Experience Our Wildlife Encounters

OUR VOLUNTEERS


Wildlife Encounter facilitates volunteers and staff to assist in local communities, research projects and the lion conservation work that would otherwise not benefit from their skills and expertise. We also work very closely with African Impact, a company of the African Encounter Responsible Tourism Alliance. With over 20 years of experience in African travel, African Impact is the voluntourism arm under the umbrella of the travel group African Encounter. Wildlife Encounter is able to customize each volunteer experience to include all the projects so that a well-rounded educational and conservational experience can be enjoyed by any volunteer.

Our strategy focuses on:

  • In depth assessment of community needs
  • Initiating, facilitating and supporting community development projects
  • Empowering communities to become self-sustaining
  • Continuous monitoring, assessing and reviewing with stakeholders to ensure what we are doing is achieving the objectives and truly benefiting the local communities in the most efficient way.

 

Our volunteer project aims:

  • To facilitate the social development and economic upliftment of Africa through carefully designed volunteer projects.
  • To play a pivotal role in the research and conservation of Africa’s environment.
  • To provide travellers and volunteers with a holistic African travel and working experience that includes an authentic encounter with local communities.
  • To see negative perceptions of Africa challenged through the development of cross-cultural relationships, shared experiences and increased awareness and education.

 

Wildlife Encounter offers 3 different volunteer projects that you can chose from, as well as Internship Placements.

Lion Project

Long term volunteering is between 2 to 6 weeks, living on site

• Work on the world’s leading program for the release of lions back into the wild
• Experience the African bush
• Join the conservation education team by educating the local children.
• Immerse yourself in local culture
• Adventure activities available from white water rafting on the Zambezi River; bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge or taking to the air for a helicopter flight over the Falls giving a bird’s eye view of this natural wonder.
• Take advantage of optional trips to see more of the areas spectacular wildlife areas in Botswana or Zimbabwe including the enormous Hwange National Park and Chobe National Park.
• Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the program as well as those on the Community program
• Take part in a Research Program to better understand the ecology of elephants in the Park and join our conservation education and community programs to involve communities in conservation as part of our holistic approach

Community Project

Long term volunteering is between 2 to 6 weeks, living on site

Contribute to the education and welfare of the local Zambian communities on the outskirts of Livingstone, an area rife with poverty and hardships; provide education and guidance to communities on greener living and the importance of wildlife and habitat protection; assist with a variety of community – benefiting projects such as life skill classes, HIV workshops, adult literacy, reading classes, and more.

• Spend your time providing local schools with much needed support
• Use your skills and interests to offer extracurricular classes to widen the knowledge of local people
• Experience the African bush
• Immerse yourself in local culture
• Enjoy the many adventure activities available from white water rafting on the mighty Zambezi River, bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge or taking to the air for a helicopter flight over the Falls giving a bird’s eye view of this natural wonder.
• Take advantage of optional trips to see more of the areas spectacular wildlife areas in Botswana or Zimbabwe. Chobe National Park is just an hour or so away, and you can also visit the lion rehabilitation program’s breeding base at Antelope Park.
• Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the program as well as those on the lion project.

Research & Conservation

Throughout your stay you will participate in various research based activities within the National Parks. Please note that some activities, and some research methodologies, are seasonal and you may not be able to take part in every activity during your stay.

Large Predator Research
The Zambezi National Park is home to lions, leopards, cheetah, African wild dogs and spotted hyena. Your role will be to assist in collecting baseline data on each species that are used to improve species conservation management plans. Data collection is undertaken by a variety of means including driven transects, observations at water holes, remote camera traps, baited call-in stations and community questionnaires. When animals are sighted you will attempt to take photographic evidence for individual identification, record the GPS location and other information useful to the research effort.

Elephant Research
The populations of elephant in this region are huge, but little is known about their seasonal behaviors. You will be assisting in documenting the location, size and structure of elephant herds, helping to build up a database of individual animals using their ear notches and tusk size and shape as identification markers. We will also be looking at feeding behaviors to assess the species’ impact on the vegetation of the Park.

Biodiversity Assessment
To complement the large predator research you will assist in monitoring the number and distribution of other species within the Park. Data is collected by driven transect surveys on historically used routes to allow for comparison over time.

National Park Management
You will be assisting the Park’s staff in many aspects of management including; invasive alien plant species removal, waterhole and fire management programs, snare sweeps, creating maps for visitors to the Park as well as helping out in the Park’s offices with general administrative duties and visitor management.

Entomological survey
We hope you enjoy insects. This research program is trying to understand the complex relationships between the vast array of insects and the even greater array of plants and trees within the Parks. You will lay out traps and assist in identifying what we catch.

Conservation Education
A vital part of your role will be assisting with our outreach programs with the local community. These programs help increase support for conservation efforts. You will therefore be assisting in preparing lesson plans which you will later teach.
• Staying in the National Park and on the banks of the Zambezi River, with hippo, elephant and bushbuck as neighbours.
• Assist in collecting vital research data on Africa’s most iconic species.
• Be a part of the daily operations in two of Africa’s most beautiful national Parks.
• Help educate local communities on the importance of sound, holistic conservation.
• Experience the African bush
• Immerse yourself in local culture.
• Enjoy the many adventure activities available from white water rafting on the mighty Zambezi River, bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge or taking to the air for a helicopter flight over the Falls giving a bird’s eye view of this natural wonder.
• Take advantage of optional trips to see more of the areas spectacular wildlife areas in Botswana or Zimbabwe. Chobe National Park is just an hour or so away, and you can also visit the lion rehabilitation program’s breeding base at Antelope Park.
• Make friends for life with the other international volunteers on the program as well as those on the lion and community projects.
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