Positive impacts for rural communities

For more information and bookings click here*

Since 1950 the human population of Africa has increased from 221 million to nearly one billion. This increase is one of the leading factors contributing to the decline of the African lion. As the continent’s human population continues to grow the amount of suitable habitat for lions is decreasing at an alarming rate as more and more land is converted to other uses. 

The result for lions is isolation in fragmented and fragile ecosystems that are under constant pressure, with little motivation for government or rural communities to work towards long term solutions. This project works towards generating the motivation and means for all stakeholders towards responsible development where natural resources are seen as vital to both short and long term social and economic development.

To try and fulfill this remit projects are focused on empowerment and benefit sharing, human / wildlife conflict issues, education and health programs for communities living alongside Africa’s wildlife. Only when the African people are able to accrue the benefits of sound wildlife management will the motivation for such be generated, producing the long term solutions that are so greatly needed

Your involvement:

The involvement of volunteers on the project is paramount to achieving our aims on all fronts.  You can expect days to be long, but you will also be able to end each day knowing that you have given something back to Africa; having made a difference to the people that you come into contact with. Your primary task whilst on placement will be to assist the project team with their ongoing work in the neighboring communities; giving them the opportunity to learn more about conservation but also to provide much needed assistance to local schools and community initiatives.

You will spend much of your day (particularly your mornings) within a classroom assisting the local teacher with the class. This may involve marking exercise books, planning a lesson, hosting a lesson, supporting those children around the room who are struggling or providing extra one on one guidance to those who need it – something that the teachers will not have time for.

You will also help us with our various community programs that may include conservation or health education as well as a number of other projects that you will told about on arrival. The project also may include manual labour such as assisting in the Project’s garden helping to grow vegetables for the staff and their families or helping with community farming. In addition to these community projects the Project is also home to the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust who, together with Lion Encounter operate a 4 stage lion rehabilitation program. You will be based at the same accommodation as the Lion Project volunteers so you will get to meet and spend time with many people from across the globe with a whole range of interests.  You will also have the chance to join the lion staff on a lion walk to meet the young cubs and learn about the Lion Project.

Your daily tasks may include:

Teaching: The project provides both manpower and material support to this school.  Volunteers head to the schools to assist the teaching staff in lesson planning, producing teaching aids and providing pupils with more individual attention during lessons.  Material support is given through maintenance and facility upgrades and the provision of teaching aids such as, books and stationary.  

Conservation Education: Volunteers will assist the conservation education program visiting local schools, or hosting school groups at the project’s base to garner support for conservation through education.  The syllabus was originally designed to offer children a full understanding of their environment and to build an appreciation for the need to conserve what remains of the wild areas of Zambia.   Each lesson may focus on a specific species or introduce different conservation methods.   Learning is achieved through a mixture of classroom-based talks and discussion as well as involving the children in smaller groups and practical activities such as visits to the lion programme, or Victoria Falls themselves. 

Community Projects:  During your placement you will have the opportunity to be involved in a range of community programs which can vary based on the needs of the project and the community at the time. These projects may include manual labour such as painting or building, and also will include extra-curricular activities for the children such as reading clubs, arts and crafts clubs, and sports. We firmly believe our volunteers and their skills can bring so much to the table, and to that end, please ensure you let us know if you have a special skill or interest you would be happy to use in a class! For example Karate / Sewing / first aid / yoga / knitting.... we can help you organize a workshop to spread your skills!

Health Education:  The project facilitates a health and hygiene based learning course within the Maunga community. Following a loose syllabus, with lots of room for volunteers to use their skills, ideas and initiative, volunteers provide lessons and workshops on a wide range of health topics from the importance of cleaning your teeth, to recognizing the symptoms of TB, the importance of nutrition and how to achieve it using local resources, and coping with the stigma of HIV. 

Lion Walks and Lion Project Activities:  Spending time with the lions in the wild each day is an essential part of the cubs’ upbringing. If the cubs are to be successfully released it is important that they spend time out in a natural environment. They need to adapt to it, learn from it, understand, observe, feel and smell the wild. Since the start of this intensive lion walking programme, we have noted a marked increase in the lions’ awareness of their natural surroundings, as well as an improvement in their hunting skills.

The larger cubs are now able to take down smaller game species whilst out on walks, and these abilities are being enhanced each day whilst under the supervision of staff and volunteers. These are invaluable discoveries, which have earned us further support for our world first endeavors.  You will have the chance to take part in lion walks during your time on the community project.

A day in the life…

We ask that you remain flexible, but here is an example of a typical day on the project, as a guideline only:

06h45am – 07h00am: Morning meeting with the project staff
7h00am – 13h00pm: You will head to one of the local schools to help the classes there.
13h00pm – 14h30pm: Head to a community project or perhaps stay at the project base for a lesson planning session. 

You may also have the opportunity for a Lion walk or Lion based activity during this time.

Evening: Socialize over dinner around 6.00pm at our Intern and Volunteer base.  On some nights volunteers and interns venture off into Livingstone town to experience the night life of this tourist Mecca.  For others you may sit out under the beautiful Southern skies and listen to the sounds of the African Bush as it comes alive at night.

You will have two days off duty per week. On these days you have the option of taking part in a lion walk, relaxing and exploring Livingstone Town and all it has to offer! You could also consider taking a weekend trip to the nearby Chobe National Park in Botswana. 

For more information and bookings click here*

* links to our partner's web site


Charity Commission No. 1120572

Donate with JustGiving

501 (c) 3 with EIN No. 45-3782687

Donate Now



Facilitated Research

Join us