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Wildlife Photography and Conservation, Victoria Falls
Volunteers and local kids playing Volunteers and local kids playing

Wildlife Photography and Conservation, Victoria Falls

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Photography program in a beautiful environment

Photography program with a professional photographer who proposes various workshops to improve your photography skills. The research program on wildlife in the Zambezi National Park is also various (elephants and giraffes, bird survey, game count, hyena tracking...). You can't get bored !

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Amazing experience

I absolutely loved my time on the project. I was able to participate in so many activities and learn so much about the local culture in my two short weeks. I would definitely recommend this project to anyone looking to
hone their photography skills while helping with animal research and becoming immersed in local culture.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

A month in VF

I've loved my time here in Victoria Falls. Everyone - from the locals to our staff - were so friendly and helpful. Working with Ashley and the photography volunteers has been an unforgettable experience, and I have gained a lot of photography skills that I will take with me in the future. As a photography volunteer, you get to bounce around between the other projects, so you really get a sense of what everyone is working on and how they are benefiting the community and conservation.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Photography volunteer

As a photography volunteer, being in Victoria Falls is an amazing spot to be. There were so many amazing opportunities to get some really great shots and I think my photos have improved greatly. See below for 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

Excellent experience!

The stay at Tokki lodge was amazing, most of the staffs are relatively new here, but they worked really hard to keep things going, although I had some difficulties with my visa, but it was still an amazing experience.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A great way to experience Zimbabwe while giving back

I was a photography volunteer at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for 10 days. I really loved being able to experience Zimbabwe (a predominantly tourist destination around the falls), while living more like a local than a tourist, and giving back. Living with the other volunteers was amazing, and I gained like-minded, long-time friends in such a short time; everyone is very passionate about conservation, wildlife, and volunteering. The photography program was amazing - I definitely feel like I got to get the most out of the different programs. Photography was able to go on a ton of different projects, from helping with research, to lion walks, to helping out at the school/garden/community activities.

At times it did feel more like a vacation than a volunteer trip, as sometimes the end-goal/bigger picture of our day-to-day projects was unclear. For example, with ALERT/the "lion project" - Victoria Falls is part of Phase 1 of their lion conservation plan, and so the volunteers mostly participate in lion walks/enclosure cleaning/meal prep. However, we quickly realized that these lion walks (provided by a group called Lion Encounter) is also a tourist attraction in Zimbabwe, so sometimes the "client walks" (where volunteers walked with tourists and the lions) felt a little strange (to see the bigger picture, go see Livingstone to see Phase 2 - it is a weekend excursion option). I was also disappointed to hear that a few volunteers created their own projects in the community/garden (building a sustainable, solar-powered water pump since the community's water pump was broken, and community members had to walk KMs just to get water for a day), but ALERT/African Impact wouldn't sponsor this new project. The staff was open, honest, and sympathetic when these points were brought up; I hope changes are made in the future in relation to the lion walks especially, though I presume that that sort of decision is made higher up in the organization.

That said, I really did enjoy my time here, especially in the photography program. Ashley, the photography coordinator, was great, super kind, and helpful. She was willing to go out of her way to help with anything I needed and was down-to-Earth. The rest of the staff was amazing, and the day-to-day running of the volunteers felt like it ran like a well-oiled machine, which I was very impressed with, considering the entire staff was fairly new when I went! My photography definitely improved, and I hope the photos are used for something positive! I'd recommend African Impact, particularly with the Photo, Community, and Research projects as a great way to experience Zimbabwe.

  • African Impact responded to this review August 21, 2017 at 6:35 AM

    Hi Laura,

    Thank you very much for the feedback and the points that you've raised, however we feel that we need to give further information regarding our activities to give you some context.

    The work that volunteers do on project is crucial, not only for the funding of the project, but for collecting data that allows researchers at ALERT, a non-for profit, to understand the behavioural dynamics of the Stage 1 lions for the Rehabilitation and Release Project. The client walks are also crucial for the funding of this conservation program.

    The Stage Release Pride in Livingstone is an excellent example of how important the work African Impact and ALERT do together. The pride is currently thriving and the cubs that were born in this pride will be ready for release in the next couple of years when they come of age.

    Regarding the garden project, Lion Encounter staff put many hours trying to organize this project created by the volunteers and constructed a plan. However, due to limited funding, this project could not be funded with so many other projects that have been taken on this year. However, we are hopeful for the future and plan to take on projects once the resources become available.

    We hope this explains any concerns you have with the program and please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.

    The African Impact Team

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Wildlife photography project

The photography internship with African Impact/ALERT was great. I was able to participate in all the projects the program offered and was given the opportunity take great photos along the way. If I had any questions on how to work my camera or edit photos someone was there to help me out.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Good times in Victoria falls

If you are looking for a vacation that will cater to your every need, provide a 5-star place to sleep and eat, and have dozens of people fussing over you day and night, this is not your place. But, if you want to have fun, experience Victoria Falls, and make memories, the people at African Impact can make it happen. I truly loved my time here and would happily do it again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Great wildlife experience

I joined 2nd time a volunteer project with AI ( 2016 in SA). This time I could improve my photographer skills, I loved the game drives and game counting and of course the lion walks. Also community work with pupils was a wonderful experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Wildlife research and photography project

I have participated in a number of international volunteer trips in the past and this one, by far, has been the best. It offered a variety of unique activities involving wildlife research as well as numerous community activities with children, seniors and environmental initiatives, all of which allowed me to experience the culture as well as practice and improve my photography skills. I have always said that my dream job would be as a National Geographic photographer. I am grateful to have had the chance to get a small glimpse of what that might be like.

From my greeting at the airport to my final day, this experience has been outstanding. All the staff were very welcoming and made me feel right at home. I appreciated Amy's masterful and patient guidance, sharing her photographic and editing skills and assisting me with all my technical challenges. Becky was always happy to share her knowledge about all things Africa (and beyond). The guides and lodge staff were awesome. It is always such a pleasure to meet other like-minded volunteers from all over the world and become part of a new family trying to make a difference. Seeing all the animals was THE BEST. Photographing them was such a daily pleasure and an opportunity to record the experience so it can always be fresh in my memory and available to share with others. Helping with the community projects was very fulfilling and left me with a feeling that I had made a positive contribution during my stay.

All in all, it has been an incredible time, in a beautiful country, with awesome people. Thank you. Siyabonga.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Photography experience

I really enjoyed this program. I improved my photography skills and learn so many new things about wildlife photography and editing. Even when we were going to the same places, it was special and exciting. The people are amazing and I wish I could stay longer.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Hayley's experience

I have learnt so much being in Victoria Falls for the last 2 months. This experience is one I would definitely recommend. There is nothing that beats being out in the national park everyday, taking photos and learning about all the wildlife we see along the way. The staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    9

An experience I will keep in my heart forever!

Living and volunteering in Victoria Falls was one of the best experiences of my life. I will never forget the feeling of going out on our game counts or other research activities in the early morning and see the beauty of nature and breathtaking sunrises (and sunsets). I fell in love with the kids! They are so excited to see us. I really enjoyed spending time with them and teaching them a song about the days of the week. I also loved the conservation activities, like alien plant removal and litter pick. So many exciting moments... Living so close to nature really made me feel alive. The beauty of the place and the people as well as the difficulty experienced by those living there has made me both very grateful for what I have but in a strange way longing for more simplicity. There really is something about Africa that feels like home to me. The amazing pictures I was able to shoot will be a sweet memory of this wonderful place; An experience I will keep in my heart forever!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

My experience in Vic Falls!!

Volunteering in Victoria Falls Washington a great experience. I loved being able to photograph the wild life and at the same time learn more about photography. All the activities we do here are so much fun!
I loved having the chance to visit this amazing place.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I don't want to leave

I have had the most amazing time in Vic Falls with such knowledgeable and lively people who have made volunteering even more enjoyable! Both the conservation and photography side of the program have been tailored to my preferences and I have had such a broad spectrum of opportunities! LOVED IT!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Cut short unfortunately but absolutely worth it

Terrific experience. Got a great overview of all aspects of the program, and was more than well looked after for the duration of the trip. You not only meet a heap of interesting locals but you meet fantastic characters from all over the world.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Unique experience

I was looking forward to joining another African Impact programme and I have to say that Victoria Falls Wildlife Research and Photography project turned out to be beyond all my expectations! Being located between Zambezi National Park and Victoria Falls National Park, this project offers volunteers a unique opportunity to photograph not only amazing African wildlife but also majestic landscapes of Victoria Falls and Zambezi River.
Looking back now I have to say that it's people who made this experience so special for me. The project is lead by a professional photographer and such an amazing and charismatic person - Nuppy, who was always there to teach, support and constantly inspire the team. I also have to mention Alanna, who's very kind and professional approach made all volunteers feel like home, helped to learn and experience some local customs and get the maximum out of this experience. Also thanks to a very professional teams of guides and research interns and their excellent guidance, I feel that I not only learned a lot but also managed to make my own kind of impact.
I would definitely recommend to join this project and get this unique experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Great wildlife experience in Victoria falls

The Wildlife Photography and Conservation Project (Vic falls) is a great opportunity to learn about wildlife photographing and to have some exciting experiences in the National parks of Victoria Falls.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    5

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Cool and interesting experience

The whole experience was pretty amazing. You have the chance to see and capture wild animals from close. We also learn what is the best way to take the photos and how to edit them. If you want, you can join for awhile to the lions or community project and experience that as well (and take some photos of that of course).
Sometimes the schedule can changed a lot and the management and the organization can be not that good so you'll have some waste time.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Absolutely amazing experience! :)

I loved the flexibility of the projects and getting to experience different things. The photography gave me a chance to try out new techniques and to develop my photography. It was a brilliant experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Fantastic volunteer experience in Victoria falls

Alanna, Anup, Bob, Leonard, and the remaining staff of Lion Encounter and ALERT were amazing. Their patience, warm personalities and knowledge contributed to one of my best travel experiences ever. I'm already looking forward to my return visit to Africa!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

This project was absolutely incredible and I would return in a heartbeat. Volunteers are involved in a broad variety of activities from being on a vehicle out in the national park, to interacting with community members ranging from infants to elderly, to walking with lion cubs. Every day is a new adventure, and it's even better because the other volunteers your with quickly feel like family. Live life adventurously and go for it! I guarantee you will not regret it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Exceeds expectations

This project was truly amazing and was better than I could have expected. I was prove lager enough to spend two months improving my photography skills in the National Park and in the local community. The other volunteers, interns and coordinators have all been amazing and hardworking. Everyone pulls their share and is not afraid to work to improve our the many awesome projects we have here!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

The highlights of this program include knowledgeable, friendly staff and a variety of opportunities to choose from! The program was well rounded, giving me experiences in photography, research, and community projects. I met and became friends with so many like-minded individuals from all around the world during my stay in Africa, and that was probably the best part about volunteering. You arrive alone, but you quickly become part of a community of volunteers who are as passionate as you are about making a difference. It's a type of atmosphere that keeps you motivated and inspired to continue to volunteer and try to make a difference in the world. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better experience volunteering abroad!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Vic falls wildlife photography and conservation

In the future I plan to pursue research photography/videography and this experience had me dive head first into it. It was really great to see how my photos helped researchers and how they helped me. It was awesome living with people who were in different programs (community, Lion conservation...) because I was also exposed to other volunteer activities. If I wanted to, I was even able to try them out for an activity or two. It was the experience of a lifetime and I can't wait to come back!!

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation