Join us as a Lion Conservation Volunteer in Livingstone Zambia, a stones throw from the Mighty Zambezi River and Victoria Falls, and enjoy a once in a life time experience on the worlds most popular wildlife conservation project!
Hands-On Lion Conservation Volunteering - Livingstone, Zambia Livingstone, Zambia
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.
Have you seen the amazing UK Documentary 'Lion Country'? This was filmed at our lion volunteering projects. Join us as a volunteer on the worlds most popular Conservation Project, and enjoy the once in a lifetime experience of hands on volunteer work with African Lions!
We invite you to join us on this unique volunteer project, working hands on with African Lion cubs, and making an impact towards the continued survival of this iconic African animal.
In partnership with our wildlife trust ALERT, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the African lion, African Impact initiated a unique 4 stage lion rehabilitation program. Through this, we seek to provide solutions to the problem of rapidly declining wild lion populations in Africa. We are working towards releasing wild-born offspring of captive bred lions into appropriate national parks and reserves across Africa.
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.
As a volunteer on this project you'll play a vital role in this conservation as well as assisting with conservation education in local communities, carrying out snare sweeps, assisting with lion care and behavioural enrichment.
What is the minimum stay?
Where exactly is it?
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 the young African lions
- Join African Impact on our ground-breaking and globally recognised Lion conservation project
- Walk alongside lions in the African bush and experience being part of a hunt as the young cubs learn to stalk their prey
- Experience the African bush in a very special way as you spend time out in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. You will be actively involved in a number of conservation activities
- Enjoy the Adventure Activities available on the mighty Zambezi River and majestic Victoria Falls
- Explore optional trips to see spectacular wildlife areas in neighboring Botswana or Zimbabwe including the enormous Hwange National Park, Chobe National Park, and visit the Lion Rehabilitation Programme’s breeding base at Antelope Park
- Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the program
- Project Fee: 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, management and maintenance of parks infrastructure, and the development of the lion breeding and rehabilitation program.
- All transfers to and from Livingstone Airport upon your arrival and departure
- Assistance in your projects by various trained guides, ecologists and field 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 and unlimited tea, coffee and juice throughout the day
- Laundry service during your stay and the service of a cleaner to attend to your room each day
- All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other)
- Flights to Livingstone Airport
- Email and telephone calls made during your placement (charged out at cost)
- Any activities and excursions outside of your planned itinerary
- Personal insurance cover for the duration of your placement, which is expected to include cover for repatriation
- Soft drinks and other food items not included in your meals
No specific prior experience is required for this project but an interest in and passion for wildlife and conservation is important.
On arrival at the Livingstone project, the following orientation will take place:
- You will receive your volunteer's manual which includes information that will help with your integration into the project, as well as give you further tips for your involvement at the Livingstone project
- Introduction to all senior project staff and heads of department
- Familiarization of your work duties and the work areas – including rivers, internal roads and tracks and some of the wildlife species
- Introduction to the lions and cub enclosures
- Briefing on how to complete data capture forms and enter data into the computer systems
- Further information on the lion breeding programme and our ultimate objective of free releasing lions into the wild
Minimum 17 years, maximum decided on participant's health
Project Duration: 2 – 4 weeks
Project Start Dates: Weekly, every Monday – this project runs all year round.
To check out a video about this project, click here!