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Zimbabwe - Teaching and Lion Rehabilitation in Antelope Park
GoEco volunteers GoEco volunteers

Zimbabwe - Teaching and Lion Rehabilitation in Antelope Park

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I absolutely loved it

I absolutely loved it. From the moment I got there I was made to feel so welcome. The staff are all so friendly as well, they all remember the small things about you and it makes you feel a real part of the team. At 11-12 each day you get 'Animal Time'. You stop working and literally just hang out with the animals for an hour, it's great and you soon bond with them really well and get to know all of the animal's personalities.
There is lots of hard work to do too. Lots of sweeping and chopping down plants but all-in-all it adds up and the place ends up looking great when we all work together.

I was lucky enough to have lots of great outings while I was there. The first was a Vervet Monkey Release which was so great to watch, and really made all of us get an insight of the main purpose of this place.
Next I was invited to go to Matopos for a 2 night stay to reset our traps, check the camera traps and track the collared Leopard and Honey Badger around. This was a LOT of hard work, leaving at 6am and not returning until after dark. I loved every second of it though, getting the full nature experience and I learnt so much. We ended up staying 3 nights to get everything done.
Three days later we got a call from the man who owns the farm where the traps are. We had caught a Spotted Hyena, something we were aiming for! We quickly got the dart gun and packed up the truck. When we got there, it took a while to set everything up and get the dart gun and collar ready, but it was so interesting to watch! We finally darted it and acted very quickly. Got it onto the pack of the truck and began to monitor it. I was checking it's temperature constantly, we were taking turns in checking the breathing rate and had a monitor to check the heart. We got the collar on, measured it all up and before we knew it, an hour was up and it was starting to wake. We put it back in the cage and once it had fully woken up we released it. What an experience!!!
Next I was VERY lucky to go back for an overnight trip again (which turned into 2 nights) and we went on a 8km hike to track where the Hyena had last been shown on GPS. We found a den and lots of signs of Hyena, but none that day unfortunately. Another exhausting, but incredible and educational experience.

What I enjoyed the most during my stay was going to Matopos for the research!!! And catching the Spotted Hyena to put a tracking collar on it. Everything revolved around Matopos I couldn't get enough of.

I loved my time in and out of the wildlife orphanage. I can't wait to go back!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Community teaching and weekend lion conservation - AMAZING!

The staff, volunteers and accommodations at Antelope Park were wonderful. I have a heart and a passion for serving communities as well as a huge love for wildlife, with this program I got the best of both! Being able to go out into the local community to teach children and lend support to the drop inn center and orphanage was incredibly rewarding. The community program coordinators at African Impact (this program is through African Impact, GoEco did the booking) encouraged us to jump right in and provided the necessary materials to succeed, I was able to teach a classroom on conservation efforts right away. The lion and elephant encounters on the weekend were an experience I will never forget, especially the night encounter! I walked away with a high level of compassion and knowledge for Zimbabwe, I can honestly say, 2 weeks was not enough!