Anyone and everyone! The volunteer projects offered in Africa, attract volunteers from all over the world, of all ages and from all walks of life. In fact it is this diverse mix of people that often provides the greatest value to the projects – students on gap years, professionals taking career breaks, mature volunteers using their retirement to try something different – everyone is welcome including those who just want to have a holiday with a difference.
What is life like as a volunteer?
Volunteers with Amanzi Travel will be expected to be committed to the project they choose, and work with staff and other volunteers to undertake the daily tasks of that particular programme. Although some tasks may be challenging, volunteer activity schedules are structured to be enjoyable and fun and include allocated time off for all volunteers. Evenings are a great time for socialising and relaxing.
Example of a typical day in the life of a wildlife volunteer
(at the Lion Breeding and Release Project in Zimbabwe):
6.00 am – Bottle feed the cubs in camp ranging in age from 3 weeks to 7 months
6.30 am – Meet the guides and join them for a lion walk, taking cubs from 7 months to 18 months out into the bush, all the time observing and recording their behaviour. Alternatively, spend the morning working with the elephants or doing a boundary patrol on horseback.
8.00 am – Buffet style cooked breakfast
9.00 am – Cub feeding time again! They require a lot of care and attention!
9.30 am – Be involved in various duties including enclosure cleaning, cub walking, snare sweeping, meat preparation, bush walks or enclosure maintenance or feeding the older cubs.
12.30 pm – Buffet style cooked lunch
2.00 pm – Afternoon bottle feed for the cubs
2.30 pm – Afternoon duties could include cub sitting, elephant herding, horse rides, mending fences or conducting a game count of the park’s many antelope species
4.00 pm – 5.30 pm – Take the cubs out for their afternoon walk
6.45 pm – Meeting to discuss the following day’s activities
7.00 pm – Dinner time! Volunteers take the opportunity to socialise with fellow volunteers and sit around the camp fire under the stars. On some nights, the larger cubs are taken out for a night walk in the bush.
In addition to all of the activities on each project, there are usually a variety of optional trips that volunteers can take at the weekend. These may vary from a day trip to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins on the Lion Breeding and Release project above, or for other projects, hot air ballooning or river rafting, or surfing or bungee jumping, shopping or sand-boarding in the Namibian desert for example.
How does that compare with your usual day?
Whatever volunteer project you decide to join, there will be plenty going on, and other like-minded people to enjoy it with too.