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Priced from £ 1037 / EUR 1348 / US$ 1897 / AU$ 2281 for two weeks
The Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks, in Zimbabwe, are undoubtedly amongst the most impressive wildlife areas in Southern Africa. This project is a collaboration between the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Lion Encounter to research and protect these vital ecosystems.
Throughout your stay you will participate in various research and conservation activities within the National Parks. Please note that some activities, and some research methodologies, are seasonal and you may not be able to take part in every activity during your stay:
Large Predator Research – the Zambezi National Park is home to lions, leopards, cheetah, African wild dogs and spotted hyena. Your role will be to assist in collecting baseline data on each species that are used to improve species conservation management plans. Data collection is undertaken by a variety of means including driven transects, observations at water holes, remote camera traps, baited call-in stations and community questionnaires. When animals are sighted you will attempt to take photographic evidence for individual identification, record the GPS location and other information useful to the research effort.
Elephant Research – the populations of elephant in this region are huge, but little is known about their seasonal behaviors. You will be assisting in documenting the location, size and structure of elephant herds, helping to build up a database of individual animals using their ear notches and tusk size and shape as identification markers. We will also be looking at feeding behaviors to assess the species’ impact on the vegetation of the Park.
Biodiversity Assessment – to complement the large predator research you will assist in monitoring the number and distribution of other species within the Park. Data is collected by driven transect surveys on historically used routes to allow for comparison over time.
National Park Management – you will be assisting the Park’s staff in many aspects of management including; invasive alien plant species removal, waterhole and fire management programmes, snare sweeps, creating maps for visitors to the Park as well as helping out in the Park’s offices with general administrative duties and visitor management.
Entomological survey – we hope you enjoy insects. This research program is trying to understand the complex relationships between the vast array of insects and the even greater array of plants and trees within the Parks. You will lay out traps and assist in identifying what we catch.
Conservation Education – a vital part of your role will be assisting with our outreach programmes with the local community. These programmes help increase support for conservation efforts. You will therefore be assisting in preparing lesson plans which you will later teach.
Walk with Lions – As part of your experience you will have the opportunity to walk with lion cubs as they participate in the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Programe.