Location
  • Zimbabwe
Length
1 week

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
16
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Lodge
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Senior Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
900
Price Details
The price reflects a 1 week placement inclusive of accommodation, meals, mentorship and training, support and transfers. For a full list, chat to us!
What's Included
Accommodation Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Transportation Wifi
What's Not Included
Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 20, 2021
Feb 20, 2019

About Program

Zimbabwe is very special to us as it’s where African Impact was founded in 2004. We have introduced thousands of volunteers to this beautiful country over the years and are proud to see the positive changes volunteering has made. The local people, mostly from the Shona and Ndebele tribes, are amongst the warmest people you'll ever meet, while the country is a playground for much of Africa’s abundant wildlife and has some of the continent’s must beautiful scenery. It is also home to the glorious Victoria Falls, known to the locals as Mosi-ao-Tunya, the ‘smoke that thunders’.

Our Zimbabwe volunteer programs in Africa work primarily in one unique conservancy, Imire. A family-run conservancy located less than 90 minutes from Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Imire focuses primarily on elephant and black rhino conservation. It combines sustainable wildlife protection, local community engagement, and opportunities for incredible expeditions for the ultimate Zimbabwe adventure.

Video and Photos

African Impact's Top Volunteer Programs in Zimbabwe

Program Highlights

  • Play a vital role in the conservation and care of the reserve’s rhinos and elephants
  • Observe and research the behavior of other wild animals on safari drives through the reserve
  • Learn about day-to-day game park management as you work alongside game rangers at Imire
  • Get involved in anti-poaching patrols and gain special insight into what it takes to be an anti-poaching ranger
  • Experience local life and learn about the culture on various community outreach projects

Program Impact

This will be one of your greatest experiences volunteering with animals abroad. You will feed and walk with the rhinos, maintain and clean the rhino beds and also be involved in observing and collecting data on the behavior and social interaction of these animals. You will undertake essential anti-poaching and snare patrols, maintain and clean the elephant beds and observe their family interactions.
Maintenance of game fences, roads, fireguards, pens, stalls and equipment may form part of your duties as well as building and maintaining bush camps, tree planting and bush clearance.
This project also involves assisting in a local primary and secondary rural community school.

Program Reviews

9.44 Rating
based on 18 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 94.44%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 5.56%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 18 reviews
Default avatar
Olivia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible memories and project - take me back!

I volunteered back in 2013 in Victoria Falls at the Lion Conservation and Rehab. centre for ALERT. I still look back incredibly fondly on my experience with both companies and am still in love with everything about it. I follow on social media a lot and it just makes me smile every time I see the work being done on many projects across Africa. The teams were super supportive of the volunteers, and with me being only 18 at the time and travelling to a new continent alone for the first time, I felt incredibly safe and supported. The work that we did was so fulfilling and crucial and I would love to go back one day! I highly recommend getting in touch, they will point you in the right direction for the right project for you to get stuck into! I have also made friends for life and stay in touch with them - in Europe and Africa! We were incredibly lucky as well to be close to an orphanage project they were running and we integrated with the local community and visited and supported a local tribe. Community spirit is definitely at the heart of these projects!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Being inside an enclosure with a Lion for the first time - incredible experience!
7 people found this review helpful.
Response from African Impact

Hey Olivia,

Thank you for such wonderful feedback. Welcome to our alumni squad!

The African Impact team

Default avatar
Madison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a lifetime!

Volunteering in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe was absolutely amazing! From the amount of wildlife, the incredible staff and people, and the breathtaking adventures combined made this experience extraordinary.
While in Victoria Falls, I was able to go white water rafting in the Zambezi river, take a microlight above the falls, go on safari day trips and much more!
As I was volunteering, I go to get up close and personal with wild lions and would take part on community projects. I really got to understand and experience culture, which was an awesome addition.
Anyone looking to volunteer here, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I would love to go back sometime in the future!

7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Imogen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Zimbabwe photography

Incredible experience with African impact. Tour guides were excellent and made us feel at home and well informed. Would advice to go into the main house as it is a more social environment. Made lots of friends and had an excellent time. You learn lots of photography and the teachers are great, the classes are small and they give you individualised attention. Great trip for people thinking of starting out photography but also beautiful landscapes for more advanced photographers.

What would you improve about this program?
None
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sherin
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Unreliable organizations

The program is enjoyable for youth who wish to get in contact with the local population. The staff is generally nice and between 20 and 30 years of age. They are helpful as long as you don't question the planning or the project in general. The project is based on teaching English and strengthen the grammar skills of the local students. That is a good thought, but unfortunately you teach something else than the project organisation claims. I asked in advance for a work plan since I did not feel very confident when it comes to English grammar and the staff replied that I shouldn't worry and that we would plan upon arrival. One week before the project start date I got an unegotiable schedule stating that I was going to paint walls, pick litter on the beach and teach English 1,5 hours a day, (since it was Ramadan. Normally it is 3 hours. Some of the activities are the same even when it’s not Ramadan), I was also informed that I would take part in weekly lesson planning together with other volunteers.

Once on site it turned out that the planning was a mere half hour together with a coordinator without teaching experience or even teacher education. To get more support they suggested I would accompany a volunteer who had been at the project for a longer period of time, but it turned out that the teaching experience of that volunteer only consisted of three weeks being at the site and Ramadan started. I have been working as a support teacher and have some experience of how to help young people with difficulties. I was shocked when I noticed how the volunteer who was supposed to be experienced and a support for me was teaching. A week before exams used’s most of the lesson to tell jokes and teach the students another language than English.

Some other volunteers knew even less grammar than the students and yet when the day of exams had passed, no student had passed the exam. You cannot teach English on that low level, which I discussed with the staff. They stressed that the program gives the locals a chance to learn English when they cannot afford formal education. However, the level of the program was so low that it would not make any considerable difference. And if it will be, it will not be about teaching English its more about to get contact with local people and practicing everyday English. Impact only seemed to fool the locals into thinking that we knew what we were doing. There were two staff members with an 'English as a foreign language' education, but none of them took part in the actual activities. Instead the activities are run by unexperienced and uneducated staff. Nobody I worked with knew how to teach or to solve problems associated with teaching. Many students knew how to take part in simple conversations, but I believe they had learned that from talking to the islands numerous tourists rather than from African Impact's teaching program.

During community project we were painting a school, but the paint started to come of before we had even finished. We cannot have used the best method, so apparently none within the group had the know how. I do not know why a local specialist weren't employed to help us out with this.

When I tried to discuss all these issues with the local staff, they said that there was nothing they could do. But when I discussed with the head office later on, they said the issues would have been solved if I had discussed with the local staff instead. I even asked about how they use my money (since its very expansive and we did not got enough of food every meal and some of teenager had to put back of his food so that would be enough for all), I got a general information as answer. The local staff also pointed out that being there during Ramadan means less teaching and fewer tasks, but other volunteers who had stayed for longer said it was the same before Ramadan had started.

In total, the whole experience seemed to be like youth camp not serious teaching volunteer organisation. My advice check carefully all information you receive. You do not know who really are working in the organisation since there is no site which presents the stuff

8 people found this review helpful.
Response from African Impact

Dear Sherin,
Thank you very much for your feedback and we appreciate the points that you've raised, however we feel that we need to give further information regarding our activities and structure to give you some context.

You arrived during the Ramadan period where, based on consultation with our community partners, we adjust our program to accommodate the local people who are fasting. This was communicated to you prior to your arrival and as discussed at that time, our planning schedules do change over this period. It is important to be flexible, understanding and appreciative that our work is fully-dependent on the needs of the Jambiani community at that specific time, who were celebrating a very holy holiday.

During Ramadan, we do take part in more refurbishment and clean-up projects as requested by the community, but we do continue to run free informal English classes that are open to anyone in Zanzibar, as well as help with village needs as raised to us in the monthly local government meetings.

Our informal education classes in Jambiani are designed for people who cannot access formal education, to get them to a level where they can participate in standard educational options or obtain jobs in the tourism area, which forms the backbone of Zanzibar's economy. We also accept students who want to supplement their official education in our informal classes.

We do have a very set schedule for these classes because despite these classes being informal, we want them to be as sustainable and structured as possible for the students. We've worked with qualified teachers across our projects to design structures and curricula to ensure we cover the topics needed for future formal education or employment.

The programs are designed so that is easy to understand for both the student and the volunteer coming in to teach. This structure means that even though we have different volunteers coming through, there is a common learning experience for the student and a set curriculum for each class.

We can therefore help our volunteers prepare for class each week during the preparation sessions and ensure they cover all the topics they need to during their time in the class.
If we were to allow people to come in every few weeks and teach what they want in class, unfortunately we feel that this would not be sustainable and not in line with our and the community's aims.

Since our project started, the majority of students who finish our higher classes have gone on to secure further education in Stone Town, the Jambiani Tourism Institute, or secured client facing roles in the tourism industry.

That being said, we do continually work to improve our education programs, and truly do value your feedback. We have been working hard to build a new education centre and look forward to some incredible achievements in 2017.

We have also made a number of changes on our Zanzibar project site to improve our program and invite you to take a read through the material available on our website that addresses important topics such as ‘Where Your Money Goes’ and our Responsible Volunteering Policy.

Thank you again for your feedback Sherin, we do want to ensure that while we not only serve the communities in need, we also ensure our volunteers have a positive experience and have certainly taken your feedback on-board.

The African Impact Team

Default avatar
Elissa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time as a Photography Volunteer

I had never been to Zimbabwe before, just Kenya and Tanzania, so this was the first time I was going to Africa not knowing what to expect. When I arrived into the Bulawayo airport and later at Antelope Park, I was greeted with nothing but smiling faces. Immediately, I felt so welcomed and appreciated as a volunteer. As I was doing the conservation photography program and there were not many of us, I was worried that we would be very separated from the rest of the group. However, our activities included everything possible—lion walks, carriage rides, horseback rides, research drives, game drives, elephant herding astrophotography, and more! We also had the flexibility to do what we wanted to do, which was always a nice option.

The staff always made sure we were well taken care and that we were safe at all times. The African Impact, Antelope Park and ALERT staff were always willing to answer questions about the program, and I learned so much about lion conservation during my short two weeks during the program... I'm already planning my next African Impact trip!

8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Amy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Completely mind blown!

Volunteering in Africa was something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember, though in every way my expectations were completely exceeded. Every person I met in Zimbabwe, from cooks and housekeepers to community project managers, lion handlers and the volunteer and admin coordinators were the most friendly people and all so knowledgeable within their respective fields. On top of this, there wasn’t a single occasion I didn’t feel 100% safe!

I was on the community project so majority of my time was spent with people; primary schools, preschools, the Rose of Charity Orphanage and the Old People’s Home. Whether you were teaching maths at Monde Primary (I had 4th Grade!), testing out your finger painting ability at the old people’s home, teaching sounds at Reading Club or simply hanging out with kids on a Saturday at the orphanage, every single second spent on project was so rewarding. You could really see how what you were doing was contributing to the short and long-term goals of African Impact.

An awesome highlight was, thanks to the flexibility of African Impact, despite being based in community, I also got to dabble in the other project areas- walking with the lions on several occasions and being apart of the research projects like game counting and even a camping trip for hyena monitoring! My days off were equally as amazing. We rafted down the Zambezi and threw ourselves of a perfectly stable gorge three times with the adrenaline combo. We also took a day trip into Botswana for safari and to Zambia so we could quite literally hang off the edge of the falls at Devil’s Pools.

Overall the experience was nothing short of incredible- I wasn’t prepared for the attachment I would feel for many of the people (kids and adults alike) I met on project and the way they would fill me with happiness even though I was the one who was meant to be bringing them whatever happiness I could by volunteering in the first place. My advice is simple- if you’re considering volunteering in Africa- DO IT- I’ve only been home a week and I’m already working out when I can go back!

7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Victoria Falls!!!

The first 4 weeks of 2016 were incredible and thats all thanks to African Impact and the team at Victoria Falls. This was my first time volunteering, my first time travelling alone, and my first time in Africa and I loved every single minute!

The trip taught me so much, volunteering with lions and the community of Victoria falls was so special. The team as Masuwe where the lion project is based made me feel so welcome as part of the team, the knowledge and passion they show is why the programme with continue to be a success, and being a part of it makes me feel proud. Although I spent most of my time with the lions walking, interacting and playing with them, the flexibility of the programme at Victoria Falls enabled me to enjoy the research and community projects. Visiting and helping the community taught me so much and changed my outlook on life, how they live in poverty but give you so much happiness, you always are smiling.

The trip has had a huge impact on my life and I am thankful to the team at African Impact. Victoria falls is such a wonderful location, the perfect place to volunteer, I would recommend any of the projects to anyone, they really are special, I gained so much knowledge and learnt so much, and had the time of my life!! I just hope I can return one day.

9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Chagit
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience

I volunteered in Vic Falls as a community volunteer.
The community projects were diverse, and we really got the feeling that the people we worked with appreciated it. We got to meet so many people that at first it was a bit overwhelming, but after a couple of weeks it already felt like home.
What was really great about the program, apart from the community projects, was that we volunteers were able to go to other projects, and see the research project and help out with the lions. I didn't know that would be an option but it was a pleasant surprise.
After four weeks of volunteering I had to leave, and it was pretty difficult to do. It's amazing the kind of connections one can make over such a short period of time. It has only been a few months since I got back, but I'm already trying to make plans to go again.

9 people found this review helpful.

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