Imire: Rhino & Wildlife Conservation
Horse riding safaris, equine husbandry, cattle mustering, camping out with your horse AND rhino conservation - what more could you ask for from a volunteer programme? With...
Three Amazing Weeks
Submitted by Pim S - Woudenberg | November 26, 2015
This was the second time I went to Africa as a volunteer and I had chosen Imire because of the hands on activities with worlds largest and unfortunately also most endangered land animals, the rhino & elephant, supporting these animals and the local community and the opportunity to join the APU (anti poaching unit).
And I couldn’t have chosen a better place for doing all that, lots of quality time with the rhino’s, elephants and many other animals during feeding, walks, tracking, game-drives, cleaning and maintaining boma’s, truly a magnificent experience!
But also the people you work with are very friendly and you feel like a part of a big family.
And don’t forget to mention the food which is prepared from fresh ingredients three times a day and tastes ab fab.
Really special are the Shona evenings were you get a good impression of the native culture with lots of traditional singing, dancing and again, great food!
Never a dull moment btw. because their is a multitude of volunteer activities like; climbing Castle Kopje, camping & stargazing, game-drives, rifle training, horse riding, abseilen, slip & slide, survival in the bush, bush camp, tracking animals, etc etc
My personal highlight was my last seven days joining the APU.
For keeping large herbivores like rhino’s and elephants you do not only need a big piece of land with plenty of food and water but also a tight security system which prevents having this beautiful animals poached and that’s were the APU comes in.
Patrolling four hours in a row without having a sip of water, be aware of your exact location and that of the rhino’s you are guarding during a pitch black night and tracking and handling of animals are just a few skills an APU member has to master and believe me they did it flawlessly.
It was absolutely great to work together with this guys and I learnt an awful lot more about the bush
I would have stayed longer!
Submitted by Olivia O - Shanghai | November 10, 2015
When travelling to Imire I had no idea what my time would be like or who I would meet. Never in a million years did I expect to have as much fun or make as many memories as I did.
As a rhino lover I wanted to spend time with my favourite animal - Imire did not disappoint! I was amazed to see how much hands-on experience we had with all the animals and how much I learnt during my two weeks volunteering. It was the perfect balance between education and work. I learned a lot and enjoyed doing so. There was a great variety of activities, with Numwa School, animals and park management.
When we weren't working, not that it even felt like work, we spent our time climbing, camping and generally making the most of our time in Zimbabwe. The food was delicious and allowed me to try new dishes as well as traditional Shona food. The accommodation is clean and comfortable.
Everyone at Imire made me feel so welcomed, they are literally some of the most kind-hearted and friendly people you will ever meet.
This has been the most enjoyable and rewarding experience and I would not change a single thing...actually I would probably stay so much longer!
All about family
Submitted by Billy C - Chicago | November 10, 2015
My time here was very well spent. Overall the biggest reason I would recommend this programme to someone else is the sense of family and companionship that you get with everyone. Hearing stories from the Travers family was amazing every time we had a chance to talk with them. They really make everyone feel at home. Also those who work more directly with us, from Mike and Bright to all of the handlers - everyone did an amazing job of making everyone feel connected to each other.
A 3-week long dream
Submitted by Alex E - Norrkoping | September 01, 2015
6am. Its cold, you're tired and you know you're going to freeze a lot in the back of the truck but you know its worth it because in a short time the sun will warm you up and you have a wonderful new day ahead. The sun and the fog make a magical view and with the animals that you see in the bush, its like a dream.
The best way to experience this is from the back of a horse and to get so close to all these animals is just amazing. Zebras, impalas, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, waterbucks and many more... To hear a lot of stories about Imire and the animals from Judy, a fantastic woman, makes the time on horseback even better, and you wish you could do this forever.
As well as the fantastic horse rides, you come so close to the rhinos and elephants and to see them so close and so often makes you understand how important it is to keep them alive and communicate with them. In addition to the animals and beautiful scenery, you get to meet a lot of people, both children and grown ups, and learn about their culture and integrate with them, which is amazing! You also get to know a lot of people from other countries and you become like a temporary family. The volunteers and Mike and Bright make sure you have a wonderful time.
The days are long because you do so many things, but at the same time the days just pass by before you even notice it and suddenly the three weeks are over and its time to go home. Time to go home from a three weeks long dream.
An unforgettable experience
Submitted by Sarah V - Paris | September 01, 2015
Lets be honest, it is really difficult to find only one favourite day at Imire. But if I want to choose the best one started with rhino handling. It was the day of their dehorning, so it seemed to be such a privilege to see them WITH their horns. The light in the bush was amazing and Tatenda tried to go with the elephants rather than stay with Kamuchacha - as if he knew something was going to happen. After we saw the rhinos we helped to mend the fences by filling the holes underneath with stones. Its not my favourite activity but we know that its important so we want to do it well. I forgot to mention about the breakfast between the two activities, that we love because its delicious and we take it in the sun.
In the afternoon the dehorning was such an amazing thing. Everybody was very professional and it was impressive to see the animals like that. We assisted in this event in them middle of a normal day but it was really an unforgettable experience. After the dehorning we cut down browse for baby rhino Tafika and to finish the perfect day we had Shona Culture Evening. This is really a nice dinner and an opportunity to find out more about the people who live here and learn some songs! I loved the moment during another evening when we brought some children from the school to sing their songs.
I couldn't expect a better experience. Everyone is so nice, the place is wonderful and thanks to the programme we can help the animals and enjoy ourselves at the same time.
Tatenda / thank you / merci.