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Volunteers and local kids playing tug of war Volunteers and local kids playing tug of war

Hands on lion conservation in beautiful Victoria Falls

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing volunteering experience!!

WHAT A SUPERB Programme!!! Great organization and support throughout all 2 weeks we were volunteering with African Impact. BIG THANK YOU to Alanna, Nuppy and Mel for taking care of us and organising our schedule, Guys, you are just great! Special thank you to all Lion Encounter employees, Lennard and the Team and of course Interns who helped us and been very attentive and patient - very grateful for the experience and knowledge you shared with us. Never could imagine that there will be so many interesting activities and very happy that we could help local community and Lion Conservation programme. Lions are unbelievable!!! It is just fantastic we could spent so much time looking after them, doing research and learning so many things about these gorgeous animals!!!
This programme exceeded all our expectations and we will definitely come back!
Highly recommended for everyone who loves wild life and want to contribute to Lion conservation initiative as well as meet fantastic people, contribute to supporting of local communities and learn more about
African culture!
What a cool experience full stop!!!
Love you All and hope we shall see each other very soon!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

African Impact Victoria falls lion project - IMMENSE!!!!

My girlfriend and I arrived with no expectations on 10 October for 2 weeks on the lion volunteer programme with African Impact in Victoria Falls, and the experience was nothing short of breathtaking. Non-stop programme, well organised and I would have no hesitation in taking part in another African Impact programme.

Alanna and Nuppy displayed excellent organisational and management skills during our stay. They put a lot of time and effort into arranging the weekly schedule to make sure that each participant optimised their time on the programme and they were always on hand to help out with daily queries. I was impressed with their professionalism and personability and the house and programme were both managed with aplomb.

Mel worked tirelessly as the Volunteer Coordinator and is entirely suited to the role. She looked after the group really well, making sure we all knew what has happening, what was needed, and providing excellent support throughout the project. I found Mel to be the perfect combination of professional and personable and the programme was enriched by her presence.

Nelly and Grace were unobtrusive with their cleaning duties and I would like to give a special mention to Shi and Dennis in the kitchen - I enjoyed their food and would happily eat another two weeks of it and I found them to be delightful human beings.

On the culinary side of things, Nuppy's Indian cooking was restaurant standard, hats off!

Matunda our daily driver was a happy soul to start the days off and Lenard, our link to the community and so knowledgeable on so many topics, was a gentleman and a scholar. He looked after us incredibly well and I learned a lot from him in a short space of time. He works hard for his community and has built excellent bridges to it with the programme. The lion handlers were cool people, great with the animals and I learned so much from them in such a short space of time.

The programme itself was awesome. Days were full, lion interaction was on a daily basis and I was sad to say farewell for now to Lekker, Lila, Lala, and Luwa. I look forward to returning and seeing how they are getting on in the future. To give you an insight into what activities we packed into two weeks, some of the other activities we took part in were: introduction to conservation with Bob, meat preparation and cub feeding, behaviour enrichment, hyena monitoring, litter patrol, boundary patrol, language class in N'Debele, classes on Zimbabwean history and culture, Introduction to birds and insects, snare sweeps, introduction to tracks and signs, Kids club at the local orphanage, the list is endless and the memories created, magical.

We also took advantage of the following activities at an extra cost: Devil's Pool, trip to Livingstone and one of the release sites, getting close to white rhino, training with the local football team. Still can't quite process that it all took place in two weeks!

Massive recommendation, would definitely return, and what an ace programme!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Lion Conservation Vic Falls

Overall, amazing and an unforgettable experience. I have been wanting to do this for such a long time and I am so happy I did. The only complaint I have is that I didn't stay longer! Already counting down the days until I can come back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

If you don't do this you will miss out the best experience of your life

When I came here to be honest I didn't know what to expect, but after getting here the accommodation was amazing not the Hilton but clean and tidy and being a lodge with all the other volunteers made it feel like a family home. The other volunteers where aged from 18 - me the eldest 49 but if you where 70 you still would of fitted in. Everybody mucks in with the weekly chores, laying the table, locking up at night and even feeding the household cat. Normally leave to start your first of 3 programs of the day at 6.30 am which lasts till 9 when you stop for breakfast out in the bush hut. The 2nd program starts after that till approx. 12.30 when you come back for lunch. You have couple hours rest as the sun is at its hottest till approx. 3 o clock. When you go out for your 3rd program of the day till 6pm followed by a communal dinner with the other volunteers to talk about your days experience. As you aren't all doing the same programmes together, the programmes range from lion walking, teaching in schools, bush drives, bird watching, data collection of where wild animals have been spotted, learning the basics of African language, and history and culture of Zimbabwe and so much more. It has been the most educational, humbling and eye opening experience of my life. In the most beautiful settings with Victoria falls being the cherry on a very special cake, the local people are so friendly and happy to see yo. When you walk around you don't feel threatened or intimidated at all (although you are badgered a bit in town to buy souvenirs, but no different from most places I've been ) the people who run African impact are very professional and extremely good at their job and the lion encounter guides are trained to the highest level, all speaking perfect English and have their own special personalities, trying to make this experience one you will enjoy and want to return (they are all trained by a man called Leonard (aka Lemmon ) who is the like the wise old owl who teaches them all. I've thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. In fact it's been the best time away from home I've had in my life and I am very well travelled. I'd recommend this experience to anyone, whether single, couple or as a family experience. If you are looking for a life changing experience or a holiday that's just different from the norm. You need to try this!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing experience

I had such an amazing time volunteering with African Impact! Everyone was so nice and the program was very well structured. I will definitely be returning in the future. Im so sad to be leaving. I met so many cool people and made new friends all over the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

My first volunteer experience - Vic Falls 2016

Having spent hours researching opportunities to volunteer abroad, I finally decided to go with the 'Hands-On Lion Conservation project in Victoria Falls. After spending 4 weeks volunteering with them, I do not think that I could have chosen a better project to partake in. With this being my first experience volunteering abroad, I had no idea what to expect but I honestly did not think it would be possible to feel so happy and at home for such a long period of time.
I'm sure every other volunteer who's stayed at outpost and volunteered there will agree that it is genuinely impossible to wake up in a bad mood; you just knew that every day was going to be a good day.
Whilst staying at the lodge and working alongside Lion Encounter, I felt myself become a part of a family - I went to Africa to work with Lions and give myself the experience of a lifetime, and don't get me wrong, having the opportunity to work so closely with such a beautiful species was incredible, but what really made my time in Victoria Falls special was the people. From the Lion Handlers and Guides to the Volunteers and the Coordinators; they were the ones who really made me feel like this was an experience of a lifetime - I cannot imagine working alongside a better group of people.
From day one, I felt I was making my impact; with every activity I did, I was told exactly why I was doing it and therefore knew the effect that it would have on the conservation project. I learnt more than I ever imagined I would; as well as working on the conservation project, I also had the opportunity to learn for myself - I was taught about the History and culture of Zimbabwe; about the trees and their uses; how to walk in the bush safely; and how to read the tracks and signs within the bush. We also had the whole conservation project explained to us in depth so that we were able to understand the importance of what we were doing.
I cannot express how amazing my time was in Victoria Falls and I don't know how I could compare this to any future volunteer projects that I take part in. One thing I do know is that my experience in Victoria Falls really has motivated me get saving again so I can see more of the world whilst volunteering and making my impact. My time in Victoria Falls with stay with me forever and I intend to return as soon as i can.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

On my 50th birthday, this is how I celebrated

It was the best 2 weeks ever, and it was not enough time. Thank you to the staff and handlers. I had the best time ever.i wake up and waited to see the cups and to walk and pet them. I meet wonderful new friends all over the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Victoria falls' lion volunteering

Had an amazing time here, learnt so much and met some wonderful people. One of the greatest experiences I've ever had and would love to do it again whenever I can. Looking forward to seeing the cubs when they've grown up in a few years!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Hands-on lions conservation Victoria Falls

I really enjoyed my time at the hands-on lion project in Victoria Falls. The atmosphere in the volunteer house is familiar and I got the opportunity to get to know open minded people from all over the world.
Beside the amazing nature and wildlife around Victoria Falls, we were able to learn all about the locals' life during this project. My highlights were the daily work with the lion cubs, the camping trip to Zambezi National Park, playing with the kids at the local orphanage and ofcourse the amazing African sunsets. For me it was the best way to spend my holidays and switch off from the everyday life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

African Impact lion project at Victoria Falls

My time with African Impact has exceeded my hopes and expectations by far. The lion conservation program was amazing and I was privileged to also be involved in some of the community activities which has opened my eyes to potential volunteering avenues in the future. There are so many trips and adventures to have in your free time and the location is incredible. The people here are the warmest, happiest and most helpful people you could ever hope to meet. I would highly recommend volunteering with African Impact.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unforgettable, enriching and meaninful experience

Volunteering with African impact in the research and conservation project has been an experience I will never forget. Participating in surveys, game counts and elephant ID Kits carried out in Zambezi National Park , getting involved in the lions project by walking with them in the bush while studying their behaviour, and last but not least, participating in social activities with children like the reading club and playing with the kids at the orphanage has been extremely enriching and meaningful for me. Moreover, all this has been surrounded by the awesome african landscape, sounds and colours, and in the good company of wonderful people as were the staff, the guides and the other volunteers.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

AMAZING!!!

Great, unique and awesome experience! Different type of travelling but totally worth it! Walking with the lions or going to schools and orphanages to play with kids is simply amazing!!! I would say it is a must!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

My amazing experience

It was an amazing experience. All of our activities with the project were great. I won't miss no one second. Thanks all of the staff members, they did/do a great job. I travelled with my son and for him was it the best experience in his life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Volunteering with the lion conservation project

My time volunteering with African Impact on the lion conservation project far exceeded any expectations I had. The staff made the transition very smooth and were there 24/7 to answer any questions, book any activities we wanted or call us a cab for a trip into town. The lion handlers and guides were not only such a pleasure to be around, but they were very committed to teaching all of the volunteers about safety in the bush, educating us on the importance of the resources around us and how to be with the lions. Even though I worked on the lion project, I had multiple opportunities during my stay to experience other parts of Zimbabwean life, from an afternoon at the orphanage, to a village tour at a local homestead to visiting the Victoria Falls with other volunteers and staff. African Impact gave me a well-rounded experience and taught me so much about life in Zimbabwe.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My experience

This experience has been the most amazing time of my life. I've met the best people and staff while being here. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. The lion project was everything I hoped it would been and complete exceded my expectations I had before getting here. Victoria Falls has so much to offer also which made this experience completely worth it!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Victoria falls lion rehabilitation

I found this project to be a great way to volunteer and feel like you are making a real difference in lion conservation and rehabilitation, as well as being involved in the local community. On project you walk the lions, participate in behaviour enrichment and learn about the environment and local people living there

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Abigail Freeman review

One of the best experiences of my life. All of the staff made me feel comfortable the minute I arrived. Everyone was so lovely and I have made great friends. We've all been working towards making the same thing great and this has persuaded me to come back in the future. I've experienced activities and feelings that I never knew I could love so much.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Lion encounter is awesome!

This is by far the best volunteer program I've ever been a part of. Everything from where you stay to the people you work with are incredible. I loved every minute I spent here and I definitely want to come back.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Sign up to volunteer now!!!!

LOVED LOVED LOVED my time volunteering with African Impact at the Victoria Falls Lion Conservation & Community project! Would recommend it to anyone! Hoping I get to go back very soon!! It's the coolest thing to have a family of other volunteers from all over the world who have your same passion for making a difference!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Volunteering hands-on lion conservation

Overall my experience with the program and project is amazing! When you volunteer with african impact for this project ( lions conservation) you really see the impact you can leave behind and you get to see what will happen eventually because of your help and time!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Something for Everyone

If you love lions, wildlife, meeting new people & learning about different cultures, this is a fantastic volunteering programme for you!
Not only is the volunteering experience fantastic in itself, walking with lions, learning about them & taking survey information... But the staff are amazing people, so friendly and will instantly brighten up your day!
The living arrangements are great and you share a lodge with others from all over not just on your project but on the Research, Community or Photography projects too, allowing you to see what they're doing and getting to know amazing people from all over the world! On Saturdays you have a fantastic Long Lion walk with breakfast out in the bush - perfection! Then onto the orphanage to play with and feed the amazing children in the neighbourhood as well as the orphanage, another amazing experience with these smiley little ones.
Sunday's are then for yourself and there are so many things you can book to do, or just chill at the lodge by the pool with a beverage! I chose to do an adrenaline half day at Victoria Falls Gorge - zip wire, flying fox and gorge swing, what an experience! As well as Devil's pool! I would go back in a heart beat should the opportunity arise where I could again! I haven't stopped talking about it since I got back 6 months ago!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Good times

Words fall short of how fantastic this experience was for me. From the moment I arrived in Vic Falls, every African Impact staff member as well all of the local staff members on the project made me feel completely welcomed and were more then happy to help in any way, shape or form.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

A unique and exciting experience

I came to the Victoria Falls project as a Lion volunteer for two weeks. It was a truly unforgettable experience and I hope to be heading back one day. My favorite part of being a lion volunteer was the behavior enrichments, where volunteers create toys for the lions out of all natural materials. I loved taking machetes out into the bush and cutting down parts of trees, then stripping off the bark fibers and creating ropes to hold the toy together. Even better then creating the toy was using it to play with the lions and observing their play behavior.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best experience ever!!

Being a volunteer at Lion Encounter in Victoria Falls has been absolutely amazing! I've gotten some great friends, great experiences and I am leaving as the happiest girl in the world. I know that I one day will be back as a volunteer here and I am already looking forward to it!
Thank you to African Impact for making my dreams come true and thanks to the staff and all the other volunteers for making every single day here a new adventure!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Volunteer with Lion Encounter at Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

If you love big cats go to Lion Encounter at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and be a volunteer.If you love meeting like minded people from around the world go to Lion Encounter, if you love to mix with beautiful people which live in this wonderful country go to Vic Falls and work with the people who work on this program. I have been a volunteer 4 times now over the past 5 years and I wish I was working there full time it's that good. I have traveled a vast part of Southern Africa over the past 35 years and have seen so much which today costs a fortune to do. I wish this Lion Encounter program was in operation 20 years ago because that's where i'd be. The program itself is made up of such a variety of different activities to name some of them, learning the local language, walks in the bush learning about snakes and spiders, plants and trees, building fire breaks, the Zimbabwean culture and history, making interactive toys for interacting with the lions. On the lion side of the program you will spend so much time with these magnificent animals preparing their food, cleaning their compounds, going for long walks with them through the surrounding bush at Masuwe and you never know what other animals you may come across from elephant to buffalo and a wide variety of of antelope and bird life and sometimes even wild lions. If you think I have a love affair with lions and Africa well I do, sorry but it gets into you blood and it will get into yours. If anyone out there decides to do it you wont be disappointed and you'll keep going back for more, I find the best time of year to go is June to July for the cooler nights but if you want to a lot of the activities the main one being The White Water Rafting I would go mid August through to October the rafting is absolutely fantastic starting just down from the falls, there are so many different things to do in Vic Falls you wont be bored.The meals that you are given whilst on program are unbelievable, you wont go hungry, if you want a night out and have and really stuff yourself have a buffet dinner and show at either Jungle Junction at Vic Falls Hotel or go to The Boma The Place of Eating absolutely fantastic and the food to die for. Remember you are volunteering to help preserve the African Lion, Africa needs lions, you are also going home with memories of the people of Zimbabwe and you will spread the word with all the people you meet and maybe they will become volunteers like you, we can only hope, i'll see you over there soon.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation