African Impact - Volunteer Projects in Zambia

By African Impact   Reviews (13)   96% Rating

Join African Impact on an amazing journey to volunteer with lions and make an impact through community volunteer work in Zambia.

African Impact offers medical gap year projects, teaching projects - educating children in one of the country's most underprivileged communities and an opportunity to volunteer at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary in northern Zambia. With HIV/AIDS projects and orphan volunteer projects to invest yourself in, we can guarantee that your time in Africa will be one that makes a difference and is never forgotten!

Zambia is the perfect destination for voluntourism as it is rich in wild-life, ideal for safari adventures and is home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Victoria Falls. Here you can bungee, abseil, river-raft, take a cruise and enjoy many more breath-taking opportunities on the waters of the Zambezi River.

Program Info

Location: 
  • ZambiaLivingstone
Program Length: 
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
3-6 months
Cost: 
$500 - $2,000 (USD)
$2,000 - $5,000 (USD)
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Age Group: 
18-22
22-35
50+
Cost Description: 

The volunteer fee for our projects not only covers your board and lodging, transport and resources used while on project; but it also contributes to the development of new projects in communities and areas where they are needed, and gives us the ability to sustain our projects even during the quiet season.

Languages: 
English
Other
Housing: 
Volunteer House
Application: 
Online Application

Videos

Program Reviews (13)

96%
Positive
Leave a Review
  • Impact
    91%
  • Support
    96%
  • Fun
    94%
  • Value
    96%
  • Safety
    96%
  • Caitlin Shaw
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Philadelphia PA
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    Zambia volunteering
    06/10/2015

    I volunteered in Zambia for African Impact for 2 weeks. It was an eye opening experience that I will always carry with me. Going to schools like Mwandi and meeting the young kids was amazing. I loved playing net ball and seeing how excited they were to compete and just enjoy a PE session. After school programs were also super fun. Math club with races to guess the correct answer and the old people home where we played Jenga and uno were always entertaining. It was the best trip I have ever taken, and I would not hesitate to return if given the opportunity!

    How could this program be improved?

    Maybe more social outings during the week like the sunset watch! More organization between schools to maximize time with the kids would also be helpful.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Kristen Shirley
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Philadelphia, PA
    Philadelphia University
    One of the best experiences of my life so far!
    06/10/2015

    I loved volunteering with AI and would go back in a heartbeat. I got to see real day to day life in several schools, clinics, and communities through the volunteer work and got to meet so many great people along the way. It was so much fun to work with the kids at the different schools each day and it always felt like everyone involved was getting something positive out of it. All of the Zambian people I encountered we're welcoming and kind to the volunteers.

    I felt that this project allowed for a good balance between work and play. Along with the amazing experiences in the community through the volunteer projects, I was also able to take part in a lot of cool activities - going to Vic falls, canoeing, white water rafting, going on safari...

    The accommodations were well-kept, the food was always great, the staff is very friendly and helpful, and I always felt safe there. I don't have many complaints about my time there - just that two weeks was too short of a trip!

    How could this program be improved?

    Better communication with/from some of the schools would be helpful so volunteers know how many grades, what ages, etc to expect and could therefore better plan for the day.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Carleen Green
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    London, Ontario
    University of Western Ontario
    Jump right in
    11/02/2014

    I'm sitting in front of the computer screen here wondering how to write a review that can do African Impact justice. Although any experience amounts to what you put into it, my time with African Impact was more meaningful than I can begin to explain. It started with walking into the accommodations and meeting the staff and other volunteers. Almost immediately, all of my worries about the first day were gone. Everything from the meals, to laundry, to weekly activities are organized and inclusive and make you feel right at home. I took part in a sports development project and the incredible relationship that African Impact has in the community shone through. It was important to me to be able to jump right in and African Impact made that step seem effortless. As soon as you have to pull away in the van to head back for lunch, you are already counting down the minutes before you can jump right back into the fun! One of my most memorable moments was helping run a session for the local tag rugby team at the sports centre one afternoon, and the next morning, heading to the school and seeing the kids I had learned to play tag rugby with the day before. I couldn't help but think that this is exactly where I needed to be. Whether we were playing Uno at the Old People's Home or picking up a few good soccer moves from the kids, it didn't matter what time it was or what day of the week it was, all that mattered was doing something that mattered in that moment. Incredible trip.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would not change anything about the program, but I would suggest that volunteers looking to stay for shorter periods of time (2-3 weeks) for any reason, consider an extra few weeks if at all possible. I wish I had known that 2 weeks would fly by like it was yesterday, however this was a personal learning curve that I am hope by sharing - will lead to new volunteers opting for longer stays...the community and the follow up is incredible.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 2
  • Stephanie Chase
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Canada
    University of British Columbia
    Livingstone Teaching & Community Project
    10/10/2014

    Volunteering with African Impact in Livingstone was an amazing experience. I had great expectations about the trip, and these were exceeded! Volunteering in the teaching and community project was a perfect way to be involved with the local people and see many aspects of their daily lives in Livingstone. I taught in a grade six class every morning during the week, and then in the afternoons we were assigned in groups to different projects, such as farming, reading club, or playing games with the elderly at the Maramba Old People's Home. Something I had not expected so much was the social life outside of the volunteer projects. Some of us would go play volleyball with the locals every Tuesday and Thursday, and socialize during Happy Hour on Fridays, with some dancing to follow at one of the local bars! We also were able to visit Victoria Falls in the evenings or weekends, and a group of us also went on an overnight safari trip to Botswana. And I cannot forget walking with the lions at the Lion Encounter! I will never forget my experience in Livingstone, especially the children and the people, who all open their hearts to you. I cannot wait to return one day!

    Photos:
    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • Jaikrishnan
    Age: 25-30
    Male
    Singapore
    University of London
    Lion Encounter Project
    08/08/2014

    I never thought i could walk side by side with a lion and what an amazing experience it was! Unfortunately the numbers are declining and the project still seems to be in it's first steps, it is a step in the right direction. The staffs and organisers aim to let volunteers have a true and controlled exposure and experience and it was thoroughly enjoyable. An experience i would not forget for the rest of my life definitely!

    How could this program be improved?

    Accomodation and food.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • Matt
    Age: 18 or younger
    Male
    Munich, Germany
    Teaching Project in Livingstone
    07/28/2014

    Words can't really describe how unbelievable my experience with African Impact was. The staff are amazing, Livingstone is beautiful and so are the people, the accommodations are lovely, the food is great and above all you make a genuine impact in children's lives. You are assigned to a school and go into a specific classroom to help support a local teacher. In the time that you are there you will forge unforgettable relationships with your kids and hopefully leave a long lasting impact! Bottom line is: African Impact in unbelievable and you have to do it!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 2 Inspiring: 2
  • Libby Scott
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Newport Oregon
    California Institute of the Arts
    Wish I could have stayed forever!
    06/26/2014

    I spent two weeks at Lion Encounter and it was incredible. The staff was wonderful, the guides LOVE their lions, I met the incredible people from all over the world and made new life long friends. I read a past review of someone who didn't feel safe as a woman traveling alone and I always felt very safe at Lion Encounter. I was always treated with respect and kindness. The accommodations are rustic but suitable, hot showers only last about 3 minutes, food was good, lots of down time to relax (a pool would be great!) I enjoyed some of the other great things in the area; a bungee jump, micro flight over the falls, and a traditional English Tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel. I should have stayed longer though, at least 3 weeks. I hope that this program can continue to raise money and build larger enclosures for the lions that no longer go on walks. They have close to 50 lions at the project and many of these lions have to get out in to the wild or at least to larger areas where they can roam more freely. It takes time and I wish them nothing but the best to raise the funds they need. I'll be back!!

    How could this program be improved?

    As I said above I worry about the lions that no longer go on walks and are still living in smaller enclosures. Being someone who has worked at a zoo for 20 years, it almost is like you have a "zoo" there. The enclosures are somewhat big which is good. I don't think there is enough enrichment done for those lions as we made the same toys for them over and over. I understand why you can't use anything artificial but since there are no immediate plans to release them and they may never be released I think some other things to keep them stimulated would be good to avoid stereotypic behaviours. When people clean the enclosures they should try and rearrange the habitat as much as possible as well so the lions always have something to explore. I know your resources are limited but there are always things you can do...even if it's just little changes here and there. **I had no idea that I was going to be working with tourist on Lion Walks - you should really mention that in the description. Maybe you do and I missed it?

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • qyan
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    UK
    University of Buckingham
    Amazing experience
    06/26/2014

    I joined this programme this year. To be able to get a chance to take care of the loins and to build the connection with the lions are just incredible. I also get a chance to help the local community, such as attend the book club to teach English to the primary students. Staff there are super helpful and friendly. And don't even need to mention that I got to see the spectacular Victoria Fall. This programme really worth the time and the money. You get more than you put in.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • Louisa P
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    United States
    Other
    Most Amazing
    04/05/2014

    This program is doing so much to help reduce and one day eliminate the decline of the African Lion. They are on the up and up with a friendly staff and an amazing mission. I wish them much success! Highly highly recommended program. Looking to go back soon!

    How could this program be improved?

    The only thing I would have liked to know prior to going would be to have known that we were to work everyday 7 days a week. I was not prepared as I was assuming we'd work 5days a week with two off. It got a bit overwhelming two weeks in it can get exhausting but they do give you a chance to take time off. I just wasn't properly prepared mentally for the continuous work days.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • Marissa
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Oak Lawn, Illinois
    University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign
    Helpful Staff, Fun Environment
    02/10/2014

    I participated on the teaching project with African Impact in Livingstone, Zambia and had a wonderful experience. The staff was extremely helpful and did their best to make sure you were comfortable and feeling at home. They also did a great job of addressing unexpected situations that arose, which are common in Africa.

    On the projects, we would teach every weekday in the mornings, then have a break for lunch, and then volunteer for a few hours in the afternoon at various places such as after school reading clubs or the old people's home. We had the weekends off to participate on any adventures or excursions that we wanted to! The volunteer house also has plenty of activities for the volunteers. There is a pool, bar, and rock climbing wall out back, and plenty of couches and areas to kick back and relax.

    Volunteering abroad was an amazing life changing experience that opened up my eyes to other parts of the world. Don't be discouraged if you don't have any teaching experience. I didn't either and I was able to catch on quickly with some help from the on-site staff and other volunteers. I volunteered for just 2 weeks and was able to meet tons of lifelong friends from all over the world. The people in Livingstone were so friendly and welcoming, and it is a joy to work with the kids and see how eager they are to learn. For more on my experiences, check out some of my blog posts from my trip: http://itsthelittlethingsblog.wordpress.com/category/traveling/africa/

    How could this program be improved?

    My only complaint is that I would have preferred to receive the pre-departure email from them further in advance. The content in the email was extremely helpful in preparing you for what to expect upon arrival, but it would have been nice to have that information earlier.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • Stew Rose
    Age: 25-30
    Male
    Toronto, Canada.
    Brock University
    My experience with African Impact
    02/04/2014

    Working with African Impact was the most profound and fruitful experience of my entire life. I advise any potential volunteers to embrace the culture and keep an open mind in order to learn more about yourself and the world around you through the experience of giving. Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to build relationships with so many wonderful people from all ages and walks of life in the beautiful community of Livingstone!

    How could this program be improved?

    More feedback on volunteer performance from Coordinators.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • I Forys
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    UK
    Manchester Metropolitan University
    Best Experience of my life!!
    05/03/2012

    Volunteering in Livingstone allowed me to soak up the culture whether that was through Home Based Care or just chatting to the children at family support. It changed my perspective on life; it made me a more positive person and showed me how people in Livingstone live such a difficult life yet are still so happy and how back home we should appreciate everything that we have. The medical programme is very well put together; from the organisation beforehand and getting it booked to the support from staff on the project. I fell in love with Africa and hope to return in the very near future.

    They have the most helpful staff, making an amazing impact on local communities! Always so much going on. Weekends free to see local sights such as the amazing Victoria Falls. I met some friends for life and wouldn't have changed a single thing about it!!!

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • Kayla
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Ontario, Canada
    Other
    Lion Encounter Volunteer Program
    03/26/2012

    Volunteering with Lion Encounter was a great experience. It was my first time to Africa and I fell in love with Zambia and its people.

    The program itself was very interesting and everyday was different. Although walking the Lions was the main purpose, behind the scenes tasks also needed to be done like meat prep, enclosure cleaning/maintenance, behaviour enrichment and snare sweeps to mention a few. Research tasks also needed to be conducted for hunting purposes with the cubs and activity budgets with the release site lions and elephant research as well.

    Client walks were also conducted for tourists in the area wanting to experience walking with lions. All in all a great experience and every task related back to the purpose and need of the program.

    Not only were the tasks varied they were well organized and conducted by experienced handlers/guides who were always open to questions and helped along the way.

    The accommodation was basic but comfortable for Africa and the food was amazing. Our chef was very talented and could cater to various dietary needs.

    This program also allows interaction with a couple of local schools through teaching an Environmental Club and Kids Club either during the school week or on a Saturday morning.

    Volunteering really made me appreciate the time I spent in Zambia with both the animals and the people. The African way of life if quite different than that of the western world but rarely do you see someone without a smile on their face!

    I would highly recommend volunteering in Zambia, Lion Encounter specifically was amazing but I believe anywhere in Zambia would create amazing experiences and the locals are very welcoming and thankful.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1

About the provider

African Impact is a multi-award winning volunteer travel organisation which runs and manages meaningful and responsible volunteer experiences and internship programs throughout Africa. The organisation was founded in 2004 in Zimbabwe, and since then has grown into the Africa leaders in volunteer tourism, having facilitated over 12,000 volunteers and interns in 12 countries across the continent.

We're proud to offer fun, safe and structured placements where volunteers understand their contribution to responsible projects run in partnership with local communities and conservation efforts. Our journey so far has been both inspiring and humbling and we will keep pushing the horizons of what volunteering can achieve.