African Impact’s plastic and environmental sustainability initiative is working to reduce the impact of plastic and waste on people, the environment, and wildlife in Africa. Across two locations in South Africa and Zambia, we are connecting fiercely passionate international volunteers and interns with driven, motivated local communities, who are then able to work together to solve one of our planet’s most pressing issues; plastic and waste.
WHAT DOES THIS VOLUNTEER PROGRAM INVOLVE?
The project, just a stone’s throw away from the magnificent Victoria Falls, is a world-first and has won multiple awards for innovation and excellence. This unique, hands-on opportunity focuses on the prevention of waste in the region, direct clean-up action, and explores creative opportunities for reusing, repurposing and recycling plastics. With a particular emphasis on ecobricking and opportunities for recycling plastic, volunteers will work closely with local communities to help clean-up this stunning area of Zambia, and use plastic bottles and discarded rubbish to create bricks that can be used to build vital structures.
AS A VOLUNTEER, YOU'LL GET TO:
- Build awareness of plastic pollution in the villages surrounding Livingstone by educating adults and children on the issue of waste and its impact on health, wildlife and the wider environment
- Help reduce waste and the impact of plastic by creating ecobricks that can then be used to build sustainable structures for the local community. If you’re up for it, you can even get involved in the build!
- Be on the frontline of locally-grown solutions that reuse and recycle waste, as well as propose alternative waste management solutions that avoid litter being dumped in the streets
- Work alongside local community members who are passionate about plastic pollution and become part of a rural community that is working together on culturally-responsible and contextual solutions
- Get involved in plastic and waste clean-ups in and around the town of Livingstone, including collecting trash from the rivers that feed the Zambezi River and the magnificent Victoria Falls
- Live and work near one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the majestic Victoria Falls and enjoy some of the amazing tourist activities that Livingstone has to offer, including bungee-jumping and white-water rafting
- Visit the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe on exciting optional excursions
About the Destination
Livingstone, Zambia is a beautiful, rural town that many call “the real Africa.” Just a stone’s throw away from one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World – Victoria Falls – Livingstone is the ultimate playground for those who love adventure sports, wildlife and the great outdoors. Whether you bungee jump, swim in the ‘Devil’s Pool’, white water raft down the mighty Zambezi or just enjoy a breath-taking sunset, you will experience things that only Livingstone can offer. While volunteering on this clean-up project, you’ll be staying in a private volunteer house within the popular and welcoming Livingstone Backpackers. You will have access to a lovely swimming pool, lounge, BBQ and bar area. Your accommodation is a 5 minute walk away from Livingstone’s town center, which has many stores and a great selection of cafes and restaurants. Don’t worry, you will certainly not miss out on wildlife. There are many national parks where you can observe lions, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, elephant and giraffes and often, we spot some of these animals along the road on our way to project!
Having worked in Zambia for over ten years, however, African Impact has seen first-hand how plastic and waste have destroyed these areas of natural beauty and impacted the lives of community members and wildlife. Put simply, there is nowhere for litter to go – no bins, and the council do not offer any free waste collection service. With the majority of the population living far below the poverty line, they simply cannot justify the cost of this over schooling or food (nor should they). Thus, litter, plastic and other waste is either dumped in huge piles at the side of the road, burned, or buried. After considerable research, it was found that the rural communities around Livingstone understood it was bad practice, but not why. This is why African Impact is working closely with the community to educate, and champion, locally-led solutions like mass clean-ups and putting pressure on the local council. There has been a truly inspiring response from community members and we want you to be part of it.
Fun & Travel
Livingstone is your ticket to adventure. Take advantage of your proximity to the great and mighty Victoria Falls, as well as the other adventures the Zambezi has to offer. Zambezi boat cruises, river safaris, white water rafting and canoe trips are all ways in which you can encounter these great waters. You can also ride quad bike trails or view the scenery from the air in a microlight or helicopter.
For the adrenaline junkies, why not try the famous bungee jump or gorge swing?
Go on Safari
Livingstone, Zambia is safari country. Here, you can spot a whole lot of wildlife, do rhino bushwalks or even take a boat safari to spot elephants off the Zambezi River. You can also go on weekend outings to the world-famous Chobe National Park, which is across the border in Botswana.
Cultural Tours and Markets
Although you will be spending time in the community you will also be able to embark on a cultural tour to a local African village, giving you further insight into another way of life. You can also shop at some of the many markets and stock up on locally hand-made goods for your loved ones back home.
Dates & Rates
Our project fee includes:
- Accommodation throughout your entire stay at the lively Livingstone Backpackers, in a private section shared by our volunteers, interns and staff
- 3 delicious meals a day cooked by chefs from the local community (weekdays only)
- Airport pick-up and drop-off by the African Impact team
- Experienced international and local staff members who live and work alongside you every day
- A full induction, orientation and training session to ensure you can contribute sustainably
- All necessary project equipment and resources you’ll need on the ground
Our project fee excludes:
- Flights to your chosen destination, but we can guide you on this
- Medical or travel insurance
- Visa-related costs
- Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity
- Snacks, soft drinks, gifts or souvenirs
- WiFi – it’s pretty slow here anyway!
Why volunteer with African Impact?
We live and breathe all things Africa
Akabangilile, kaumine ipulu. Don’t worry, you’ll get it when you get here.
We are with you all the way
Wrapping ourselves around you like a giant fluffy blanket, our awesome staff on the ground will make sure you see, do and experience as much as possible.
We are about real, measurable change
Responsibility and sustainability is the aim of the game on our very own volunteer projects, having built and developed them hand-in-hand with local communities since 2004.
We are leading the way
With some of the most progressive policies, we are helping to push the boundaries of what the responsible volunteer travel industry can achieve.
“Had a fantastic time on the ecobricking project in Zambia. Was really impressed by African Impact and their work in Livingstone. Loved how there was such an emphasis on community involvement and sustainability. Great diversity in day to day work and a fantastic place to volunteer in. Would absolutely recommend the organisation and the location.”
Benjamin Wells, UK
“My 3 weeks in Livingstone has been incredible. The ecobricking project was really enjoyable, and Solomon was a great teacher, making the project fun and easy for someone who had no building experience. I loved how you have the possibility to try so many different projects and experience a wide variety of things. I really enjoyed meeting so many great people from all over the world. The African Impact and Backpacker staff are really helpful with whatever you need. Would highly recommend to anyone!”
Rebecca Randall, UK