Volunteer in Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe
Flag of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, located between two rivers in southern Africa, is an amazing destination for any kind of volunteer trip! Full of cultural wonders you won't find anywhere else, Zimbabwe offers the opportunity to learn and give back at the same time. Whether you want to work outdoors with animals or inside a research lab, there are plenty of volunteer options.

  • Population: 12 million
  • Poverty Level: 68% (2004) CIA World Factbook
  • Languages: English, Shona and Ndebele
  • Fun Fact: Zimbabwe means "great houses of stone" in the Shona language, named after the ruins of Great Zimbabwe

Wildlife Conservation: Wildlife Conservation: It doesn't come as a surprise that wildlife conservation is the most popular type of volunteering in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's variety of wildlife goes beyond the common "Big 5" - buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino - also including wildlife such as giraffes, zebras, and antelope. These animals can commonly be found on private ranch land or public national parks. Since the Wildlife Conservation Act was put into practice in the 60s, Zimbabwe has been a leader in wildlife conservation management - making it a perfect place to get experience in wildlife conservation and management!

Healthcare: Volunteers with experience in healthcare and medicine are sorely needed. Since its independence, Zimbabwe has been considered a country with a good public health record. Unfortunately, since the influx of cases of HIV/AIDs in the 90s and their economic crisis in 2000, general public health and the health system itself have been in decline. Whether you're interested in assisting at a local clinic or midwifery, your skills will be of great use in Zimbabwe.

Education/Youth Development: Just because Zimbabwe's literacy rate is high, doesn't mean the education system and the Zimbabwean youth don't need your support. Many hardworking Zimbabwean teachers lack the resources and support they need. Volunteers can work in classrooms to assist teachers, spend time playing with children in orphanages, or whatever interests you the most.

  • Know Before You Go: Here are a few tips to help you fit in with locals as a volunteer in Zimbabwe...Always tip locals, as their livelihoods depend on it. Don't discuss politics and other controversial topics with Zimbabweans as they can be sensitive to your perceptions of their homeland. Although English is an official language of Zimbabwe, locals will appreciate your efforts to learn and understand their culture and language. Practice some common phrases in Shona, the most common local language, before your trip.
  • Best Places to Volunteer: The best place to spend your time volunteering depends on what you're looking for. Southern Zimbabwe has a lot to offer in terms of wildlife and nature. Northern Zimbabwe is more industrialized and is the source of the nation's mineral wealth. Therefore, most volunteer projects take place in the southern parts of Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba and the Lower Zambezi are a bit of an exception though - located in the northern tip of the country, is a popular destination for locals and offer a variety of national parks. Some tourist hot spots to check out in your free time include: Victoria Falls, the Great Zimbabwe ruins, Mana Pools National Park, and the capital city Harare.
  • Health and Safety of Volunteers in Zimbabwe: Security risk for travelers to Zimbabwe has been relatively low since 2009. However, officials expect unpredictable political unrest with the controversial upcoming 2013 elections. This is a great example of how every visiting volunteer should be knowledgeable about the country's current political, economic, and security situations. In most cases, political unrest won't directly affect foreign volunteers but you should always be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Disease, including malaria, cholera, and HIV/AIDs, is prevalent in much of Zimbabwe so make sure to get you are up on your immunizations!

There are an endless number of reasons to consider volunteering in Zimbabwe. From its natural wonders to its vibrant culture, you will fall in love with Zimbabwe and all it has to offer. Volunteering here will allow you to go past the tourist point of view and understand local life and the daily issues faced by Zimbabweans, like lack of proper healthcare and resources. By being part of a volunteer project and making a real impact, you will have a special connection to Zimbabwe for the rest of yourself.

Contributed by Katie Boyer

Search for Flights

Find Travel Opportunities Through Student Universe

Programs & Reviews

The Nakavango Conservation & Community programme is based at the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve. The reserve is a short ten minute drive from the town of Victoria Falls, home to one of the natural wonders of the world, the...
4 Reviews
More Programs by Worldwide Experience
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) offers a very special Wildlife Conservation project, working and living in the midst of the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls. Located within a private game reserve, playing home to...
More Programs by IVHQ
African Impact offers a range of amazing volunteer opportunities in Zimbabwe, one of the adventure capitals of the world. Join us in this breathtaking and wild part of Africa on our projects ranging from hands on lion rehabilitation and...
7 Reviews
More Programs by African Impact
Extremely close encounters with lions on this Lion Breeding Project in two beautiful locations. This is the only project in the world where you can take lions for a walk through a Game Reserve - a unique and unbelievable experience! It is...
2 Reviews
More Programs by Travellers Worldwide
This is an amazing opportunity to get involved with the conservation of the endangered Black Rhino. Volunteer on this 10,000 acre family-owned game park and get hands-on experience with anti-poaching activities, rhino and elephant research...
8 Reviews
More Programs by Conservation Travel Africa
Contribute to a long term, sustainable conservation programme focusing on the ongoing protection of Zimbabwe's wildlife, especially the black rhino. Volunteers will be involved with a variety of conservation projects including; working...
4 Reviews
More Programs by Imire Volunteer Programme
Many schools in Africa are overwhelmed with a large number of students per class and very limited resources. African Impact and teaching volunteers work mostly with Community Schools staffed by only a few paid teachers and some local...
8 Reviews
More Programs by African Impact
This is an amazing opportunity to get involved in one of Africa's largest and most successful conservation projects, where you will support researchers and experts in their work to secure the future of endangered animals in Southern Africa...
More Programs by Conservation Travel Africa
Are you young at heart and energetic? Or wild at mind and need taming? Do you need wildlife experience? Or just have a passion for animals? This is the programme for you! Welcome to Chipangali where we can offer you what can only be...
More Programs by Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage
The fields and areas of our volunteer projects are as different as your interests. Our organisation offers you a wide variety of affordable projects ranging from USD 550 for two weeks up to USD 2,000 for 3 months placements. Volunteering...
More Programs by Action Africa Volunteer and Development
This unique and exciting internship in Africa is based at Antelope Park, a game reserve in Zimbabwe, where you also have the exciting opportunity to participate in the lion internship. Your internship in Holistic Horse Management will...
More Programs by African Impact
Volunteer at one of the largest and most successful wildlife rehabilitation and release centers in Africa! Volunteers on this project work with a range of animals, anything from monkeys to lions. Experience beautiful Zimbabwe while making...
More Programs by GoEco
A family run center, Chipangali is located near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The facility is a haven for a wide variety of wildlife who have been abandoned or injured in Zimbabwe. Volunteers participate in animal care, feeding and husbandry. This...
More Programs by African Conservation Experience
Our project in Gweru, Zimbabwe will take you on a wonderful and worthwhile adventure in the heart of Africa. You will work with orphans and disabled children, and your scope of activities will range from teaching assistance to repairs and...
More Programs by Travellers Worldwide
Volunteer in Zimbabwe and experience the glory that is Victoria Falls. As one of the seven natural wonders of the world and Africa's adrenaline capital, Victoria Falls has become a must-see hot spot for travelers worldwide. On this project...
More Programs by GoEco

Q+A Community

Do you have a burning question about volunteering abroad in Zimbabwe? We're here to help! Most questions are answered within 24 hours. Here are some example questions:

  • What's a typical day like on a volunteer program in Zimbabwe?
  • Do I need to speak the local language?
  • What kind of impact can I expect to make in Zimbabwe?

Please Note: Frequent and informative questions will be posted on Go Overseas for the community at large to engage with and learn more. Your contact information, however, will always remain private.

Tell us the name of the university you did or are attending.

Help us battle the bots. Enter the name of this website below.