Location
  • Zimbabwe
Length
2 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
18
Age Max
90
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse Lodge
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
500
Price Details
Most of our programs include 2-3 meals per day, accommodations, pre-departure kit, comprehensive travel health insurance, local in-country staff and 24 hour emergency support. Please see the project details on our website for a complete list of what is included.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Meals Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Mar 16, 2021
Jan 19, 2022
29 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Passionate about animals? You will love our African Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe. Established in 1973, it is one of the oldest and largest wildlife sanctuaries in Africa. It is family-owned and provides attentive care for hundreds of animals each year.
The hands-on support of international volunteers is the lifeline of this program. From feeding big cats to nursing baby animals, you won’t get bored with this program.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Work closely with injured, native African wildlife species
  • Conduct field surveys in the nearby National Parks and protected areas
  • Connect with new friends and the lovely family that runs the program
  • Educate local schoolchildren on the importance of wildlife conservation
  • Visiting Victoria Falls on a free weekend is a must! Easily organized by our local team.

Program Reviews

9.08 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 83.33%
  • 7-8 rating 8.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 8.33%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 7.9
  • Value 8.4
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 12 reviews
Default avatar
Imogen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Couldn’t recommend Chipangali enough!!

Can’t recommend Chipangali enough!! Me and my boyfriend went for 3 weeks and we absolutely loved it! The staff, animals & the people you meet are all amazing!! We have made friends for life at Chipangali!

The Wilson family are nothing but welcoming and make you feel comfortable and at home.You experience things you would never think you’d experience in your life! Not many people can say they have stroked a lion or a leopard!

The animals are all treated with love and it was really nice to see how much the animals are looked after. We would return in a heart beat and hope that we can come back in the future!!

29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Martina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chipangali - what an experience

I had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks at Chipangali in November 2021. It has been a great experience with meeting many interesting people, making new friends, working for and with wild animals. Safety and wellfare for humans as well as the animals is a priority. Several once in a lifetime moments like stroking Carla the leopard, playing with the ‚teenage‘ monkeys Jack ‚n‘ Numbsa, catching flying ants for a disabled bushbaby Jeckyl (made him very happy) and many more.
Without a blink and many awesome memories I recommend a stay at Chipangali for a trip as a volunteer!

28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Stephanie
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

DO NOT RECOMMEND - Chipangali OR GoEco

It’s hard to write a negative review b/c the animals, mission & support staff at Chipangali were wonderful, but the overall experience wasn’t positive. We DID NOT have a positive experience with GoEco or Chipangali & recently left a two week volunteer program half way through.

We tried to be as empathetic as possible & give Chipangali the benefit of the doubt but due to multiple people getting sick left & right, the lack of COVID protocol, repeated bullying for wearing masks, a very uncomfortable physical encounter with a member of the Chipangali family, lack of volunteer training & hospitality, constant power outages & lack of cell service, we felt trapped in a rapidly deteriorating situation. Every day another issue occurred that was unacceptable or unprofessional i.e. we were called “brats” to our faces as a general greeting, rat feces found in volunteer food, multiple animals died due to lack of appropriate shelter, despite no volunteer training mistakes are apparently your fault & questions are ridiculed, etc…

The GoEco support team is apathetic & communication is dismal. The response times are 4 days for emails & 2 days for something urgent. After our experience with them, it’s hard to believe they advocate for volunteers or have their best interests in mind. For example, GoEco never informed us of a mandatory 10 day quarantine in Zim, we had to inform them & then chase down answers for days to see if we could still get into Zim. Nor did they tell us ALL other volunteers had cancelled or were leaving early due to COVID cases at Chipangali. GoEco's preparation docs don't inform you that USD cash is useless if not printed after 2006 & ATM's and cards don't work so you're effectively trapped without money if someone can't lend you money. The most traumatic issue was after a negative physical encounter with a member of the Chipangali family, GoEco’s answer was a copy & paste “we’re sorry, we will review this…”

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do your research on volunteer providers! Here are some of the GoEco red flags: GoEco does NOT provide refunds (only credit for future programs) even if there are COVID related travel restrictions or issues; you don't find out which volunteer program you're assigned to until AFTER you pay and by then no refunds are available; it's also hard getting a straight answer on what your program fees go towards, the response times from their support team are 4 days for emails & 2 days for something urgent...trust me when you're in a difficult situation in a 3rd world country, 2 days feels like eternity, etc...

Anyone looking to volunteer in Africa should do their research and check out the credentials & reviews of any project they are considering very carefully, and if an intermediary like GoEco is refusing to give out details or clear answers, then walk away immediately.
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage

I had such an amazing experience working at Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe. The Go Eco & Chipangali staff were both friendly and professional. I learned a ton and got to work with and care for some amazing animals such as lions hyenas and monkeys. I got to meet friends from all over the world as well. Other highlights of the trip included going on a few safaris and traveling to see the beautiful Victoria Falls (one of the original seven natural wonders of the world!) Definitely recommend and would like to return!!

41 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Stinius
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chipangali living

I think the thing that I found most surprising about coming here, is how incredibly important the social aspect of the experience is. I think most people would have certain expectations and ideas regarding the animal caretaking and the work alone. However for me, the importance of the social atmosphere and how big of an impact that made on the total experience came as a shock. So not only can you expect interesting and rewarding work, but also the opportunity to meet friends for life. So to anyone considering or contemplating, don’t. Just do it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Savor every single moment of your trip, even the mundane-like days. Because your trip is gonna be over in a heartbeat, and I can guarantee you’ll miss it everyday.
54 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Laurie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience of my life

Working at the orphanage was the best experience of my life. The goal of the orphanage is to help and to give a second chance to injured or orphan animals. It’s not always likely to release the animals but I can tell that the staff is making everything they can to make that possible. I loved being a volunteer there because everything you do helps the animals to recover. For example, you will be given tasks like cleaning and redecorating the animals’ enclosures, feeding them, playing with them and most of all, making sure that they’re having a good life. Having volunteers around is very important and it is not only because of their help, but also because every dollar invested by them helps the animals to recover and to be in a good shape.

I’m very proud of myself to have been on the team for three weeks and I hope that my photos will encourage people to participate in the project too. Every animal has their own story and this is exactly what inspired me during my trip. Believe it or not, when I went home after this project, I was kind of a different person. You learn so much and you may realise things you never thought of.

Please take note that the orphanage is not a zoo, and that there’s always a reason why all these animals are not released in the wild yet. For example, they have to wait to have a few more monkeys to release them all, because they are animals that live in a group.

The other aspect I really enjoyed is that you have the chance to do other trips during your stay. For example, the staff can arrange a trip to the Matopos National Park or at Victoria Falls for you. All you need to do is to pay and to have a wonderful experience there!

What would you improve about this program?
It was very expensive. It would change the price because it's not affordable for everyone who can give the orphanage some help.
60 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Nicole
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience.

I volunteered at an orphanage with GoEco for 4 weeks and I absolutely loved it. Still miss it, actually. You get to work with a variety of animals including antelope, monkeys, lions, birds and more! The staff and team really care about the wellbeing of the animals at the orphanage. Bring a positive mentality because their will be snakes, bugs and creepy crawlers! But hey, you're in Africa. Truly an adventure that I will never forget, if you're looking to make a difference in animals lives while being hands on - this is the place for you!

What would you improve about this program?
Probably letting individuals know that this is a lot of hard work! So be prepared but in the end it's worth it.
61 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sydney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing

When I was working at the old peoples home in Zimbabwe I met a really interesting 100 year old woman! I would often see her up before breakfast sweeping her porch! When she was introduced to anyone she would turn to someone who knew her and say "You know who I am, why are you asking again." I though that was funny!

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the project was fantastic and I would not change anything.
67 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers