The Great Projects

Rhino and Elephant Conservation

Mangwendi, Zimbabwe show on map

Aid rhino and elephant conservation in beautiful Zimbabwe and protect these awe-inspiring species from poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.

Home to dramatic and stunning landscapes, the wildest of species and the friendliest of cultures, Zimbabwe is nothing short of what you’d expect from iconic Africa. Found just 90 minutes from the Zimbabwean capital of Harare and situated in the most picturesque of settings, The Rhino and Elephant Project offers you a safari experience like no other, with some once-in-a-lifetime extras!

Founded back in the 1950's by Norman Travers as a cattle farm, the Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project soon evolved into 10,000-acre conservancy it is today. With the project site area once devoid of certain animal life, the team are extremely proud of their efforts to support both elephant and rhino conservation in the area as well as creating a wildlife haven for a whole host of other wildlife too.

The volunteer project is particularly proud of its rhino breeding and release programme, and volunteers have become a crucial part of this process over recent years! As a volunteer on this project, you’ll embark on a conservation journey and take part in activities such as feeding and walking with the reserve's elephants and rhinos, partaking in anti-poaching patrols, carnivore feeding and volunteering at a local school, all of which will contribute to elephant and rhino, and will work towards ensuring their future existence for years to come.

The work that takes place on this project will allow you to leave your mark on Zimbabwean animal conservation efforts, and helping to protect endangered and vulnerable species is something you can always be proud of!

Typical day

First Day

Upon arrival into Harare Airport, you will be met at arrivals by a member of the in-country team. You will then be transferred to the project site, which is approximately a 90-minute drive. Once you have arrived at the project site you will be given the chance to settle in and meet your fellow volunteers.

Project Days

No two days are really the same on this project, so be prepared to jump into action during your time here. A weekly schedule is posted on the wall inside the house so you’ll be able to see what exciting activity you’ll be taking part in each day.

Some of the activities you could take part in include:

Feeding and Walking the Elephants and Rhino
Volunteers have the incredible opportunity to join the elephant and rhino handlers as they walk these awe-inspiring animals back to their night-time bomas. You will help to ensure the rhinos and elephants are secure and safe for the night, with plenty of food and water. This is a wonderful opportunity to witness their individual characters and learn more about how they ended up at the project. 

Undertake Snare Patrols and Anti-Poaching Monitoring 
As poaching is rife through Africa, volunteers take part in bi-monthly sweeps around the game park looking for any evidence of poaching and collecting snares and traps. This is an important activity keeping all of the reserve’s animals safe.  

Carnivore Feeding
The Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project is home to a number of carnivores including; lions, hyenas and crocodiles. As a volunteer, you’ll have the incredibly unique opportunity to feed some of Africa’s most revered and ferocious predators! 

Breakfast with the Elephants
A truly unforgettable experience, provided by this project, is enjoying breakfast alongside your new-found elephant friends. You’ll be able to sit in the African bush, enjoying your breakfast while the elephants' strip leaves from their favourite tree to enjoy theirs! 

White Rhino Tracking
Unlike the Black Rhinos, the White Rhinos are nocturnal feeders and don’t return to the safety bomas at night, they are guarded while they graze instead. This means you will join the scouts in the morning to track down the ‘crash’ using telemetry before making observational notes on their feeding habits and general behaviour. 

Other activities that volunteers could take part in include:

Observing and Recording Elephant and Rhino Behaviour 
Game Drives
Enclosure Cleaning
Weapons Training Against Poachers (with a paintball gun) 
Maintaining and Repairing Enclosures
Herd Monitoring on Horseback
Camp Outs
General Conservation Activities
Volunteering at a Local School

Details on Arrival

The easiest way to arrive at the project is to fly into Harare International Airport via a connecting flight at Johannesburg Airport. The project is approximately a 90-minute drive from Harare. The project will provide a transfer for you from the airport to the project site so look out for the driver in the arrivals section of the airport.

The project begins on a Monday so you will need to book flights to arrive on the day. Your flight will need to arrive into Harare International Airport before 3pm to ensure you are able to get the transfer. If your flight arrives after this time please ensure you arrive the day before and we will help you arrange accommodation for the night in Harare at an additional cost. 

Free-time activities

There are a whole host of additional activities you can take part in during your free time on this project. Some include:

  • Swimming in the onsite dam at the volunteer house 
  • Team building activities such as raft building
  • Horseback riding
  • Trips into the local town
  • A trip to see the world-famous Victoria Falls
Upon arrival please discuss any additional activities you wish to partake in with your volunteer coordinator and they will be able to help you out.  

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Riding

Program Requirements

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 (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
We recommend that you come with a moderate level of fitness, as the days are busy, and you will be involved in many activities. In terms of skills, all we ask is that you arrive with a willingness to get involved with tasks, and with a dedication to the ethos of the project, as well as a respect for the amazing wildlife and the committed project staff with whom you will be working.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 06:00 - 17:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if The Great Projects cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Great Projects.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
The Great Projects (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by The Great Projects
 Donation to the project
• Accommodation
Three meals per day (including weekends)
Airport transfers to and from the project
Laundry 

Airport Pickup at Harare International Airport
The easiest way to arrive at the project is to fly into Harare International Airport via a connecting flight at Johannesburg Airport. The project is approximately a 90-minute drive from Harare. The project will provide a transfer for you from the airport to the project site so look out for the driver in the arrivals section of the airport. 

Accommodation

During your stay on this project, you will be living in a beautiful thatched farmhouse set in the heart of the conservancy. This house can host up to 12 volunteers in five large and very welcoming bedrooms, and these are a mixture of twin share rooms and one dormitory style bedroom. There are two main bathrooms in the house, but you also have the option to enjoy an outside shower in the solar-powered shower block which is located adjacent to the stunningly beautiful dam! Outside there is a swimming pool and a large grass area which is perfect for relaxing after a hard days volunteering. You can also take the opportunity to sit outside and take in the view with a drink from the houses bar if you wish! 

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
Three meals a day will be provided on this project. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in a buffet style and you are free to pick and choose what you want. The kitchen is always available should you wish to prepare any extra food for yourself, or store any snacks you have brought. Water, juice, tea and coffee are available throughout the day. On Sundays the chefs have a day off so it is up to volunteers to cook for themselves, but you are free to use the food provided in the project kitchen. 

If you have a gluten/dairy/ other specialist diets then you may need to bring the appropriate foods with you. There is a small on-site bar at the volunteer house which offers a variety of snacks, and alcoholic and fizzy drinks. This bill will need to be paid in US Dollars at the end of your stay, so please make sure you have cash with you!

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.
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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$900.00
2 weeks
$1,804.00
3 weeks
$2,706.00
4 weeks
$3,609.00
5 weeks
$4,511.00
6 weeks
$5,415.00
7 weeks
$6,316.00
8 weeks (max. stay)
$7,219.00
Average fees
$901.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Mangwendi/Zimbabwe between 1 week and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Zimbabwe.
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 {project.name} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Eastern Africa Zimbabwe  Mangwendi, Imire Volunteer Accommodation

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