Antelope Park, Zimbabwe
Volunteering with Lions
Imagine Africa without the mighty lion. It’s a kingdom without a king. Nothing would be more devastating to this continent and its economy than losing this iconic majestic animal.
With this project, not only will you be playing a vital part in the conservation efforts, but you will also learn about lion’s behaviour, carry out scientific research and get closer to this animal than you’ve ever imagined.
Saving the lion is possible, with your help.
I stayed at Antelope Park (AP) for a month and it was amazing! I had the best time there meeting new people from all over the world and of course, meeting the beautiful animals. The activities, like walking the lions and elephants every day, cleaning enclosures, feeding the big lions and many more, were a lot of fun and it’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget. Also thanks to the amazing staff who made the activities and my stay a lot of fun
Not only do you get to spend time with the lions and elephants here at AP, they also have quite a few snakes. A lovely surprise for a snake nerd like me.
Being able to touch two of the most majestic animals on earth is an experience that leaves you speechless and causes one of the best feelings in the world.
It’s such an amazing experience to walk next to lions and elephants every day!
Your Project, Your Purpose
African lion populations have been declining by an astonishing 43% from 1993 to 2018, according to IUCN research. That means that from 300,000 lions 25 years ago, only slightly over 22,000 remain in the wild across Africa today. The decrease in population is higher than any other species, including the rhino.
That’s why the groundbreaking Lion Release Program was launched at Antelope Park in 2004. Not only it is the only one like it anywhere in the world, but also, it has proved to be successful. Recently, one our cubs, Lalamika made her first kill at only 14 months of age. Without her mother’s teachings and only with the skills that she learnt through our walks with volunteers, she was able to succeed in doing what nature programmed her to do.
The staged lion release program aims to release the wild offspring of captive bred lions into appropriate national parks, and reserves across Africa. But in order to accomplish all goals, we need you.
You will play a vital role in collecting data on a pride of lions that are proving that the offspring born within the managed reserve are suitable candidates for release into the wild. Lalamika, is a perfect example on that.
Because wildlife conservation and community development go hand in hand, you will also work with communities to educate them on meeting the challenges of living alongside dangerous predators.
Conducting research to improve our understanding of the lion’s behavior in Africa’s ecosystems helps to minimize human-lion conflict within the surrounding communities.
Africa’s food chain, depend on its apex predator. Losing it, would affect every single creature including us, humans.
Saving the lion is saving Africa and its communities from having an empty throne.
A Day In Your Life
- Enjoy unique and unforgettable close encounters with magnificent African lions by caring for them, feeding them and cleaning their enclosures while getting to know their personalities.
- Be part of the research team that study minute by minute the different behaviors of the Ngamo pride and see how they really function in the wild.
- Take part in behavioral enrichment activities by making toys from natural materials to stimulate the lions’ predatory and sensory behaviors.
- Have you ever fed an African elephant? This is your opportunity. Interact with and care for our 4 rescued elephants, the biggest stars of Antelope Park. When we say the biggest, we mean it.
- At an extra cost, take advantage of the wide variety of activities that Antelope Park offers, such as Sunset Carriage Rides, Polocrosse, Overnight Horse Safaris or the popular Night Encounter, among so many other unforgettable experiences.
- Visit our Snake House where you can meet our resident python Aphrodite and take a selfie with her, if you dare! Also see and learn more about other African snakes, from the most venomous the harmless ones.
- Help out with reserve management activities including snare sweeps, road repairs, erosion control and fire breaks.
- Come before August 2019 and be one of the last volunteers to take our lions cubs for walks at Antelope Park! Don’t miss this amazing and unique opportunity!
- Enjoy one of Africa’s most unique parks, featured in BBC’s Nature’s Miracle Orphans, ITV’s Lion Country and Animal Planet’s Roaring with Pride. What you saw on TV now you can see with your own eyes.
Caring for the African Lion
Be ready to get your hands dirty with the nitty gritty of animal maintenance, vital for the upkeep of our lions.
→ Prices start from $2597 or £1427 for 2 weeks
Our start dates for 2019 are:
We generally ask for volunteers to arrive at this project every other Sunday or Monday, and you can volunteer from 2 weeks up to 12 weeks.
- 7, 14 & 28 January
- 11 & 25 February
- 11 & 25 March
- 8 & 22 April
- 6 & 20 May
- 3 & 17 June
- 1, 15 & 29 July
- 12 & 26 August
- 9 & 23 September
- 7 & 21 October
- 4 & 18 November
- 2, 16 & 30 December
(This project remains open over the Christmas period)