Nature Enthusiast Course

founded in 2012
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Coordinator | Jane
Coordinator | Jane
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Study Africa's flora and fauna in more detail and be immersed in Imire's unique environment
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
Gain a FGASA-endorsed certification, and knowledge that can be used across a range of conservation careers
Undertake research projects which will give you new skills, and also benefit the conservancy and its wildlife
Perfect for wildlife-lovers looking to take their knowledge to the next level, a worthwhile gap year experience, or to start a career in wildlife conservation. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 17+
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 co-ordinators, one a Zoologist and the other a Biologist, both experienced FGASA-certified guides. 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 course is an opportunity for nature enthusiasts 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 rhino and three elephants, small mammals and birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians. You will learn about the night skies and ecology, and you 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 who simply have a desire to learn more about a variety of wildlife subjects.

Fully accredited

The course is FGASA-endorsed, 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:
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Basic Weapon Handling
  • Bush 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, 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.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
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.
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

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 (every SUNDAY)
  • 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.
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?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Harare International Airport (HRE) in Harare. We assist you to find cheap flights to Zimbabwe.
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.
If you are intending to volunteer in Zimbabwe you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Zimbabwe.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

2021 course dates:

4th April - 17th May

More courses may follow in 2021 - please enquire if you would like to join outside of the above dates. Note that the course is six weeks in length, and completion of all modules is required to receive your certificate.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
6 - 6 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
6 weeks (min. stay)
6 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$667 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Imire Rhino Conservation will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
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 (85%)
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.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Imire Rhino Conservation cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Imire Rhino Conservation.

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Nature Enthusiast Course

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


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