Live in the heart of the untamed African bush at Antelope Park in Zimbabwe and play a vital role in the rehabilitation and conservation of this king of beasts. Work on this ground-breaking project, experience wild Africa and have the volunteering experience of a lifetime!
Antelope Park Hands-On Lion Rehabilitation Project Antelope Park in the Zimbabwe Midlands
Antelope Park is home to African Impact's very own pilot project, the ground breaking African Lion Rehabilitation and Release into the Wild Program. As a volunteer on this beautiful game reserve, you will be involved in the vital research of the lions’ behavior, and enjoy hands on volunteer work with young lions and cubs.
In 1975 over 200,000 lions used to roam the African continent. A report published at the end of 2012 estimated this number to be as low as 32,000. If this rate of decline is allowed to continue we could be facing an Africa without any wild lions.
Volunteers joining us on this project are able to contribute to the conservation of these icon African cats and gain valuable insight into the operations of our charity, ALERT (African Lion and Environmental Research Trust).
THE 4 STAGE RELEASE PROGRAM:
The aim of the 4 stage Lion Release Program is to restore lion populations within East and Southern Africa while promoting social economic benefits to local communities.
Cubs born in our breeding sites are removed from their captive bred mothers after a period of initial care. This is necessary to ensure that all cubs have a chance of being wild cubs and later having wild lion families of their own. At this point we take the place of dominant members of their pride and train them only to the point that they are safe for us to walk with.
During lion walks, the lions are given every opportunity to build their confidence in their natural environment both during the day and at night. As their experience grows they start to take an interest in the wildlife they encounter on the walks, stalk small mammnals; and by the age of eighteen months are able to hunt many of the smaller antelope. By two years old the lions are seasoned hunters and we give them plenty of opportunity to practice their natural hunting skills in the reserve.
In stage two the lions are given the opportunity to develop a natural pride social system in a minimum 500 acre enclosure. They have plenty of wildlife to hunt, and their progress is monitored closely. It is in this stage that all human contact is removed. The lions remain in stage two until the pride is stable and self-sustaining semi-wild born cubs have been integrated into the pride.
In stage three the pride in stage two is relocated into a managed ecosystem of a minimum 10,000 acres, where:
• There are no resident human beings
• There are sufficient prey species to hunt
• There are competitive species such as hyena
The lions in Stage 3 will give birth to cubs, which will be raised by the pride in the managed ecosystem, as close to possible as their natural environment in the wild.
In stage 4 lions born in stage 3 can be released into the wild in several natural social groups or ‘prides’.
Through these 4 stages, we aim to conserve the African Lion by producing quality gene pools free of disease, rebuild the diminishing numbers of lions, and introducing the offspring back into wild environments.
2 weeks GBP 1320 / US$ 2310 / EUR 1715
3 weeks GBP 1845 / US$ 3230 / EUR 2395
4 weeks GBP 2395 / US$ 4195 / EUR 3115
We've extended this special offer until end July 2013. All volunteers who book on this project before then to travel anytime during 2013, will received a special discounted rate!
What is the minimum stay?
Where exactly is it?
Antelope Park in the Zimbabwe Midlands
What will I be doing?
Work hands-on volunteering with African Lions, assisting management and their team of guides, handlers and scouts in all aspects of care and conservation.
- Enjoy hands-on work and extremely close encounters with young African lions
- Join African Impact on our ground-breaking and globally recognised Lion conservation project
- Bottle-feed young lion cubs if there are any in the camp at the time.
- Walk alongside lions in the African bush and experience being part of a hunt as the young cubs learn to stalk their prey
- Get to know the African bush - explore the savannah grasslands either on horseback or whilst riding African elephants!
- Experience local Zimbabwean culture, and visit the local orphanage weekly
- Explore optional excursions to see more of Zimbabwe’s natural wonders and wildlife areas such as the world famous Victoria Falls, Matobo National Park, and the ruined city of Great Zim!
- Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the project!
This entails financing that goes directly back into the project that you are involved with. This project fee facilitates funding for items such as food for lions and elephants, management and maintenance of lion enclosures, and the development of the lion breeding and rehabilitation program.
- All transfers to and from and overnights in Bulawayo or Harare International Airports upon your arrival and departure.
- Assistance in your projects and comprehensive orientation by various trained guides and staff during your stay.
- Any wildlife education talks that take place during your stay and that you might wish to partake in.
- Full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day.
- Unlimited tea, coffee and juice throughout the day.
- Weekly laundry service during your stay.
- The service of a cleaner to attend to your room each day.
The Project Fee Excludes the following:
- All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other).
- Return flights to Harare or Bulawayo International Airports.
- Email and telephone calls made during your placement (charged out at cost).
- Any excursions over and above your planned itinerary in Zimbabwe e.g. visit to the Victoria Falls.
- Personal insurance cover for the duration of your placement, which is expected to include cover for repatriation.
No specific past experience is needed for this project, but a passion for wildlife and conservation is important.
Volunteers’ orientation upon arrival at Antelope Park will consist of:
- Introduction to all senior camp staff including Guides, Handlers of elephants, lions and horses, Heads of departments and Assistants.
- Familiarization of the Safari camp and Antelope Game Park – including the park boundaries, internal roads and tracks and some of the wildlife species.
- Introduction to the cubs and activity enclosures including lion handling training and full safety instructions.
- Further information on the lion breeding program and Antelope Park’s ultimate objective of releasing lions into the wild.
- How to conduct “Snare sweeps" and “Boundary patrols".
- For those of you who have not ridden horses before you may also spend time being instructed in the basics of horse riding.
Throughout your placement you will have the support and guidance of our experienced volunteer coordinators. They are part of our greater African Impact support team, which will provide you with competent 24-hour field support and assistance.
Minimum 17 years, maximum decided on participants’ health
This project begins weekly, on a Monday and runs all year round.