from 4,945€

Perfect 4.6rating (29)

Nature Enthusiast Course

location
6 - 6 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Perfect 4.6  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Very high response rate

Volunteer project with the highest quality. This project sets unprecedented standards in quality - an unparalleled level of excellence.

Highlights

  • 6 weeks living and learning in Africa
  • Learn to track big game and identify the signs of animals in the bush
  • Gain a deep understanding of large and small animal and bird behaviour
  • Become a FGASA-certified Nature Enthusiast and take the first steps in a wildlife career
  • Immersive training with expert guides

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

About the program

Perfect for wildlife lovers looking to take their knowledge to the next level, a worthwhile gap year experience, or to kick-start a career in wildlife conservation.

The Imire Nature Enthusiast course is designed for wildlife lovers who are looking to take their knowledge of the natural world to the next level. 

The course has been designed and is led by our highly qualified volunteer coordinator, an experienced FGASA-certified guide. The knowledge that you will ...

About the program

The Imire Nature Enthusiast course is designed for wildlife lovers who are looking to take their knowledge of the natural world to the next level. 

The course has been designed and is led by our highly qualified volunteer coordinator, an experienced FGASA-certified guide. The knowledge that you will gain from the course, and the research techniques you will learn, can be used anywhere in the world in a variety of conservation and wildlife careers.

The 6-week wildlife course is an opportunity for nature lovers to study Africa's wildlife and ecology more intensively, and be immersed in the conservancy's unique environment. You will study large mammals, focusing on the project's nine rhinos and three elephants, small mammals and birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians. You will learn about the night skies and ecology, and develop a deep understanding of large and small animal behaviour.

The course is ideal for people wanting to start a career in wildlife conservation, or those who simply have the desire to learn more about a variety of wildlife subjects.

Fully accredited

The course is FGASA-certified and delivered through a combination of lecture-style lessons and exciting outdoor practical activities.

Course topics include standard FGASA modules:

  • Astronomy
  • Geology
  • Weather and Climate
  • Ecology
  • Taxonomy
  • Botany – Wild Flowers, Trees and Grasses
  • Arthropods (Insects) and Amphibians
  • Reptiles and Fish
  • Birds and Mammals
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Conservation Management
  • Historical Human Habitation
  • Tracking Skills
Plus bespoke courses in:
  • Basic Weapon Handling
  • Survival Skills and Navigation
  • Introduction to Zimbabwe
  • Applied field research techniques and data capture
Develop practical research skills

Unique to our Nature Enthusiast course, in addition to learning about wildlife and the environment, students will pioneer Imire’s scientific research. Each topic of study includes a research project, where participants will develop their own skills and also contribute to Imire’s long-term conservancy management plan. 

Current research projects include canopy surveys, telemetry tracking and animal mapping, camera traps, and bird, fish and amphibian population studies.


Typical day

Each day will focus on a different topic from the course manual. Some topics have more to cover and may stretch across multiple days. The course will run seven days a week from Sunday to Sunday, with a good mixture of lecture-style and practical activities.


Days will be split into three sections, ...

Typical day

Each day will focus on a different topic from the course manual. Some topics have more to cover and may stretch across multiple days. The course will run seven days a week from Sunday to Sunday, with a good mixture of lecture-style and practical activities.


Days will be split into three sections, with plenty of breaks for review and questions. A typical day could be:
0530 - 0600 - wake up, coffee, rusks. Briefing of the days activities and learning points
0600 - 0930: mammal lecture
0930 - 1030: breakfast
1030 - 1230: practical field exercise: game drive focusing on mammal diversity
1230 - 1400: lunch
1400 - 1700: field research: micro mammal traps and large animal camera traps
1700 - 1900: self-study and completion of workbook questions
1900 - 2000: dinner
2000 onwards: relax around the fire


Free-time activities

During your down time, you may explore the conservancy on foot or on horseback (additional charge). There will be outings to local areas of historical interest, and you will also have talks from conservation experts.

Free-time activities

During your down time, you may explore the conservancy on foot or on horseback (additional charge). There will be outings to local areas of historical interest, and you will also have talks from conservation experts.


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (intermediate level)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

Participants can be of any age and educational background but must have a deep interest in wildlife, and a passion for the outdoors. We welcome applications from student groups and those studying natural sciences. We will follow the same course outline regardless of participant backgrounds. Courses are taught in English, so good English language skills are required.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 - 17:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Imire Rhino Conservation

Fees include: 
  • Shared safari-tent style accommodation
  • Three meals a day plus drinks (tea, coffee, juice, water)
  • Training costs
  • Transport between training locations
  • Harare International Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Nature Enthusiast Manual and Workbook
  • Laundry and housekeeping
  • 24-hour support from our on-site course managers
  • Full orientation upon arrival

The fees exclude:
  • Visas
  • Flights to Harare International Airport
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Personal travel and excursions (outside the Nature Enthusiast Course)
  • Purchase of curios and any items of a personal nature
  • Snacks, fizzy and alcoholic drinks (over 18’s only) from our bar
  • Reference books outside those that are provided

Airport Pickup at Harare International Airport

Inclusive pick-ups are from Harare International Airport on your course start date (usually a Sunday). Full details will be sent to you prior to your arrival.

Accommodation

Your home on this Nature Enthusiast Course is in shared safari-tent style accommodation, situated in the heart of the conservancy - allowing for an immersive learning environment in a diverse ecosystem.

Participants will share twin walk-in safari tents (same sex sharing) with beds, bedding and storage space provided. Tents are en-suite, with hot and cold running water for showers, and flush toilets. The Wilderness Camp has a fully equipped kitchen, bar, communal lounge and dining room, with desks for studying and a small library.

There is a daily laundry and housekeeping service.

Food & Beverages

Three meals a day are provided by our resident cooks, and fresh drinking water, tea, coffee and juice is freely available. Some dietary request can be catered for, please let us know before you arrive if you have specialist requirements (e.g. vegan, dairy or gluten intolerance).

Internet Access

Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare. We assist you to find cheap flights to Zimbabwe. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

Travel Insurance

Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Zimbabwe provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

If you are intending to volunteer in Zimbabwe you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Zimbabwe. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

2024 course dates:

April 15th - May 27th 2024

September 9th - October 21st 2024


If you don't want the added pressure of undertaking an examination at the end, that's no problem at all! You would then receive Imire's certificate of participation instead.
Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

6 weeks 4,945€
Average fees 825€/week

Program fees

825€ per week 6 - 6 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

6 - 6 weeks

Deposit

The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.


Final Payment

Your final payment will be agreed with Imire Rhino Conservation during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

Imire Rhino Conservation

Perfect 4.6 rating (29 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2012

Verified by Volunteer World

  Very high response rate

Coordinated by

Claire

Spoken languages: English

About the project

Hands-on rhino and elephant conservation at a private conservancy in Zimbabwe. Work alongside conservationists to help secure the future of these amazing animals.

Meet your organization

Project Background

Imire was founded in 1952 by Norman and Gilly Travers. Originally cattle ranchers and farmers, the Travers also had a great passion for wildlife and conservation, which led to the establishment of Imire as a wildlife conservancy.

In 1987, 250 black rhino were removed from the Zambezi Valley due to a distressing rise in illegal rhino poaching. These rhino were relocated to private conservancies for safety. Imire was granted custodianship of seven orphaned calves and became an intensive black rhino breeding station. To date Imire has successfully released 11 rhino into the wild and they have gone on to breed successfully. The Black Rhino Breeding Programme is world-renowned, helping to protect Zimbabwe’s heritage with the successful re-introduction of this incredible endangered animal back into the wild.


Endangered Species Conservation

Imire: Rhino & Wildlife Conservation is internationally renowned for its black rhino breeding and release programme. The 10,000 acre reserve was given seven orphaned baby black rhino to raise in 1985 and since then 17 rhinos have been born at Imire and 12 released back into National Parks across Zimbabwe and Botswana. Now home to seven black and four white rhino, Imire is also home to three elephants who were orphans that outgrew their rescue sanctuaries back in the 1980s. These elephants could never be released and have found a forever home in as natural an environment as possible. Imire is also home to a buffalo, lion, a huge range of plains game such as giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, kudu and the rare sable antelope. In 2021, Imire became home to two male cheetah, born in captivity in Canada and brought to Zimbabwe as part of a re-wildling project.

Wildlife conservation volunteers get involved with every aspect of game park life, with a focus on rhino, elephants and cheetah. Get up close to these amazing animals and study their behaviour; learn from experienced guides and support the dedicated Anti-Poaching Unit. Volunteers also work on conservancy building and maintenance projects and carry out game counts, herd monitoring, maintenance, reforestation projects and work on the farm.

Volunteers will help with English literacy in the local school, working with a programme that has been approved by Zimbabwe's Ministry of Education, and assist older children with homework and school projects in the project's dedicated Learning Centre. Volunteers also undertake conservation education lessons with high school children, taking them around the conservancy and showing them the importance of caring for the natural environment and the animals within.

29 reviews · rating4.6

Adrian Chan rating4.6

2023 at Rhino & Elephant Conservation

Even though I didn't get to enjoy a whole week due to personal time constraints, Imire was an extraordinary experience that I will never forget. We had the fortune of meeting three resourceful and friendly instructors and gained a ton of hands-on experience that really amazed a city-dweller like me. ..
Michael Bermudez rating5

2023 at Rhino & Elephant Conservation

A+++++++++++++++++!!! I did so much in my three weeks it went by super fast! Horseback riding, walking with elephants, tracking rhino and cheetah... It was all amazing! The accommodations were stunning and being able to do cultural things with the Shona people was wonderful. I feel like I really ...
Kat Springer rating4.8

2023 at Horse Riding & Wildlife Conservation

Free to Be Wild is a unique experience. You are close to the animals and it feels like you are making a difference not just on a tour. We spent a week doing various chores and projects at Free to Be Wild. Every day is different as you never know what could be coming to the sanctuary. A injured ...
pascale Jutard rating4.6

2023 at Rhino & Elephant Conservation

I will say that I had a wonderful time, anything from activities, the people of the staff were more than welcoming. I will recommend this to anyone young and older like me ( passed 60 ), I was first a bit nervous about not being able to complete the work asked of me, and I could participate in all ...
PAULINA HARGASOVA rating5

2023 at Horse Riding & Wildlife Conservation

Amazing experience that you will never forget. I did the horse back riding program and I've never connected and approached so close the wildlife. The Imire team is truly inspiring, living for the conservation and wildlife. I would recommend to anyone to do the volunteer programme with Imire. ..
Vincent ten Brink rating5

2023 at Rhino & Elephant Conservation

This place is a true gem. Staying at a incredible lodge near a lake. The staff, projects, encounters & activities with animals make this place something to want to go back to the day you leave. Truly one of the greatest journeys I ...

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