Volunteering in Zimbabwe

Making a difference to the communities & wildlife of Zimbabwe

Why Volunteer In Zimbabwe?

Volunteering in Zimbabwe is filled with opportunities to make a difference while having a lot of fun! With Community, Wildlife, Photography and Horse Projects across our two Zimbabwe locations we truly have something for everyone.

Not much can beat the roar of Africa, but even less can beat the flavours of Zimbabwe. Volunteer Encounter was born in Zimbabwe so this beautiful country holds a very special place in our hearts. A journey through Zimbabwe offers more than you could ever begin to imagine. Where spotting big 5 game, whilst standing in amazement of one of the seven natural wonders of the world is right at your fingertips.

Rich with history and world heritage sites, Zimbabwe will exceed all expectations.

Zimbabwe Volunteer Destinations

With an abundance of wildlife and Zimbabwe’s commitment to conservation, there is no better place to make a difference, not only to wildlife but also the surrounding communities.

Antelope Park

Victoria Falls

Daria Klenovaya

Travelling solo for the first time and choosing Africa as my destination put my friends and family in shock, but it was the best decision of my life!

In fact, I spent maybe a few hours within those 2 weeks on my own, the rest of the time was spent in a company of the most wonderful and special people I met there! Going solo and meeting friends for life there was one of the highlights of my trip! I didn’t expect to meet so many likeminded people, and that I would be able to call some of them my soulmates!

It is really hard to put in words everything we got to experience, see and do within 2 weeks of volunteering. I was on a combo of Community Teaching and Wildlife and I couldn’t have chosen a better option. The days were eye-opening with quite emotional experiences in community as well as days filled with positivity working and spending time with animals! It was a perfect balance to get to experience all aspects of volunteering.

As a volunteer you are coming with a hope to change someone else’s lives but I must say that the kids, we were fortunate to work with, changed ours.

They shine brighter than African sun no matter what and there is so much we can and should learn from them. They were the main inspiration for me!
I am so proud of myself that I took the risk of going to Africa on my own, despite of all the stereotypes and some horror stories people were telling me about it and got to see everything for myself and make my own mind about it. I was told that I was going to be killed etc but I actually got nothing but the smiles from the amazing local people who were so welcoming and kind to us.

I can’t wait to come back for a longer period of time as 2 weeks flew like one day!
For all future volunteers who are in doubt – don’t be! 🙂

Don’t wait for the perfect month, weather or right company to follow you. Just go and you will have the time of your life! It is a great self-discovery and believe me, your life will never be the same again!

Community & Teaching Project

Abi Scott

THE BEST 6 WEEKS OF MY LIFE

Volunteering at Antelope Park was the most unbelievable 6 weeks of my life, making endless memories and friends of a lifetime. My expectations were massively exceeded within even just the first week of being on project; swimming with the horses in the dam, learning the ropes of polocrosse and many more!

What surprised me about Antelope Park was the flexibility of the project. Even if you had just signed up for the Safari Stables project, you were able to partake in Wildlife projects, including Lion enrichment and Elephant interactions as well as Community interaction within the local primary schools. The time I spent in the two primary schools was an experience of a lifetime, getting to know the children and seeing the impact you could have in such a short space of time.

The excursions organised by Antelope Park were second to none, from the magical overnight safari sleeping out under the stars, to Victoria Falls and Matopos. Victoria Falls was a trip of a lifetime, with the most breath-taking scenery, unbelievable food (including crocodile and warthog!) as well as indescribable experiences including the infamous gorge swing! Matopos, was equally a very special day, with the rhino tracking being particularly fascinating and sitting 10m away from wild rhinos being the cherry on top!

Overall, I will never forget my time at Antelope Park. I think I lost count of the amount of times I said “this is the best day of my life” and referred to Antelope Park as “home”, it truly was the most incredible place. I’m so grateful for everyone who made my trip so special and I’m certain I’ll be back to Antelope Park very soon! Tatenda Zimbabwe, toonana!

December 2022 – Safari Stables Working Holiday

Avalon

Volunteering in Vic Falls was one of the was incredible experiences ever!!

– United States

Africa has held a place in my heart since before I could remember,I got the chance to join volunteer encounter In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

It was truly the most amazing volunteer group. I’ve met the most amazing people and made lifelong friends.

I’ve gotten to see so many wild animals that I love, I’ve gotten to see happiness from different ways of life and living and I’ve learned so much in just such a short time. so many memories I will remember for the rest of my life.

There will never be enough words to describe how amazing this experience was ,so many dreams came true, if you ever get the chance in this life time I think everyone should go! <3

October 2023 – Victoria Falls Photography

Highlights & Excursions

The opportunities Zimbabwe present are staggering and promise to provide an experience of a lifetime. From unique wildlife encounters & historic sites to one of the seven natural wonders of the world; isn’t it time you experienced the hype for yourself?

Matopos

From tracking white rhino on foot and game drives, to cave paintings, hikes and the historic grave of Cecil Rhodes; Matopos offer a whole array of activity, with one of Zimbabwe’s most stunning national parks as your backdrops.

Victoria Falls

Whether you are cruising along the Zambezi river or bungee jumping into the mist itself; a visit to one of the seven natural wonders of the world is one for the bucket list. From exhilarating adrenaline packed activities to game viewing in beautiful Botswana, there is something for everyone on the doorstep of the magnificent falls.

Great Zimbabwe Ruins

These are Africa’s 2nd oldest ruins behind the pyramids and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the day trekking around these ancient ruins and learn about ancient kings of the past and ancient Zimbabwean culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Zimbabwe safe?

Despite negative portrayal within the Western media, Zimbabwe remains a very safe country to visit and considerably safer than neighbouring South Africa, like anywhere in the world the usual theft and crimes occur.

\We encourage you not to walk around at night or alone. Check out our safety tips for more information about keeping safe, as you explore all the incredible opportunities Zimbabwe has to offer.

What is the weather/climate in Zimbabwe?

The weather and climate in Southern Africa are reversed to the Northern Hemisphere. The weather is generally warm reaching hot most days, with evening cool to warm evenings.

However, during the winter months, May-September the climate dropped significantly, with the evening dropping to very low temperatures, although will remain warm during the days. The summer months, October- April can get very hot; with October reaching peak temperatures. Between the raining season December-February, you can expect some cloud coverage and rain to cool things down, however these are usually short and sharp. It is worthy to note that the climate in different areas of Zimbabwe can differ hugely.

The climate in Gweru (where Antelope Park is situated) is much cooler than Victoria Falls, where temperatures remain high for the majority of the year.

What is the currency in Zimbabwe?

The official currency for international tourists in Zimbabwe is the US dollar ($). We ask you to 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.

Most large retailers, restaurants and hotels accept major credit cards, such as MasterCard and Visa.

Which Electrical Plugs are used in Zimbabwe?

Generally, power sockets in Zimbabwe are ‘Type G’ the square three pin style, found in the UK.

What is the language in Zimbabwe?

The official language is English, alongside the two main local languages Shona and Ndebele.

Is there malaria in Zimbabwe?

Malaria is present in Zimbabwe, however the risk is low.

Is there ‘Big 5’ game in Zimbabwe?

There is plenty of ‘Big 5’ game roaming national parks in Zimbabwe.  The ‘Big 5’ include the elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo.

Hot spots for wildlife viewing include Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest National Park and the renowned Mana Pools National Park, the hub of some of Zimbabwe’s most incredible and wild animals.

How to get to Zimbabwe?

There are three international airports in Zimbabwe: Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.

There are daily flights to each of these locations from Johannesburg (O.R Tambo Intl.)

Some international airlines offer flights into Harare including:

  • Emirates
  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airways
  • South African Airways

Know Before You Go

Visa Requirements

Packing List

Code of Conduct

Volunteering Safety Tips

  • Avoid traveling 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 you 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.

Zimbabwe Vaccinations

Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed.  

Our recommendations:

  • Tetanus: Recommended
  • Hepatitis A&B: Recommended
  • Typhoid: Recommended
  • Malaria:  There is very low-risk malaria at Antelope Park, Bulawayo and the immediate surrounding areas. We do not advise that you need malaria medication while at Antelope Park or Bulawayo. However, there is a high risk of malaria in Victoria Falls, so we recommend you bring the correct malaria medication if you are volunteering or visiting on an amazing excursion.
  • Yellow Fever: Zimbabwe is NOT at risk to yellow fever.

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