Volunteer in Africa and help secure the future of the black rhino and elephant. Experience daily life on a 10,000 acre private game reserve.
Our Hands-on Rhino and Elephant Conservation Programme is a unique opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at day-to-day life at Imire and be involved with the conservation of Zimbabwe’s endangered black rhino.
This programme is focused on the protection and care of our five black and two white rhino and our four elephants. Contribute to a long term conservation programme focusing on the ongoing protection of Zimbabwe’s wildlife, especially the black rhino. Get involved with a variety of conservation projects:
The aim of this programme is to help with Imire’s established black rhino breeding and release programme, to collect meaningful data and information relating to rhino and wildlife conservation and behaviour and to educate the local community about wildlife conservation.
There is no such thing as a typical day at Imire, but these are activities which you will almost certainly be involved with during your stay
- Learn all about these amazing animals from experienced guides and handlers
- Observe and record rhino behaviour to identify patterns and understand relationships
- Feed and walk with the rhino; help handers to ensure the animals are secure at night
- Clean out rhino beds and repair enclosures
- White rhino tracking: join the white rhino scouts on morning patrol; learn how to use the telemetry set, look for the tracks and signs of rhino movement and identify spoor. Upon locating the rhino, volunteers monitor and observe their behaviour and feeding patterns with the scouts.
WORK WITH ELEPHANTS
- Monitor elephant movements, behaviour and feeding patterns
- Feed, walk with and swim with the elephants and their handlers
- Clean out the elephant beds and put in fresh hay
- Maintain and repair enclosures
ANTI-POACHING AND SECURITY
- Undertake snare patrols and anti-poaching monitoring - check for evidence of poaching and collect snares and traps. This minimises the poaching of small and large animals on the reserve and provides support to the dedicated anti-poaching team.
- Fence and boundary monitoring on horseback and on foot
- Horseback riding patrols: carry out herd monitoring and anti-poaching off the beaten track
GAME PARK MANAGEMENT
- Undertake deliveries of hay bales and game cubes around the game park to supplement the natural browse and grazing for all animals
- Help maintain fences, roads, fireguards and park equipment
- Indigenous tree planting and removal of alien species
- Litter sweeps within the game park and surrounding areas
- Cattle dipping: help the cattle section on dip days to control the population of parasites and other diseases which can affect the wildlife
- Monitor the condition and health of herd animals
- Game counts by foot, vehicle and on horseback
- Carnivore feeding: volunteers are responsible for feeding the lion, hyenas, crocodile and the periodic dosing of the lion to prevent ticks
COMMUNITY, TEACHING AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
We believe that wildlife conservation goes hand in hand with community education and that this sharing of knowledge is the key to the future of Africa’s wildlife heritage. Volunteers work with community leaders and schools to share their passion for conservation and the environment.
- Assist with English lessons to improve grade school English
- Help in the vegetable gardens and work with the Conservation Club
- Take conservation lessons and school trips into the game park
- Home visits: you may be invited into the home of a local community member to experience rural Zimbabwean life
- Play sports and games with the younger children
WEEKEND ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS
During your leisure time you may go on walks and hikes around the reserve or to local places of interest; go into Harare to experience the flea markets and shops or go fishing or canoeing on one of the many dams. Weekend excursions to Victoria Falls can be arranged.
We will collect you either from Harare International Airport or your pre-programme accommodation in Harare.
Your home will be a two storey thatched farmhouse which has two dormitories and two twin / double rooms. There are two bathrooms with shower, bath and toilet plus three outside solar showers. The house is fully equipped with a kitchen, laundry, small generator for power outages, bar and verandah. There is a large garden with outside pool.
You will have three meals per day prepared by the staff and served buffet-style. Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements can be accommodated.