Volunteer in Zambia

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Zambia, a small landlocked country in Southern Africa, offers mad adventure and incredible wildlife viewing well off the beaten path. With access to majestic national parks, a natural world wonder, and rich cultural heritage, this country is often underestimated and well worth a long stay.

About the size of Texas, three wide and strong rivers form the lifeblood of the nation. Zambia offers some of the best safari experiences in the world and zebras and giraffe still roam freely in some areas.

With very little infrastructure, Zambia is still very much considered a developing nation. Independent travel can be a challenge as road and public transport are difficult, however, there are many trustworthy program providers that can help any gapper take advantage of the minimal tourist crowds.

Zambia offers a glimpse into the “real Africa” from generations past – there is no reason why volunteers shouldn’t go out of their way to discover its natural energy.

Photo & Guide Credit: Lauren Locke

Zambia is in a unique position – with both a real need for volunteers and undiscovered raw beauty, programs have the magic combination of both adventure and purpose. Make sure to do you research and identify a program that allows you to connect with the Zambian people and utilize your skills.

Orphanages

When many people think of Africa they see photos of travelers with young African children. Of course Zambia has a large number of children who are displaced and put into orphanages. Many of these children had their parents die from HIV/AIDS and/or have the disease themselves.

There are many opportunities to get involved – however, make sure as a volunteer you think deeply about your opinion on orphanage volunteering. Oftentimes there is a deep psychological impact on children from short-term visitors. Make sure to research your host organization well if this is the type of volunteering that appeals to you. If you’re untrained, your skills may be better put to use in another area.

HIV/AIDS clinics

12% of the population in Zambia has HIV/AIDS. The rates of infection are continually decreasing but there are still organizations that will take volunteers. If you have medical expertise you can work at an HIV clinic or if you are unqualified you can join teams and participate in community education initiatives.

Teaching

There are plenty of options to teach English or work with school age children throughout the country. You can even use this experience to boost your resume! Depending on your interest -- you can help in a nursery school, give nutrition consultations, assist with women’s empowerment initiatives or join public health trainings.

You will likely have to cover your base expenses depending on the project -- however, don’t underestimate how much you will gain from this experience. If you are willing to give in both time and money the depth of your impact will be far greater.

How much does it cost to do a gap year in Zambia?

The cost of living is fairly low from a western perspective. However, most comfort items are imported – so bear in mind that your typical toiletries and favorite foods will be expensive.

Victoria Falls is without the largest tourist attraction in the area (for good reason, it’s INCREDIBLE) but activities in Livingstone are expensive.

There's a lot to see and do as a traveler in Southern Africa – make sure to budget appropriately so that you don’t miss out on an adventure!

Health and Safety of Volunteers in Zambia

Be sure to talk to your personal physician about the appropriate vaccinations approximately six months before you leave. You also need to have travel insurance during your stay – this needs to include emergency repatriation back to your home country.

If traveling through South Africa, you'll have to have proof of a yellow fever vaccine.

In general, you won’t have any issues finding a private clinic to address most of your health needs while in Zambia. Tap water is usually fine for brushing teeth and cleaning veggies. Just be aware of your surroundings and drink potable or bottled water.

Many of program providers will be based in the capital city of Lusaka. While this is a great option for many volunteers (as it is close to major facilities), there are options throughout the country that will provide you a variety of community-based experiences. Livingstone is also a common place for volunteers as it is a major tourist hub.

Realistically though, while volunteering in Zambia, there’s a good chance you’ll be in a much smaller village outside the major cities.

Showing 37 Programs

Zambia

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Join IVHQ and volunteer abroad in Zambia! Highly affordable programs are based in the laid-back tourist town of Livingstone,...

Zambia

African Impact
Join African Impact on an amazing journey to volunteer with rural communities and get involved in wildlife conservation initi...

Zambia

African Impact
Please note: You can join this internship in Zambia, South Africa or Tanzania. The Happy Africa Foundation is a registered Ch...

Zimbabwe

African Impact
Join other like-minded individuals on an adventure of a lifetime where you can experience all that Africa has to offer and ma...

Zambia

GoEco
GoEco was created by experienced volunteers for people who are eager to travel and contribute to the community, wildlife and...

South Africa

GoEco
Hang around with monkeys and apes on a volunteer project with GoEco. Swing from one project to the next for the ultimate volu...

Zambia

Love Volunteers
Volunteer with Love Volunteers in Zambia to help make a difference! Volunteer projects are located in Mwandi, two hours drive...

Zambia

GapXperience
Volunteer in Zambia with GapXperience, a volunteer company with 14 years of experience and over 200 programs in over 30 count...

Zambia

Travellers Worldwide
Zambia encompasses everything magnificent about Africa - wildlife, birds, safaris, lakes, rivers, culture and adventure sport...

Zambia

Travellers Worldwide
In this project you will have the opportunity to work with lions and cubs towards their release into the wild. Not only will...

Zambia

Travellers Worldwide
In this wonderful project you will be involved in a school for disadvantaged children in Livingstone, Zambia. The school is a...

Zambia

Travellers Worldwide
Join us on this exciting and fun project in Livingstone, Zambia, and experience life right next to the famous Victoria Falls!...

Zambia

Edutours Africa
Edutours Africa customizes academic and non - academic faculty-led programs across 13 countries in Southern and East Africa f...

Zambia

A Broader View Volunteers Corp
Volunteer at a local children's home which supports, houses and feeds 30 youngsters. The children are all ages from infants t...

Zambia

Kaya Responsible Travel
Volunteers in Zambia will experience one of the most spectacular environments in the world. With the Zambezi river, Victoria...