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Volunteers' Stories




Lion Breeding, Rehabilitation and  Release voluntary program in Zimbabwe

I had an amazing time on my project and met some really great people who made my stay so much more special. Thanks for getting me out there and giving me an experience I'll never forget!

What experience do you feel you gained?

A lot! I learnt about working outside and helping to maintain the park. I gained experience of cutting up dead animals to feed to the lions, something you really need to give a try as it's not something you may ever have to do again. I learnt a huge amount about lions, especially about cubs, and I was able to pass this information on to members of the public when they came to handle the cubs.

I gained a lot of experience of caring for young animals and about having to be on hand ready to feed them as they do need a lot of attention when they are very young, something they have in common with children!

Overall I got to do such a wide variety of different things that I gained a whole host of different experiences, even just living in Africa for 5 weeks was very special for me.

What was the best thing about your placement?

Playing with lion cubs everyday or the atmosphere within the volunteers house and the friends I made.

Would you recommend this placement to anyone else?

Absolutely, no doubt!

What type of person do you think this placement would suit?

Anyone who is adventurous enough to give everything a go. Friendly people who are able to contribute to the team and make the experience as amazing as possible for everyone involved. Even for people who don't have a huge interest in 'mothering' the cubs, there's still plenty of work around the park that they can go off and do during the days. You get a lot of input as to what you will be doing each day.

Can you think of any improvements that could be made to the placement?

As long as you are prepared to go and give everything you have then you will get a huge amount back and will enjoy yourself greatly.

Was there anything that you weren't told by Travellers before you went away that you think future volunteers should know?

No, nothing.

Can you describe a typical day?

  • Most people get up at 7.00 to go up to the restaurant for breakfast at 7.30.

  • Everyone makes their own breakfast, usually just cereal and toast during the week. At breakfast you decide who is doing what in the morning and then afternoon.

  • If you stay up at the top in the morning then you will have to make up cub milk and porridge to feed to the cubs.

  • You will then need to feed and possibly pee/poo any cubs depending on how old they are. After this you will be around the tea room doing handlings for the public and doing the cub feedings which can be up to every 2 hours, as well as any other jobs which may need doing.

  • On busy days you may be asked to help clear up in the restaurant. Lunch is from 1-2pm, and everyone makes their own on most days.

  • After lunch, if you spent the morning up top then you will go out in the afternoon. You will help the staff do any maintenance around the park such as fixing fences or removing thorns from enclosures. You may well get the opportunity to go in with some older lions when you do this, up to the age of around 10-11 months.

  • Work finishes at 5.00 and you decide what you are going to do for dinner. Most nights everyone cooks together unless some people want an early night.

  • After dinner you clean up, lock up and take the cubs down to the owners house, then head on down to the volunteers house where you can stay up and chat/watch TV or go to bed, as you please.

More Information about your Trip with Travellers

List of ALL PROJECTS in Zimbabwe