The Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks, in Zimbabwe, are undoubtedly amongst the most impressive wildlife areas in Southern Africa. This project is a collaboration between Lion Encounter (LE), the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) to research and protect these vital ecosystems.
Victoria Falls Research & Conservation Project Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks - Zimbabwe
Conduct important wildlife research while staying in comfortable chalets within the Victoria Falls National Park, just a stone's throw from the Zambezi! You'll become fully immersed in the way of the African bush, where leopards, rhinos, elephants, lions, giraffe and hyena are your neighbours!
The national park, comprising 23 square kilometres of riverine jungle with ilala palms, ferns, figs, liana vines and mahogany provides a tranquil setting from which to view the five cascades of Mosi-oa-Tunya – 'the smoke that thunders'. Bushbuck and troops of baboons can frequently be spotted along the walkways, and depending on the season, spray from the Falls creates magnificent rainbows. Also dependent on the season, it is possible to view a lunar rainbow over the Falls during full-moon.
Victoria Falls National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to a relic of a true equatorial rainforest; the unique vegetation being supported by the seasonal spray from the Falls.
The 56,200 hectare Zambezi National Park, home to a lot of big game, stretches along the Zambezi River for 40 kilometres. Animals include big-game such as elephant, buffalo and lion, larger antelope species such as greater kudu, sable and waterbuck, along with a large number of smaller mammal species including duiker, genet and honey badger.
The Zambezi National Park is close to the Kazuma Pan, Matetsi, and Hwange complex, forming a total contiguous conservation area of over 1,846,700 hectares plus additional areas of adjacent forest reserves.
Victoria Falls is part of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, established with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between some Southern African nations. Situated in the Okavango and Zambezi River basins and incorporating the highest concentrations of wildlife on the African continent, it is the largest conservation area in the world.
Including 36 national parks, game reserves, community conservancies and game management areas the total conservation area spans approximately 287 132 km2.
As a volunteer on this project you'll be involved in some exciting research activities which will include travelling into the national park to do wildlife occupancy surveys, large predator tracking on foot, biodiversity monitoring, entomology reporting, water hole counts, bird inductions and so much more. You may even have the opportunity to camp at a water hole overnight with trained guides.
What is the minimum stay?
2 weeks or longer
Where exactly is it?
Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks - Zimbabwe
What will I be doing?
Throughout your stay you will participate in various research based activities within the Project
- Staying in the National Park and on the banks of the Zambezi River, with hippo, elephant and bushbuck as neighbours.
- Assist in collecting vital research data on Africa’s most iconic species
- Be a part of the daily operations in two of Africa’s most beautiful national Parks
- Help educate local communities on the importance of sound, holistic conservation.
- Walk with lions in a world first conservation program
- Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the programme
- Immerse yourself in local Zimbabwean culture
- Project Fee: this entails financing that goes directly back into the project that you are involved with.
- All transfers to and from Victoria Falls Airport
- Assistance in your projects and comprehensive orientation by various trained guides and staff during your stay
- Full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day
- Unlimited tea and coffee throughout the day
- Weekly laundry service during your stay (please note you will need to wash your own underwear)
- The service of a cleaner to attend to your room each day
What’s not included in the cost?
- All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other)
- Return flights to Victoria Falls International Airport
- Email and telephone calls made during your placement (charged out at cost)
- Any activities and excursions outside of 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
- Soft drinks and other food items not included in your meals
- Photographic Equipment
For this project, enthusiasm for African wildlife and its conservation is essential. No prior knowledge or experience is required.
Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on potential participants’ health.
You'll be staying in the national park with no wifi access, but you will have plenty of opportunity to travel into town to use internet cafes.