Volunteering in Victoria Falls
Making a difference to Victoria Falls’s communities and wildlife
Why Volunteer in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
There’s no other place on Earth like Victoria Falls. Known as the Adventure Capital of Africa and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the variety of activities to enjoy in this area is truly unlimited. Make yourself at home at the world’s largest waterfall system.
This is a dream location for any traveller looking to connect with nature in the most unforgettable way. For the adrenaline junkies, you are in the right place. Take a leap of faith as you bungee jump into the gorge of the falls, or take to the water, as you white water raft down the Zambezi River.
For those looking for a more relaxing experience, there are river cruises, hikes and the most incredible sunsets. Now, those looking to experience the falls from a completely different perspective, take a stroll through the rainforest along the edge of the gorge and experience the Falls in all its thunderous glory. Or take the “flight of angels” and view it from above.
For those wildlife enthusiasts; you are in the prime spot. With the town bordering the un-fenced world-renowned Zambezi national park, wildlife spotting opportunities come thick and fast; whether you are on a world-class safari drive, or simply watching an elephant wondering the streets. Simply Incredible.
By volunteering with Volunteer Encounter I have learned so much, I have got experience of wildlife and conservation of nature that I could only dream of just by going here for a month. I have grown so much as a person, especially by going here by myself. I have met so many wonderful people, met friends for life. Besides the volunteer work, the weekends have been filled with a lot of amazing activities that you can find here in Victoria Falls. These four weeks will be with me for life.
Victoria Falls Volunteer Projects
Work alongside our team of professional researchers, tracking, monitoring and collecting vital details on large predators and wildlife.
Location: Victoria Falls
Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks
Play a vital role in conservation, with close encounters with our resident lions, right on the doorstep of the mighty Victoria Falls.
Location: Victoria Falls
Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks
Make a difference to the lives of rural communities through education, youth empowerment and caring for vulnerable elders in Victoria Falls.
Location: Victoria Falls
Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks
Embark on the world’s first FGASA endorsed mobile field guide training program whilst discovering four spectacular locations within Zimbabwe.
Duration: 60 days
Join the adventure of a lifetime whilst based in a private safari park in Victoria Falls, where you will be introduced to all aspects of the African bush.
Location: Victoria Falls
Duration: 14 days
Victoria Falls Fun Facts
- Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World- and rightly soon, alongside some of the world’s most spectacular sights, including the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest and the Grand Canyon.
- Victoria Falls is around 1700m wide, with a varying height from 80-108 metres. This is one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls AND twice its height! Making Victoria Falls not only the largest curtain of water in the world; but also, a magnificent and breath-taking sight.
- Victoria Falls was discovered by the legendary explorer David Livingstone. In 1855, he set sail down the Zambezi to find the “Smoke That Thunders,” which to local tribesman is called Mosi-oa-tunya. Livingstone named the falls in honour of the British monarch, Queen Victoria.
- The Mighty Zambezi River flows over the falls. With this river, the falls would not exist. This river is over 1650 miles long and is the 4th largest river in Africa (after the Nile, Zaire & Niger,) but the longest east flowing river in Africa. The Zambezi flows through 6 countries, before meeting the Indian Ocean; Zambia, Angola, Namibia & Botswana.
- Victoria Falls acts as the border between Zimbabwe & Zambia.
- The Victoria Falls Bridge was built under the vision of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of British Colony, Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe.) He envisioned a railway line from Cape Town to Cairo, which required a bridge to be built over the Zambezi gorge. Today, you can bungee jump off this bridge, right into this gorge!
- During the rainy season, an estimated 5,000,000m3 of water pours every minute!
Volunteer in Victoria Falls
Wildlife is held in the highest regard in Victoria Falls. With the town bordering an unfenced National Park, it is not uncommon to have wildlife in the streets. Elephants, lions and buffalo are all known to move through the town whilst warthogs and baboons are a daily occurrence.
Surrounded by incredible wildlife, spectacular birds and awesome reptiles, the safari never stops. Your next wildlife encounter can happen at any given moment. But that is only part of the story!
You will be immersed with wildlife, based at our private safari park. There is no shortage of incredible sights & experience you may encounter. Whether you are part of our conservation project, community, photography, or research; your wildlife opportunities are endless.
Victoria Falls Highlights & Excursions
Not much can beat the roar of Africa, but even less can beat the flavours of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe holds a very special place in our hearts. As our home, we are very proud to represent Zimbabwe and all its glory
The most popular activity is also one filled with adrenaline and emotion! Let the Zambezi river take you on the most thrilling ride of your life and connect with nature in ways you never thought possible. Are you ready?
Terrifying. Breathtaking. Absolutely crazy. The best thing in life! There are so many ways to describe this. For some people, it’s the best bungee in the world.
For some, it’s a must do! For the rest of the world, this is just crazy! Jump off and free fall for about 70m towards the rocks and river below. Hopefully, you’ll survive to tell the story! Just kidding!
This zip line is not like all others. Here, the zip line is not horizontal; it is at an extreme angle so once you let go you will be accelerating downhill at speeds of over 100km/h. Who’s ready?
FLIGHT OF ANGELS
Take advantage of this huge opportunity to see the mighty Victoria Falls from the best angle there is, above and beyond!
This is the ultimate infinity pool and one of the most exciting experiences you can embark on. Swim and lean over on the edge to see the 100-meter waterfall drop. Put that swimwear on and do it!
If you are looking for a peaceful experience, an abundance of wildlife and the most magnificent sunset from a luxury cruise boat, then this activity is right for you!
Enjoy more than just a fabulous dinner in the most popular restaurant in Victoria Falls. Specializing in a superb selection of traditional Zimbabwean dishes, The Boma also incorporates traditional dancers and singers and even an extravagant drum show.
Our volunteer village is nestled in Fuller Forest – 4000 acres of prime forest estate, surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna. Staying in our spacious safari tents of 4-6 people with a large ablution block just a few steps away. Downtime is spent in the volunteer lounge overlooking a watering hole. Share meals and build friendships with fellow volunteers.
It’s only a 10-minute drive from the Victoria Falls village and a 10-minute drive from the VF international airport.
So, you have the best of both – immersed into the African bush, surrounded by wildlife, our resident lions & nature; whilst moments away from the hustle and bustle of Victoria Falls, a tourist hotspot with a vibrant atmosphere and unique opportunities.
You will be waking up to the sounds of crickets and birds every day and on some occasions, maybe lions roaring or elephants trumpeting. How exciting is that? Say goodbye to monotony! Here, each day will offer exciting new experiences and surprises.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit?
Let’s get one thing clear, Victoria Falls is HOT! If you are looking for an escape from the Northern Hemisphere winter, you are coming to the right place. There is no best time to visit because each season offers something spectacular & unique to that particular season.
The high-water season is between March-May, comes just after the rainy season; between November- February, when the falls are at their fullest and the volume of flowing water is outstanding. The days are hot and evening warms. The sprays from the Falls are heavier than you could ever imagine. During your rainforest walk, you will get totally soaked; the sprays are stronger than a high-pressure shower! There is no escaping these sprays, but it makes your rainforest experience totally unforgettable. It is no uncommon for a short sharp thunderstorm to clear the heat momentarily, which creates a stunning sky!
Prime Time for:
- Rainforest Walk
The low-season falls between September to December. Rainy season is a memory of the past and water levels are at their lowest, right before the rainy season is due to commence. It is the perfect opportunity to view the falls, with less of a heavy downfall of water. The rainforest walk is not so rainy, and the site is much less crowded. But this is the HOTTEST time of the year and trust us- it’s HOT! The lower water levels allow for certain water-based activities to happen. This is your perfect opportunity to take a dip on top of the Falls, in the appropriately named Devil’s Pool, which is only open during the low season. This is also the time of year to take to the Zambezi river for white water rafting. For all, you dare devils…this is the season for you.
Although this is a very hot season, it is the best time for wildlife enthusiasts; with game viewing sights coming thick and fast. Wildlife come in their vase numbers to watering holes, due to the low levels of water in other areas. Vegetation is much thinner, making it easier to spot more game on an incredible game drive.
Prime Time for:
- Water-Based activities: Devils Pool, White water rafting,
- Game viewing and Safaris.
January/February to June/August is where you can expect medium to high waters; a good balance between the two seasons. The water levels sit comfortable between high and low, allowing for most water activities to be available, while the Falls themselves are topped up, but the bottom of the falls is also visible. This is considered one of the best times of the year to visit the Falls.
June- August are the winter months in Zimbabwe. So, temperatures are not as scorching as during the summer months. Victoria Falls remains warm all year around. When we say winter, we are not talking snow boats and big thick jackets during the day; however, we would recommend you bring some warmer clothes for the evenings, as temperatures can drop significantly, compared to the day. It is worthy of note that the Zambezi National Park could be closed between mid-November- December, due to heavy rains.
Prime Time for:
- Viewing the Falls
- Water Based Activities are mostly available
For more information on the best times to visit Victoria Falls.
How do I get to Victoria Falls?
Victoria Falls has its own international airport, so getting to the Falls could not be easier. Located just 10 minutes outside of the town, there are plenty of daily international flights to get you here!
Airlines which fly: O.R Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg to Victoria Falls
- British Airways (Direct)
- South African Airlink (Direct)
- Fastjet (via Harare)
Other optional routes:
- Nairobi- Victoria Falls – Cape Town
- Cape Town- Victoria Falls – Nairobi
- Addis Ababa – Victoria Falls (Direct)
Is there malaria in Victoria Falls?
Yes, there is malaria in Victoria Falls. But, don’t let this stop you from visiting! Malaria is very preventable and not all mosquitos carry the illness.
If you take the medication and follow some suggestions on how to avoid being bitten whilst in Victoria Falls; you will be able to enjoy your trip without the worry of malaria. We suggest wearing long sleeves and trousers during the evenings and to apply plenty of repellents.
We advise you to ask your doctor for advice on malaria medication.
Is Victoria Falls Safe?
Victoria Falls is considered very safe. Despite negative portrayal within the Western media, Zimbabwe remains a very safe country to visit and considerably safer than neighbouring South Africa.
As a tourist town, Victoria Falls is a very safe place, especially as a visitor. The is the presence of tourist police to make visitors feel an extra level of safety. As with any destination, the usual petty thief does occur but at a very low level.
However, we ask you to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions. Check out our safety tips for more information about keeping safe, as you explore all the incredible opportunities Victoria Falls has to offer.
What is there to do in Victoria Falls?
Alongside the incredible falls themselves, there is an array of different activities on offer. From adrenaline filled, to relaxing experiences; here as just a few you can get involved with:
White water rafting, bungee jumping, gorge swing, zip wire, flying fox, sunset and dinner cruises on the Zambezi, game viewing safaris, walking safaris, horseback safaris, fishing, golf, helicopter and microlight flights, elephant back safaris, walking with lions (right at your volunteer base) boma dinner, devils & angels pool (Zambia side.)
What is the currency in Victoria Falls?
The official currency for international tourists in Zimbabwe is the US dollar ($). We recommend you bring plenty of USD cash with you, as you will not be able to withdraw cash in Zimbabwe, due to the national shortage of currency.
The majority of large retailers, restaurants and hotels accept major credit cards, such as MasterCard and Visa.
What Electric Plugs are used in Victoria Falls?
Generally, power sockets in Victoria Falls are ‘Type G’ the square three-pin style, used in the UK & Ireland.
Is there Big 5 game in Victoria Falls?
Between the Zambezi National Park, Hwange National Park & Chobe National Park in Botswana; there is an abundance of Big 5 game, all situated close to Victoria Falls.
Know Before You Go
Code of Conduct
Volunteering Safety Tips
- Do not enter any enclosure or fenced off areas without the supervision of animal handlers or managers on the ground.
- Do not wander outside of campgrounds on your own or without informing a member of staff.
- Follow all instructions given to you by your project manager, in particular when you are around our resident lions and walking cubs.
- Avoid travelling alone, especially at night.
- Ensure that excessive amounts of cash are left in safe boxes, not lying around in plain sight.
- Do not carry excessive amounts of cash on you
- If you are taking a taxi anywhere, make sure you book it in advance through a trusted and reliable driver.
- Avoid wandering down dark streets, even in large groups.
- Be aware and alert at bars. Do not leave your drink unattended at any time. If you drink has been left out of your sight, discard it.
- Do not enter township areas without being accompanied by one of our local staff members.
- Be wary of people who seem too friendly too fast.
- Avoid leaving your personal items like bags or mobile phones unattended.
- Do not share personal information with anyone under any circumstances.
- Save your project manager’s number on your phone and make sure to provide us with a copy of your emergency contact person at home.
Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed.
- Tetanus: Recommended.
- Hepatitis A&B: Recommended.
- Typhoid: Recommended.
- Polio: Recommended.
- Cholera: Given the history of the country, we recommend being immunized against cholera if coming to Zimbabwe.
- Malaria: We advise you to bring an ample supply of anti-malaria tablets to last the duration of your stay in Victoria Falls. Ask your doctor to prescribe the best ones available. We do NOT recommend Larium (sometimes can cause hallucinations) nor Doxycycline (man people have bad reactions to the sun using it)
- Yellow Fever: Zimbabwe and Zambia are not at risk to yellow fever. You only require a yellow fever certificate if you are arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area.