Community Teaching & Lion Conservation
Antelope Park, Zimbabwe
Make a Difference through Community Teaching & Lion Conservation
Wildlife conservation and community development go hand in hand. There’s no way of saving African wildlife, without getting the local communities involved.
With this project, not only will you be playing a vital part in the lion conservation efforts, but you will also be working in schools, teaching kids the importance of the magnificent wildlife they live alongside.
The key for conservation is education.
I was on Community Teaching and Lion Conservation Project and I couldn’t have chosen a better option. The days were full of contracts with eye-opening and quite emotional experiences in community and 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!”
I spent 6 weeks on the Community Teaching and Lion Conservation Program. Whether it was teaching wildlife conservation at the AEC School, helping teach math/English in a special needs classroom, or helping construction in a rural primary school, I had an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am thankful for having the opportunity to learn from the local community and get a new perspective on life. The local staff at Antelope Park was wonderful and I got to meet so many volunteers from around the world. This is a once in a life experience that I would recommend to anyone who wants to get involved and give back. I truly felt like I was making a real impact in the schools.
Your Project, Your Purpose
You will alternate your days between community work and lion conservation work. Both are very rewarding, unforgettable and satisfying experiences.
Increasing human populations put wildlife at risk on every level. Competition for resources and especially for space in the African savannah creates a human-wildlife conflict that can only be resolved through education.
Here, your role is to bring awareness to the importance of wildlife and work with communities to educate them on meeting the challenges of living in close proximity with dangerous predators. You will also help overwhelmed teachers in class rooms, offering one-on-one attention to the children that need it the most. This dedicated support system is fundamental for these children to complete their school’s requirements.
But when the class is over, the fun begins! Because extra-curricular activities, like sports, book clubs and after school programs encourages a child’s creativity and development. It is this way that children with positive role models learn to eventually make a difference in the world they live in.
Besides striving to make a lasting impact in the lives of local communities with educational support, it is essential to understand the connection between that and the significance of living near dangerous wildlife. Now, it’s where the big cats make their entrance.
Big Cat Entrance
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.
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. Here’s where you help us clean enclosures, prepare meals and create exciting enrichment activities for the lions. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet these majestic creatures face and face and learn a lot about their personalities.
You will also 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. We truly believe that it’s possible.
Helping people and helping lions, all at once.
A Day In Your Life
- Become much more than a teacher and more of a role model, when you help kids that are falling behind in their education, by providing one-on-one support that otherwise without your help, they would not get.
- Play an important role in giving conservation education classes in the first education facility of its kind in Zimbabwe – our own Conservation Education Centre. Encourage children to grow up as conservationists.
- How awesome would be to know that you were part of a school’s construction? Join us for one of the most rewarding projects as you create the foundation for Julena School. Easy, it is not but we are not here because it’s easy. We are here because it’s important.
- Be part of the feeding program at Gweru Baptist Church, where you will be assisting in their Compassionate Ministry for people living and working on the street.
- Enjoy unique and unforgettable close encounters with magnificent African lions while providing our resident lions with the highest possible care and welfare. Make sure they are delivered the most suitable nutritional diet and hydration and live in a clean and healthy environment.
- Come before May 2019 and be one the last volunteers to take our lions cubs for walks! Don’t miss this amazing and unique opportunity!
- Be part of the research team that study minute by minute the different behaviors of the Ngamo pride to assess their self-sustainability (successful hunting) and sociability (functioning as a pride)
- This is your opportunity to expand your knowledge on African elephant. Interact with and care for our 4 rescued elephants, the biggest stars of Antelope Park. When we say the biggest, we mean it.
→ Prices start from $2077 or £1134 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)
During the school holidays, community activities may differ from the usual schedule. However, your work will be equally engaging and rewarding during this time. The school terms for 2019 are as follows:
- Term 1: 8th January – 11th April
- Term 2: 7th May – 8th August
- Term 3: 10th September – 6th December