We absolutely loved our time at Victoria Falls and if you decide to volunteer here for a week or two weeks you will honestly want to return! We would recommend you organise a double entry visa upon arrival so you do have the flexibility to head over to Zambia if you wanted to do the adrenaline pumping swim in Devil’s Pool.
With most volunteer projects we can get the feeling of whether you need to stay for a week or two. We are travellers that enjoy trying multiple experiences so we did find the daily tasks could be quite repetitive after your first week. One of our favourite projects ever – the Giant Panda centre was a week long, it doesn’t mean a project is not worth your time if you don’t stay for 2, 3 or 4 weeks at a time.
You can book your volunteer experience at the African Wildlife Orphanage for $2,100 per person, for two weeks.
Have you ever volunteered abroad? We would love to read about your experience below.
Thank you to Go Eco for allowing us to experience this project in Victoria Falls. Our opinion is, as always, our own.