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Hands-on Lion and Wildlife Conservation in Victoria Falls
Volunteers group photo Volunteers group photo

Hands-on Lion and Wildlife Conservation in Victoria Falls

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    4

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    5

Unlike the standards of other African Impact projects

Honestly disappointing bed after two other AI projects. Accommodation was fair, but food was mediocre at best with incredibly small and unsatisfactory lunch. We'd leave in the morning at around 7:30 or 8 and would HAVE to return at 12 EVEN if there's nothing to do on project. Lion walks can get very dull seeing that we just sit next to the lions while they sleep and the handlers just talk amongst themselves. The few community projects I was required to go on offered me no briefing or explanation prior to project time and always left me confused and angry seeing that I didn't know what was going on.
There should definitely be more planning going on for all projects so that we'd feel less like glorified customers of lion encounter and more like actual volunteers contributing to sustainability.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Dream come true!

I’ve had the most amazing days in Victoria Falls. All the staff make you feel at home. Evie is the funniest person I’ve ever met. I totally recommend doing this volunteer program! I miss everyday! I hope I get back to Zimbabwe some day.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Lion encounter

I was in the lion encounter project. I got all I expected and more. Even if you were in the lion project, you were scheduled for several community events. Those were an extra and wonderful experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Excellent experience

The whole experience was excellent. The work/activities we did were hugely enjoyable. The staff/ organisers were friendly, helpful and always available. The accommodation was basic, but perfectly adequate and cleaned on a daily basis, which was more than I expected. Food was plentiful and always delicious - again, more than I expected.

I would be more than happy to come back again or recommend the placement to others who might be interested.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A walk to remember

I was the best experience I've ever had. It made some really good friends and we made some important memories together. The people in Zimbabwe are so sweet and smiling, the staff are so helpful and caring, and the lion walk is the best way to start your morning. I'm not done with Zim, and I'm planing to go back in February! And I can't describe how much I'm looking forward to be in the surroundings again. The only thing I don't like, is the fact that we had to be home by 02:00 on Saturdays. I get why we have a curfew when we have things to do the next morning like on Fridays and the other weekdays.
But it was truly an amazing time, and I never got bored! My foot got hurt really bad, but Anna was super helpful and drove me to the doctor, and stayed there to help me fill out the papers. She was in general really good to all the volunteers, and taught us a lot of things about Zimbabwes culture and history. She eats quit funny though.

I wish I could bring all I know to my next visit!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

You won't regret a second

Amazing and unforgettable experience. I left home, feeling like a month was a long stay, and that I would wanna go home after 2 weeks. When I had to leave 4 weeks later, it was the last thing i wanted. I loved it there. I would have stayed for 6 months if i could.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

3 weeks in Vic falls

Loved every minute. I felt like I was at home the entire time and would have stayed longer if I had a never-ending flow of money. We were well looked-after and I'm very grateful to the wonderful people that work there.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Lion encounter

I've really enjoyed working with lion encounter, I've had a great experience and met a lot of people from all around the world. Working with lions was such and amazing experience and I recommend that everyone goes on a project like this.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Good for the soul

A year ago, I decided that I wanted to visit Africa while participating in some sort of Volunteer Service Program. While there are many programs out there, I was fortunate enough to find this project with African Impact. It exceeded my expectations in almost every way possible. Within a day of arrival, the Tokki Lodge felt like home and the staff and other volunteers felt like family. The town and the people of Victoria Falls have so much to offer (not to mention the majestic falls themselves!)

The layout of the project itself was just what I was looking for. During the week, we participated in a morning project and a separate afternoon project with time in between for lunch, relaxing or heading in to town. Most days I spent the morning with the 4 lion cubs; walking them, recording their behaviors, feeding them or making toys. The 1:1 interaction with these lions was unlike anything I've ever experienced. The afternoon projects often offered a balance of research or community-style work such as game drives or work at a local school or orphanage. I really appreciated how the days varied so much so that I really got the most out of my time there getting to immerse myself into the world of lions and the culture of the people of Zimbabwe.

When we weren't working on the projects, there was plenty of time available to spend with other volunteers going out for dinner/drinks (Zambezi sunset dinner cruise was spectacular), participating in excursions (don't miss Devil's Pool on the Zambian side of the falls), or simply hanging out by the pool or playing cards.

This project as everything I could have asked for. The staff at the lodge (Anna, Angie, Evie and Irina) are so awesome and really care about the experience of the volunteers and the work that this project does. (And if you like cats, you'll have a friend in Stan and James the lodgecats).

I couldn't be more grateful to African Impact and LionAlert for this experience. It was an experience which was not only humbling yet invigorating, but most importantly good for the soul.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Lion project review

Overall a great couple of weeks, well organised and plenty a variety. I think the program would benefit from more interaction with the community and we could have got more painting done at the school if we had more rollers. Overall all though 10 out of 10. Keep up the good work guys.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

What a blast

My stay was perfect! I loved the combination of wildlife research experiences mixed with some community outreach programs. I shared the lodge with a bunch of other amazing volunteers. The city is beautiful with lots to do on your free time but more expensive than I thought. The trip greatly exceeded my expectations.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

What? What shall I write.. hehe

Well, I absolutely loved it.. everything. And honestly I did not believe that I could get so attached to a place and a lifestyle in just three weeks. But now I'm sitting at the airport, almost crying and wanting to go back. There is no doubt I will be back! I think Anna did an amazing job, even though it was a bit of a crazy time with both the celebration of independence (Woop Woop) and all the interns coming. So at times things were a bit confusing, but I did not mind, everything worked out fine anyways. Overall it was just fucking amazing! And if I could I would hug every single person one more time and say "thank you".

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Do it!

I had a great time on the volunteer program. I got to know Zimbabwe in a way I could never have "just" travelling. Well run program, lots of very nice people and I feel I have contributed to both wildlife and people during my stay. Recommended for everyone!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Excelente experiencia in Zimbabue

Excelente experiencia que mezcla la relación con los animales y con la sociedad. Orfanato, escuela...
El personal está siempre disponible y es muy cercano.
La comida excelente.
Maravilloso el paseo y el contacto con los leones. Tener tan cerca a los elefantes, jirafas, etc

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    7

Amazing experience

I enjoy a lot my time volunteering here. The project with the lions is amazing and i'm so glad to had direct contact with lions. Also the community project are amazing. Thank's to Anna and Eve for the great job they do!! You are amazing!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Three amazing weeks. Go go go!

The most amazing three weeks in Victoria Falls. Accommodation had everything needed. Meals great, projects exciting and the staff here are fantastic. Anna, Evie, Angela, Leonard, Irina, security staff, drivers and even our taxi driver Eddie have help create memories that will stay with me forever. It’s the first time in 12 years that I have travelled on my own and not for one second did it feel like like it. 3 weeks in this incredible place and you can’t help but make friends from all over the world... Even if my English hands up in air dancing was frowned upon (i’ll work on it Evie). I signed up to the lions hands on conservation which was amazing but have also attended a lot of other projects throughout the community. I feel like I now know Victoria Falls. I may have only spent 3 weeks here but I will alway look at it on a world map and class it as my African home. Book it people!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

An incredible experience

Two weeks ago, my plane landed at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. I was about to start a one-month placement with African Impact on their Lion Conservation project.
I was nervous. I had just spent six months in South Africa at another volunteer placement. I had met some incredible humans and witnessed some amazing wildlife sightings. I didn’t think anything could top that… Turns out, I needn’t have worried.
I was welcomed with open arms by the staff and other volunteers. All of us sharing a passion for conservation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Best trip in my life!

This has definitely been the best trip I’ve ever done! So much things to do and see. And when you live close together like this you will make many new friends!
Water rafting was great! I will be back soon!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Lion encounter photography

Overall a great experience. Since I am older than the average participant, my only wish was there had been more volunteers my age. I would do it again regardless and maybe bring a friend. Wonderful experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A most meaningful experience!

I was very impressed with the way this volunteer experience was handled by the staff and organizers! Everyone is so down-to-earth and helpful. I felt like I was part of a family. The accommodations are very spartan but I knew going in that it was not going to be anything fancy. The food offerings were very good as well. It's nice also that there is a complimentary bus that goes into town twice a week. Everyone shares in the responsibilities of table duty and water duty. Maybe the windows in the room could have screens to keep out mosquitoes and other bugs.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

Excellent experience at ALERT - Victoria falls

Have loved my time here at ALERT in Vic Falls. The staff and co-ordinaries have been great, very friendly and helpful and have made some good friends from my time here. I've been impressed by the project that is running here and the plan for the conservation of Lions in Zimbabwe. Would definitely recommend this project to others!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Hands on lion conservation and research Victoria Falls

The project was amazing. The organisation was outstanding, the activities were fun, the staff was lovely and my fellow volunteers were an inspiration for me. Thank you for everything ! It was all worth it

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    7

Vic Falls lions and wildlife research

This has been a special experience. I spent 3 weeks on the project and loved it all. Direct interaction and data collecting of lion behaviour was brilliant. Leonard, who manages this part of the project kept it fun and informative. Away from the lions I was able to spend a huge amount of time in the national park with the researchers. We conducted game counts, bird surveys, elephant and giraffe research, and much more. I was also able to help with the data entry and animal identification once back at the lodge.
Another excellent aspect is this project's proximity to Victoria Falls and all the many excursions available. During my downtime I visited Chobe in Botswana, spent the day in Zambia, went in a helicopter and a micro flight over the falls, and much more.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My African Impact experience

Volunteering with African Impact was one of the most enjoyable and influential 4 weeks of my lifetime. I was on the lion project which was an extraordinary experience because it's not every day that you get to walk with lions, let alone rub their bellies! Each day was different, and I enjoyed the hands-on nature of the project-for instance building a platform for the lions and a dam for the new site. It was also nice to see that the behavioral enrichment and lion walks are having some impact on the lions, shown to us when they killed a kudu whilst walking with clients. The game drives and research in the national park were also incredible to experience and very well organised.
I feel I have learnt so much from my time in Zimbabwe. Every day I gained more insight into Zimbabwe's history, culture and wildlife thanks to the project's diversity and educational element. All the work we did seemed to be done in a sustainable manner and we were given the opportunity to really immerse ourselves in the communities surrounding Victoria Falls and their culture. The coordinators offered us a lot of freedom off project hours, which allowed me for example to attend a football training session with a Division one team, go white water rafting, and visit Botswana in my free time. All in all, it was an amazing experience, done with amazing people, in an amazing location.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Great experience

It was fun and interesting for me.
The staff was excellent and overall the experience was good. Victoria Falls is a lovely place, the people are simple and warm. And the place where we are very clean and pleasant. I loved the meetings in front of the fire every night. The only thing that improved was the food. For some reason, they try to adapt it to Western life and it is a lot of junk food and no local food (sadza:))

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation