Location
  • Zimbabwe
Length
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
18
Age Max
65
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse
Groups
Small Group (1-15)
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
500
Price Details
$75 United States Dollars per person per day including accommodation, meals, housekeeping and wifi.
Discounts for longer stays, or for couples or small groups.
Direct booking and communication with the Twala Trust - no agents
Discounts for longer stays, and for couples or small groups
Additional costs: Airport transfer $30 each way. Visa costs (paid direct to immigration by visitor) ranging between $35 and $55 for 30 days - renewal for longer stays are free of charge.

What's Included
Accommodation Equipment Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Some Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Jul 31, 2023
Apr 03, 2024
44 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

This is a very personal and authentic volunteer experience for a maximum of 5 volunteers at one time, providing the opportunity to live and work in a genuine African animal sanctuary with our dedicated Twala team. Volunteers participate in every aspect of life at Twala, assisting with rescues and rehabilitation of a wide variety of animals, and providing a high standard of daily care for our wild and domestic resident animals. Our work includes wildlife rehabilitation, a unique and wonderfully uplifting kennel free dog rescue for elderly and disabled dogs, an exotic pet rescue and a longstanding and successful community outreach program providing lifetime support to rural dogs in low income households and providing animal welfare education and support to our community. The program is a genuine and rewarding experience for all animal lovers including vet students and vet nurses, who will find our mission to have happy and healthy animals in our Twala safe haven truly uplifting.

Video and Photos

Impact

Sustainability

By offering a small and ethical programme in a sanctuary where recycling is effective, solar power is our main source of power, water-wise practices and organic self-sustaining gardens provide much of our food, and our work is centered around a holistic and long standing community programme, we do our utmost to ensure that there is an overall positive impact on our surroundings and our community.

Program Highlights

  • A wide variety of rescued animal species. A limited number of volunteers. A resident veterinary team. An ethical and positive approach to animal welfare and conservation. Direct booking and communication with the program

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 29 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.95
  • Value 4.95
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 29 reviews
Volunteering at Twala
Lou
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The Kindest Place to be…

From start to finish, the experience I had at Twala was fantastic. Sarah’s communication with me before arrival was organised and friendly. The sanctuary is amazing with every type of animal and the volunteer house had everything you need and we were so well fed! Everybody we met from staff to volunteers were friendly and passionate about animal care. Our days were busy and varied with taking care of the animals, helping community projects, collecting and releasing injured animals. Etc.
Overall this is an amazing experience in Zimbabwe and I can’t wait to go back!

2 people found this review helpful.
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Camille
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing volunteering experience

I've been volunteering twice at Twala and it feels just like home ❤️
It is a very ethical place where you will learn a lot about animals, rehabilitation process but also veterinarian procedures and community outreach.
You will definitely enjoy your time here because you will feel useful to the project, especially on Doggy Tuesday where you get to help taking care of so many dogs and interact with the community.
I love every aspect of this volunteering. These animals healed me in a way and I missed them the minute I left Twala.
Sarah also makes sure that you get to experience the culture of Zimbabwe and discover other places. Also, you are taken care of from the moment you book your volunteering to the moment you leave, I didn't feel unsafe at any time.
Go for it ! I'm already planning my third visit ❤️

17 people found this review helpful.
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Janine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing project in a beautiful country.

If you are hoping to spend time working within a truly ethical project that lives up to it's principles then Twala is the perfect place.
At Twala you are just one of a small number of volunteers, which means that when there is a rescue mission, (which is frequently) or a release or a new admission to the sanctuary you will be always be in the thick of it.
There are such a range of animals at the sanctuary that you will arrive believing you will never get to know them all and leave feeling as though you have made a wealth of new friends.
The accommodation is great and the garden simply beautiful and you are incredibly well looked after. Everyone I met at Twala was lovely, warm and friendly and we spent a lot of time laughing.
There is lots of work to do, some of it, like chopping fruit and veg, quite routine. The working days start early but are very rewarding, filled with good company, both animal and human, and with decent breaks. There are also plenty of opportunities to head into the surrounding villages or into Harare on one mission or another, getting a real sense of Zimbabwe, its people and their way of life.
Zimbabwe is utterly beautiful and the people so welcoming. I fell in love with it and very much miss those dusty, bumpy journeys into Harare enjoying the sights and sounds as we went, and the return trips surrounded by boxes of veg and recovering dogs from the veterinary hospital!
There was also nothing more relaxing than rounding the day off by swimming in the lovely pool, surrounded by dogs, cats, duikers and wild bush babies. I'll gloss over the crazy puppy launching herself in to swim with me!
I spent a month at Twala and it is impossible to encapsulate the sheer amazingness of it all. The Twala animal sanctuary isn't just about the animals it rescues and cares for, it is about community and partnership and delivering a wealth of programmes that have been carefully designed to support the wider community when it comes to caring for the animals which are so integral to their lives. Twala's ongoing commitment to feed, treat and care for a huge number of domestic animals across a wide area has a profound impact on the lives of both these animals and their owners.
Doggy Tuesday, the weekly clinic where literally hundreds of dogs are seen each week, blew me away. It was a chaotic, joyous, at times sad, amazing opportunity to spend the day meeting hordes of dogs and lots of members of the local community, many of whom were children - shy, cheeky, fun and completely smile inducing. The impact of this and a number of similar initiatives is far reaching and provides long term benefit within the community.
So, if you love spending time with loads of animals in a rather beautiful place and are interested in being part of something that really is making a difference then this is the volunteer experience for you. *must like dogs!*

26 people found this review helpful.
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Chloé
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The best time ever!!

As a vet student, I was eager to gain experience with both domestic and wild animals, so I decided to volunteer at Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary. My experience there was absolutely amazing from beginning to end. The communication with the owner, Sarah, was excellent as she was always quick to answer any questions I had. I got a great feeling about the place from the start. When I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by the staff, other volunteers, and of course, the animals. Seeing all the dogs, cats, and birds living together in harmony was something I had never seen before.

I immediately got on well Nkazie, the animal caretaker who mostly feeds and checks on the animals, and I followed her around everywhere. It was wonderful to see the great life the animals had at Twala. The dogs went on daily off-leash walks, and all the animals received fresh fruits and veggies every day. The dogs and cats even got cooked chicken every day for dinner. When I met Sarah in person, I felt even better about everything. It was clear how much she cared about every animal at the sanctuary. She knew every animal by name and would immediately notice if anything was wrong with them. She would ask the vet nurses to check up on them or ask us to give them more food when necessary.

As a vet student, I was able to assist the vet nurses with wound cleaning and watched them as they put in IVs and injections. They would also teach me about some diseases that we don't see much of in Belgium. Some days I could also go to the animal hospital in the city and watch some surgeries there, which was so interesting to see! I was always so happy to help in any way I could. On Tuesdays, the sanctuary hosted Doggy Tuesday where members of the community could bring their dogs for free food and medical care. Seeing the impact that Twala had on so many animals in need was heartwarming.

Every day at Twala was filled with new and exciting experiences, from feeding and bathing the animals to watching surgeries at the animal hospital in the city, I loved every moment of it. I am forever grateful for this experience and to the staff and volunteers at Twala for doing such an incredible job changing the lives of so many animals. I really hope I will be able to come back soon because my journey at Twala is definitely not finished!

Pros
  • Hands on experience with so many animals
  • Truly making a difference in the animals lives
  • Everything about it
42 people found this review helpful.
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Rochelle
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

What an amazing place!

There are many animal sanctuaries out there, but there is only one Twala! This place really is a home away from home and the whole team treat you like you are their family.

When you arrive, you are immediately welcomed by the gorgeous doggies and friendly cats who give you unlimited love throughout your stay. All the animals live in harmony here. There’s so much love to go around.

It can be tough to find a genuine animal sanctuary that does not exploit their animals for monetary purposes, but Twala is a truly trustworthy organisation, who use their donations to rescue, feed and nurture their animals with an end goal of releasing them to the wild.

The owners, Sarah and Vin are the nicest people on the planet, who ensure that you get what you need out of your time at the Trust. Whether you are looking for veterinary experience in the clinic, getting your hands dirty in the enclosures, or taking it easy with dog walks and lion feeding, there’s something different to do each day!

There’s a wide variety of animals and birds at the sanctuary. From friendly Cockatoos to roaring lions and baby tortoises. All animals have been rescued or saved from captivity.

If you’re looking for an authentic experience that will fill your heart with love and joy each day, then look no further than Twala. Just be careful, as you won’t want to leave.

Pros
  • So many animals and birds to see
  • Ability to get involved in animal work
  • Great food provided and cooked for you
49 people found this review helpful.
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Ella
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Beautiful Experience

Twala is an amazing, ethical place.

Sarah & Kayla are just lovely; they were attentive to all the volunteers needs/wishes and super welcoming. The accommodation is excellent; gorgeous big rooms & fully stocked kitchen. The best part about the house is sharing it with loads of cute kitties and, of course, Rambo, Georgina & Margarita - the three best doggos! The cats all love to sleep curled up on your bed, but you could close your door and windows if you didn't want to share. The back veranda is the perfect place to chill & read with the friendly cockatoos (Casper likes lots of love & attention). It leads out to the main garden/sanctuary/pool area, where tortoises, duikers (small antelopes) and the lovely Theodore (donkey) hangs out amongst the enclosures. Out the front of the house is where the first group of dogs spend their time; and it's impossible to pick a favourite, as they all have unique personalities and need your cuddles.

There is a good work/rest balance & plenty to do if you're keen. The day starts at 6:30am and involves collecting all the food trays from the sanctuary, collecting greens from the garden & prepping the herbivores food. This includes a wide variety of birds, tortoises, duikers, an adorable bush baby, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits. The other morning routine you could choose to do is assist Kelly, the animal care manager; this involves checking/cleaning/water changing in the lion, serval, civet, owl enclosures and feeding our bestest buddies - Willow & Violet (Baboons). Then you have breakfast around 8:45ish and take a break.

9:30 is the volunteer dog walk around the dam - 15-20 off-lead dogs all super excited to go for a walk is an experience you won't forget any time soon. It's adorable watching them swim - especially Leo & Pablo!

The rest of the day involves whatever comes up/needs to be done. There's always something rewarding to do; helping out at the dog clinic, making enrichment activities for the Baboons, horse grooming, dog washing, mulberry picking (be prepared to turn purple), hydrating baby tortoises - it's so much fun. Lunch is 12ish - 13:30 (read, nap, chill by the pool etc.). Then see above til around 17:00 when you're done for the day. Lunch and dinner are cooked for you and left out for you to serve yourself whenever you want it. Delicious food! Late afternoon you can also help out with food prep/enclosure clean for the carnivores; owls, dogs, jackals, lions - taking care of lions is pretty amazing.

Lions: The lions who are taken care of have been rescued from some horrible situations and would be unsafe in the wild (unable to care for themselves or too used to humans, which would result in conflict), so they will live the rest of their happy lives at Twala. It's important to mention that the lionesses have a contraceptive implant and will never be bred; just well taken care of. Kadiki is particularly interesting, as her enclosure is very close to the main houses. If you fancy it, you can sit next to her enclosure and read to her amongst the cats and jackals - quite cute watching her drag her blanket around.

Overall, Twala makes such a difference and really does need your support. I couldn't recommend this experience enough. We didn't think to do it or have the space, but do remember to take anything that could help - dog leads/food etc. (ask Sarah what they need most at the time).

Go help this wonderful place!

68 people found this review helpful.
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Mimi
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Experience

I am 24 years old and wanted to travel to Africa on my own after finishing my Master's Degree. When I was looking for a volunteer program, the most important point for me was the welfare of the animals and to make sure that I don't go to a program that prefers the economic value over the animals. I found Twala and was immediately sure that this Place will be the right fit, and I wasn't disappointed!! At Twala you will be living in a Volunteer House in the middle of the Animal Sanctuary surrounded by the animals that you will be helping to care for.
There is a lot to do every day and it is a perfect balance of physical work and fun free time. You should be prepared that from the minute you wake up, you are surrounded by loving and very cuddle needing dogs, cats, and birds to the minute you go to bed. The gratitude that you get and the relationships that you build with the animals are truly remarkable.
Sarah and the entire Twala Team were super nice and welcoming. It was fun to get to know the culture better through the daily talks with everyone while working and caring for the animals. It was also very nice that Sarah organized many activities in the surrounding area, so I could experience the country and culture even more.
I stayed for 1 month and I can not wait to go back to Twala in the future.

96 people found this review helpful.
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Claudia
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Twala family

I simply love this place! The last time I was there was in April 2021, my 3rd time. Twala feels like a big family of animals and people and once you stay there you become part of it. There can max be 6 volunteers at a time which basically means you matter! There's a lot of different things you can do but the most important one is loving the animals 😊
I highly recommend following Twala on Facebook, the stories are wonderful, you'll get a good sense of the sanctuary and it'll leave you with a smile 😊

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go! 😃 It'll be one of the best experiences you'll have!
87 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi Erika, we are in contact via email. We do day trips but you will not see all the Big 5. However we can assist you with arrangements. I will send you a further email.